Russians Likely Breached Your State's Voting System

Bloomberg reports that 39 states saw intrusions
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2017 10:58 AM CDT
Voters enter a polling place to cast their election ballots Nov. 8, 2016, in Bradfordton, Ill.   (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

(Newser) – A report at Bloomberg puts a rather startling number on the extent of Russian hacking in the 2016 election: 39. As in, 39 states saw Russian intrusions of some kind into their voting databases or election software systems, according to the report. The states aren't listed, but that number is about twice the figure previously thought. That's not to say the hackers manipulated results in any way. It appears that beyond gaining access to systems, the hackers didn't use the information to alter the vote or otherwise wreak havoc, either because they were technically unable to do so or because a warning from the Obama White House to Moscow on a "red phone" proved effective.

The objective may not have been to boost a particular candidate anyway, with the story saying that the White House feared the Russians "were possibly preparing to delete voter registration information or slow vote tallying in order to undermine confidence in the election." That doesn't appear to have happened, but it doesn't bode well for future elections now that the Russians have this base of knowledge to build on, write Michael Riley and Jordan Robertson. In his recent Senate testimony, former FBI chief James Comey talked about the Russian threat. “They’re coming after America,” he said. “They will be back.” A recent report by the Intercept, based on documents allegedly provided by Reality Winner, had more details on the Russian hacking. (Read more Russian hackers stories.)

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