The Department of Homeland Security today revealed which states were targeted by Russian hackers trying to break into voting systems during the 2016 election cycle. DHS said "most" states were unsuccessfully attacked, but didn't make clear how and where the hackers were successful, or whether the sustained cyberattacks helped Donald Trump win the presidency.
Earlier in 2017, DHS disclosed it had evidence of Russia-backed hacks against 21 states, but wouldn't tell the individual states if they'd been targeted--which upset state officials who wanted to protect those systems if compromised. DHS officials said at that time they instead informed the entities who had "ownership" of those systems, which might mean local election offices or voting technology systems vendors.
State election officials finally got the news directly from federal authorities on Friday.
On Friday afternoon, DHS placed individual calls to the top election official in each state and six U.S. territories to fill them in on what information the agency has about election hacking attempts in their state last year. It will be up to the election officials to decide whether to share what they learn with the public.
Shortly after the call , Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman announced that her state's election systems were among those that Russian hackers tried to break into last year, but that they had failed. "There was no successful intrusion and we immediately alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the activities," she said in a statement.
Wyman says the state had security measures in place that detected the attempted intrusion.
The Connecticut Secretary of State's office said that DHS confirmed Russian hackers tried to break into the state's online voter registration system last year, but did not succeed. A spokesman for the office said their IT department detected and blocked the attempted intrusion, but did not know who was probing the system.
Officials in Oregon and Wisconsin also said they were targeted.
In addition, officials from Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Virginia told The Associated Press that their states had been targeted.
Election officials in Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico and North Carolina said their states were not targeted by hackers.
PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump looks up during his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during the U.N. General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque