Russian Hackers Accessed Voter Databases In 2 Florida Counties

According to Gov. Ron DeSantis, the FBI confirmed that Russian hackers got into voter databases in two Florida counties in 2016.

Russian Hackers Accessed Voter Databases In 2 Florida Counties
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis confirmed Tuesday that two Florida counties' voter databases were compromised by Russian hackers in 2016. 

DeSantis said the FBI briefed him on the breaches, which did not involve any manipulation or election result interference, because the voter data accessed was already public. 

The hackers got into the systems ahead of the 2016 presidential election. They used an email phishing approach that was intended to trick election workers into clicking on a spam link. 

"I was told that it was not out of the realm of possibility that a reasonable person could think this was legit. It wasn't, like, 'Nigerian gold, we're going to give you a million dollars from Nigeria,' those types of things. That's not what this was," DeSantis said.  

The names of the counties aren't being revealed because DeSantis signed a non-disclosure agreement with the FBI. 

Both the Mueller report and Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio indicated there was a voter database intrusion in Florida, but this is the first time it's been publicly confirmed. 

DeSantis, who started his first term as governor this year, says it's not clear exactly what state officials knew about the hacking at the time. 

"I think it's important that if there is a threat, we, at the state level, know so that the Secretary of State can work with the supervisors to be able to deploy whatever measures are necessary," DeSantis said. "I think the threats evolve, so I don't want to say there's no threats because it's something you always have to be vigilant about."

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.