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State election agencies: DHS compromised our systems, not Russia

Hacker!

by Sam Rolley

The political establishment is continuing to insist that Russian hackers meddled in the U.S. election in an effort to undermine democracy— but a growing number of state officials are saying the federal government looks to be the only entity that compromised their election systems.

Election officials in Georgia, West Virginia and Kentucky all say election systems in their states were targeted by cyberattacks originating from Department of Homeland Security computers.

“We need somebody to dig down into this story and figure out exactly what happened,” said Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp told Atlanta’s WSB-TV.

Officials in the state say Georgia systems were targeted by the DHS efforts at least 10 times over the past 10 months.

After Georgia revealed that it was targeted, West Virginia and Kentucky officials also reported mysterious activity from the same DHS IP address.

DHS officials told officials in the state that the activity was caused by routine checks on the state websites by a DHS contractor.

But Kemp told reporters that Georgia officials were unable to “recreate this the way it was explained to us.”

“I mean, we have that happen all the time, every single day in our office, and we never had the red flags that were raised in this incident,” he told POLITICO.

The Georgia official is appealing to the incoming Trump administration to get to the bottom of the activity after being brushed off by the Obama administration.

“We just need to ask the new administration to take a look at this and make sure that we get the truth the people of Georgia are deserving to know that and really demanding it,” Kemp said.

Meanwhile, the federal government maintains that Russian hackers attempted to intervene in the U.S. election but has yet to provide any concrete evidence of state-sponsored hacking.

This week, GOP lawmakers demanded that Obama officials turn over concrete evidence of Russian hacking if the administration is, as President Obama said, planning to retaliate.

“Recent reports citing anonymous administration officials suggest that some intelligence agencies believe the Russian government interfered in the U.S. presidential election with the intention of aiding the campaign of President-elect Donald Trump,” said a letter signed by Reps. Justin Amash and Walter Jones.

The lawmakers continued: “It is incumbent upon the executive branch to keep Congress apprised of hostile foreign actions in a timely manner, and once an allegation has been made public, it is reckless to allow evidence-free assertions to serve as Congress’s and the public’s only source of information.

“In light of the conflicting information coming from your administration, the lack of public evidence, and the retaliation against Russia that is apparently already under development, Congress cannot wait to be briefed on this matter.”

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