Obama cybersecurity czar: Russian hackers likely scanned election systems in all 50 states
Russian hackers likely scanned the election systems of all 50 states for vulnerabilities in 2016 — not just the 21 states confirmed as targets by homeland security officials in 2017, said Michael Daniel, the cybersecurity czar for former President Barack Obama, to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Daniel said that the federal government should invest more money in cybersecurity for state election systems. Congress recently took a first step by approving $380 million in state grants for election security. Daniel testified along with Victoria Nuland, who served as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs during the Obama administration. The committee is seeking to learn what the administration did — and could have done better — to respond to Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Nuland and Daniel said the Russians appeared to change course after President Obama confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin at a G-20 Leaders' Summit in China in September 2016. President Obama warned Putin to stop meddling in the US presidential race. Still, the Kremlin's efforts picked back up again in October. "I think it may have led them (the Russians) to shift focus to social media rather than to continue going after election systems," Daniel said. Nuland said the US needs to work more closely with social media companies to expose false information that Russians and other foreign adversaries are putting out over social media.
Obama cybersecurity czar: Russian hackers likely scanned election systems in all 50 states Responding to Russian Interference in the 2016 US Presidential Election (hearing page)