Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis can't name the two Florida counties hacked by Russians

Posted By on Tue, May 14, 2019 at 12:39 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that not one, but two counties were hacked by Russians during the 2016 general election.

After meeting with FBI officials earlier this month, DeSantis confirmed assertions made in the Mueller report, and stated that two counties in Florida were hacked by the Russian intelligence agency GRU through "spearphishing" emails. He also reiterated a point made earlier by FBI officials that no votes or data were manipulated.

DeSantis did not specifically name which counties were hacked because he says he signed a non-disclosure agreement, which is incredibly unusual for a governor to do.

Today’s statement from DeSantis is not exactly what officials said last month, when the FBI said that Russian hackers accessed "at least one" Florida county government's computer network. According to the Mueller report, Russia's GRU sought access to state and local computer networks by "exploiting known software vulnerabilities on websites of state and local governmental entities."



Following the release of the report, the Florida Department of State said it had "no knowledge or evidence of any successful hacking attempt at the county level during the 2016 elections." Local election officials also expressed frustration with being left in the dark.

"I just find it unacceptable. If they don't have indisputable evidence that they were hacked, then they need to keep their mouths shut," said Alan Hayes, Lake County's elections supervisor. "Because this kind of nonsense only undermines the confidence of the public in our systems."

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