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Politics

Florida Election System Contractor Hacked; Russians Suspected

October 12, 2016 - 6:30pm
Department of State Building
Department of State Building

Federal investigators say they believe Russian hackers were behind cyberattacks on a contractor for Florida's election system that may have exposed the personal data of voters in the Sunshine State -- even though Secretary of State Ken Detzner claims nothing was compromised.

The alleged vendor hack nevertheless prompted the FBI last week to coordinate an emergency call with the 67 county election supervisors who operate the election system in the perennial battleground state. Media sources have not confirmed the name of the vendor that suffered the attack.

An FBI spokeswoman said the bureau and the Department of Homeland Security hosted another conference call, this one with Florida state officials to address questions regarding the security of election systems and to share information about the general nature of the cyber threat. FBI and DHS continue to work closely with Florida officials to assist them in safeguarding their election infrastructures.

ABC News first reported the Florida election information was compromised.

Investigators believe a local contractor in California was the hackers' target, but the systems accessed weren't related to the elections, U.S. officials said.

A spokeswoman for Detzner said, "We currently have no indication of a Florida-specific issue. The Florida Voter Registration System database is secure. The Department of State does not utilize a vendor for voter registration services. The Department has in place many safeguards to prevent any possible attempts from being successful."

The Florida contractor hack comes on the heels of hacks in Illinois, in which personal data of tens of thousands of voters may have been stolen, and one in Arizona, in which investigators now believe the data of voters was likely exposed.

CNN.com says FBI investigators believe the the hacks and attempted intrusions of state election sites were carried out by hackers working for Russian intelligence.

The cyberattacks on election registration sites are focused on parts of the U.S. election system that wouldn't affect the votes cast or the vote counts, according to U.S. officials. Instead, the intruders are targeting registration systems.

In a statement last Friday, the director of National Intelligence and the Homeland Security Department formally blamed Russia for hacking political organizations, including the Democratic National Committee, and orchestrating the release of private emails in an attempt to meddle in the U.S. elections. The Russian government has vehemently denied it.

The statement said the U.S. government wasn't yet ready to attribute the hacks of election registration sites.

In other voter-registration news, a federal judge on Wednesday extended voter registration in Florida until 5 p.m. Oct. 18, due to the disruption and damage from Hurricane Matthew.

During a hearing Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker agreed to extend the deadline for six more days. He had already extended the Oct. 11 deadline one day, after the Florida Democratic Party filed a lawsuit last weekend. That action followed the hurricane's brush with Florida's east coast.

Walker said in an order issued shortly afterward that he acted swiftly because "no right is more precious than having a voice in our democracy."

"Hopefully it is not lost on anyone that the right to have a voice is why this great country exists in the first place," wrote Walker.

Comments

GO TRUMP!

God you people are incredibly ignorant. Obviously the dumbing down of America has worked in Florida how else do you account for Trump supporters.

Perhaps you will someday learn to utilize reason rather than silly ad hominem attacks.

NO SURPRISE HERE !... "Federal Investigators"?... "FBI"?.... TRANSLATION: Obama's Democrats (including "Stumbling Hillary") are so frightened of Florida's VOTING population, that unless the "FEDS" 'hack' into our system,...Hillary will lose. The "FEDS" are ALL INTO illegally "hacking information" nowadays, and have demonstrated repeatedly that they can't be trusted. What's better for them than to "blame it on the Russians"?... The "sheeple" fall for that over, and over again, EVERY TIME ! OUR OWN "POLITICAL ELITIST CLASS" IS "DOING US"... MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT THAT !

C Breeze-interesting that you Trumpites don't think the system was hacked by Hillary's folks NOW-Or the Russian"Feds" you so labeled in your intense paranoia-so we're just supposed to accept a creature accused of sexually assaulting women & children, as well as defrauding thousands of people, as our Commander In Chief? No thanks. I didn't vote for him,& I only know one person who will admit to doing so-so forgive me if I think Putin had his hackers put Trump in the White House. We will NEVER accept this creature as our president. NEVER.

The Florida Election System is currently under Republican leadership. Perhaps, that is why no one could change your mind about anything...classic.

A separate State of "South Florida" could cure all of this nonsense, you know... "Florexico" or "FlorRico" or "Florbana" or "Hisporida" or "Florispan" or "Caliphida" or "Obamida"... (you name it !... you could win a residency Visa)

What BS from the democrats and their thug group. Do they think we're all simple minded 4th graders? I'm with Trump and nothing, nothing, nothing can change my mind.

Bet you'll change your tune if Trump loses Florida Michael Grant. This hacking business is bad no matter who is doing it.

Looks like Trump's bro Putin is doing what Trump said he should do, hack our systems. ........ What a traitor Trump is.......... Don't you gullible fools know Russia strongman government is what Trump wants and you are helping him. ..........And then Trump comes for you like he has done with other republicans, you'll be finally understand. .

Jerry, Grow the hell up and look around. It's exactly what Obummer is now doing each time he takes any action without first receiving Congressional approval! And Jerry. do spellcheck or sentence check because your post makes no sense. GO TRUMP!!

Obama STOLE two elections, 2008 and 2012.... make no mistake about THAT (Just check those facts with "Juducial Watch" (Volume 22/Issue 10; October 2016) !

Oh brother!!! Yet another false flag from George Soros! You need to open your eyes to the evil of Hitlery and Soros! Good luck!

Be Specific - What Evil? Bet you have none.

YES "Robbie", there IS a "Santa Clause" and an "Easter Bunny" and a "Tooth Fairy" (although I suspect you have no need for a "Tooth Fairy"). EVERYTHING is wonderful, go back to sleep ! Shhhhhhh!

I agree. !!

OOOOOH my God ! Call in Homeland Security !! We can trust THEM. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL Nice try, hilarity

Homeland Security???? GO TRUMP!!

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