The Wisconsin Elections Commission Tuesday will consider increasing its cyber security efforts, a move that follows reports that Russians unsuccessfully attempted to hack the agency last year. On Friday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security notified Wisconsin that it was one of 21 states that Russians attempted to hack during the presidential elections.Elections Commission members and the news media will be briefed on this attack at the agency’s Tuesday board meeting, spokesman Reid Magney said. The new security would include encrypting WisVote, the statewide voter registration system used by local clerks, and requiring two-factor authentication for clerks and state workers signing into that system. That two-factor system requires both a typical password and then a second code that is sent as a text to a user’s cellphone or an email to their private account.
“We’re looking at all those sorts of things,” Magney said. “We’re going to look at the best practices from everywhere.”
Wisconsin is under particular scrutiny because it was a key state — along with Pennsylvania and Michigan — that helped deliver an Electoral College victory to President Donald Trump over his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
The added security measures were on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting before the federal disclosure of the hacking attempt Friday. But they also follow months of news coverage and congressional inquiries into Russian attempts to manipulate the 2016 elections.