Today, the Department of Homeland Security told Washington state officials that Russian hackers tried to access voting systems before the 2016 election, according to a statement from Secretary of State Kim Wyman.
The attempts were ineffective and Wyman says her office was already aware of the attempted hack.
“There was no successful intrusion and we immediately alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the activities,” she said.
Washington is one of 21 states that DHS contacted today to disclose Russian hacking attempts, NPR reports. The federal government has known about Russia’s attempts to break into U.S. election systems for several months but today marked the first time DHS communicated directly with state election officials.
In Washington, Wyman said the security measures in election systems did their job, detecting and blocking the attempted hack.
“Today’s calls from DHS to all 50 states and six U.S. territories confirm what we already knew, that despite the ongoing attempts to compromise American election systems, my office is doing everything we can, utilizing the latest software, best practices and security measures, to keep Washington’s elections safe, reliable and accessible to our citizens,” she said in the statement.
GeekWire media partner KING 5 was among the first to report on the news of Russian hacking.