Iranian hackers 'accessed voter data', US claims

Iranian hackers 'accessed voter data', US claims
Hacking activities attributed to Tehran have succeeded in obtaining voter information in "some" US states, American security agencies said ahead of the November 3 elections.
2 min read
01 November, 2020
The FBI said the Iran-based hacker successfully obtained voter information [Getty]
US officials have claimed that Iranian hackers who previously sent threatening emails to thousands of Americans have successfully breached voter information, according to reports on Saturday.

Earlier in the month, the hackers sent thousands of threatening emails sent to random American voters in the name far-right Proud Boys, while a video threatened to cause "havoc" by breaking into voter registration records.

A joint cybersecurity advisory was put out on Friday night by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) confirming an "Iran-based actor" obtained voter data between September 29 and October 17, 2020 "with varying levels of success".

The agencies said the same actor was responsible for the voter intimidation emails and for disinformation about the elections spread earlier in October.

Iranian officials have denied hacking claims, according to Al Jazeera, saying it makes no difference to Iran whether the winner is Republican candidate Donald Trump or Democrat candidate Joe Biden.

US officials have been on high alert over the threat of potential foreign interference in the upcoming November 3 election.

Read also: Explainer: Why is the Arab American vote so important in the 2020 US election?

In August, an intelligence assessment said "Iran seeks to undermine US democratic institutions, President Trump, and to divide the country in advance of the 2020 elections," adding that these alleged efforts would focus on "online influence, such as spreading disinformation on social media and recirculating anti-US content".

At the time, spokesman for Iran's mission to the United Nations, Alireza Miryousefi, denied Tehran had anything to do with the allegations.

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