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Russian Cyber Hacks On US Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known (bloomberg.com) 520

An anonymous reader shares a Bloomberg article: Russia's cyberattack on the U.S. 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. In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database. Details of the wave of attacks, in the summer and fall of 2016, were provided by three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states, one of them said. The scope and sophistication so concerned Obama administration officials that they took an unprecedented step -- complaining directly to Moscow over a modern-day "red phone." In October, two of the people said, the White House contacted the Kremlin on the back channel to offer detailed documents of what it said was Russia's role in election meddling and to warn that the attacks risked setting off a broader conflict.
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Russian Cyber Hacks On US Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known

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  • That's telling him! What was it Putin said about empty threats?
    • And then he came out and said the elections were secure and no Russian involvement had affected the outcome!
  • by Sarcasmooo! ( 267601 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @10:21AM (#54609187)

    And this is only half of the story. Read this [time.com], this [nytimes.com], and this [cnn.com]...and you might begin to understand the breadth and the scope of what Russia is doing online. The Kremlin has built an entire industry manned by thousands, whose sole purpose is to get online and sew chaos, confusion, and doubt. They are why, when you discuss any issue that reflects poorly on Russia on any major website, you get marginalized and bombarded with talking points.

    There are conservatives who mirror the Kremlin's message, but these buildings filled with thousands of paid trolls are the originals and the instigators. This is not a game, read the Times story above and you will see the real world consequences; Russia can create fake hysteria in America, made up disasters, and form political causes out of the ether which sway American policy in the direction they like. Russia, right this very second, and since 2014, and into the future--is at war with you, with me, with every Conservative and every Democrat and every Independent--and they don't care at all what you want. They care what 1 man wants, and what he wants is to say fuck you and your country.

    • Summary (Score:4, Funny)

      by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @10:31AM (#54609281)

      The Kremlin has built an entire industry manned by thousands, whose sole purpose is to get online and sew chaos, confusion, and doubt.

      So what you are saying is Russia has built a Shadow 4-Chan.

    • Russia can create fake hysteria in America, made up disasters, and form political causes out of the ether which sway American policy in the direction they like.

      So..... you're saying that you're Russian?

      Also, why does it always have to be Russians? Anyone can do that. And they do. Hell, some comedy sites like nationalreport.net are taken serious by some folks.

      What it seems you're arguing for is some sort of system where we don't have to worry about lowly people having influence on their leaders, and rather one where the leader's just choose the leaders, since they are above influence. Sounds like a country I've heard of...

    • There are conservatives who mirror the Kremlin's message, but these buildings filled with thousands of paid trolls are the originals and the instigators. This is not a game, read the Times story above and you will see the real world consequences; Russia can create fake hysteria in America, made up disasters, and form political causes out of the ether which sway American policy in the direction they like.

      Some sources are saying that the whole current hubbub about Qatar is based on a false story that came from these groups. For whatever reason Trump certainly seems convinced that Qatar is ground zero for terrorist funding and I'm just not sure that's really true. I do know that Russia likes to sow discord among US allies and having Qatar end up so angry that they close down the US base there would certainly be an endgame Russia would like to see. Russia is also a master at creating problems and then inser

    • It's amazing that this recognition of the widespread malignant threat posed by Russia only seems to have become evident in the last 8 months? I guess we should thank Trump's administration for highlighting this problem to which the previous administration seemed entirely oblivious at all levels?

      http://thefederalist.com/2016/... [thefederalist.com]

    • by k6mfw ( 1182893 )

      you get marginalized and bombarded with talking points.

      Excellent post especially all the trolls that responded to you.

  • How could this even be possible? By assuming that the option of a well-planned inside job can be dismissed, how could anyone have access to so delicate information from outside?! Through internet?! Why enabling internet access to something like this?

    In any case, I guess that all these systems include a quite powerful logging sub-system recording each single modification; or even better: they don't allow modifications at all. So, even in the unrealistic scenario of anyone actually modifying voting informati
  • make friends not war (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 0111 1110 ( 518466 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @10:47AM (#54609421)

    Sounds like it's time for better security in the computerized part of the voting system. Even if the Russian government, as opposed to just individual hackers who might even be spoofing a Russian government IP address for reasons, really is behind this so what? It's not any kind of real attack. If you are advocating that we try to hack their own insecure internet-facing computer systems go for it. Would love to see someone other than Putin or a Putin clone get elected next time. I'm not even convinced this sort of thing should be a crime at all. More like relatively harmless play. Or we could move toward nuclear war with Russia if you want. Up to you.

    I personally kind of like the Russkies. I have no problem with them. I think we should stick with staying on friendly and good diplomatic terms with them. I lived through the 80s and I find being friends with them a lot better than Duck and Cover drills. OTOH we all know how cool nuclear war would be. It would truly be 'interesting times'. Plus a lot of Beautiful People would die or at least suffer a reduced quality of life. So I'm cool with either option, but for most people I think the first option would be preferable.

    I guess we do live in interesting times in a way. Democrats have become so much like Republicans now that they have become war mongers as long as it suits their agenda in other ways. Although I must admit I don't see how getting on a more cold war like footing with Russia again is going to hurt their arch-enemy Trump. Because Democratic presidents were known for chewing gum and kicking ass but running out of gum? I'm not seeing it. I'm just glad Trump himself is not taking the bait and transforming into Dr. Strangelove.

    I can remember back in the 80s when most Democrats were supporters of the ACLU and even human rights. It used to be that Republicans wanted financial freedom (even for poor people in many cases) but government control of our personal lives and Democrats wanted personal freedoms (pro ACLU, pro drug etc) put wanted more government control of the economy (Robin Hood economics). Now both parties want government control of everything just in somewhat different ways, but this pro war stance on the part of the Democrats is something new.

    But saber rattling over this is just dumb. You want to investigate Trump for being overly friendly with the Russians (not really a crime imo but whatever) fine, but escalating this into any sort of real conflict just because you want to demonize the Russians because Trump gets along with Putin is harmful to world peace and not really going to accomplish anything you want anyway.

    Trump is president. I don't like it either but it doesn't really matter that much who is president. It's mostly business as usual no matter who is living in that big white building. So calm the fuck down people and wipe that drool and spittle from your rabid mouths. This could even be something positive if it helps to make our electronic voting systems more secure or if it starts to get people thinking about how stupid and antiquated our electoral college system is. Democracy is mostly about a wolf and some sheep deciding what's for dinner anyway. It's really individual/human rights that distinguishes us from totalitarian dictatorships. Or really the rights that the government doesn't have. Voting is mostly bread and circus to keep the common people believing they can make a difference.

    • Sounds like it's time for better security in the computerized part of the voting system.

      Or maybe just a return to non-computerized systems. Yes, computers make finding out who won much faster and make counting easier. They also make miscounting easier.

      Do you know what happens if we don't know who won an election for a week or two, instead of by 8:05PM election eve? Absolutely nothing.

  • Given rise to my new interest in blockchain technologies, I wonder if this technology can help aid in preventing faulty voting transactions from happening? I hate to sound like a person that just learned how to use a hammer and now sees the world full of nails, but from what I have read about how blockchain works. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.
  • What the presumably Russian crackers were after was altering things like voting roles, resulting in voter suppression.

    You know, *exactly* like the GOP has been doing with gerrymandering, and having people at the polls challenging voters' registration, and the mass dropping of folks from the voting roles.

    One that sticks in my mind was a guy not allowed to vote because he was registered in another state. Note, he was whatisname, jr, and it was his *father* who was registered in another state.

    And there is *no* national system to move registrations when you relocate. Who here has ever relocated, and written to their old state or commonwealth to let them know to remove them from the old voter roles?

  • While those are run by local parties in the US, there is still opportunity for an outside player to influence or interfere with them. When I went to the caucus this year I left knowing the result of my own precinct but nothing beyond that, and many people left without waiting to find out the result of their own precinct. Certainly the Russians knew early in the nomination process that Trump was by far the candidate most favorable to them; why would they not want to interfere at that point?

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