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In fact, the Obama administration believed that the Russians were possibly preparing to delete voter registration information or slow vote tallying in order to undermine confidence in the election. official expressed concern that the Russians now have three years to build on their knowledge of U. voting systems before the next presidential election, and there is every reason to believe they will use what they have learned in future attacks.That effort went far beyond the carefully timed release of private communications by individuals and parties. As the first test of a communication system designed to de-escalate cyber conflict between the two countries, the cyber “red phone” -- not a phone, in fact, but a secure messaging channel for sending urgent messages and documents -- didn’t quite work as the White House had hoped.In early July 2016, a contractor who works two or three days a week at the state board of elections detected unauthorized data leaving the network, according to Ken Menzel, general counsel for the Illinois board of elections.The hackers had gained access to the state’s voter database, which contained information such as names, dates of birth, genders, driver’s licenses and partial Social Security numbers on 15 million people, half of whom were active voters.As many as 90,000 records were ultimately compromised.
According to the leaked NSA document, hackers working for Russian military intelligence were trying to take over the computers of 122 local election officials just days before the Nov. While some inside the Obama administration pressed at the time to make the full scope of the Russian activity public, the White House was ultimately unwilling to risk public confidence in the election’s integrity, people familiar with those discussions said.Counties upload records to the state, not the other way around, and no data moves from the database back to the counties, which run the elections.The hackers had no way of knowing that when they attacked the state database, Menzel said. In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported.