ME not targeted by election hackers, officials confirm

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman

Wisconsin, a key state in the 2016 US presidential election, said on Friday it was one of the 21 states that the federal government notified were targeted by Russian government hackers but no votes were changed.

Earlier this week, the state's budget writers approved diverting money from an unused election account to spend an additional $1.2 million to upgrade the office's cybersecurity measures for its voter registration system and business database.

Haas says he is seeking more information from Homeland Security.

State Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said the Department of Homeland Security called officials in SC on Friday to tell them the state was not hacked. He says the hackers were unable to find any vulnerability in the state system and "weren't able to get any kind of intrusion into anything". "This was a scan and many computer systems are regularly scanned".

Also, amid concerns of Russian meddling in last fall's presidential election, the Wisconsin Elections Commission has created a security team and is assembling a formal security plan, with the goal of preventing security breaches.

Wisconsin election officials have repeatedly said there were no indications that state elections had been tampered with previous year.

Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator Michael Haas said the attempted hack had no effect on Wisconsin's systems or the outcome of the election. The state has voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in seven consecutive presidential elections.

One thing the state is considering is whether to mandate that local clerks meet minimum security requirements for hardware and software they use, Haas said.

Wyman says the notice from the federal agency "confirmed information her office previously shared with federal security officials a year ago", according to the release.

The election for U.S. Senate and governor tops the November 2018 ballot in Wisconsin, but there are dozens of other local races to be decided.

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