WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Homeland Security says that just because Russian government hackers didn’t directly scan election systems in some U.S. states, it doesn’t mean they weren’t looking to break into them.
DHS spokesman Scott McConnell says that hackers in an unspecified number of states scanned other state computer systems looking for vulnerabilities they could exploit to get into the election systems later. The other networks were usually connected to the election systems or shared similarities.
McConnell made the comments after state officials in Wisconsin and California said they had received conflicting information from DHS about which computer systems were targeted.
McConnell says the department stands by its assessment that 21 states were targeted by “Russian government cyber actors” looking for vulnerabilities in and access to election infrastructure.