Sunday, 25 June, 2017

Alleged Russian Hack Reveals a Deeply Flawed Election System

Leaked US national security documents point to efforts to hack into US election systems ahead of the November 2016 vote Leaked US national security documents point to efforts to hack into US election systems ahead of the November 2016 vote
Jaime Mann | 09 June, 2017, 09:27

SC doesn't use the voting system mentioned in recent reports on alleged Russian hacking of USA voting software. CBS News confirmed the authenticity of the report Monday after the five page document was published by "The Intercept".

The classified document was leaked to the press by a 25-year-old intelligence contractor who has been arrested by the Department of Justice. Still, the disclosure of the NSA document has prompted a review of election security, he said. Wednesday morning, County Clerk Kelly Sanders is holding a conference call with the Governor's Office of Emergency Services and the IT staff of the California Secretary of State to conduct in-depth diagnostic checks into the county elections systems, she said in an interview.

Greenhalgh said that even though most jurisdictions have paper ballots which can be used for recounts, "the bad news is the vast majority of the country doesn't do an audit to catch any errors in the vote counting software".

"Florida's online elections databases and voting systems remained secure in 2016", Sarah Revell, a spokeswoman for the Florida Division of Elections, wrote in an email.

The document does not reveal whether or not the Russian attempts at were successful, nor does it address if it could have affected voting outcomes in the presidential election.

The report, dated last month, asserts that hackers obtained information from company employees and used that to send phishing emails to 122 local election officials just before the election last November in an attempt to break into their systems.

According to sources, a total of about 10 states have had their systems probed or breached by hackers, similar to what happened in Arizona and IL. If it had not been leaked, the public would still have nearly no inkling about how diligently Russian hackers worked to penetrate USA voting systems in the view of the United States intelligence community.

The elections management company that has been implicated in the NSA report through a mention of one of its products is the Florida-based VR Systems. "We are only aware of a handful of our customers who actually received the fraudulent email and of those, we have no indication that any of them clicked on the attachment or were compromised as a result". "Phishing and spear-phishing are not uncommon in our society".

Volusia County Supervisor of Elections Lisa Lewis also told News 6 that her office received an email November 1 warning them of a possible fraudulent email.

VR Systems produces the voter registration software which collects personal voter data.

VR Systems says it was alerted to the danger by a client, and the company advised its clients not to open the suspect email.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla said his office hasn't found any other counties besides Humboldt that used VR Systems equipment so far.

In a statement, NASS urged federal agencies to notify local election officials about the hacking attempts, which the newly leaked documents show the NSA knew about by April of this year.

Election offices across the country were on high alert previous year after USA intelligence identified potential Russian threats.

"Thank God we had those, because as I've heard it said, you can't hack paper", said Corley.

Another embarrassing leak of a top secret U.S. document detailing how Russian Federation had meddled in last year's election has caused National Security Agency (NSA) its reputation yet again. The NSA employs thousands of private contractors for its work and victor was one of those contractors who released the report.

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