FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Confirmation that Russian hackers were able to gain access to at least one Florida county’s election computer network was a bombshell revelation from the Mueller report.
It’s something that has been fresh on the mind of Florida governor Ron DeSantis.
The redacted Mueller report, which was released last week, says the GRU, or Russian military intelligence agency, targeted Florida officials with spear phishing emails.
The report did not specify which county, though.
Hours after its release, Miami-Dade County’s Supervisor of Elections weighed in the special counsel’s report.
“Miami-Dade County has no indications of possible or actual elections systems compromise from internal monitoring or external parties,” said Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections Christina White in a statement emailed to CBS4 News.
On Thursday, nearly a week after the release of the report and Miami-Dade’s response, Broward County has released a statement as well.
Broward Supervisor of Elections Peter Antonacci confirmed that there were multiple attempts to hack the county’s election office.
The emails came from the address “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
“These emails were sent to Dr. Brenda Snipes, Patricia Santiago, and our general mailbox,” Antonacci’s statement read. “They were sent in 2016 and contained an attachment that was identified by our email antivirus system as being compromised. As a result of that notification, the email attachments were automatically removed and replaced with a text document notifying the recipients of the removal. Neither recipient therefore technically “received” the email nor was anyone able to open the infected attachments because the attachments were effectively quarantined and then removed from the system. Once the infected attachment was removed, the email was no longer a threat as it did not include a URL link to click on and follow.
“Based on what we now know, the emails were not opened by the recipients in our office.”
Broward County also points out that its tabulation system is a closed network, which means it isn’t connected to the internet or any other network.
They say an email on their normal network “could never reach our voting and tabulation systems nor impact voting in any way.”
Additionally, a source familiar with the hacking attempt said the same phishing email was sent to all 67 supervisor of elections offices throughout the State of Florida.