Secretary of State Says Russia Did Not Hack Oregon’s Election Systems
Last week, the news agency Bloomberg reported that Russian hacking of U.S. voting systems before the presidential election was far more widespread than previously reported 39 states experienced invasions of their voter databases and software systems. Was Oregon one of the 39? Our secretary of state says no. The day after Bloomberg’s June 13 report, Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson signed a statement saying this state experienced no incursion into its voting systems.
“In short, Oregon elections systems were not hacked,” Richardson writes. “While attempts to hack into Secretary of State computers are a frequent occurrence and a constant threat, our I.T. security team is well-qualified and thoroughly determined to prevent hackers from breaking into our systems.”
Richardson, the highest-ranking Republican in a state government dominated by Democrats, directed press to a National Association of Secretaries of State report saying the Russian hack of election systems was minimal. That report seems to contradict Bloomberg’s assertions.
WW asked Richardson’s office to respond directly to the Bloomberg report. On June 15, his chief of staff confirmed: Oregon wasn’t one of the 39 hacked states.
“No,” said chief of staff Debra Royal, “no Russian hacking detected in an Oregon election system.”
The Bloomberg report paints a dark picture of U.S. cyber-security in an era when Russian hackers are spreading misinformation and anxiety. And if Oregon was one of the lucky 11 states this time, it may not be so fortunate in the next election or so says the former FBI director.
The new details, buttressed by a classified National Security Agency document recently disclosed by the Intercept, show the scope of alleged hacking that federal investigators are scrutinizing as they look into whether Trump campaign officials may have colluded in the efforts. But they also paint a worrisome picture for future elections: The newest portrayal of potentially deep vulnerabilities in the U.S.’s patchwork of voting technologies comes less than a week after former FBI Director James Comey warned Congress that Moscow isn’t done meddling.