Officials Say Russians Hacked Two U.S. Voter Databases

Hackers based in Russia were behind two recent attempts to breach state voter registration databases, fueling concerns the Russian government may be trying to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials tell NBC News.

haceked database

The breaches included the theft of data from as many as 200,000 voter records in Illinois, officials say.

The incidents led the FBI to send a “flash alert” earlier this month to election officials nationwide, asking them to be on the lookout for any similar cyber intrusions.

One official tells NBC News that the attacks have been attributed to Russian intelligence agencies.

“This is the closest we’ve come to tying a recent hack to the Russian government,” the official said.

That person added that “there is serious concern” that the Kremlin may be seeking to sow uncertainty in the U.S. presidential election process.

Hackers based in Russia were behind two recent attempts to breach state voter registration databases, fueling concerns the Russian government may be trying to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials tell NBC News.

The breaches included the theft of data from as many as 200,000 voter records in Illinois, officials say.

The incidents led the FBI to send a “flash alert” earlier this month to election officials nationwide, asking them to be on the lookout for any similar cyber intrusions.

Hacked

One official tells NBC News that the attacks have been attributed to Russian intelligence agencies.

“This is the closest we’ve come to tying a recent hack to the Russian government,” the official said.

That person added that “there is serious concern” that the Kremlin may be seeking to sow uncertainty in the U.S. presidential election process.

U.S. intelligence officials have previously said Russian intelligence agencies were behind hacks into the Democratic National Committee and related organizations. There has been a long running debate among intelligence analysts about what Russia is up to.

Voting systems have not been considered “critical infrastructure,” by the Department of Homeland Security, so they are not subject to federal government protections.

Independent assessments have found that many state and local voting system are extremely vulnerable to hacking.

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