State and local election officials across the country reported numerous hacking alerts last year from suspicious emails sent to their systems. At least eight Florida counties received one tied to what U.S. intelligence officials said was a Russian effort to disrupt the presidential campaign. Election officials contacted by the USA TODAY NETWORK said there were no successful hacks into their voting systems or offices. But some noted that suspicious activity directed through a Tallahassee-based election software company came amid a flurry of other threats routinely blocked by election offices.
Election offices divert spam, phishing attempts and other suspicious emails into quarantine systems on a regular basis and might not know about specific hacking attempts unless notified, officials said. “There’s thousands of them every day,” said Clay County Elections Supervisor Chris Chambless, who also serves as president of the Florida State Association of Election Supervisors.
But the details about specific efforts by suspected Russian hackers show just how far and wide those attempts stretched.
A National Security Agency report published by the website The Intercept said Russian military intelligence executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. supplier of voting software and sent deceptive emails to more than 100 local election officials in the days leading to the November election.