Election officers in 21 moods have been notified by the Department of Homeland Security that hackers targeted voter registration methods ahead of last year’s presidential election.
In most cases, the systems were no longer breached. A small number of systems were accommodation, but those affected were not involved in the actual tallying of elections. In most of the states, the targeting involved preparatory task, such as scanning computer systems.
Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin had confirmed they had been targeted as of Friday evening.
In most cases, the states had not known until received notification of DHS Friday, though the government had told the Associated Press last year that more than 20 countries were targeted by intruders be deemed to be Russian agents.
The government did not say Friday who was behind the hacking tries or provide details about what had been sought. But election officials in three moods said Friday the tries could be linked to Russia.
The Wisconsin Election Commission, for example, said the state’s organisations were targeted by “Russian government cyber actors.”
Only Illinois reported that hackers had succeeded in breaching its voter systems.
Colorado said the spoofing wasn’t quite a breach.
“It’s really reconnaissance by a bad person to try and figure out how we were able to break into your computer, ” said Trevor Timmons, a spokesman for the Colorado secretary of state’s office. “It’s not an attack. I wouldn’t call it a examination. It’s not a infringe, it’s not a penetration.”
The disclosure to the states comes as a special lawyer examinations whether there was any coordination during the 2016 presidential campaign between Russia and affiliates of Donald Trump.
“It’s intolerable that it took nearly a year after the election to notify is to say that their polls organizations were targeted, ” said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va ., the vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, “but I’m allayed that DHS … is lastly informing the top referendums bureaucrats in all 21 altered states that Russian hackers tried to breach their arrangements in the run up to the 2016 election.
“We have to do better in the future, ” Warner supplemented. “Our elections are the bedrock of our republic, and DHS needs to notify states and locales in real-time when their arrangements are targeted.”
Trump, a Republican who overcame Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, has called the Russia story a deception. He says Russian President Vladimir Putin “vehemently denied” its possible conclusion of American intelligence agencies.
Fox News’ Bill Mears and The Associated Press contributed to this report . i>