FBI: Foreign hackers penetrated state election databases
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The FBI said there is evidence foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases, Yahoo News reported.


As a result, the FBI sent out a warning telling officials across the country to increase the security of their computer systems, according to Yahoo. The warning included a "flash" alert from the FBI's Cyber Division.

The news service noted that Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson held a conference call with state election officials earlier this month to discuss how to make their voting systems more secure. Johnson said Homeland Security didn't know of "specific or credible cybersecurity threats" to the election at that time.

Days later, the FBI Cyber Division issued a warning titled: "Targeting Activity Against State Board of Election Systems."

The notice said the FBI was looking into cyberattacks against two state election websites. One of them involved the "exfiltration" of voter registration data.

“It was an eye opener,” one senior law enforcement official told Yahoo. “We believe it’s kind of serious, and we’re investigating.”

The FBI bulletin said that attacks on both state election websites may have been linked.

“The FBI is requesting that states contact their Board of Elections and determine if any similar activity to their logs, both inbound and outbound, has been detected," it said.

“Attempts should not be made to touch or ping the IP addresses directly.”

The FBI has told state officials to secure their systems, using "vulnerability scans" of their databases.

“Implement the principle of least privilege for database accounts,” the FBI alert reads. It adds that “any given user should have access to only the bare minimum set of resources required to perform business tasks.”