Title: Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security

Document Date: 2016-10-07

Description: DHS and ODNI made a statement about election hacking that claims “disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts”

Text: The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian
Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and
institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent
disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks
and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and
motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are
intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new
to Moscow—the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe
and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based
on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most
officials could have authorized these activities.

Some states have also recently seen scanning and probing of their
election-related systems, which in most cases originated from servers operated
by a Russian company. However, we are not now in a position to attribute this
activity to the Russian Government. The USIC and the Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) assess that it would be extremely difficult for someone,
including a nation-state actor, to alter actual ballot counts or election
results by cyber attack or intrusion. This assessment is based on the
decentralized nature of our election system in this country and the number of
protections state and local election officials have in place. States ensure
that voting machines are not connected to the Internet, and there are numerous
checks and balances as well as extensive oversight at multiple levels built
into our election process.

Nevertheless, DHS continues to urge state and local election officials to be
vigilant and seek cybersecurity assistance from DHS. A number of states have
already done so. DHS is providing several services to state and local election
officials to assist in their cybersecurity. These services include cyber
“hygiene” scans of Internet-facing systems, risk and vulnerability
assessments, information sharing about cyber incidents, and best practices for
securing voter registration databases and addressing potential cyber
threats. DHS has convened an Election Infrastructure Cybersecurity Working
Group with experts across all levels of government to raise awareness of
cybersecurity risks potentially affecting election infrastructure and the
elections process. Secretary Johnson and DHS officials are working directly
with the National Association of Secretaries of State to offer assistance,
share information, and provide additional resources to state and local officials.

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