Feds suspect Florida election system hack

| October 14, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV Eyewitness News) – Is Florida voting information in the hands of Russian hackers? The feds think it might be, but a state agency says all is well.

Cyber security and hacking have become prominent in the election cycle.  Federal investigators believe Russian hackers are behind the attacks. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is skeptical.

“You ever notice anything that goes wrong they blame Russia! Russia did it! They have no idea, we’re being hacked because we have people that don’t know what they’re doing,” said Trump at a Wednesday Ocala rally.

Now the FBI thinks Russian hackers have hit a vendor for Florida’s election system – possibly putting voter data at risk.

Supervisors from around the state were on a conference call last week with the feds regarding cyber security. Leon County Elections supervisor Ion Sancho was on the call.

“To my knowledge I have no information to confirmed that Florida has been penetrated or even scanned,” he said.

 Sancho maintains elections in Florida are secure and better than ever – but even casting a little doubt in a voters head can hurt the process.

“I think one of the concerns is to make people fearful. For example, you may not vote by mail, but by attacking the state’s website they could alter for example, your party affiliation, or cause a mail ballot to get mailed to you. You’d say ‘I didn’t do this! What’s wrong! Something’s going on!’ and potentially become apprehensive about the process,” he said.

The Department of State says everything is fine. In a statement, a spokeswoman said they have no indication of a Florida issue and they do not use a vendor for voter registration services.

Other states are thought to be victims of hacks, including Arizona and Illinois where thousands of voters’ personal information may have been compromised.

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