The Federal Bureau of Investigation has come across evidence which reveals that foreign hackers have compromised at least two state election databases in the past few weeks. The bureau is warning election officials across the country to improve the security of their systems. There’s already a concern in the country’s intelligence circles that foreign hackers, particularly Russian state-sponsored hackers, could mount an attack to disrupt the presidential elections this November.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has already convened a conference call with state election officials and has offered the department’s help to ensure that state voting systems are secure. States can call on federal cybersecurity experts to scan their systems for vulnerabilities ahead of the elections.
Sources familiar with a “NEED TO KNOW recipients” sent out by the FBI in relation to this attack tell Yahoo News that the bureau suspects foreign hackers of targeting voter registration databases in Arizona and Illinois.
Officials in Illinois were actually forced to shut down the voter registration system in July for ten days after hackers were able to steal personal data of more than 200,000 state voters. The Arizona attack is said to be limited to the introduction of malicious software in the voter registration system but it’s believed that no personal data was exfiltration in the attack.
Even though the perpetrators of this cyber attack are believed to be based outside of the United States, no particularly country has been pinpointed as yet by the FBI, at least not publicly.