The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has said that hackers managed to gain access to state voting systems, but that there’s no evidence that any data was manipulated in the process.
The suggestion that someone is hacking the US presidential election to influence the outcome is one that refuses to disappear, and last month gained further traction after the FBI issued a flash alert to increase the security of databases holding voting data, following the targetting of registrants in Arizona and Illinois.
“In recent months, malicious cyber actors have been scanning a large number of state systems, which could be a preamble to attempted intrusions. In a few cases, we have determined that malicious actors gained access to state voting-related systems. However, we are not aware at this time of any manipulation of data,” DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said in the announcement.
Earlier this year, the 2016 Democratic National Committee was hacked and nearly 20,000 emails were subsequently leaked to whistle-blowing site Wikileaks. The contents of those emails and attachments led to the resignation of a number of DNC staff, including its Chair Debbie Wasserman Schulz, CEO Amy Dacey and CFO Brad Marshall.
The DHS is urging all states to take up its offer of ‘no-strings’ cybersecurity assistance in order to better protect systems ahead of the election in November.
With the rise of digital voting systems, it’s not just a problem facing the US either.