At a recent press conference, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Russian hackers infiltrated files in two Florida counties during the 2016 election season.
The counties remain unnamed, and none of the 67 counties in Florida have volunteered information confirming that the hacks. According to DeSantis, the FBI required him to sign a non-disclosure agreement, a move that Politico called “remarkable” and of “[potentially] questionable legal standing in a state with broad public record laws.”
“I think they [the counties] should be named,” says DeSantis, showing his solidarity with much of the American public.
The FBI has attempted to assure voters that although hackers may have gained access to voter registration files, they did not tamper with the votes themselves. , “…investigators did not detect any adversary activity that impacted vote counts or disrupted electoral processes during the 2016 or 2018 elections,” noted a bureau spokesperson. Naturally, skepticism abounds, but anything more remains unconfirmed.
Because Florida serves as a swing state during presidential elections, interfering with Florida’s vote count could completely flip an election outcome, making it a prime attack target.
While answers to questions around ‘who knew what, and when’ remain murky, the real question that besets us now is ‘how can we introduce advanced cyber security initiatives to thwart any issues in the 2020 election cycle?’
In a peculiar move, within this year’s legislative session, the state of Florida allocated $2.8 million for cyber security grants, but did not approve funding for a cyber security team on behalf of Florida’s Department of State.
Get more on this story from Politico.com.