The State's Division of Elections insists that Alaska was not compromised by Russian hackers before the 2016 U.S. election.

According to NBC news, three senior intelligence officials had reason to believe that the website or databases of seven states, including Alaska, were compromised.

In response to the story, Alaska Division of Elections Director Josie Bahnke released the following statement:

 
“In September 2017, representatives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security officially informed our division that Russian cyber actors made a failed attempt to access the division’s public information website prior to the 2016 General Election," Bahnke said. “At that time, DHS officials stated that Alaska was one of 21 states that possibly were the target of an unsuccessful Russian-affiliated cyber incident in October 2016. We have not received any additional information from the federal government to dispute this statement."

Alaska Sen. Bill Wielechowski says Alaskans have a right to know what occurred.

"I think we have an obligation to find out," Sen. Wielechowski said. "I think Alaskans deserve to know what exactly happened and whether our elections are secure whether their data is secure and whether this upcoming election we're going to have protected whether or not their data will be protected."

The State Division of Elections said the situation was like a robber rattling a doorknob and moving on.

“Many businesses and governments have had threat actors scan systems," Bahnke said. "Which is like a robber rattling the doorknob or trying to peek in the windows. But scanning a system, versus breaking and entering are two very different scenarios. We have extensive procedures to secure our information, with multiple layers of security which include a combination of people, processes and technologies to help us conduct secure, trustworthy and accurate elections."

Sen. Wielechowski felt the issue is an ongoing systematic assault on our democracy by the Russian government.  

"I think if the Russians meddled in our election," Sen. Wielechowski said. "I think if the Russians hacked our election database or our elections website regardless of your political stripe you should be concerned. I think that’s very disturbing to have a foreign government come in engage in cyber warfare. Engage in an assault on our democracy. Regardless if you're a republican or democrat."

The State's Division of Elections says they will continue to work collaboratively with the National Association of Secretaries of State and DHS on cybersecurity issues.

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