Concern Over Cyber Threat To Election Systems Prompts Meeting Between State, Feds

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florida leaders told CBS4 News that state and local elections officials took part in a conference call with the FBI on Friday to discuss concerns over the security of elections systems.

The meeting comes amid reports that hackers have targeted voter registration information in at least 20 states in the past few months.

The FBI released this statement late Friday:

“Today the FBI and Department of Homeland Security hosted a conference call with Florida state officials to address the security of election systems and to share information regarding the general nature of the cyber threat. FBI and DHS continue to work closely with state officials to assist them in safeguarding their election infrastructures.”

CBS4’s Carey Codd was told the call came after the FBI noticed some suspicious activity.

In the past few weeks, we’ve heard from South Florida elections supervisors about the security of voters’ information.

“Hacking elections in the state of Florida is not something that our voters should be concerned about,” said Christina White, Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections.

However, Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson said on Friday that at least one recent hacking attempt in the U.S. was successful. He didn’t say where it took place, and earlier this week FBI Director James Comey testified on Capitol Hill about attempts to infiltrate election systems across the country.

“There’s been a variety of scanning activities as well as some attempted intrusions of voter registration databases beyond those we knew about in July and August,” Comey said.

Cyber experts believe the Russian government or hackers working with the Russian government are behind the attempts. In an interview earlier this month Russian President Vladimir Putin was asked about it directly.

“No, I don’t know anything about that,” he said through a translator.

But federal officials are reminding states like Florida to be on guard.

“We are urging the states to make sure the deadbolts are on and the locks are thrown,” Comey said.

State officials said they have no indication at this point of any issue specifically related to Florida and that the state’s elections systems and databases are secure.

More from Carey Codd

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