The Latest: Texas says DHS wrong, hacker didn't target state
Posted September 28
WASHINGTON — The Latest on attempts to hack U.S. election systems (all times EDT):
Texas officials say the Department of Homeland Security was wrong when it told them their elections systems had been targeted by "Russian government cyber actors" during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos told the department in a letter sent Thursday that his office has "determined conclusively" that they weren't targeted. He also says federal investigators relied on "incorrect information."
Department of Homeland Security spokesman Scott McConnell said Thursday that in some states hackers didn't directly scan election systems but looked for vulnerabilities to exploit in other government computer systems as a way to get into the election systems. He didn't specifically comment on Texas.
The Texas letter raises more questions about DHS informing 21 states last week that their election systems had been targeted.
The Department of Homeland Security says that just because Russian government hackers didn't directly scan election systems in some U.S. states, it doesn't mean they weren't looking to break into them.
DHS spokesman Scott McConnell declined to discuss specific states. But he said in a statement to The Associated Press that hackers looked for vulnerabilities to exploit in other government computer systems in an unspecified number of states as a way to get into the election systems. He says the other networks were usually connected to the election systems or shared similarities.
The release of additional information came after state officials in Wisconsin and California said they had received conflicting reports from DHS about which of their computer systems were targeted by hackers during the 2016 presidential campaign.