DHS: Hackers Cased Voter Registration Systems in 21 States

Department of Homeland Security confirmed they have evidence that hackers scanned voter registration systems in 21 states ahead of the 2016 election.


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported to the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee that the agency has confirmed widespread cybersecurity targeting of local election and voter registration systems prior to the 2016 election, according to The Hill.

“We have evidence of election-related systems in 21 states that were targeted,” said Jeanette Manfra, acting deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity and communications at the DHS’s National Protection and Programs Directorate.

While DHS has not released which states’ voter registration systems had been targeted, Manfra confirmed that no vote tallies were altered.

Bill Priestap, assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence division, said the FBI is investigating the hackers’ targeting efforts.

The hackers appeared to be scanning for vulnerabilities, according to a separate report by the Washington Post.

DHS did not disclose the names of the states targeted, or indicate if data had been stolen. Previously, Arizona officials confirmed that the FBI had alerted the state that foreign actors likely breached its voter registration system in June 2016, although only one email address, that of a Gila County election official, appears to have been stolen.

“We could be here in two or four years talking about a much worse crisis,” said North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, the committee chairman, at the hearing.

Read the original coverage on The Hill’s website.

Andrea Fox is Editor of Gov1.com and Senior Editor at Lexipol. She is based in Massachusetts.