US Intelligence Alleges Iranian Hackers Behind Intimidation Emails Accessed Voter Data

CC0 / / Cyber space
Cyber space - Sputnik International
Iranian hackers who reportedly sent threatening emails to thousands of Americans earlier this month also allegedly accessed US voter data, US intelligence officials revealed late Friday.

In a joint statement, the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), an intelligence arm of the Department of Homeland Security, confirmed that an Iranian "actor successfully obtained voter registration data in at least one state." However, the state was not identified in the document.

The release notes that evaluation by the CISA and FBI "identified the targeting of US state election websites was an intentional effort to influence and interfere with the 2020 US presidential election."

"Analysis by CISA and the FBI indicates this actor scanned state websites, to include state election websites, between September 20 and September 28, 2020," reads the joint advisory. "Additionally, CISA and the FBI observed this actor attempting to exploit websites to obtain copies of voter registration data between September 29 and October 17, 2020."

"The access of voter registration data appeared to involve the abuse of website misconfigurations and a scripted process using the cURL tool to iterate through voter records. A review of the records that were copied and obtained reveals the information was used in the propaganda video," the release continues. 

However, both agencies noted that their review of data "cannot be fully attributed to this Iranian [advanced persistent threat] actor."

Last week, US officials accused Iranian actors of sending threatening emails to US voters. The emails appeared to addressed from the far-right group Proud Boys, and had threatened to come after Americans who did not vote for US President Donald Trump.

At the time, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe asserted that Iran was behind a video that suggested "individuals could cast fraudulent ballots, even from overseas."

However, Iran has denounced accusations that Iranian hackers are meddling with the US election. In fact, Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman for the Iranian Mission to the United Nations, rejected the assertions to outlet ABC News.

“Unlike the US, Iran does not interfere in other country's elections. The world has been witnessing US's own desperate public attempts to question the outcome of its own elections at the highest level," Miryousefi was quoted as saying. 

“Iran has no interest in interfering in the US election and no preference for the outcome. The US must end its malign and dangerous accusations against Iran."

Aside from Iran, US officials also took the time to accuse Russia of attempting to meddle in the November 3 presidential election, reigniting repeatedly denounced claims made during the previous election cycle. 

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