Top U.S. intelligence officials expect Russian hackers or others, to try to disrupt the election process process, perhaps to help Donald Trump, but more likely to undercut what Russian President Vladimir Putin views as America’s holier-than-thou attitudes about its democratic procedures. The Obama administration says that much of the email hacking that has roiled the campaign was approved by the Russian leadership. More recent activity, including the probing of registration rolls in several states, might be the work of independent Russian hackers. Government agencies and commercial enterprises, including some hired by state election boards facing a determined cyberthreat for the first time, are on high alert, the New York Times reports.
Dmitri Alperovitch of CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm that found the intrusions into the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers, said that while the odds that the results could be manipulated were “minuscule,” he thought hackers’ ultimate goal was “to discredit the results of the election.” The FBI has warned Arizona and Illinois that someone was “probing” their central voter registration databases. Admiral Michael Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, noted that voting data are “the states’ responsibility.”