CNN reported Tuesday that an NSA memo, dated May 5, provides details of a 2016 Russian military intelligence cyberattack on a US voting software supplier.
An FBI spokeswoman said the bureau and the Department of Homeland Security hosted a conference call with Florida state officials to address questions regarding the security of election systems and to share information regarding the general nature of the cyberthreat. Apparently exploiting technical data obtained in that operation, the cyber spies later sent phishing emails to more than 100 local USA election officials just days ahead of the November 8 vote, intent on stealing their login credentials and breaking into the their systems, the document says.
The elections management company that has been implicated in the NSA report through a mention of one of its products is the Florida-based VR Systems.
The Russian hacking scandal has hit the Tampa Bay area.
The scramble for information comes after a leaked intelligence report detailing the effort. The notice came before the November election past year and after federal officials alerted election offices about the threat.
"Bottom line is that owning any part of a county election office backend system is a VERY powerful platform for an attacker", Blaze said on Twitter. Only one county in IL used this software, according to WGN.
Amber Smith of the Osceola County Supervisor of Elections Office said her office did not receive the phishing email. Eight counties - Clay, Collier, Citrus, Escambia, Hillsborough, Pasco, Putnam, and Vousia - said they received the email, and it was quarantined and did not give hackers access. Prosecutors did not say which federal agency employed victor, but FBI agent Justin Garrick said in an affidavit filed with the court that she had previously served in the Air Force and held a top-secret security clearance. It was tucked away on a quarantine log like the other threats, Gill said. "You just don't do that", said Corley. "They're so common we usually don't worry about them unless we get an alert, and those come in from our association of elections supervisors or the National Security Agency". The leak raises new concerns on the extent of Russian involvement in U.S. elections which led to Republican candidate Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton to become the President of the United States.
States already monitor for suspicious activity in their computer systems, including election networks.
North Carolina is checking on whether any local systems were breached, while the revelation prompted an election security review in Virginia. This is not an attempt to embarrass any state. It was the largest single-day spike in the past two years.
"Our staff is trained so that it was never an issue and in no way impacted the election administration what so ever", he said. It attributed the November spike to global malware but didn't provide an explanation for the April surge. But he pointed out that even if hackers were able to break into voting results, the USA vote-tallying process is so decentralized that it would be nearly impossible to swing an election. In Arizona and IL, election officials reported breaches of voter registration databases but said systems involved in counting votes were not affected.
Edwards was warned the Russians and others might attempt to strike.
Jeanne Atkins, who was OR secretary of state during the election, said Homeland Security tested the state's voter registration database, which is connected to the internet. He said Moscow categorically denies "the possibility" of the Russian government being behind it.