aside Breaking News: Russia Did Indeed Penetrate Some State Voter Data Bases

 

It was reported by news outlets around September 2017 that Russia had attempted to penetrate 21 States’ voter roll computer systems but US officials had announced that there was no evidence that any of the registration rolls were altered in any fashion. But now we are being told that a few states’ voter rolls computer systems were indeed successfully attacked by Russian government operatives.

This information just further confirms that our US democracy has been attacked / invaded by the foreign government of Russia during the 2016 presidential elections and we are still under attack, but now it is with the help via inaction of our US president and his republican sycophants operating in the White House and the US Congress.

We have yet to get a straight answer as to what steps are currently being taken to mitigate against future anticipated attacks on our election processes, voting systems in the 2018 elections by Russia and other nefarious actors, because even the mere mention of this subject upsets our president. Despite the Dutch being able o show pictures of Russians in the Kremlin hacking US computer systems like the DNC, the republican President Donald Trump still refuses to accept the reality that Russia did indeed meddle in the 2016 presidential elections.

Meanwhile, the CIA Director Mike Pompeo has declared, that “I have every expectation that they (Russians) will continue to try’ to meddle in House and Senate races in November,” like this is no big deal. Oh, hum, like what else is new.

As per a 2/7/18 Huffington Post report,Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned this week (on Fox News from Bogota, Colombia) that Russia is already trying to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections. And the U.S. is inadequately prepared to counter that threat, he said.”

(On 2/6/18), “Tillerson said the U.S. has seen “certain behaviors” from Russia that could imply meddling ahead of multiple international elections, including the U.S. midterms.’

“Really, I think it’s just important to continue to say to Russia, ‘Look, if you think we don’t see what you’re doing, we do see it and you need to stop. If you don’t, you’re just going to continue to invite consequences for yourself,’” Tillerson said.”

REXTILLERSON (R)/ YURI GRIPAS/REUTERS

“He said the U.S. is no more prepared now than it was before the 2016 presidential election to prevent Russian interference.”

“I don’t know that I would say we are better prepared, because the Russians will adapt as well,” Tillerson said. “The point is, if it’s their intention to interfere, they are going to find ways to do that. We can take steps we can take but this is something that, once they decide they are going to do it, it’s very difficult to pre-empt it.”

“We the People” need to act by having our US lawmakers create legislation where steps can be taken to protect the integrity the vote. There is a bipartisan bill that would allow for states to assess their voting machines’ vulnerability and to take steps to prevent being hacked, S.2261.”

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Action: Advocate for hack-proofing voting protections before November.

Call: Your two Senators (look up).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling about protecting the vote. Our democracy is vulnerable if we don’t learn a lesson from 2016 and protect ourselves. Russia-linked groups are actively hackingthe Senate and seeking to control our midterm elections. I would like [name] to make election security a priority, especially by co-sponsoring the bipartisan Secure Elections Act [S.2261] that allows states to both assess their risks and enact proven measures that protect the integrity of our vote. Thank you.

TO FAX:  Resistbot will do it all for you. Text “RESIST” to 50409 or message Resistbot on Facebook and it will walk you through the steps to fax your Senator and will tell you when your fax has been delivered.

The main US Senate phone line 202-225-3121 (202-224-3121) or  YOU CAN FIND PHONE NUMBERS FOR EVERY SENATOR HERE. or U.S. Senate: Senators of the 115th Congress.

Here’s the rest of the story…

On February 7, 2018, Cynthia McFadden, William M. Arkin and Kevin Monahan of NBC penned the following report,  “Russians penetrated U.S. voter systems, says top   U.S.  official”

Excerpts:

“The U.S. official in charge of protecting American elections from hacking says the Russians successfully penetrated the voter registration rolls of several U.S. states prior to the 2016 presidential election.”

In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Jeanette Manfra, the head of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security, said she couldn’t talk about classified information publicly, but in 2016, “We saw a targeting of 21 states and an exceptionally small number of them were actually successfully penetrated.”

Image result for photos of jeanette manfra dhs

“Jeh Johnson, who was DHS secretary during the Russian intrusions, said, “2016 was a wake-up call and now it’s incumbent upon states and the Feds to do something about it before our democracy is attacked again.”

“We were able to determine that the scanning and probing of voter registration data-bases was coming from the Russian government.

Secretary Jeh Johnson (Official Photo)
JEH JOHNSON

“In a new NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll, 79 percent of the respondents said they were somewhat or very concerned that the country’s voting system might be vulnerable to computer hackers.”

In January 2017, just weeks before leaving his post, Johnson declared the nation’s electoral systems part of the nation’s federally protected “critical infrastructure,” a designation that applies to entities like the power grid that could be attacked. It made protecting the electoral systems an official duty of DHS.

“But Johnson told NBC News he is now worried that since the 2016 election a lot of states have done little to nothing “to actually harden their cybersecurity.”

“Manfra said she didn’t agree with Johnson’s assessment. “I would say they have all taken it seriously.”

“NBC News reached out to the 21 states that were targeted. Five states, including Texas and California, said they were never attacked.”

“Manfra said she stands by the list, but also called it a “snapshot in time with the visibility that the department had at that time.”

“Many of the states complained the federal government did not provide specific threat details, saying that information was classified and state officials did not have proper clearances. Manfra told us those clearances are now being processed.”

Image result for photos of jeanette manfra dhs
JEANETTE MANFRA

“Other states that NBC contacted said they were still waiting for cybersecurity help from the federal government. Manfra said there was no waiting list and that DHS will get to everyone.”

“Some state officials had opposed Johnson’s designation of electoral systems as critical infrastructure, viewing it a federal intrusion. Johnson said that any state officials who don’t believe the federal government should be providing help are being “naïve” and “irresponsible to the people that [they’re] supposed to serve.”

See: Watch the full interview from Committee To Investigate Russia blog (2/8/18)

10 comments

  1. “But now we are being told that a few states’ voter rolls computer systems were indeed successfully attacked by Russian government operatives.”

    Now all we need is definitive proof, not empty claims and political rhetoric from either side. Sadly, I’n not convinced that complaining to our representatives will result in any meaningful action to combat the Russian “hacking”. Personally i believe Russian interference is more a psy-op attack rather than overt computer “hacking” in the traditional sense. It’s really a “political hack” in the sense of accomplishing Russian state objectives in a creative, unorthodox way. I’m not sure if that kind of life hack is preventable, short of shutting down all social media… ESPECIALLY FACEBOOK!!!

    Like

    • Dear 1EarthUnited,

      I am of the school of thought that the US leaders should be using every tool in our tool box to fight this. Let the Russians waste their monies. Russia doesn’t get the US culture.

      We the people are just going to have to light a fire under US officials so that they will do their jobs of protecting this country. The laissez-faire approach is not an acceptable standard.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

  2. Gronda, on the last ten days, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, two Trump appointees, said the Russians not only hacked our election they will do so this fall. Former President George W. Bush echoed the same yesterday.

    So, what does our President do? Nothing. He set aside the Russia sanctions that Congress overwhelmingly passed. He believed a KGB trained Putin who said he did not do it over his intelligence experts who said he did.

    But, here is a more troubling issue – the Russian social media experts are daily influencing discord in American leveraging and enhancing our divisiveness, even influencing what extreme members in Congress tout.

    Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Keith,

      This laissez-faire attitude by republicans in the White House and the US Congress when it comes to protecting our US voting infrastructure in the future from external manipulations, especially from Russia, is so disgusting.

      I;m starting to wonder if the GOP doesn’t want the Russian’s help because they can’t win without cheating.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

      • Gronda, that may indeed be a motivation with Trump. I am hoping it is not the case with other Republicans. As with the President, it has been reported by confidantes that he does not want to hear it as it delegitimizes his election win. Truth is, it does. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

      • Gronda, i believe you may be right. Why kill the golden goose that is Putin… if he helped Trump win the first time around.

        You also mentioned, “US leaders should be using every tool in our tool box to fight this.”
        Fact is Russians spent very little money swaying voters, they were very calculating and deliberate, targeting disenfranchised conservatives in our heartland.

        “Russian information troll farm the Internet Research Agency spent just $46K on Facebook, Trump and Clinton spent $81M.”

        “[Update: However, since the IRA was using incendiary, divisive, eye-drawing content about polarizing issues, it likely was able to squeeze more impressions and engagement out of each dollar of spend than Trump and Clinton’s ads driving awareness for the candidates That’s because Facebook’s ad auction system preferences engaging ads by providing lower rates. By focusing on hot-button issues and playing into people’s biases, the IRA’s ads got widely re-shared for free by viewers.]”

        “Facebook today said that the Russians still reached 126 million Facebook users, as well as 20 million Instagram users. But Facebook, Twitter and Google all confirmed that their investigations have found no evidence that the Russians uploaded voter registration contact info in order to individually target voters with ads.”

        “Throughout the hearing, there was little substantive talk of regulation for social media election ads beyond mentions of the Honest Ads Act that’s in the works. Most of the senators instead spent their time handing out reprimands for past failures, and bleating about how important the issue was rather than putting forward new solutions.”

        https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/01/russian-facebook-ad-spend/

        As secretary of state, Mrs Clinton announced years ago that US was losing the infowar to Russia, more so these days with social media playing a larger role for young impressionable millennials who get their news primarily from Facebook!

        Like

  3. Dear Mz. Gronda,

    I have spent the last day trying to convince myself not to address this particular post, but have decided to open my mouth and make a few simple comments. It was stated (by myself and others) when this problem was first exposed, that it was inconceivable that the actual voting machines were not in fact breached and the vote manipulated. It has been shown in far too many demos by the computer experts how easy it would be to enter and change the vote in most of these devices. If anyone still remembers, think about the alleged loss of the voter roles in Georgia by the GOP controlled voter registration group? Why do you think that those were made available to the unknown recipient? If one has any question about the continuing presence of foreign bots on Face Book, you only have to spend a few minutes looking at profiles of some of the most die hard trump fans to know that they still are present. There is no way to actually ensure that the same results will not occur in the upcoming elections, and that my friend, is why the GOP is not wanting to correct the problem. I would suggest had the election gone the other way that we would be under a massive program to prevent any outside interference in the election process! No change in the system that allows and encourages interference means no change in ownership of our government!

    Liked by 1 person

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