The FBI has issued an alert across the nation that criminals and foreign governments might try to hack into election systems in November.

The department became concerned “after hackers successfully infiltrated one state board of election and targeted another” in Illinois and Arizona.

Yahoo News reported:

The bulletin does not identify the states in question, but sources familiar with the document say it refers to the targeting by suspected foreign hackers of voter registration databases in Arizona and Illinois. In the Illinois case, officials were forced to shut down the state’s voter registration system for 10 days in late July, after the hackers managed to download personal data on up to 200,000 state voters, Ken Menzel, the general counsel of the Illinois Board of Elections, said in an interview. The Arizona attack was more limited, involving malicious software that was introduced into its voter registration system but no successful exfiltration of data, a state official said.

Now the FBI wants all states to start securing their systems now to avoid hacking during the presidential elections:

“The FBI is requesting that states contact their Board of Elections and determine if any similar activity to their logs, both inbound and outbound, has been detected,” the alert said. “Attempts should not be made to touch or ping the IP addresses directly.”

An FBI spokeswoman wouldn’t comment on the specific alert. “In furtherance of public-private partnerships, the FBI routinely advises its partners of various cyberthreat indicators observed during the course of our investigations,” she said.

The FBI provided “eight separate IP addresses” and thinks they may have been linked since the hackers used one address in bothe attacks. The department recognized one address since it “surfaced before in Russian criminal underground hacker forums.” Rich Barger, chief intelligence officer for cybersecurity firm ThreatConnect, told Yahoo News that “the method of attack on one of the state election systems — including the types of tools used by the hackers to scan for vulnerabilities and exploit them — appears to resemble methods used in other suspected Russian state-sponsored cyberattacks, including one just this month on the World Anti-Doping Agency.”

However, the tools are not very sophisticated, but “very effective,” which is why “national governments or their proxies” use them.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson spoke with state election officials “about security standards and how to prevent cyberattacks from impacting the voting process.” They have also started a campaign that will “raise awareness about specific risks.”


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.