State Election System Safe From Russian Target Attempt

Tuesday, September 26th 2017, 8:06 am

By: Grant Hermes

The state election board has been forced to reverse a statement given earlier this year, saying there had been no evidence of attempted Russian interference, after a recent revelation from the Department of Homeland Security. 

On Friday, DHS told Oklahoma officials Russia had done a sweep of the state cyber network prior to the 2016 election. The sweep followed a denied request from Russia to send “election monitors” to observe Oklahoma’s democratic process.

Back in June, concerns were raised about the security of Oklahoma's election network. Back then, Bryan Dean, a spokesman for the state Election Board, told News 9 there was no evidence of Russian interference or attempted interference in Oklahoma's election.

"We did not know we had been targeted until DHS told us on Friday,” Dean said Monday. “The surveillance scan was of the state computer network, not the election board's network."

The scan seemed to have been an early piece of surveillance used to look for vulnerabilities in the networks of states. Similar scans are common, bordering on routine. 

Oklahoma was not successfully hacked but it was one of 21 states targeted by the Russian sweep.


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