#Washington; #Russia; #Iran; #Hacking; #USElection; #SecurityThreat; #CyberSecurity
Washington, Oct 22 (Canadian-Media): While senior Trump administration officials had been complaining against Iran in actively interfering in the presidential election, many other intelligence officials said they were more concerned about Russia for hacking into state and local computer networks in breaches that could allow Moscow broader access to American voting infrastructure, media reports said.
Hacking. Image credit: Pixaby
The discovery of the hacks came as American intelligence agencies were able to pieced together details of Russia’s plans to interfere in the presidential race in its final days or immediately after the election on Nov. 3.
Although there was no evidence of any change by Russia in vote tallies or voter registration information, the Russian-backed hackers had penetrated the computer networks.
Nonetheless, both the Iranian and the Russian activity could pave the way for “perception hacks.”
Officials say Russia’s ability to change vote tallies nationwide is limited.
A hacking group believed to be operating on behalf of Russia’s Federal Security Service, the F.S.B. — the successor agency to the Soviet-era K.G.B. — has infiltrated multiple state and local computer networks in recent weeks, according to officials and researchers.
The Russian hackers were able to get inside some election administrators’ systems and had access to voting information. The officials fear that Russia could change, delete or freeze voter data, making it harder for voters to cast ballots, invalidating mail-in ballots or creating enough uncertainty to undermine election results.
“It’s reasonable to assume any attempt at the election systems could be for the same purpose,” said John Hultquist, the director of threat analysis at FireEye, a security firm that has been tracking the Russian group’s foray into state and local systems. “This could be the reconnaissance for disruptive activity.”