DHS: Russia "Penetrated" Voter Rolls In 21 States, "No Evidence" Of Alterations

The Department of Homeland Security's top cybersecurity official, Jeanette Manfra, has told NBC News that Russia targeted the voter registration rolls of 21 states before the 2016 presidential election, successfully penetrating systems in "an exceptionally small number" of them.


"We were able to determine that the scanning and probing of voter registration databases was coming from the Russian government." -Jeanette Manfra

Manfra said that the list of 21 states is a "snapshot in time with the visibility that the department had at the time." ABC reached out to five of the 21 states, including Texas and California, who said they were never attacked

As we reported in September when word that the 21 states were being targeted (but before DHS claimed some had been breached), California Secretary of State Alex Padilla released a statement 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.”

Critical Infrastructure

Former Obama DHS secretary Jeh Johnson said "2016 was a wake-up call and now it's incumbent upon states and the Feds to do something about it before our democracy is attacked again." In January, 2017 - weeks before Johnson left his post, he declared the nation's electoral systems part of the nation's federally protected "critical infrastructure," which puts it in the same category as entities such as the power grid, communications, and emergency services. 

That said, Johnson told NBC News he is now worried that since the 2016 election a lot of states have done little to nothing "to actually harden their cybersecurity."

Of note, individual states are ultimately responsible for the security and operation of their own voter rolls. 

Some state officials had opposed Johnson's designation of electoral systems as critical infrastructure, viewing it a federal intrusion. Johnson said that any state officials who don't believe the federal government should be providing help are being "naïve" and "irresponsible to the people that [they're] supposed to serve." -NBC

DHS's Manfra disagrees with Johnson, stating "I would say they have all taken it seriously." 

Many of the states complained the federal government did not provide specific threat details, saying that information was classified and state officials did not have proper clearances. Manfra told us those clearances are now being processed

Other states that NBC contacted said they were still waiting for cybersecurity help from the federal government. Manfra said there was no waiting list and that DHS will get to everyone.

Russia, Bernie and Black Activism

Adding to the Russia narrative, BuzzFeed News reports that researcher Jonathan Albright has found evidence that Russian trolls pushed pro-Bernie Sanders / anti-Hillary Clinton content on Tumblr around the time of the election.


“The evidence we've collected shows a highly engaged and far-reaching Tumblr propaganda-op targeting mostly teenage and twenty-something African Americans. This appears to have been part of an ongoing campaign since early 2015,” Albright, research director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, told BuzzFeed.

In many instances, Tumblr accounts featured their corresponding Twitter accounts, which were revealed by the company to be linked to the Internet Research Agency, a Russian “troll farm” that pushed misinformation on Facebook and Twitter around the time of the election. -The Hill

Several of the accounts featured names associated with black activism and BLM, such as "4mysquad," "Blacktolive," and "Bleepthepolice," and pushed messages of racial empowerment and incendiary content meant to spark outrage.

4mysquad, for example, galvanized outrage when it posted a video of a police officer assaulting a black teenager, falsely claiming that the officer worked for the New York Police Department.

BuzzFeed reports that the 4mysquad accrued hundreds of thousands of followers

The accounts also pushed anti-Clinton rhetoric during the election, including a video in which Hillary Clinton called black gang members superpredators in the 1990s.

The Tumblr news echoes an October report by CNN which alleged that Russian propagandists used the popular Pokémon Go 'outdoor scavenger hunt' game in an effort to stoke racial tensions, sending players to areas in which police brutality had occurred. Players were then encouraged to name their Pokémon after black victims, such as Eric Garner, who died after a NYPD officer put him in a chokehold.


To be clear, CNN is claiming that Russia tried to trick Americans into taking up a traditionally liberal cause, in alignment with Black Lives Matter (BLM), to divide America through racial tension and somehow drive voters into the arms of Donald Trump. The other logical conclusion which CNN somehow overlooked, is that said propaganda would have encouraged left-wing political activism – bringing sympathetic social justice warriors to the polls – ostensibly voting for Hillary Clinton.

Via CNN: 

The campaign, titled “Don’t Shoot Us,” offers new insights into how Russian agents created a broad online ecosystem where divisive political messages were reinforced across multiple platforms, amplifying a campaign that appears to have been run from one source — the shadowy, Kremlin-linked troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency

A source familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN that the Don’t Shoot Us Facebook page was one of the 470 accounts taken down after the company determined they were linked to the IRA. CNN has separately established the links between the Facebook page and the other Don’t Shoot Us accounts.

The Don’t Shoot Us campaign — the title of which may have referenced the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” slogan that became popular in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown — used these platforms to highlight incidents of alleged police brutality, with what may have been the dual goal of galvanizing African Americans to protest and encouraging other Americans to view black activism as a rising threat.

The motive…

CNN couldn't really figure out why the Russians would take up primarily liberal social justice causes, writing “It’s unclear what the people behind the contest hoped to accomplish, though it may have been to remind people living near places where these incidents had taken place of what had happened and to upset or anger them.”

Who participated?

Nobody, apparently.

CNN has not found any evidence that any Pokémon Go users attempted to enter the contest, or whether any of the Amazon Gift Cards that were promised were ever awarded — or, indeed, whether the people who designed the contest ever had any intention of awarding the prizes.

There you have it – Russians influenced US politics by taking up liberal social justice activism in alignment with Black Lives Matter, their endgame being to stoke racial tensions and somehow, some way, influence the election in favor of Donald Trump.



overbet J S Bach Wed, 02/07/2018 - 17:59 Permalink

Didnt Georgia catch DHS or some agency doing a port scan on them? I dont think its even possible to determine who is doing what. I can post this comment from any of a thousand different IPs and run it through several countries first. Simple enough for China or NSA to insert a few Russian words or known code. These people are so irresponsible, corrupt and full of shit.  


Edit: Here it is


In reply to by J S Bach

thisandthat JimmyJones Wed, 02/07/2018 - 20:10 Permalink

Pokemon go, the Russians???

You mean, that CIA spy tool disguised as a kids "game"?

Yeah, sounds legit...

Look up the well known connections between Niantic, In-Q-Tel, the CIA and the guy from Keyhole (GEarth)...

There's an episode of "The Watchers", I think that's called, where they show how those little critters oddly enough tend to show up near certain embassies, like Russian, ME countries, etc... (which they obviously try to whitewash)

In reply to by JimmyJones

StychoKiller thisandthat Thu, 02/08/2018 - 01:01 Permalink

In related news, the DHS is busy counting the number of Angels last seen dancing on the head of a pin, rumour has it a Russian musician was playing a balalaika at the time!  :>D

There's a fine line between justifiable paranoia and psychotic delusions; the Decepticrats need massive doses of Lithium and Thorazine, while bouncing off the walls in a rubber room, wearing a (very) long-sleeved jacket!

In reply to by thisandthat

ThanksChump overbet Wed, 02/07/2018 - 18:41 Permalink

They scanned directly, so that's how Georgia knew DHS did it.


The port-scanned device gets the MAC and IP addresses of the scanner for each of the 65535 probes. It is then possible for the scanned system to reverse probe the scanning system and obtain additional information e.g., the make/model of network cards, OS and version, etc. It is common practice to set up automated reverse probing whenever suspicious activity occurs. At least on MacOS or Linux systems. Windows and game consoles aren't that sophisticated.


DHS has their own dedicated block of IP addresses, and DHS made no attempt to disguise it. Why should they, being above the law and everything.

In reply to by overbet

overbet ThanksChump Wed, 02/07/2018 - 18:53 Permalink

I thought about them not bothering to conceal their IP as well. We're from the government and we're here to help. 

Seen this today. How incompetent do you have to be to click on email links nowadays? My grandmother knows better. Yet 40% of these people, government employees, clicked them. 



In reply to by ThanksChump

Posa Stackers Wed, 02/07/2018 - 18:06 Permalink

Yup. Racism, inequality and social injustices don't exist; the Russians invented these mythical conditions to convince Americans that they don't really live in Utopia.. dastardly...

Very similar to Hoover who claimed the communists and USSR were behind the civil rights movement and ant-war movement...

In reply to by Stackers

Anasteus ACP Wed, 02/07/2018 - 17:59 Permalink

"Russians influenced US politics by taking up liberal social justice activism in alignment with Black Lives Matter, their endgame being to stoke racial tensions and somehow, some way, influence the election in favor of Donald Trump"

...which eventually proves Obama, Clinton, Soros, Rothschild and the rest of the global elites to be Putin's agents.

I always thougth it's Jews who governed the world. Now I know I was utterly wrong, I fell prey to conspiracy theories. In reality he, who governs the world, is only Putin.

In reply to by ACP

TeethVillage88s Whoa Dammit Wed, 02/07/2018 - 17:54 Permalink

Generally Democrats were slanted toward workers, against war & war mongering, like the church was, social activism, help the worker & his family... But Clintonistas are WarMongers! Clintonistas are in the MSM, Press, TV, Radio, Public TV & Radio... all slant toward 'WarMongers'. Wow. Kent State killings are buried. Wow, use of the US Military to put down Workers who "Strike" is unknown. Wow. Use of Striker Breakers, Thugs with Clubs, against workers who want safety, protections, fair wages, and alternative shops to the monopoly 'company store'... what else... well US Military was used in the Banana Wars... used to crush activists & protesters solely since US Business Interests held power and we can let workers demand 'reparations'. no. would not want that to happen... not in USA or in Foreign Land. Wow. Hate your neighbor I guess.

- Don't Cross the US Business who does business in your town!!!!!!!!!! Smedley Butler

In reply to by Whoa Dammit

OLPFU Chuck Norris Wed, 02/07/2018 - 17:58 Permalink

DHS should not be meddling in State business.  If States want to work together to investigate voting irregularities and where they are coming from it is fine.  The Feds should only be involved if the States independently find it came from outside the country.  DHS meddling in elections is more of a threat to freedom than the Russians. 

In reply to by Chuck Norris

bitzager Chuck Norris Wed, 02/07/2018 - 19:38 Permalink

Fake news, cause Russia also have "Central Bank", which is buying US Papers (left and right) and member of the WTO (belongs to FED) and All of those Oligarchs.RU transferring stolen cash to WEST/Uncle Sam... Sorry to burst your bubble, but they are in the same TEAM (It's a WORLD-WIDE CABAL)... Wake up... Do you think Stalin ever have Bank account in Bavaria.DE or Switzerland? Yeah, and now TRUMP supposed to accuse Russians that they actually "vote" him into the White House? Seriously? Whatever... Elite are damn too rich and too dumb and too f*cking lazy to come up with some meaningful reason... Why bother? Dumb and dumber running this show. Pokemon GO!!!... Somebody NUKE them already, all of them at ones...!!!


In reply to by Chuck Norris

Rickety Rekt Wed, 02/07/2018 - 17:43 Permalink

After wikileaks let us know that NSA can make a hack look like it came from anywhere.... I trust that the DHS can be certain that it was Russia, said no red pilled person ever...

Peak Finance Wed, 02/07/2018 - 17:43 Permalink

Trump Overthrow Attempt 2.0 in the works now apparently

This will dominate the news cycle 

Funny how this comes on the same day as the "Obama Knew" texts got released

Zero-Hegemon Wed, 02/07/2018 - 17:45 Permalink

I shook Vladimir Putin's hand at my local polling station. He then proceeded to help me sign into the log book. He was nothing but helpful. I swear, these people are all Russo-phobic. And for the record, there is nothing wrong with wrestling grizzly bears in your underwear, or stealing tanks to break into liquor stores.