A U.S. cybersecurity official said Wednesday that Russia “successfully penetrated” the voter rolls in a small number of states in 2016. Jeanette Manfra, the head of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), told NBC News that Russia targeted 21 states and “an exceptionally small number of them were actually successfully penetrated.” DHS previously notified the 21 states that Russia had attempted to hack their elections systems before the 2016 election. It was Manfra who first revealed to the Senate Intelligence Committee last June that the states had their systems targeted by Russian hackers ahead of the election.
It was previously known that voter registration databases in Arizona and Illinois were breached by hackers. Alabama, California, Colorado, Wisconsin and Florida are among the other states that have confirmed they were targeted.
Officials told NBC there is no evidence any of the voter rolls were altered in any way.
Homeland Security formally notified election officials in the states that were targeted. Officials said then that most of the targeting amounted to mere preparations for hacking, such as probing for vulnerabilities.