White House ‘Confident’ Russian Government Directed Election Hacks

The Obama administration released a statement Friday afternoon saying it is “confident” that the Russian government directed the recent cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“The recent disclosures of alleged hacked emails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts,” the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director on National Intelligence said in a joint statement.

“These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process,” the federal agencies added.

The statement notes that Moscow has used similar tactics and techniques to influence the electoral process in Asian and European countries. It adds that based on the size and high-risk nature of the cyberattacks against U.S. political entities, “only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”

The federal agencies also addressed the apparent ongoing hacks against state election databases, which they could not expressly attribute to Russian government activity. They stressed that given the decentralized nature of state networks, it would be “extremely difficult for someone, including a nation-state actor, to alter actual ballot counts or election results by cyber attack or intrusion.”

Still, the agencies urged local cybersecurity officials to be vigilant and to work with the Department of Homeland Security to help secure their voter databases.

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