Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
USA | By Kelli Rowe

Former homeland secretary says Federal Bureau of Investigation delayed notification of cyber hack


Democrats haven't been pleased with how the Obama administration handled the Russian cyberattacks.

An employee polishes traditional Russian wooden nesting dolls, Matryoshka dolls, depicting U.S. President-elect Donald Trump (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a gift shop in central Moscow on January 16, four days ahead of Trump's inauguration. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the penalties were created to "maintain pressure on Russian Federation to work toward a diplomatic solution".

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied responsibility for any cyber attacks during the USA presidential election.

DHS acting director of cyber intelligence Samuel Liles assured the committee that the "level of effort and scale required to change the outcome of a national election would make it almost impossible to avoid detection".

Ryabkov also criticized the US for "not having offered and not offering anything specific" to discuss at the upcoming talks.

Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the officials said none of the digital intrusions affected the parts of electoral systems that counted votes _ but that they expect Russian Federation to keep trying.

"A sophisticated actor could hack an election simply by focusing on certain counties", King said. What they do believe with confidence is that Russian hackers were successful in stealing 90,000 private records from the election systems in IL.

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Jeanette Manfra, homeland security undersecretary for cybersecurity, said there is evidence that 21 state election systems were targeted, but she told the Senate Intelligence Committee she couldn't disclose the identities of the states because that was up to the states.

"The larger question that we need to address is, now that we know what happened, what are we going to do about it...to stop a foreign superpower from interfering in our democracy", Johnson said.

"I understand the notion of victimization, but I do not believe our country is made safer by holding this information back from the American public", Warner said. "To have the number of states that were hacked into or attempted to be hacked into still kept secret is just insane in my mind".

The records, contained in state and local databases, included sensitive data such as partial Social Security numbers, the report said.

Manfra and other officials testifying on Wednesday reiterated that USA elections are resilient to hacking in part because they are decentralized and largely operated on the state and local level.

"We've studied touchscreen and optical scan systems, and in every single case, we found ways for attackers to sabotage machines and steal votes", Halderman said.

"For Jeh Johnson to say the Russians had successfully done something, he had to say he failed as Homeland Security chief", he said.

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She said the calls occurred on August 15, September 8 and October 12.

"This was a big decision, and there were a lot of considerations that went into it", Mr. Johnson said.

Priestap would not name the states or say which systems lost data, saying the Federal Bureau of Investigation wants to preserve confidential relationships with state and local election officials.

During the presidential campaign, Trump said he hoped Russian Federation would be able to uncover missing emails from Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Johnson added speculation to the ongoing scrutiny of fired FBI Director James B. Comey when he questioned the time delay between when the DNC and FBI first discussed Russian hacking - and when his department finally learned of the breach.

Clinton has blamed the disclosure of the emails on a daily basis as one reason for her election loss to Trump, although Johnson said he had no idea about their importance in analyzing the outcome.

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