Wisconsin Notified of Unsuccessful Russian Hacking Attempt
Wisconsin is one of 21 states notified by Homeland Security that their voter registration systems were targeted by Russians.
WEC Administrator Michael Haas has informed WEC Chair Mark Thomsen, who directed Commission staff to investigate why election officials were not notified earlier and report to the Commission at its meeting Tuesday.
Wisconsin is one of 21 states whose chief election officials were notified Friday by DHS officials that their systems were targeted by Russians, said Haas. DHS did not disclose which other states were notified, but said the states were free to disclose the information.
According to DHS, it appears that Internet-facing election infrastructure in Wisconsin was targeted by Russian government cyber actors. They scanned internet-connected election infrastructure likely seeking specific vulnerabilities such as access to voter registration databases, but the attempt to exploit vulnerabilities was unsuccessful.
Haas said the Commission is seeking more specific information, including when the scanning activity occurred in 2016.
The news that 21 states were targeted was first announced by DHS at a U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on June 21, 2017. Coincidentally, Haas also testified at that hearing and said in response to questions that the Elections Commission had not been notified by DHS and concluded that Wisconsin was not one of the targeted states.
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After paperwork has been filed, opposing candidates and political parties have the opportunity to examine nomination papers to see whether there are any errors they may wish to challenge.
“If you are a registered voter but your name is not on the regular poll list, poll workers will look for you on the supplemental poll list,” said Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief election official.