During the waning days of his administration after he’d order a probe into election interference, the intelligence community reportedly told former President Barack Obama that Russian hackers had compromised voter registration systems or websites in seven states and, though the states were told of the breaches, the administration didn’t divulge who had orchestrated them.
While at least two of the states compromised – Wisconsin and Florida – voted for Trump by slim margins, one and 1.2 percent, respectively, NBC News cited three intelligence officials as saying that no votes had been altered nor had anyone been deleted from voter rolls.
The other states affected were California, Arizona, Illinois, Alaska and Texas. Obama’s had ordered the top secret report as his administration drew to a close.
“Russia – or any bad actor – only needs to find one open door to get into a state’s network. Considering how complex these networks are – with employees on mobile devices, working remotely, etc. – it’s no wonder they snuck in,” said RedSeal CEO Ray Rothrock, author of the book “Digital Resilience: Is Your Company Ready for the Next Cyber Threat?”
Rothrock said, “It’s time for state and local officials to take a page from the Department of Defense’s core cyber philosophy: identify and protect high value assets in order to successfully defeat the bad guys once they’re inside the network. We’ve learned that we can’t stop every intrusion, that the bad guys are always poking and probing our networks, and will eventually get in.”
Calling Trump’s May Executive Order on Cyber. which “tasked efforts for focus on risk management – putting a higher priority on managing rather than thwarting cyber-attacks” a clear “step in the right direction,” Rothrock said, “Only when states, or any organization really, understand how their networks are configured and operated, can they keep the bad guys away from high-value local and national assets. This strategy of digital resilience gives every organization — from utilities to elections — a real chance of winning against the intrusion and disruption.”