FBI warns of US election hack

 

The FBI has issued an urgent warning about interference in the US election, after they discovered voter information has been obtained by foreign sources.

In an announced about a "major election security" issue, FBI officials revealed the security breach has appeared to come from Russia and Iran.

"We would like to alert the public that we have identified that two foreign actors, Iran and Russia have taken specific actions to influence public opinion relating to our elections," Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said during the press conference.

"First, we have confirmed that some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran, and separately, by Russia. This data can be used by foreign actors to attempt to communicate false information to registered voters, that they hope will cause confusion, sow doubt and undermine your confidence in American democracy."

This security breach comes less than two weeks before the US presidential election.

 

Mr Ratcliffe revealed Iran has so far used the voter information to send "spoof emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest and damage President Trump".

Iran has also been accused of distributing video content that implies individuals could cast fraudulent ballots, even those overseas.

"These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries. Even if the adversaries pursue further attempts to intimidate or undermine voter confidence, know that our election systems are resilient. And you can be confident your votes are secure," Mr Ratcliffe said.

Though officials are yet to see Russia conducting similar actions, they have confirmed the country has obtained some voter information, just as they did in 2016.

Anyone who receives one of these emails have been told to not be alarmed and not to spread it to other people.

Mr Ratcliffe said he had been told by President Donald Trump to keep the public informed as the situation develops.

"I have had conversations today with members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, and there is complete unanimity in the US government in our resolve to combat the enemies of freedom," he said.

"The president has instructed me to keep the public informed as appropriate, and you have my commitment that I will continue to do exactly that with transparency and with candour.

"We will not tolerate foreign interference in our elections, and we will continue to work with our many partners to disrupt and to impose costs and consequences on any adversarial that attempts to interfere in our democratic processes."

More to come.

Originally published as FBI warns of US election hack


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