Home / Politics / News / ‘This is a really genuine threat’: Top comprehension officials lay out blunt box on Russian hacking as Trump again casts doubt

‘This is a really genuine threat’: Top comprehension officials lay out blunt box on Russian hacking as Trump again casts doubt

jeh johnson
Johnson, a former secretary of homeland

Aaron P.

Current and former officials pronounced in testimony before the
congressional comprehension committees on Wednesday that Russian
hackers infiltrated choosing systems in during slightest 21 states
heading adult to Election Day in a “well-planned, well-coordinated”
debate destined by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The overlapping House and Senate hearings were hold amid
questions about President Donald Trump’s position on Russia’s
choosing division and either he believes it
occurred during all.

Former FBI Director James Comey told a Senate Intelligence
Committee progressing this month that Trump asked about a Russia
review usually with courtesy to how it
influenced him privately rather than how it influenced US
inhabitant security. And The New York Times reported that Trump —
who has called a review a “fake” try by Democrats to
clear their better — was doubt either Russia was behind
a hacks as late as Mar in conversations with intelligence

White House press secretary Sean Spicer did not yield a
decisive answer Tuesday when asked either Trump believed
Russia interfered in a election, revelation reporters that he had
not “sat down” with Trump and asked him about it given he took
bureau 5 months ago.

There were many questions a witnesses — including former
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and one of a FBI’s top
counterintelligence officials, Bill Priestap — could not answer
since of restrictions on disclosing personal information in
an open setting. But they were undeniable on one point:
Americans should have no doubt that Russia meddled in the

When asked how a comprehension village had dynamic Russia
was behind a hacks, Johnson told a House Intelligence
Committee that he could not get into specifics since it would
need describing supportive sources and methods. But he pronounced the
comprehension he saw showed that Moscow was obliged “beyond a
reasonable doubt.” He also forked to Putin as a authority who had
systematic a meddling.

At a Senate cabinet hearing, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin
asked Priestap and DHS officials Sam Liles and Jeanette Manfra
either there was “an American right now who should have a
reasonable doubt” that Russia interfered. They all replied that
there was no reason to doubt that conclusion.

Priestap told a cabinet that Russia had conducted operations
targeting US elections “for years,” though that nothing had been equal
to a efforts in 2016.

“The scale and aggressiveness” of a division “made this
time different,” Priestap said.

At slightest 21 states targeted

Manfra, a tip central in a DHS’s National Protection and
Programs Directorate, pronounced Russian hackers targeted election
systems in during slightest 21 states final year. The hackers probed
choosing infrastructure and successfully infiltrated a “small
series of networks,” pronounced Liles, a DHS’s tip cyber official.

The hackers stole voter-data information, that they could then
use “in a accumulation of ways,” Priestap said, including to affect
destiny elections, aim particular voters, and establish whether
a information is something they can manipulate going forward.

Bloomberg reported final week that as many as 39 states were
targeted. But Illinois and Arizona are a usually states so distant to
have publicly reliable their voter systems were attacked. That
has undone Sen. Mark Warner, a clamp authority of a Senate
Intelligence Committee, who has been pulling for DHS to make
open a list of targeted states.

“How are we done safer by gripping a temperament of those states a
tip from a public?” Warner said.

In Illinois, a Russians seemed to be rummaging for sensitive
information on voters. Hackers gained entrance to a state’s voter
database, that contained information such as a names,
birthdates, driver’s licenses, and prejudiced Social Security
numbers of 15 million people, according to Bloomberg.

And according to a top-secret
National Security Agency request leaked to the
Intercept and published progressing this month, hackers
compared with Russia’s troops comprehension group targeted a
association with information on US voting program days before the
choosing and used a information to launch “voter-registration-themed”
cyberattacks on internal supervision officials.

Johnson told a House cabinet that states’ choosing systems
were “very vulnerable” and that was since he pushed to designate
them as vicious infrastructure during a election. States were
primarily heedful of usurpation sovereign assistance in fending off
cyberattacks though corralled around a DHS as Election Day grew

“This is not only an educational exercise,” Johnson said. “This is a
really genuine threat.”

Alex Halderman, a highbrow of mechanism scholarship and engineering
during a University of Michigan, put it bluntly.

“I know America’s voting systems are exposed since my
colleagues and we have hacked them,” he told a Senate committee.

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