After calling for less security in Apple iPhone case, feckless FBI calls for more security as two state voter databases hacked

“The FBI has uncovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks, prompting the bureau to warn election officials across the country to take new steps to enhance the security of their computer systems, according to federal and state law enforcement officials,” Michael Isikoff reports for Yahoo News. “The FBI warning, contained in a ‘flash’ alert from the FBI’s Cyber Division, a copy of which was obtained by Yahoo News, comes amid heightened concerns among U.S. intelligence officials about the possibility of cyberintrusions, potentially by Russian state-sponsored hackers, aimed at disrupting the November elections.”

“Those concerns prompted Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to convene a conference call with state election officials on Aug. 15, in which he offered his department’s help to make state voting systems more secure, including providing federal cybersecurity experts to scan for vulnerabilities, according to a ‘readout’ of the call released by the department,” Isikoff reports. “Johnson emphasized in the call that Homeland Security was not aware of “specific or credible cybersecurity threats” to the election, officials said.

U.S. FBI Director James Comey
U.S. FBI Director James Comey
But three days after that call, the FBI Cyber Division issued a potentially more disturbing warning, titled ‘Targeting Activity Against State Board of Election Systems.’ The alert, labeled as restricted for ‘NEED TO KNOW recipients,’ disclosed that the bureau was investigating cyberintrusions against two state election websites this summer, including one that resulted in the ‘exfiltration,’ or theft, of voter registration data.”

“The bulletin does not identify the states in question, but sources familiar with the document say it refers to the targeting by suspected foreign hackers of voter registration databases in Arizona and Illinois,” Isikoff reports. “In the Illinois case, officials were forced to shut down the state’s voter registration system for 10 days in late July, after the hackers managed to download personal data on up to 200,000 state voters.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Do you want security or not? More security or less? Make up your so-called mind, Comey.

Feckless FBI unable to unlock iPhone, even with a ‘fingerprint unlock warrant’ – May 12, 2016
FBI’s Comey says agency paid more than $1 million to access San Bernadino iPhone – April 21, 2016
Nothing significant found on San Bernardino’s terrorist’s iPhone – April 14, 2016
FBI director confirms hack only works on older iPhones that lack Apple’s Secure Enclave – April 7, 2016
Apple responds to FBI: ‘This case should have never been brought’ – March 29, 2016

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Denis” for the heads up.]


  1. The FBI is not feckless. They followed the law, that’s all we should ask of any government agency. Don’t like the law, make sure you vote.

    Note: If you want privacy, real privacy, don’t tell anyone what you think, don’t write it down, don’t put it on a device where you don’t own the software. Hey, don’t put it on a device. Your thoughts are your own until they come out of your head.

  2. I had to laugh when I heard FBI Director Comey say, “We take these things seriously…” coming from a guy who punted on recommending to the Justice Dept. criminal charges against Hillary Clinton, her lies and her e-mails!

  3. I think it’s clear what Comey wants. He wants to make sure the government can hide things from the public, and also that the public can’t hide things from the government. Remember it’s all about the fight against the boogie man of global terrorism.

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