"Clear That DHS Was Wrong": California Says Russians Did Not Hack Voting Systems

Last Friday the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) dropped a "bombshell" statement that sent a "thrill up the leg" (to quote Chris Matthews) of every CNN reporter across the country.  The news from DHS implied that the election systems of 21 states around the country had been hacked, or at least were close to being hacked, which set off a new wave "Russian collusion" speculation in the U.S. news media (see: DHS Notifies 21 States Of Hacker Targeting; Election Officials Blame "Russian Government Cyber Actors").

That said, according to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla who released a statement this morning in response to the DHS, the whole thing was just a bunch of "fake news."  Padilla noted that after requesting additional information from DHS on the "hacks" it quickly became clear that their "conclusions were wrong" and that "California's elections infrastructure and websites were not hacked or breached by Russian cyber actors.”

“Last Friday, my office was notified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that Russian cyber actors 'scanned' California’s Internet-facing systems in 2016, including Secretary of State websites. Following our request for further information, it became clear that DHS’ conclusions were wrong.”


“DHS confirmed that Russian scanning activity had actually occurred on the California Department of Technology statewide network, not any Secretary of State website. Based on this additional information, California voters can further rest assured that the California Secretary of State elections infrastructure and websites were not hacked or breached by Russian cyber actors.”


“Our notification from DHS last Friday was not only a year late, it also turned out to be bad information. To make matters worse, the Associated Press similarly reported that DHS has reversed itself and 'now says Russia didn’t target Wisconsin’s voter registration system,' which is contrary to previous briefings.”


“The work of our intelligence agencies is critical in defending against cyber threats. I remain committed to a partnership with DHS and other intelligence agencies, however, elections officials and the American public expect and deserve timely and accurate information.”


Meanwhile, this comes after another stunning and embarrassing reversal from the DHS earlier this week in which they first blamed Russians for hacking the Wisconsin election systems, then reversed and said it wasn't the Russians then reversed further and said there was actually no hack on the WI election system at all.

But in a stunning reversal - one which we doubt will put endless rumors of Russian cyberinterference to bed - the AP now reports that DHS has told Wisconsin that the Russian government was not involved in the cyber-targeting.


In an email to the state’s deputy elections administrator that was provided to reporters at the Wisconsin Elections Commission meeting on Tuesday, Homeland Security said that initial notice of Russian involvement was made in error. Also, as we noted at the time, the government did not originally assign blame to the Russians when news of the alleged "scanning" initially broke on Friday although most medias jumped at the opportunity to blame Putin.


Infuriated by the error, some state officials said that DHS should provide an expalanation for the errror, or at least issue an apology to state elections officials, who were understandbly unnerved by the news of Russian involvement.


Wisconsin’s chief elections administrator Michael Haas told AP that Homeland Security had assured the state that it had not been targeted - by Russians, or anybody else, for that matter. 


“Wisconsin was not provided any information that indicated before the November election that Russian government actors were targeting election systems,” Haas said. He said one theory is that Homeland Security saw suspicious activity from IP addresses targeting state election systems in other states and assumed that was the intent in Wisconsin as well.


Others were apparently in shock: “It’s been a difficult process trying to piece all of this together,” said Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney. “We’re trying to understand what happened.”

So, for folks, like WI's Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney, who are still "trying to understand what happened"...allow us to clarify: NOTHING HAPPENEDHillary Clinton lost an election...other than that, not much happened that hasn't happened in every election since the 1950's. 


knukles Thu, 09/28/2017 - 11:13 Permalink

So California of all Progressive hot spots confirms it was bullshit after all.Let's investigate Hillary and the DNC's electoral processes.      Hillary 2020"Because it's Her Turn"

NoDebt JRobby Thu, 09/28/2017 - 11:32 Permalink

Trying to logic my way through this bizarre chain of stupidity.... I have a theory.  You might not like it, or maybe you will.Somewhere in the last handfull of months it became clear that the whole Russian narrative leading to either Trump's impeachment or an overturn of the election results became obviously impoerative.  It's just not going to happen.So.... the Obama/Clinton progs still trying to push that narrative with every fiber of their being (including outright lies) inside various agencies like DHS became persona-non-grata.  Or at least got told to stand down, back off, lighten up or whatever.  It would be detrimental to the agency as a whole (or as a part of the deep state) to continue down that non-viable path.  The agencies need to circle their own wagons and at least SURVIVE a Trump presidency. 

In reply to by JRobby

TheLastTrump Akzed Thu, 09/28/2017 - 11:58 Permalink

I tried to check my use of "refuse" for garbage yesterday, it was not part of the definition in the first place I looked. I doubted my own knowledge at first, but found it elsewhere. Lots of incomplete info out there on the web. Go check whether you can give NSAIDs to dogs, ibuprofen or aspirin. NO. Then go to the vet.com web site, answer is YES in the proper dosage. The other sites don't want to be sued when the owners overdose Fido so they give bullshit info to cover their asses.  

In reply to by Akzed

Canadian Dirtlump NoDebt Thu, 09/28/2017 - 11:50 Permalink

The Russian fable was always a desperate hail mary play. As it unravels they are hurriedly trying to put some other canard in place to keep the outrage going. I said when Trump got elected that we were at the end of the line as a society because he won't put up with the historical bullshit that has gone on, and the bullshitters won't give up without blowing the world up. Stay tuned.

In reply to by NoDebt

SoDamnMad JRobby Thu, 09/28/2017 - 11:38 Permalink

Why aren't some DHS people shown the door?  Are they Obama appointees? If so take a cardboard box to their offices, make them clean out their desks in front of security and then taken to the front door and told not to step foot inside a DHS facility without prior authorization or they will be cited for trespassing and arrested.

In reply to by JRobby

Nick Jihad JRobby Thu, 09/28/2017 - 12:50 Permalink

Yes, DHS and its director "Jeh" (wtf?) Johnson lied, as a pretext to declare state's election systems to be "critical national infrastructure", justifying a DHS takeover of those systems, in order to allow Democrat election fraud to be conducted from the convenience and impunity of Washington DC.

In reply to by JRobby

sgt_doom knukles Thu, 09/28/2017 - 13:11 Permalink

I'd say something about pinging not being the same has serious hacking, or that private telecoms in America and elsewhere have long been using the cheaper Russian long lines and therefore tracking the IP addresses to Russia is not necessarily damning, or that NSA has had the requisite systems to spoof anyone's IP address forever, but a buddy in my book club wrote this recent book review (Orders to Kill by Amy Knight) where in one chapter the author blames the Russians for the Boston Marathon bombing --- most illustrative:___________________________________________This was a reasonably solid read, or appeared so, up until the chapter on the Boston Marathon bombing - - utterly unacceptable!!! The Russian FSB [equivalent to the FBI] contacted the FBI multiple times with tips on bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev - - then in exasperation contacted the CIA, who passed it on to the National CounterTerrorism Center [NCTC].Now the author tries - - and fails miserably - - to assert that the FBI tried to follow up with three requests to the FSB for further data - - but the FSB provided adequate tip information and OF COURSE they aren't going to reveal their intelligence sources!Clearly, all the agencies involved once again performed in the most mind-boggling incompetent manner, indefensible no matter how many weasel words the author uses; // fell through the cracks \\ or // missteps \\ - - Negative, SOP was completely ignored at ALL levels!The author wants to provide endless excuses - - a Y was added to Tsarnaev's name [Russian spelling of Chechen name, quite normal] but anyone remotely familiar with intel work, and I served in military intel in two branches of the US military, knows SOP is to allow a wide leeway with foreign names, and this applies to the NSA, CIA, DIA, FBI, et cetera.Unbelievable the author would even attempt such a disingenuous excuse!Todashev, the Chechen shot to death by the FBI in Orlando, was found due to the FSB tip.Basically, the author, Knight, wants to blame the Russians for the Boston Marathon bombing [p. 254], but her beyond-specious assertion is contradicted in the preceding five pages of her now questionable book?IMPORTANT to note that the FSB messages to the FBI are still classified - - I wonder why????IMPORTANT to note that the fifth plane manifest [9/11] is still classifed by the FBI - - I wonder why????When one examines ALL the facts and details surrounding the Boston Marathon bombing, and also that underwear bomber inbound to Detroit whose attempt failed, the National Counterterrorism Center [NCTC] had all the required data at hand, yet did not perform their duties and mission task! Either the NCTC is a special employment program for the extremely mentally-handicapped, or else it is an embezzlement machine, but either way it serves no valid purpose and should be shut down![Back in either the late years of Clinton or early years of Bush #2, the FBI was deeply penetrated by Chinese intelligence {see Tiger Trap by David Wise} - - whether this is still the case remains to be seen - - but perhaps that explains the disfunctional behavior of the FBI prior to 9/11, and since?]https://seattle.bibliocommons.com/item/show/3280643030_orders_to_kill 

In reply to by knukles

chunga Thu, 09/28/2017 - 11:19 Permalink

Hello? For to 500th time...Julian Assange via Dana Rohrabacher has informed Team Maverick Outsider six weeks ago he's got proof the Russians had nothing to do with this. and nobody's home.#boycottnflnonsense

BritBob Thu, 09/28/2017 - 11:20 Permalink

Can the Russians be trusted? They've been accused of hacking into Spanish websites in respect of the Catalan referendum.  Russia & SpainRussia tells Britain give back Gibraltar before telling US what to do.RUSSIA has told Britain it should "clean its conscience" and give back Gibraltar before it criticises them over their involvement in Ukraine. Moscow's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin made the shocking remarks when responding to his British counterpart Matthew Rycroft at a UN security council meeting in New York. (Daily Express 4 Feb 2017) Do the Spanish have a claim to the Rock? Effectively Ceded to Britain 3 times!Gibraltar – Spanish Myths and Agreements (1 pg): https://www.academia.edu/34608739/Gibraltar_Spanish_Myths_and_Agreements