The United States says Iran is responsible for the emails meant to intimidate American voters and create unrest in multiple states. Tehran and Moscow also had obtained voter registration information with the goal of interfering in the election, U.S. officials said last week.
“These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries,” said John Ratcliffe, the government’s top intelligence official, who, along with FBI Director Chris Wray, insisted the U.S. would impose costs on any foreign countries that interfere in the 2020 U.S. election and that the integrity of the election is still sound.
“You should be confident that your vote counts,” Wray said. “Early, unverified claims to the contrary should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism.”
The FBI and CISI released a statement Friday and exposed vulnerablities in some states:
“Since our announcement last week, CISA and the FBI have worked with our state and local election partners to determine how Iranian actors obtained data on American voters. We have since determined that Iran conducted a broad effort to look for vulnerable state and local systems nationwide. We have also identified one state where Iranian cyber actors were able to make a misconfigured state website reveal non-public voter
data. The state has indicated the website has now been fixed. Based on our analysis, this would not have given them access to alter any voter data in the state system. Election officials were subsequently briefed and an alert with additional technical detail was issued to enable network defenders to better protect their systems from malicious actors. We will continue to scrutinize this issue and stay on alert for any malicious activity.
We encourage all citizens to remain vigilant and verify information using trusted sources. Visit CISA.gov/rumorcontrol to learn more about how your vote is protected.”