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DHS’ Jeanette Manfra: Russia Targeted Election Systems in 21 States

Federal officials told lawmakers at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Wednesday they have determined that Russia interfered with election-related platforms prior to the U.S. presidential elections in 2016, The Hill reported Wednesday.

“We have evidence of election-related systems in 21 states that were targeted,” said Jeanette Manfra, acting deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity and communications at the Department of Homeland Security’s national protection and programs directorate.

Manfra also noted that those systems were not used in vote tallying procedures and commended DHS’ move to classify election systems as critical infrastructure.

Bill Priestap, assistant director of counterintelligence division at FBI, said the bureau has initiated a number of investigations into foreign threat actors that targeted election-related systems in 2016.

Senators held the hearing to discuss the extent of the Russian breach of U.S. electoral systems and the federal government’s efforts to prevent potential cyber threats to 2018 and 2020 elections, the report added.

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