Connecticut notified Russians scanned election system

Connecticut officials have been notified that Russians scanned election system. (WFSB)

Connecticut officials have been notified by the federal government that the state's online voter registration system was targeted in hacking efforts by Russia last year.

Gabe Rosenberg, a spokesman from the Secretary of the State's Office, says the U.S. Department of Homeland Security informed the office Friday that the while the system was scanned by agents of the Russian government, it was not breached.

Connecticut was among more than 20 states that received similar notifications.

“Today, the federal Department of Homeland Security informed my office that Connecticut was one of the 21 states targeted by Russian agents in the lead up to the 2016 presidential election. I am happy to report, with great pride in the hard work and dedication of our IT security professionals, that DHS confirmed that the attempted Russian intrusion into our online voter registration database was stopped by our intrusion detection system," Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said in a statement on Friday.

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

Rosenberg says state officials were aware of the scan at the time it occurred but were not aware that Russia was involved until they were told by DHS.

“This successful defense of the integrity of our online voter registration system is good news for Connecticut, but it underlines the threat posed by foreign agents seeking to disrupt U.S. elections and sow the seeds of doubt in the integrity of our electoral process," Merrill said. "It is clear that Congress needs to act swiftly, both to investigate and publicize Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and to appropriate the necessary funds so that our state and local governments have the resources they need to adequately protect our election infrastructure.”

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal released a statement on the hack.

“The brazen Russian campaign to interfere in the 2016 American elections included attempts to hack into state voter systems of at least 21 states, including Connecticut. Recent reports about Russian surreptitious scans of Connecticut systems reaffirm the urgency and importance of the ongoing federal investigations. The investigations concern such Russian election meddling, alleged Trump campaign collusion with it, and possible obstruction of justice-- by the Special Counsel, and separately by Congressional committees. I will vigorously support such investigations, including by the Senate Judiciary Committee, where I serve. These reports are further evidence that the Russians and anyone who aided them should be made to pay a steep price for any such criminal wrongdoing," Blumenthal said.

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