The full scope of Russia & # 39; s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election included a hacking operation focused on the Florida election office computer systems – and there were alarming successes in one Florida province, an FBI investigation suggests.
The shocking revelation came to light on Thursday when government officials finally lifted the lid on the 448-page Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
It has already been confirmed that Russian cyber terrorists have tried to infiltrate Florida election systems, but Mueller's file provided brand-new details about the scope and potential victory of the operation.
However, the critical question of which data they could specifically consult remains unanswered by the report.
According to Mueller, the Russian military intelligence agency, the GRU, attempted in November 2016 to gain access to the voter's databases of the state, using vise-mails
An FBI investigation highlighted in the Mueller & # 39; s (above) review stated that the agency found that at & # 39; at least one & # 39; an electoral system had been violated in Florida
According to Mueller, the Russian military intelligence agency, the GRU, attempted to gain access to the state 's voter databases in November 2016, using visuals – from the voting technology company VR Systems – that contained malicious malware.
& # 39; The GRU sent spearphishing emails to more than 120 email accounts that were used by Florida state officials who were responsible for managing the 2016 US elections, & # 39; said Mueller. & # 39; The spearphishing emails contain an attached Word document encoded with malicious software [commonly referred to as a Trojan] as a result of which the GRU had access to the infected computer. & # 39;
The plan was discovered after a separate investigation by the FBI shortly after the emails were first sent.
In their conclusion of their investigation, Mueller said the FBI found that the hackers were successful in violating the systems of & # 39; at least one & # 39 ;, undefined, Florida state administration.
& # 39; We understand that the FBI believes this operation has enabled the GRU to access the network of at least one Florida provincial government, & # 39; said the report.
The shocking revelation came to light on Thursday after government officials finally lifted the lid on the 448-page Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigation into the possible collapse of the Trump campaign with Russia.
US Senator Bill Nelson (left) also warned that the Russians had been given illegal access to voter information in Florida and now & # 39; the free rein & # 39; had to mess with elections. Rick Scott, who pushed him out of his food, refuted the claims and said they had no evidence
However, The Special Counsel & # 39; s Office says they have not independently verified the FBI's hypothesis & # 39; and & # 39; did not take the research steps that would have been necessary to do this & # 39 ;.
Senator Marco Rubio has previously warned that & # 39; state voters may be vulnerable to Russian cyber attacks & # 39 ;.
And just last year, former US Senator Bill Nelson also warned that Russians had been given illegal access to voter information in Florida and now & # 39; the free rein & # 39; had to mess with elections.
He refused to specify which provinces were affected because that information, Nelson said, was classified.
No other officials tried to substantiate Nelson's claims, and some even accused the former senator of attempting to request additional votes pending an upcoming election.
& # 39; Bill Nelson has made assertions about Russian interference without providing any proof, & # 39; said Sen. Rick Scott, who eventually took Nelson's seat, although his press secretary Sarah Schwirian said to the Sun Sentinal.
& # 39; Senator Scott then appealed to Senator Nelson to provide evidence, which he refused to do. The Florida Department of State had no information to support Nelson's claims, and the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security did not provide any information to support the claim. & # 39;
Official and local election officials keep repeating that they have no evidence that Florida electoral systems are being infiltrated by the Russians
In an Orlando Sentinel article published on Thursday, the point of sale reported that Volusia County election officials received infected emails with malware in 2016.
One worker also admitted that he had opened the malicious file, suggesting that Volusia could be the compromised country listed anonymously in Mueller's files and the FBI report.
However, despite the investigation, state and local election officials keep repeating that they have no evidence that Florida electoral systems have been infiltrated by the Russians and that the election has not been violated.
& # 39; The 2016 Florida elections have not been hacked & # 39 ;, said a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Laurel Lee in a statement. & # 39; The Florida Voter Registration System was and remains safe and official results or mood changes have not changed. & # 39;