Last summer, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) drew skepticism and ridicule from the media and Republicans when he claimed that Russian hackers had gained access to local election systems in his state. Eight months later, special counsel Robert Mueller’s report appears to back him up.
MUELLER REPORT: FBI THINKS RUSSIA GOT INTO FLORIDA COUNTY NETWORK AHEAD OF 2016 ELECTION
“Unit 74455 also sent spearphishing emails to public officials involved in election administration and personnel at companies involved in voting technology. In August 2016, GRU officers targeted employees of [redacted], a voting technology company that developed software used by numerous U.S. counties to manage voter rolls, and installed malware on the company network. Similarly, in November 2016, the GRU sent spearphishing emails to over 120 email accounts used by Florida county officials responsible for administering the 2016 U.S. election. The spearphishing emails contained an attached Word document coded with malicious software (commonly referred to as a Trojan) that permitted the GRU to access the infected computer. The FBI was separately responsible for this investigation. We understand the FBI believes that this operation enabled the GRU to gain access to the network of at least one Florida county government. The Office did not independently verify that belief and, as explained above, did not undertake the investigative steps that would have been necessary to do so.”