Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials said three months ago that people linked to the Russian government had attempted to hack election-related sites and information in 21 states. But on Sept. 22, DHS made it official, contacting election officials in those states to more formally notify them of having been targeted. Only one, the state of Illinois, was deemed as having been “breached,” according to a Washington Post analysis that pointed to the previously revealed exposure of personal information belonging to “tens of thousands of voters.” With its next election about six weeks away, a top Washington state elections official said the agency will soon embark on a three-month federal pilot aimed at improving cybersecurity, and officials are optimistic the electoral cycle will be uneventful and appear largely unchanged to voters.
In a Sept. 22 statement, Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman confirmed hearing from DHS as did officials in Florida, California and Ohio.
“As we’ve stated before, we continue to work cooperatively with DHS – including during the election last year. The security protocols we already have in place made us aware of these attempted intrusions by Russian IP addresses throughout the course of the 2016 election. There was no successful intrusion and we immediately alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the activities,” Wyman said.