Floridians learned this week that Russian hackers used phishing emails to get into the local election systems of two counties prior to the 2016 presidential election.
The hacking attempt was first made public in June of 2017. Hackers targeted Tallahassee-based VR Systems, which supplies election-related software and hardware to four-fifths of Florida counties, including Duval.
In an interview with WJCT news at that time, Duval Elections Supervisor Mike Hogan said he received a warning letter from VR Systems, which said:
“We are only aware of a handful of customers who actually received the fraudulent emails. And of those, we have no indication that any of them clicked on the attachment or were compromised as a result.’”
It now turns out that was not the case, although the FBI and Governor Ron DeSantis will not say which two counties were affected.
Hogan said his office has a strict policy against employees’ opening email attachments, which was how the Russians were able to access the voter files in the two counties.