States still don’t know if Russians hacked their voting systems

The Department of Homeland Security isn’t denying that officials have held off on notifying states, but it says this stems out of an abundance of caution. It wants to protect the “integrity of investigations and the confidentiality of system owners” when it shares this info, according to a statement. It added that it had told the owners and operators of systems that potentially came under attack, although they’re “not necessarily” election officials.

The lack of communication illustrates the problems with mounting a coordinated defense against election hacks, or any kind of state-backed hacking campaign targeting government infrastructure. Choate says communication with the federal government has improved, particularly since the outgoing President Obama labeled voting systems as critical infrastructure. However, it’s clear that there’s still a lot of work left before the feds and the states are operating in harmony when it really counts.

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