US intelligence report warns that Russian hackers could disrupt US elections

Top US cyber official says state officials are ‘pleased’ with government support to secure the election, some election administrators say otherwise

By Peter Symonds

The US intelligence community has issued a report warning that Russia could disrupt the upcoming presidential election in November, ahead of the presidential inauguration.

“The most likely area of compromise is in voter registration databases,” the office of the director of national intelligence warned in the document [PDF] titled “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”.

It found that hackers from Russia could have as many as 143,000 US voters’ names and addresses in their possession, with the ability to hack into the databases.

The document also revealed that Russian hackers may have stolen voter registration from 30 states as well as the District of Columbia, which has the only independent and fully functional electronic voter registration system in the country that is backed by the federal government.

“Russia has also engaged in hacking US government networks, including the electoral rolls, senior policy officials, a range of federal agencies, private sector organizations, and the White House itself,” said the document.

The report was based on a declassified intelligence assessment made public by Obama’s administration in December and one made by his deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, in June. Both document make a case for a cyber attack on election infrastructure systems in the US.

In the intelligence community’s assessment, officials expressed concern about the state of election-related cybersecurity.

“We assess that the risk of election-related cyberattacks, whether by external or internal actors, is low, but is increasing,” the document said. “We assess with moderate confidence that Russia’s cyberattacks against certain US government agencies and individuals occurred in 2016.”

The document is the first major American public warning since a report published by a German parliamentary joint committee earlier this month. The German report warned that a cyber attack on the US power grid could be devastating. The report says the attack would almost certainly trigger power cuts across the entire country and could cause a black out.

It also warned that the hackers have demonstrated an ability to use tools on the “low end” of the cyber security spectrum.

“We assess with high confidence that Russian security

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