DHS: Russia Penetrated Voter Registration Rolls in 2016 Presidential Election

Dem senator introduces bill to help DHS identify terror threats

Russians penetrated voter registration rolls in several states before the 2016 presidential election, according to a USA official charged with protecting American elections from hackers.

Russian Federation successfully penetrated voter registration rolls in several US states before the 2016 presidential election, the nation's cybersecurity chief said Wednesday.

Jeanette Manfra, the DHS's head of cybersecurity, said that details still remain classified, but told NBC "We saw a targeting of 21 states and an exceptionally small number of them were actually successfully penetrated".

But Johnson said he is concerned that many states have done little or nothing at all to boost their cybersecurity.

It was previously known that voter registration databases in Arizona and IL were in fact breached by hackers. Five, including Texas and California, said they were never attacked. In an interview on Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Russian Federation is already trying to interfere in the upcoming Congressional elections.

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The targeting was part of a broader effort by Moscow to meddle in the USA presidential election, according to the US intelligence community.

Tillerson also said he believed Russian Federation was already attempting to tamper in the 2018 midterm elections. Manfra told the news agency that security clearances are now being processed and that DHS will get information to each state.

The draft report stipulates that it is in the interest of the U.S. government that it puts in the effort to monitor people of interest on a "long-term basis" for the safety of the country.

The department is providing vulnerability tests and other services to states looking to shore up the cybersecurity of their election systems ahead of future votes, as part of its new designation of voting systems as critical infrastructure.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump signed a national security memorandum establishing a new National Vetting Center within the DHS to better coordinate information on individuals who may pose a threat to the country.

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