The Russian government tried but failed to access the Oregon Secretary of State’s computer network during the 2016 election, officials said on Friday.
Oregon learned about the attempt in a brief phone call from an official from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to Election Director Steve Trout, Debra Royal, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, told The Associated Press.
“Today, Oregon received confirmation from the Department of Homeland Security that Oregon’s security measures thwarted Russian government attempts to access the Secretary of State computer network during the 2016 general election,” Richardson said in a statement . The secretary of state is Oregon’s top election official.
Richardson credited “the strength of the network security program we have in place” to preventing a Russian intrusion.
However, three weeks after the election in November, the secretary of state’s office released an audit sharply criticizing inadequate security of state agencies’ computer programs and data. That audit, carried out under Richardson’s predecessor, Jeanne P. Atkins, said the weaknesses increased the risk of a cyber attack. The weaknesses put individuals’ private information at risk, including income tax data, Social Security numbers, driver license…