Texas was a hacking target in 2016 election, feds say

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The notice received Friday from the Department of Homeland Security serves as the first time the federal government has confirmed to states they were targeted by hackers in the run up to the 2016 election after almost a year of speculation.

Secretary of State Lawerence Denney told the Associated Press that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security informed his office Friday that hackers did not breach or attempt to breach any state or local elections systems in Idaho.

Wisconsin was one of several political battleground states, along with Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Virginia that were targeted by the Russians, according to Homeland Security.

DHS has not released a full list of what states were notified.

Cortes said that all evidence points to the hackers' attempts being unsuccessful.

The targets included voter registration systems but not vote tallying software.

Also, top election officials in every state and USA territory are in the process of getting security clearances so they'll be able to receive classified intelligence about potential threats. Another change being considered is two-factor authentication for anyone attempting to make changes to their voter registration data.

Federal officials said that in most of the 21 states the targeting was preparatory activity such as scanning computer systems.

"But, over the course of the election system, our network identified those and prevented [hacking] from occurring in our system", Merrill added.

The Colorado Secretary of State's Office said in June that it does not think it was targeted by Russian-backed hackers.

Other states said their cybersecurity efforts turned back efforts to get to crucial information.

State and local officials balked when Obama Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in January he planned to designate elections as part of the nation's critical infrastructure, which meant additional security assistance from the federal government. "But we continue to deflect those attempts". "It's not an attack".

Magney says the commission is unaware of anyone reporting that their registration information had been altered or deleted against their will.

The latest disclosure to the states comes as a special counsel investigates whether there was any coordination during the 2016 presidential campaign between Russian Federation and associates of Donald Trump.

"This is one problem that is not going to go away", Cortes said.

The hacking disclosure came as a special counsel investigated whether there was any coordination during the 2016 presidential campaign between Russian Federation and associates of President Donald Trump.



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