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U.S. state election systems targeted by Russian hackers

U.S. state election systems targeted by Russian hackers

"We also understand that while Wisconsin's elections systems were not scanned directly, DHS believes the DWD scans were looking for vulnerabilities in order to gain information about how to target elections systems", the release said.

According to the commission's statement, Homeland Security did not notify DET officials that Russian hackers had targeted Wisconsin's elections systems, but did provide "critical information" used to protect "all of Wisconsin's systems".

Because DHS did not previously inform DET or WEC of its conclusions, we were surprised by the DHS notification last Friday, and the resulting confusion over the past week has been an unnecessary distraction from the fact that Wisconsin's systems are secure and have not been breached in any way.

"The Department stands by its assessment that Internet-connected networks in 21 states were the target of Russian government cyber actors seeking vulnerabilities and access to USA election infrastructure", the statement said.

In response, though, the DHS maintained that states were nevertheless targeted in some fashion.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla criticized the federal government for not providing timely and accurate information on the attempted Russian meddling. Specifically, those state officials said they were told that the Russian hackers targeted computers systems that weren't related to their elections.

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"To make matters worse", his statement says, "the Associated Press similarly reported that DHS has reversed itself and 'now says Russian Federation didn't target Wisconsin's voter registration system, ' which is contrary to previous briefings".

The release of additional information came after state officials in Wisconsin and California said they had received conflicting reports from DHS about which of their computer systems were targeted by hackers during the 2016 presidential campaign.

But Russian hackers did try to worm into a network run by the California Department of Technology. But he said Californians should feel confident that the state's election systems were not briefed.

Homeland Security first told state elections officials last Friday that Wisconsin was one of the states targeted. He noted that some of the intelligence used to make that determination can not be shared publicly.

"Hacker can't access the City of Richmond's machines through the internet because there is no wireless connection on the voting machines", she said.

Richmond Voter Registrar J. Kirk Showalter said no systems were hacked in the city. A DHS spokesman said, "When DHS conducts a cybersecurity scan of a network or system, we do so only with the cooperation and consent of the system owner".

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