Mueller Report: how deeply did Russia invade our elections?

(Making noises of horror and disgust)

Here are three devastating paragraphs from the Mueller Report regarding what the GRU (a Russian intelligence, i.e., spy group) did to interfere with our elections.

2. Intrusions Targeting the Administration of U.S. Elections

In addition to targeting individuals involved in the Clinton Campaign, GRU [Russian Federation’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff]  officers also targeted individuals and entities involved in the administration of the elections. Victims included U.S. state and local entities, such as state boards of elections (SBOEs), secretaries of state, and county governments, as well as individuals who worked for those entities.

The GRU also targeted private technology firms responsible for manufacturing and administering election-related software and hardware, such as voter registration software and electronic polling stations.

The GRU continued to target these victims through the elections in November 2016. While the investigation identified evidence that the GRU targeted these individuals and entities, the Office did not investigate further. The Office did not, for instance, obtain or examine servers or other relevant items belonging to these victims. The Office understands that the FBI, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the states have separately investigated that activity.

Note from me: I certainly want to learn the results of that investigation.

By at least the summer of 2016, GRU officers sought access to state and local computer networks by exploiting known software vulnerabilities on websites of state and local governmental entities. GRU officers, for example, targeted state and local databases of registered voters using a technique known as “SQL injection,” by which malicious code was sent to the state or local website in order to run commands (such as exfiltrating the database contents).

In one instance in approximately June 2016, the GRU compromised the computer network of the Illinois State Board of Elections by exploiting a vulnerability in the SBOE’s website. The GRU then gained access to a database containing information on millions of registered Illinois voters, and extracted data related to thousands of U.S. voters before the malicious activity was identified.

Unit 74455 also sent spearphishing emails to public officials involved in election administration and personnel at companies involved in voting technology. In August 2016, GRU officers targeted employees of ■■■■■■■■■, a voting technology company that developed software used by numerous U.S. counties to manage voter rolls, and installed malware on the company network. Similarly, in November 2016, the GRU sent spearphishing emails to over 120 email accounts used by Florida county officials responsible for administering the 2016 U.S. election.191 The spearphishing emails contained an attached Word document coded with malicious software (commonly referred to as a Trojan) that permitted the GRU to access the infected computer. 192 The FBI was separately responsible for this investigation. We understand the FBI believes that this operation enabled the GRU to gain access to the network of at least one Florida county government. The Office did not independently verify that belief and, as explained above, did not undertake the investigative steps that would have been necessary to do so.

–From Volume One, pages 50-51, Mueller Report

I bolded the above, while thinking about ex-Senator Bill Nelson, who was defeated in 2018 by Rick Scott (about which way too much bad could be said). Nelson caused a huge furor when he said the Russians had hacked into Florida’s election systems. Rick Scott sneered and yelled.

Seems that Bill Nelson was right. And Rick Scott won by a little over 10,000 votes.

Here’s what Scott said after Nelson conceded:

“Now the campaign truly is behind us, and that’s where we need to leave it,” Mr. Scott, who attended orientation on Capitol Hill last week, said in a statement on Sunday. “We must do what Americans have always done: come together for the good of our state and our country.”

“….that’s where we need to leave it…”???? How about leaving it after we find out what our intelligence services have learned about that Russian malevolent presence in Florida’s voting machinery?

Were votes changed?

 

 

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