Russians tried to hack Oregon, Washington election systems in 2016

Hacking attempt during election in 20 states

The federal government is telling election officials in at least 20 states that Russian hackers targeted their systems during the 2016 general election, although in most cases the systems were not breached.

Oregon and Washington were among those states.

The Oregon secretary of state's office on Friday said security measures successfully thwarted the hacking attempts.

“We block upwards of 14 million attempts to access our network every day,” said Chief Information Security Officer Lisa Vasa. “These attempts come from all over the world, including Russia, with the largest number from the U.S.”

In Washington, which was also targeted, Secretary of State Kim Wyman said state officials had already been aware of the attempted breach when the the U.S. Department of Homeland Security informed her office Friday.

“As we’ve stated before, we continue to work cooperatively with DHS – including during the election last year. The security protocols we already have in place made us aware of these attempted intrusions by Russian IP addresses throughout the course of the 2016 election. There was no successful intrusion and we immediately alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the activities," Wyman said.

Other states that told The Associated Press they had been targeted include Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia and Wisconsin. In most cases, they had not known until notified Friday by DHS.

"We are proud of our team," Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson said. "The fact that DHS confirmed that we had no Russian intrusions is a testament to the strength of the network security program we have in place.”

The disclosure to the states comes as a special counsel probes whether there was any coordination during the 2016 presidential campaign between Russia and associates of Donald Trump.

Trump won the election and calls the Russia story a hoax.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report

© 2017 KGW-TV


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