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Maybe we should be a little more concerned about election security?

Just a thought.

Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported.

In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database. Details of the wave of attacks, in the summer and fall of 2016, were provided by three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states, one of them said.

The scope and sophistication so concerned Obama administration officials that they took an unprecedented step — complaining directly to Moscow over a modern-day “red phone.” In October, two of the people said, the White House contacted the Kremlin on the back channel to offer detailed documents of what it said was Russia’s role in election meddling and to warn that the attacks risked setting off a broader conflict.

The new details, buttressed by a classified National Security Agency document recently disclosed by the Intercept, show the scope of alleged hacking that federal investigators are scrutinizing as they look into whether Trump campaign officials may have colluded in the efforts. But they also paint a worrisome picture for future elections: The newest portrayal of potentially deep vulnerabilities in the U.S.’s patchwork of voting technologies comes less than a week after former FBI Director James Comey warned Congress that Moscow isn’t done meddling.

“They’re coming after America,” Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in the election. “They will be back.”

[…]

One of the mysteries about the 2016 presidential election is why Russian intelligence, after gaining access to state and local systems, didn’t try to disrupt the vote. One possibility is that the American warning was effective. Another former senior U.S. official, who asked for anonymity to discuss the classified U.S. probe into pre-election hacking, said a more likely explanation is that several months of hacking failed to give the attackers the access they needed to master America’s disparate voting systems spread across more than 7,000 local jurisdictions.

Such operations need not change votes to be effective. In fact, the Obama administration believed that the Russians were possibly preparing to delete voter registration information or slow vote tallying in order to undermine confidence in the election. That effort went far beyond the carefully timed release of private communications by individuals and parties.

One former senior U.S. official expressed concern that the Russians now have three years to build on their knowledge of U.S. voting systems before the next presidential election, and there is every reason to believe they will use what they have learned in future attacks.

To put this another way, you don’t have to hack voting machines to wreak havoc on our elections. Simply undermining confidence in the process is enough. And unfortunately, Republicans like Mitch McConnell were not at all interested in any of this last year, so don’t hold out hope that they will want to take action about it for next time. There’s a lot of work to be done to fix this mess. Daily Kos and Chalie Pierce have more.

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11 Comments

  1. neither here nor there says:

    The Russians stole the election for Trump any reasonable person would not disagree. The Republican Party has shown that they no longer care about the country. They can’t win nationally so they work with countries to help steal the election.

    They now seem to prove they can’t govern either, but they are damn good liars.

  2. Flypusher says:

    Honestly I don’t see the hacked DNC e-mails as making as much of a difference as did Comey’s letter about the e-mails on the laptop. But if someone has data that shows that Bernie voters went for Stein in PA, MI, WI, Fl, etc., I’ll listen to your case.

  3. neither here nor there says:

    Fly that also came from the Russians, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/05/24/comey-influenced-by-bogus-russian-document-report-says.html

    The only question is how much money is Trump and associates getting, remember the Republicans do practice trickle down.

  4. Flypusher says:

    Hadn’t heard that one. Interesting. Even if the Russians had zero effect on the outcome, I agree with the fact that the attempt was made ought to be ringing the alarm bells.

    Comey’s big screwup was not sending letters about BOTH the Clinton e-mail AND the Trump Campaign-Russia investigations. If you truly want to avoid tipping any scales, it’s both or neither.

  5. brad m says:

    McFly is right. This is all Comey’s fault.

    I don’t have a problem with the Russians hacking our elections as long as the Russian hackers show a valid concealed gun photo ID. Or a photo of themselves wearing a MAGA hat.

  6. Bill Daniels says:

    @Neither:

    Did you not read the posted article?

    “One of the mysteries about the 2016 presidential election is why Russian intelligence, after gaining access to state and local systems, didn’t try to disrupt the vote. One possibility is that the American warning was effective. Another former senior U.S. official, who asked for anonymity to discuss the classified U.S. probe into pre-election hacking, said a more likely explanation is that several months of hacking failed to give the attackers the access they needed to master America’s disparate voting systems spread across more than 7,000 local jurisdictions.”

    According to Kuff’s own article, the Rooskies didn’t try to disrupt the vote. Maybe they looked in to it, but they didn’t do it. If your theory is that Russia hacked the DNC, I’ll just say that we have no proof of that, other than the word of Crowdstrike, a private company that “uncovered” Russian hacking. Curious that the DNC wouldn’t let the FBI or any other of the alphabet agencies examine their computers to confirm that. Ask yourself why. Could it be because they weren’t “hacked” by Russia but rather, their documents were stolen by Seth Rich?

  7. neither here nor there says:

    Have no idea what you are writing about. You inject things I have not stated to make an argument based on fake reality that you create.

    “My Theory” is not a theory, the Russians were involved in manipulating the election. There is no question that is true except by some people that live in another universe.

    But for the Russians Trump would not be president.Will fingers point and him it all depends on how loyal they are and how many years they want to spend behind bars. Flynn did offer to tell the truth if he was given immunity.

  8. Jason Hochman says:

    @Neither: your statement “but for the Russians Trump would not be President” is not supported by the article in the Intercept. Nor by any other source. The Democrats used super delegates to get an unpopular candidate and lost the election.

  9. neither here nor there says:

    Jason, how much or how many article that point at the Russians would be sufficient for you, if any? How many trees have to fall before someone realizes that something is happening to the trees? Any reasonable person who reads and comprehends knows that the Russians were involved. Do you think if the Russians had not dumped via the alleged raper, that Trump would have won? Less than 100,000 votes in 3 states would have changed the outcome. People are found guilty of crimes with much less circumstantial evidence.

    Blame Hillary for the Russians, that sound like Bernie losers or Republicans masquerading as Bernie losers.

  10. neither here nor there says:

    And yes Jason I think that the Bernie losers are also responsible for Trump being president, I hope you enjoy it. Like I told my wife we are in a class where they are not likely to do anything that would effect us since we are old and middle class, Republican type voters.

  11. C.L. says:

    At the end of the day, whether or not Russian or Chechen or Romanian ‘400 lb hackers’ flooded the US media market with fake news articles throughout 2016 and/or made me feel good about Trump or bad about Clinton, is a fruitless pursuit – the Electoral College is who put DT in the White House. Were those EC voters, or Jim Comey for that matter, any more or less susceptible to the 18 month barrage of political discourse than you and I ? Who cares at this point ?, …what’s done is done.

    Do I think POTUS is a clown ? Absolutely. Do I think Hillary was a lousy candidate to begin with. Yup.

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