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US Intelligence Community ‘Confident’ Russia Is Behind Recent Political Hacks

Russia is likely behind the recent hacks of various U.S. political organizations and individuals in an attempt to influence elections, according to joint statements from the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The intelligence community “is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations,” according to a joint statement from DHS and the ODNI. “These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process.”

Recent disclosures of e-mails by hackers and sites like WikiLeaks are “consistent with methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts,” according to the statement. Both intelligence agencies noted that the tactics are “not new to Moscow” and that the scope of such activities must have been authorized by top Russian officials.

Several states across the U.S. have experienced probing of electoral systems by a Russian company, according to the statement. While the intelligence community is not able to directly tie Russia to these particular attacks, it is confident that such activities would be “extremely difficult” without being tied to a state actor.

DHS is currently engaging in cyber “hygiene” scans of any election-related systems connected to the internet to check for vulnerabilities to hackers. The statement noted that voting machines are purposefully not connected to the internet to ensure the integrity of ballots.

“Secretary Johnson and DHS officials are working directly with the National Association of Secretaries of State to offer assistance, share information, and provide additional resources to state and local officials,” said the statement.

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