Vulnerabilities / Threats

9/25/2017
04:45 PM
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After DHS Notice, 21 States Reveal They Were Targeted During Election

Election officials in swing states Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania among those who report Russian state-sponsored attackers targeted their systems.

The US Department of Homeland Security notified election officials in all 50 states on Friday, informing 21 that their states had been targeted by Russian state-sponsored cybercriminals during the 2016 election campaign, the Associated Press reported. 

There continued to be no evidence that any votes were changed, according to the DHS. Incidents in most states amounted to vulnerability scans. 

Although the DHS had previously stated that 21 states were targeted in such probes, the agency had not contacted the state election officials themselves until now. The DHS left it to state officials to decide whether or not to publicly release whether or not they had been targeted. Election officials in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin cofirmed for HuffPo and the Associated Press that they'd been told they were targeted.

"It's unacceptable that it took almost a year after the election to notify states that their elections systems were targeted, but I'm relieved that DHS has acted upon our numerous requests and is finally informing the top elections officials in all 21 affected states that Russian hackers tried to breach their systems in the run up to the 2016 election," Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement.

"The delay by the DHS to notify the 21 states targeted by Russian hackers is significant," said Merike Kaeo, CTO of Farsight Security, Inc. in a statement. "Transparency and timely dissemination of information to affected parties is critical and a year seems like a long time for notifications. ... To ensure the future integrity of our election system, it is important that the DHS disclose the reason behind the notification delay and put the proper processes in place to ensure the delays won't happen again. Every security incident is a validation or improvement opportunity of incident response processes."

Read more details here.

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jenshadus
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jenshadus,
User Rank: Strategist
9/26/2017 | 10:01:00 AM
Really? We're still pointing fingers at the Russians?
There are so many things in this article that I disagree with.  I'll just point out one.

What's the evidence it was the Russians.  I went to Defcon and it took many of these people but 10 to 15 minutes to hack into the sample machines that were available.  I heard that one of them turned the booth into a PACMAN game.  Don't know if that's also true.  Virginia had one 100% red country that voted 100% blue, Maryland is notorious for sending people to vote in Virginia using fake ID's, not counting all the dead people who come in to vote (huh?). 

 
screwbird
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screwbird,
User Rank: Strategist
9/26/2017 | 10:37:43 PM
Re: Really? We're still pointing fingers at the Russians?
It would be nice to know how attribution was established. 
REISEN1955
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REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
9/27/2017 | 9:50:09 AM
Re: Really? We're still pointing fingers at the Russians?
There are any number of fine countries to blame - North Korea and China to start with and just assuming that all BAD in the world belongs to Russian hackers is simplistic.  IP trace does not mean a tinker's damn as those can be hidden, fudged quite easily.    As for me,I personally fear hackers from Towaco, New Jerssy!!!  Now THAT is a tough area!!! LOL
jenshadus
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50%
jenshadus,
User Rank: Strategist
9/27/2017 | 10:42:45 AM
Re: Really? We're still pointing fingers at the Russians?
Amen
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
9/27/2017 | 11:08:09 AM
DHS is late
It is a little bit late for DHS to come out with this information, everybody knows not only Russians but may other countries try to attack other counties systems and that includes election systems too.
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
9/27/2017 | 11:09:43 AM
Re: Really? We're still pointing fingers at the Russians?
What's the evidence it was the Russians. Good question. There may not be a clear set of evidence. However Russians and many others have interests in attacking US systems.
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
9/27/2017 | 11:11:24 AM
Re: Really? We're still pointing fingers at the Russians?
Virginia using fake ID's, not counting all the dead people who come in to vote (huh?). Yes, fake ID would be another major issue for an selection system. All needs to be avoided,
Dr.T
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50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
9/27/2017 | 11:12:37 AM
Re: Really? We're still pointing fingers at the Russians?
There are any number of fine countries to blame - North Korea and China to start with That is true, I would add many others that have capabilities to execute an attack.
Dr.T
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50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
9/27/2017 | 11:14:55 AM
Re: Really? We're still pointing fingers at the Russians?
IP trace does not mean a tinker's damn as those can be hidden, fudged quite easily I would agree, IP address can easily be spoofed. It is not a traceable entity, there needs to be other mechanisms to track the attackers.
Joe Stanganelli
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50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
9/27/2017 | 7:54:34 PM
Re: Really? We're still pointing fingers at the Russians?
@Dr. T: Absolutely. Reminds me of the forensics tracking that big Sony hack that was traced to North Korea...except other researchers eventually traced it to...Russia!

And even then, that location tracking may not have been accurate/the whole story. There seems to be little shortage of IP-masking tech if you know where to look (no pun intended).
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