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The Russia connectionRussia conducted "unprecedented, coordinated" attacks on U.S. voting systems in 2016: Senate Intelligence Committee

Published 9 May 2018

Hackers affiliated with the Russian government conducted an “unprecedented, coordinated” campaign against the U.S. voting system, including successfully penetrating a few voter-registration databases in 2016, the Senate Intelligence Committee has concluded. The cyberattacks targeted at least eighteen states, and possibly three more. “Russian actors scanned databases for vulnerabilities, attempted intrusions, and in a small number of cases successfully penetrated a voter registration database,” the committee said in an interim report releaed Tuesday.

Hackers affiliated with the Russian government conducted an “unprecedented, coordinated” campaign against the U.S. voting system, including successfully penetrating a few voter-registration databases in 2016, a Senate committee has concluded.

The cyberattacks targeted at least eighteen states, and possibly three more, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said on 8 May in the first installment of its long-awaited report on alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The committee’s report says that during the last election, “cyber actors affiliated with the Russian Government conducted an unprecedented, coordinated cyber campaign against state election infrastructure” and that “Russian actors scanned databases for vulnerabilities, attempted intrusions, and in a small number of cases successfully penetrated a voter registration database.”

The committee says this “activity was part of a larger campaign to prepare to undermine confidence in the voting process.”

Although the committee did not find any evidence that the hackers actually changed votes, it said it found “ample evidence” that the Russian government sought to undermine confidence in U.S. voting systems.

Moreover, the committee report warns of continuing vulnerabilities and said more attacks were possible. It suggested that the activity uncovered in 2016 might have been simply testing for a future attack.