DHS Slams NBC: 'Actively Undermining Efforts of DHS' to Block Election-Hacking

Allan Goodman
March 2, 2018

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is denying the accuracy of an NBC News report that alleged Russian Federation breached voter sites or registration systems in seven US states prior to the 2016 election.

Before the 2016 elections, Washington officials told some of those states that foreign entities were probing their systems, but none were told that Russian Federation was behind it, the NBC report says. We have no intelligence - new or old - that corroborates NBC's reporting that state systems in seven states were compromised by Russian government actors.

The affected states were Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Texas and Wisconsin, three senior intelligence officials told NBC. And now a new NBC report will do little to banish doubts that the USA could be caught flat-footed in defending against possible foreign meddling.

The Elections Commission announced in September that it had learned from Homeland Security that two attempts to gain access to state systems in July 2016 were linked to Russian government cyberactors.

Every one of the states except IL continues to deny that their systems were compromised.

NBC News did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Houlton, with Homeland Security, says "In almost all (of the 21) states, only preparatory activity like scanning was observed".

Nene posts heartfelt tribute to agent Dan Fegan
Rockets big man Nene was one of Fegan's clients and posted a thoughtful and heartfelt message about his former agent on Instagram. Last year, Fegan became embroiled in a messy split with his agency, Independent Sports & Entertainment, which fired him.

They say the evidence shows Russian-backed covert operatives compromised state websites or databases in seven states.

Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security officials confirmed in a June 2017 Senate intelligence hearing that at least 21 states were targeted and hackers had probed their registration systems.

The officials said that several states were warned about the breaches before the 2016 election, but none were told that Moscow was behind it.

He said each year the state's Division of Enterprise Technology blocks 9 million incidents in which people may be attempting to scan state systems.

Federal officials said late Tuesday that NBC's report was "factually inaccurate and misleading". In almost all states, only preparatory activity like scanning was observed.

The article also notes that according to classified intelligence documents, the intelligence community defines "compromised" as actual entry into election websites, voter registration systems and voter look-up systems. But hackers likely aren't trying to gain access to election infrastructure just for kicks, and the Russians (or other nefarious actors) could exploit those same vulnerabilities if the U.S. doesn't take adequate action. "In almost all states, only preparatory activity like scanning was observed". "We stand by our state and local partners who are working diligently to secure the nation's election infrastructure in 2018 and beyond".

Other reports by PlayStation Move reviews

Discuss This Article