Senate report: Fla. officials failed to act on Russian hacking warnings
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Florida officials struggled to manage their cybersecurity and failed to heed multiple warnings as Russian hackers attacked electoral systems throughout the state and successfully breached two counties in 2016, according to newly unveiled details in a bipartisan Senate report.
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s redacted chapter on election security, released Thursday, concluded that the Russian government “directed extensive activity against US election infrastructure” from 2014 through 2017 and that the Russian efforts “exploited the seams” between the federal authorities and states.
The report also found that all 50 states were likely targeted.
It doesn’t name Florida directly; every state besides Illinois is simply assigned a number to protect its identity. “State 2” in the report is Florida, according to a former senior government official familiar with the matter. Some events that took place in “State 2” are also described in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report as happening in Florida.
The report paints a picture of federal officials repeatedly reaching out to warn Florida state officials and four particular counties that they were targets for Russian hackers, beginning in August 2016, lasting through that presidential election and continuing through the summer leading up to the 2018 elections.
In a conference call, the state’s election director “told the Committee in December 2017 that there was ‘never an attack on our systems.’ ‘We did not see any unusual activities. I would have known a