Alleged Russian hack reveals a deeply flawed election system

Alleged Russian hack reveals a deeply flawed election system

Alleged Russian hack reveals a deeply flawed election system

A voter casts a ballot in August in Hialeah, Fla., which is among several states mentioned in a leaked National Security Agency report on possible Russian meddling in last year's elections.

A leaked report by the National Security Agency reveals how Russian military intelligence infiltrated the company that made the election software used in those states.

The story published Monday features a secret NSA document that notes efforts by the Russian government to hack into a voting software company approximately a week before the election.

Election officials have long contended that the highly decentralized, often ramshackle USA voting system is its own best defense against vote-rigging and sabotage. Some counties have more technical expertise than others, and the decentralized nature of Florida's election system means some areas may be more vulnerable than others even if it would seem hard to simultaneously infect the entire state.

Homeland Security says it believes Russian Federation targeted voter registration systems too and IL was the worst hit state.

The efforts were detailed in a recently leaked report attributed to the U.S. National Security Agency. It's not clear, however, if any of those were tied to the Russian effort identified by US intelligence. But a breach of the systems could have disrupted elections by manipulating voter information used at local precincts, according to The Intercept report.

Trump says Arab leaders complained about Qatar
The Gulf Cooperation Council is a regional bloc comprising Saudi Arabia , Qatar , Kuwait, Bahrain , the UAE and Oman. Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic relations with Qatar , accusing the country of supporting terrorism.

The news of a reported Russian hacking attempt surprised Bill Brian, elections board chairman in Durham County, which experienced problems with VR Systems' electronic poll books on Election Day.

States already monitor for suspicious activity in their computer systems, including election networks. Putin said that "it wouldn't make sense" for Russian Federation to interfere with the election. Only one county in IL used this software, according to WGN. Still, the disclosure of the NSA document has prompted a review of election security, he said. "We don't have evidence that that happened", he said, "but that's a very real possibility".

The Department of Homeland Security knew in September that hackers believed to be Russian agents had targeted voter registration systems in more than 20 states.

Officials say they received this suspicious email right before the November general election. To date, no evidence of tampering with vote tallies or registration rolls has emerged.

Election offices across the country were on high alert a year ago after US intelligence identified potential Russian threats. In a statement, the company said it only knows of a "handful" of customers who received the fraudulent email, adding that it had "no indication" that anyone had clicked on the malware. By midday Wednesday, only one county said it had.

Wisconsin reported a spike in attempts to break into state computer systems just before the state's primary and general elections past year, according to records obtained by USA TODAY NETWORK - Wisconsin.

Related news