Senate Report Finds Fault With FBI Election Investigations

The Senate Intelligence Committee released the first volume of its long-awaited bipartisan report into Russian election interference efforts on Thursday, providing new details on how Russian government hackers “directed extensive activity against U.S. election infrastructure” — and potentially identified vulnerabilities that they can exploit in upcoming elections.

The partially redacted report also faulted the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for providing inadequate warnings to state governments. The panel found that alerts often went to the wrong people or contained insufficient information, and blended in with previous general warnings the states had received.

“DHS and FBI alerted states to the threat of cyber attacks in the late summer and fall of 2016, but the warnings did not provide enough information or go to the right people,” the report stated. “Alerts were actionable, in that they provided malicious Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to information technology (IT) professionals, but they provided no clear reason for states to take this threat more seriously than any other alert received.”

The report continued: “In its review of the 2016 elections, the Committee found no evidence that vote tallies were altered or that voter registry files were deleted or modified, though the Committee and IC’s [intelligence community’s] insight into this is limited.”