Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A new report claims the Russians compromised 39 states—nearly twice as many as previously reported.

New intel on Russia's attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election reveals hackers managed to break into dozens of states' voting systems and tried to delete info in at least one of them, Bloomberg reports. [by Michael Riley and Jordan Robertson, June 13, 2017]

Three people with direct knowledge of the US investigation into Russian election meddling told Bloomberg hackers infiltrated 39 states' voting systems—about twice as many as previously reported. Hackers also tried and failed to delete or tweak info in Illinois's software, which might have served as a test run for a larger disruptive attack, the sources said.


The new report from Bloomberg makes clear that even states which had no relationship with the company were compromised—a total of roughly four out of every five across the country were hacked.

The attack—which went down in the summer and fall of 2016—alarmed former president Barack Obama and his administration. According to NBC, he contacted Russia through a secure back channel to pass along evidence of the hack. Then in December, the administration slapped down sanctions on Russia in retaliation for the cyber attack.


While Russian officials have denied the country targeted the US elections, former FBI director James Comey avowed under oath during last week's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing that "the Russians interfered in our election" and that they "will be back."


Trump officials pressed State Department staffers for plans to lift Russia sanctions: report

By Max Greenwood - 06/01/17

Trump administration officials pressed State Department staffers to develop plans for removing sanctions against Russia almost immediately after President Trump took office in January, Yahoo News reported Thursday.

In turn, according to Yahoo News, State Department employees sought to convince lawmakers to codify the sanctions, which were put in place by former President Barack Obama in response to Russia's military intervention in Ukraine and the Kremlin's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.


“There was serious consideration by the White House to unilaterally rescind the sanctions,” Fried told Yahoo News, saying he eventually contacted lawmakers, including Senate Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Ben Cardin (D-Md.), in an effort to codify the sanctions, which would complicate efforts by Trump to lift them.


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