DHS Slams NBC: 'Actively Undermining Efforts of DHS' to Block Election-Hacking

Mar 02, 2018, 02:49
DHS Slams NBC: 'Actively Undermining Efforts of DHS' to Block Election-Hacking

Tuesday's report cited three unnamed intelligence officials and classified documents developed by the Obama administration, then concluded that the election systems of seven USA states had been "compromised" by Russian officials. That's according to an NBC News report Tuesday, citing multiple USA officials. According to reports, Obama requested top-secret United States officials to probe whether Russian operatives compromised websites or databases ahead of the 2016 election. Only Illinois election officials testified to a breach - "a malicious cyber-attack of unknown origin" against the Illinois voter registration system that allowed hackers to access 90,000 voter registration records.

State elections officials say they have no evidence state information technology systems were compromised by Russian government hackers in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, despite a new report to the contrary by NBC News. Six of the seven states told NBC they denied being breached by a foreign entity, citing findings from their own cyber investigations.

The Department of Homeland Security says that it is working with states and localities to protect voting systems, but the timeline laid out by NBC News - and the discrepancies between the states and federal government - isn't exactly reassuring as the 2018 midterm election approaches. All state and federal officials that spoke with the news outlet said that votes were not tampered with.

IL is one of 14 states that requested a risk assessment of its electronic database.

A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

NBC reported the US intelligence community, in this case, defines "compromised" as actual entry into election websites, voter registration systems and voter look-up systems. Then, as now, intelligence officials say none of the breaches affected the 2016 vote.

The Trump administration's Department of Homeland Security contacted election officials in all 50 states to tell them whether or not their systems had been targeted eight months after the assessment. We believe tonight's story to be factually inaccurate and misleading. She said no information was shared at the meeting to contradict the state's September announcement that its website had been scanned but not compromised. State and federal officials told NBC News that no votes were changed during the hackings, nor were any voters removed from their systems.

Houlton, with Homeland Security, says "In almost all (of the 21) states, only preparatory activity like scanning was observed". "In almost all states, only preparatory activity like scanning was observed".

The Wisconsin Elections Commission wants to reassure voters that their information is secure.

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