A new report reveals Russian hackers breached voting systems in 39 different states, which means that Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election was far more widespread than previously revealed.
According to Bloomberg, Russian “incursions into voter databases and software systems” occurred in “almost twice as many states as previously reported.” Among other things, Bloomberg says that Russian hackers tried to delete or alter voter data in Illinois; successfully accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on election day; and accessed a campaign finance database in at least one state.
The report says investigators were most disturbed by failed Russian attempts to alter voter data in Illinois, as they believed that it was a trial run for what could have been a disruptive cyber attack on election day that would have thrown the entire process into mass chaos.
“That idea would obsess the Obama White House throughout the summer and fall of 2016, outweighing worries over the DNC hack and private Democratic campaign emails given to Wikileaks and other outlets, according to one of the people familiar with those conversations,” Bloomberg reported. “The Homeland Security Department dispatched special teams to help states strengthen their cyber defenses, and some states hired private security companies to augment those efforts.”
Former FBI Director James Comey recently warned that Russia is not done meddling.
“They’re coming after America,” Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in the election. “They will be back.”
The White House provided evidence gathered on Russia’s hacking efforts and reasons why the U.S. considered it dangerously aggressive.
“Last year, as we detected intrusions into websites managed by election officials around the country, the administration worked relentlessly to protect our election infrastructure,” said Eric Schultz, a spokesman for former President Barack Obama. “Given that our election systems are so decentralized, that effort meant working with Democratic and Republican election administrators from all across the country to bolster their cyber defenses.”
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)