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Report finds hacking attempts increase ahead of midterm elections

Posted: 3:10 PM, Oct 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-16 19:32:19Z

Just weeks ahead of the midterm elections, U.S. election databases are coming under attack.

A new report finds election hacking attempts have been building since April. One troubling note: the government does not know who is behind the attacks.

“Well, it is worrisome. The more we know, the better,” says John Fortier, with the Bipartisan Policy Center. “But I also do think, in the world that we have, we are going to have unknown actors, whether foreign or domestic, making attempts to get into systems.”

The good news is that, so far, Homeland Security says none of the attacks have been successful.

Fortier thinks that's a sign of enhanced election security and better communication between election officials.

“I think we are in a better place now to identify those threats and communicate those threats between federal and local and state election officials, and I think that's a step up,” Fortier says.

As the midterms approach, the head of Homeland Security says the government will also be using other security tools, including sensors that allow federal officials to see inside state computer systems in order to detect if there are signs of hacking attempts.

“Our network security sensors will cover 90 percent of registered voters,” says Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. “And on election day, we'll be in full force and hosting a virtual nationwide situation room to assist our partners.

Experts continue to insist that voter databases, like registration information, is more at risk than hackers being able to change actual votes.