- The Washington Times
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Voter information for millions of Americans is being offered for free on a Russian hacking website, the Moscow-based business newspaper Kommersant reported Tuesday.

Kommersant reported it found a database containing information on 7.6 million registered voters in Michigan being advertised on a Russian hacking forum on the darknet.


“Gorka9,” the forum user touting the data, said it contains information such as birthdates, addresses, voter identification number and polling station numbers, Kommersantreported.

Russian security firm Infowatch confirmed the authenticity of the database to Kommersant and determined it was first “leaked” in late 2019, the newspaper reported.

Michigan officials denied they suffered a security breach, however.

“Our system has not been hacked,” the Michigan Department of State said in a statement later Tuesday. “We encourage all Michigan voters to be wary of attempts to ‘hack’ their minds, however, by questioning the sources of information and advertisements they encounter and seeking out trusted sources, including their local election clerk and our office.”

Kommersant said it discovered other databases being offered on the site containing information for voters in Connecticut, Arkansas, Florida and North Carolina. But it did not identify the forum where the data was reportedly found, and its findings could not immediately be corroborated.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has assessed Russians targeted election systems in all 50 states in 2016, the Senate Intelligence Committee wrote in a 2019 report.

While those efforts are not believed to have caused any votes to be changed, the bipartisan Senate report found that Russians were successful in some instances at stealing data.

“Russian cyber actors had successfully penetrated Illinois’s voter registration database, viewed multiple database tables and accessed up to 200,000 voter registration records,” the Senate report said in part. “The compromise resulted in the exfiltration of an unknown quantity of voter registration data.”

State officials in Florida previously acknowledged at least two counties had their networks compromised leading up to the 2016 election.


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