Russian military intelligence hackers targeted a specific company that is linked to the voting software used by the United States’ presidential voting system. The hackers may have launched "voter registration-themed" cyber attacks targeting local government offices. This is according to a report by “The Intercept.”
According to “The Intercept,” an official working in the National Security Agency had leaked the story to them.
As of the moment, the NSA has yet to publish a report that undeniably points to Russian hackers trying to penetrate the U.S. voting system and manipulate the voter registration.
The agency declined to comment. However, it confirmed the authenticity of the information leaked to “The Guardian.”
According to the report, the Russian hackers may have tried to gain access to certain accounts that linked to absentee balloting. It's safe to assume that the hackers’ purpose was to make those accounts mimic legitimate voting records.
Another concern for cyber security experts is that hackers may have breached and infected the actual voting machines. This is a serious issue. If the hackers succeeded, then the result of the entire presidential election may be falsified.
According to Pamela Smith, if the hackers gained access to the voting system, it allows the hackers to perform "malicious actions" such as removing, adding, or modifying information. Pamela Smith is the president of Verified Voting, an election integrity watchdog.
Smith added that if Russian hackers were able to gain access to the voting system, it would be disastrous for future elections. To combat the security issue, it may mean that future voters have to submit a "provisional ballot" at first. Then, the ballot has to go through a couple of verification processes before it is eligible to be included in the official counting. The other way to solve the problem is to force the voter through various legal proceedings to ensure the accuracy of information. Both scenarios are cumbersome.
Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, already denied the cyber attacks repeatedly.
However, Putin added that there might be "patriotically minded" Russians out there that have taken it upon themselves to fight for Russia. This is according to a report from “The New York Times.”
Putin's statement is the closest thing that we can get as confirmation when it comes to acknowledging that Russian hackers are behind the U.S. cyber attacks which happened during the 2016 Presidential election.
Putin added that "Russia is not meddling in a state level." However, Putin implied that they will not stop Russia's private citizens for performing actions that they consider as "patriotic."
As of the moment, most people know that Russian hackers leaked Hillary's emails, which may have cost her the presidency. Now, the NSA is saying that the Russian hackers were also trying to gain access to the voting software used by the United States during the presidential election. Since most people are now linking Russia to Trump, this new information is only going to make Trump's situation turn worse before it gets better.