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Press Release

The Great seal of the State of North Carolina

 

   

Release: IMMEDIATE
Date: 9/22/2017

 


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DHS Official: North Carolina not among 21 states targeted by Russians

RALEIGH – North Carolina was not one of 21 states whose election systems were targeted by Russian cyber-actors in the 2016 General Election, a Department of Homeland Security official told state elections officials Friday.

Specifically, Russia-based hackers did not target state- or county-owned or operated elections infrastructure in North Carolina, the DHS official said. On Friday afternoon, DHS officials called election officials in each state and territory individually to tell them whether they were targeted by Russian hackers. At this time, the State Board office does not have information about other states. 

The State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement continues to review the cause of problems with third-party voter check-in software that occurred in Durham County last November. This agency has asked DHS to clarify whether the new information could rule out Russian interference with the third-party software.

The State Board appreciates the new information provided by DHS and will continue to work with federal authorities to protect the security of North Carolina’s election systems.

In June, DHS officials testified before Congress that election systems in 21 states were potentially targeted by Russian government cyber-actors. A small number of networks were successfully compromised, while attempts in other states were unsuccessful, they said. In July, the State Board’s executive director sent a letter to DHS officially requesting information about any attempt to compromise election systems in North Carolina. Friday’s phone call was the first time DHS informed North Carolina elections officials of its findings.

Since State Board officials became aware of possible election hacking activity in early June, this agency has repeatedly attempted to gather information from DHS officials and other sources. “We are greatly relieved to hear that North Carolina’s systems were not directly targeted by Russian hackers,” said Kim Westbrook Strach, the State Board’s executive director. “North Carolina will continue to be vigilant and work with federal partners in the ongoing effort to secure the democratic process in our state.” 

A time line of events related to this situation is available here.

 

 


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