Russia Hasn't Begun Vigorous 2018 Election Hacking, U.S. Says

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. hasn’t seen any indication that Russians have renewed their vigorous efforts to tamper with election systems this year, a Trump administration official said Wednesday.

“The intelligence community has yet to see any evidence of a robust campaign aimed at tampering with our election infrastructure along the lines of 2016 or influencing the makeup of the House or Senate races,” said Christopher Krebs, undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security, at a House hearing.

Krebs told the Homeland Security Committee that the Nov. 6 elections -- in which every House seat and a third of those in the Senate are up for grabs -- “remain a potential target for Russian actors.” The outcome will determine whether Republicans keep control of both chambers.

U.S. officials have said Russians hackers at least scanned the election systems of all 50 states in 2016 and tried to breach at least 21. There’s no evidence any votes were altered.

Homeland Security is coordinating with state election officials in an effort to prevent hacking, Krebs said.

In 2016, Russia also sought to influence the U.S. election through fake social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Google, U.S. officials have concluded.

This year, the intelligence community sees Russia using social media, fake personas and other means "to influence or inflame positions on opposite ends of controversial issues," Krebs said.

“These efforts appear to be more focused on dividing rather than targeting specific politicians or political candidates,” he said.

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