The hacking attempt on Arizona’s voter database started in rural Gila County when an elections worker opened an email attachment. Michelle Reagan, Arizona’s secretary of state, said it was malware meant to attack servers holding the voter information of 4 million people. Reagan was alerted by the FBI, and experts believe the Russian government is to blame. She said she was shocked and dismayed when she first heard about the breach. “We’ve never had to worry about foreign invaders coming in and trying to mess with our confidence and our election system,” Reagan said.
Arizona, Illinois, Florida and nearly two dozen other states have seen similar scanning, probing or breaches of their election systems.
“The Russians have a different doctrine than we do,” said Jim Lewis, who has advised the U.S. government on cyber attacks for more than a decade.
“They’re using information as a way to achieve their political goals. They don’t need the Red Army anymore; They have the internet,” he said.