Illinois Elections Chief To Testify At Senate Panel On Russian Hacking

CHICAGO (CBS) — The head of the Illinois State Board of Elections will testify before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, as the panel continues its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

ISBE executive director Steve Sandvoss will testify about how Illinois voter information was stolen by hackers last summer, and what the state has done to tighten security.

It was Russian hackers — on June 23, 2016 — who attacked servers housed in Springfield. The records of 90,000 voters, including names, birthdates, driver’s license numbers, were viewed.

ISBE also has confirmed hackers tried to delete or alter some voter data.

“They were successful in getting in … but unable to manipulate any of our data,” Ken Menzel, the board’s general counsel, said earlier this month.

The state gave the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security unencumbered access to its system, he said.

“We wanted them to be able to share what they found with other states in case there were issues in other states, which is turns out there was,” Menzel said.

Bloomberg News reported 39 states were touched by what can be described as a pandemic of election meddling.

Using evidence from Illinois, federal agents were able to develop digital “signatures” — among them, Internet Protocol addresses used by the attackers, to spot the hackers at work.

Also among those testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday are Dr. Samuel Liles the acting director of the cyber division at the Department of Homeland Security, FBI assistant director of counterintelligence Bill Priestap, and Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson.

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