Report: Hackers Infiltrated State Election Systems

August 29, 2016 Updated: September 16, 2016

Hackers have penetrated two state election databases in the past several weeks, according to an alert by the FBI’s Cyber Division. 

The alert, which was first obtained by Yahoo News, showed that the Board of Elections websites in two states were attacked from a series of IP-addresses.

Citing sources familiar with the report, Yahoo reported that the two states in question are Arizona and Illinois. In Illinois the attack forced officials to close down the voter registration system for 10 days in July after hackers downloaded personal information on as many as 200,000 voters.

The FBI, in the alert, said it is requesting that states contact their respective Board of Elections to find out whether there is “any similar activity to their logs, both inbound and outbound, has been detected.” It added, “Attempts should not be made to touch or ping the IP addresses directly.”

According to Yahoo, citing federal and state law enforcement officials, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson held a conference call with state election officials on Aug. 15, offering Homeland Security help to make voting systems more secure.

Johnson said that Homeland Security isn’t aware of a “specific or credible” threat to the election, according to Yahoo.

In July, the Democratic National Committee was hacked, and nearly 20,000 emails from officials were released, showing that Democratic officials were actively strategizing with the Hillary Clinton campaign against Senator Bernie Sanders. DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other officials resigned in the wake of the leak.

“Election officials at every level of government should take this lesson to heart: our electoral process could be a target for reckless foreign governments and terrorist groups,” said the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group in response to the DNC hack on July 28.

Some experts have attributed the DNC hack to the Russian government. The Kremlin has denied those allegations.