US election hacked: FBI warns Arizona and Illinois voter databases breached

30 Aug 2016

The attacks bear the hallmarks of efforts by Russian hackers and the FBI has rated the attacks on US election databases on a scale 8-to-10

The FBI has revealed it found breaches in Illinois and Arizona’s voter registration databases and is investigating whether other states have been targeted ahead of the pivotal 8 November US presidential election.

The FBI said that it has uncovered evidence that foreign hackers – believed to be Russian – penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks.

In recent weeks, the FBI issued a flash warning of targeted activity against state board of election systems.

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It has warned election officials across America to take steps to enhance the security of their computer systems.

SQL injection targets US election databases

The bureau has described the threat as “credible” and significant and on a scale of eight-to-10.

While the hackers have not compromised the state systems, they did get the username and password of one election official.

The hack shows increasing interest in the US elections by Russian-based hackers and follows an earlier high-profile hack of Democratic National Committee computers, which revealed embarrassing insights into Hillary Clinton’s nomination as the Democrat party’s democratic candidate.

The FBI described the attack as taking the form of an SQL injection that allowed the hackers to steal 200,000 voter records from the Illinois board of elections.

US election image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years