As the 2020 presidential election nears, the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened Thursday that it would start informing states when native election systems are hacked in an effort to make elections safer. Before, the bureau would only notify the owners of the breached equipment of cyberattacks, which have been typically counties and local governments with much less capacity to reply.
The FBI’s declaration comes after months of criticism from legislators and elected delegates who feared the company was failing to brief states of potential threats. In a call with reporters, an FBI official also stated the bureau would not notify election expertise vendors of breaches.
In 2019, former special counsel Robert Mueller revealed his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The Mueller report revealed that, in 2016, a Florida county election network was violated by Russian hackers, though they were unable to alter voting tallies.
When the report was published last year, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had reportedly still not been briefed by the FBI on the incident and requested a briefing in the wake of the publication.
“Decisions surrounding notification proceed to be dependent on the nature and breadth of an incident and the character of the infrastructure impacted,” the FBI stated in a media release.