Russia is attacking U.S. elections, targeting state and local government networks, say feds

Russia-sponsored hackers have been trying to break into United States local government computer networks — and two of those Russian hacking attacks on city and state network were successful, said U.S. government agencies on Thursday.

"Since at least September 2020, a Russian state-sponsored … actor … has conducted a campaign against a wide variety of U.S. targets," the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security said.

The alert is the second such warning in as many days, and concern over hacking is rising, with the U.S. presidential election just 2 weeks away now, on Nov. 3.

From Reuters:

In an alert less than two weeks before the U.S. election, the agencies said that a Russian group, sometimes called Berserk Bear or Dragonfly by researchers, had targeted dozens of state, local, tribal and territorial U.S. governments as well as aviation networks. (…)

The hackers successfully broke into an unspecified number of networks and, as of earlier this month, had stolen data from two of them, the agencies said in a posting on the website of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

The names of the targeted governments were not disclosed. DHS did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The FBI provided no further details but said in a statement that it was "shining a spotlight on Russia's nefarious behavior."

More: Russian hackers attack U.S. state and local government networks, U.S. government says