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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Russian hackers pretended to be Florida company in phishing expedition

In the most detailed U.S. account yet of Russian interference in last year's election, the Intercept reported Monday about a top secret National Security Agency document that revealed a cyberattack on a U.S. voting software supplier. 

The company, V.R. Systems, is based in Tallahassee. According to its website, its EViD electronic poll book product is used in California, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. And in Florida? It's only used in at least 52 of 67 counties, including Hillsborough and Pinellas.   

The New York Times and the Intercept report that Russia's military intelligence had two hacks. One on Aug. 24 on V.R. Systems, to "evidently obtain information on elections-related software and hardware solutions." That attack was most likely successful, both report. Then, in late October or early November, Russian officials sent to 122 local elections officials emails that looked as if they came from V.R. Systems. Opening the emails would release malicious software from a remote server.

The hacking came at the same time that the Times/Herald reported that elections officials in Florida were warned of a threat posed by hackers trying to break into the Florida voting system.

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 11:10am]


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