Russians Hackers Probed Montana State Elections’ System In 2016

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Do you know what bothers me? As more and more states (many republican led) admit that Russia did indeed do research to scan for weaknesses in their state elections’ infrastructure in 2016, these same office holders always state, but for sure, no votes were altered. Unless state officials have undergone an audit to investigate for this possibility, I’m not convinced.

This news is important because one of the main goals by Russia is to suppress the votes of those who are most likely to vote for a democratic candidate. One way would be for them to alter data in designated states for registered democratic voters. Democrats who have their data altered ,will have a more difficult time to caste their ballots on election day. It is important for all Democratic voters to verify their voter data with their local board of elections’ offices.

See: Election Hackers Altered Voter Rolls, Stole Private Data … – Time

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There are still 13 states which use some voting machines without a paper trail option. There are 5 states which only use voting machines without a paper trail. This means that if those were voting machines which were hacked to alter people’s votes, there would be no way to verify for this. These states are for the most part, republican led states.

See: GOP Must Want Russia’s Help In Nov. 2018 /13 States / GrondaMorin 

See: Senators Warn About Russian Election Meddling and Call for Paper /New York Times

See: The Myth of the Hacker-Proof Voting Machine – The New York Times

See: The five states without a paper trail of votes – Axios

Here is the rest of the story…

On July 28, 2018, Matt Volz of the Associated Press (AP) penned the following report, “Official: Russian hackers targeted 2016 Montana election”

Excerpts:

Montana’s top elections official said Friday that Russian hackers unsuccessfully probed the state’s election systems for weaknesses in 2016, an acknowledgment that contradicts his staff’s previous comments that Montana was not among the 21 or more states targeted.

Secretary of State Corey Stapleton wrote in his occasional newsletter that Russian agents tried to interfere with the 2016 elections and that “almost half the states (including Montana) were scanned for weaknesses in our elections systems.”

Image result for photos of rallies to protect our votes

“While no votes were changed by the Russians in our 2016 election cycle, there was a clear and significant threat to our nation’s ability to conduct fair elections,” wrote Stapleton, a Republican.”

“Elections Director Dana Corson in March told The Associated Press in response to a 50-state survey on election security that Montana was not among states targeted by hackers in 2016. At the time, Corson declined to speak further about the state’s election security measures, saying: “We can’t discuss things with election security.”

“Stapleton told the AP on Friday there was no contradiction between his assessment and Corson’s because “scanning is not hacking” and that “it comes down to how you’re interpreting ‘targeted.’”

“Scanning for weaknesses is different from attempting to hack,” Stapleton said. It is also improper not to let people know that that threat exists. To find that balance, we have actually chosen to use the words that (the U.S. Department of Homeland Security) has advised us.”

“Stapleton said he could not provide details about the extent to which Russian hackers probed Montana’s elections systems, because Homeland Security officials have not fully disclosed those details to state officials. He said that he knows somebody was trying to test the systems’ capabilities, but there was no breach.”

Image result for photos of rallies to protect our votes

“U.S. intelligence officials have warned that Russia may attempt to disrupt U.S. elections again this year. The attempts to hack into the election systems of at least 21 states in 2016 did not succeed in manipulating any votes, but U.S. security agencies have said they did manage to gain access to the voter rolls in Illinois.”

“Stapleton said in his newsletter that his main concerns about election security include the consistent training of elections personnel throughout Montana’s 56 counties in the face of potential attacks from nations like Russia.”

12 comments

  1. Dear Gronda. So true. The American voting system is so huge and challenging, whilst technology helps it also is liable to attack. Your Lawmakers have had ample time to have developed at least, a basic strategy to thwart or identify hostile action?. My faith is in the good American women and men of the intelligence system. How they cope without a functioning CinC I don’t know, but I do know they are the best.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Gary J.,

      Your thinking matches mine. I do have more faith that those in the US Intelligence community will step forward to seal the breach as they all know that our president won’t lift a finger.

      I am certain that they know what the president said during the one-on-one discourse between Presidents Trump and Putin at the 2018 Helsinki summit.

      I have noted that no one from the US Intelligence community suffers from any doubt about President Trump’s guilt in being a Russian asset.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Mz. Gronda,

    The problem that we face in this election is actually much larger than in 2016. While the attempts to hack into our election machines was primarily conducted (allegedly) by the Russian Government, our system is now an advertised target. Every person world wide that considers themselves a hacker will be working to access the prize that consists of our voting machines. IMO, the last election our system was not only hacked, it is very plausible to think and accept that the vote was modified. There are two reasons to hack into a computer, one is to create change to the data for reasons known only to the hacker. This hacker does not want it known he has intruded into the system, so he will not make any radical changes, his attack is all but invisible. The second reason to hack into a computer is simply to prove that they can do so. This hacker will leave visible signs of their having hacked into the system, because they are proud of what they have done, and want the world to know they did it! The second group is going to be a real problem this year, their hacking attempts will have a tendency to camouflage the actions of the first type of hacker. Did this same scenario take place in 2016? Again IMO it did, and I simply do not think Home Land Security is giving us the whole truth as to what happened out of a over abundance of caution on their part. Can it be prevented, yes, but it will require coming off line with the machines and doing a total manual transfer of the voter data and no connection to the I-Net during the voting process, or to use the simple manual paper and pencil type of vote that worked so well for so many years..

    We have 100 days until the election! There is still time to make workable changes! Time to call, write, email, or tweet your Congress member, Senator and state election commissioner’s! Demand a fair and honest election take place…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      You know what the rub is. If the GOP in the US Congress were to enact a veto proof vote that would be enacted one day after a deadline of brutal sanctions against Russia, if they don’t cease and desist on all their current operations designed to mess with the 2018 US November elections.

      The sanctions have to be for real. Russia needs to know that counting on the US president for anything, is fools’ gold.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

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