Fla. Gov: Russians Hacked 2 Counties' Voting Systems

He says the FBI won't let him say which 2
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2019 2:50 AM CDT
Governor Says Russians Hacked Voting Systems in 2 Florida Counties
"It did not affect any voting or anything like that," DeSantis said.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

Florida's governor says Russian hackers breached voter databases in two counties during the 2016 election—but he's not allowed to say which two. At a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said FBI and Homeland Security officials asked him to sign a nondisclosure agreement, Politico reports. He said the hackers accessed data, but there is no sign that they altered it. He said the hackers would not have been able to change the vote count. "There was no manipulation, or anything, but there was voter data that was able to be got," he said. DeSantis said the "intrusion" happened after the hackers used the "spear phishing" tactic, which involves getting people to click on malicious links in emails, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The governor said the federal officials believe naming the counties "may reveal information to the perpetrators that we know kind of what they did." DeSantis said he had requested a security briefing after the Mueller report revealed that a Russian military intelligence unit breached files in at least one Florida county, the New York Times reports. "The FBI provided information involving the attempted intrusion into Supervisor of Elections networks throughout the state," an agency spokesman said. "The FBI also provided assurance that investigators did not detect any adversary activity that impacted vote counts or disrupted electoral processes during the 2016 or 2018 elections." (Vladimir Putin claims Russia has never engaged in hacking.)

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