Published: Tue, July 30, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Russia Scanned Election Systems in All 50 US States

Russia Scanned Election Systems in All 50 US States

A report released Thursday by the Senate Intelligence Committee offered new details on the breadth and intensity of what it said was "unprecedented" Russian cyber activity targeting US election infrastructure ahead of the 2016 presidential election, though it echoed a previous, preliminary finding that no votes were changed and no voting machines were manipulated. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat on the committee. "Since then - and in large part as a result of the bipartisan work done on this issue in our Committee - the intelligence community, DHS, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the states have taken steps to ensure that our elections are far more secure today than they were in 2016". While $380 million in federal funds were sent to states for election security, experts say this was more of a down payment and will not cover much of what needs to be done.

Louisiana has paperless voting machines across the state as it prepares for a 2019 election for governor and other statewide office holders.

Last month at the G20 meeting in Osaka, Trump again jokingly downplayed Russia's 2016 interference.

"Mueller's testimony should be a wake-up call to every American, Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, that the integrity of our elections is at stake". Twenty-one states said they found out about possible election interference from the press or the Intelligence Committee's hearing on the topic in 2017.

Democrats slammed the provisions as an attempt to dissuade people from voting, at a time when tensions were already heightened over Texas elections officials wrongly calling into question the citizenship of almost 100,000 voters. Trump said, "Yes, of course, I will", before telling Putin with a smile: "Don't meddle in the election, president". The panel's top Democrat, Mark Warner of Virginia, who led the inquiry along with Chairman Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, noted how ill-prepared officials were for malign Russian action ahead of 2016.

Republicans said Thursday money has already been allocated from an earlier spending bill and no new funding is needed immediately.

Experts say it would be challenging to implement standardized equipment and massive protocol changes across the country, requiring a complete overhaul of how elections occur.

Piers Wilson, head of product management at Huntsman Security, warned that hackers have a good chance of being successful in future elections, and governments must focus on improving their response.

Trump has shown little interest in election security, and his interactions with Homeland Security mostly deal with immigration.

"We have no choice but to work together given the modern-day threats to our democracy", said Padilla, whose state has among the strictest cybersecurity enforcement for elections.

Former special counsel for the Department of Justice Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on Wednesday, detailing his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, potential Russian links to the Trump campaign and alleged attempts by the president to obstruct the investigation. "They're doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it during the next campaign", Mueller said of Russian Federation.

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