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I-Team: Maine takes steps to prevent election system hacking

The FBI has issued a warning about election year hacking. The I-Team has learned the agency sent a memo to state election officials to keep a closer eye on the security of their voting systems. (FBI)

STATEWIDE (WGME) -- The FBI has issued a warning about election year hacking. The I-Team has learned the agency sent a memo to state election officials to keep a closer eye on the security of their voting systems.

The Maine Secretary of State's Office says it hasn't found any evidence of unusual activity or unauthorized access of the state's Central Voter Registration system. But in light of other recent data breaches, users of the system, including the Division of Elections and municipal clerks, were required to adopt more complex passwords.

This advisory from the FBI, known as an FBI Flash, seems to be in response to two recent hacking attacks into the election systems in Illinois and Arizona.

Officials say hackers may have downloaded voter names, dates of birth, driver's license numbers and partial social security numbers.

State election officials are urged to look for specific indications of similar cyber-attacks.

FBI Director James Comey isn't assigning blame but is now laying down a warning about the hacking.

"We’re looking at it. We take very seriously any effort by any actor, including nation states, maybe especially nation states, that move beyond the collection of information about our country and that offers the prospect of an effort to influence conduct of affairs whether an election or something else,” Comey said.

The Secretary of State's office says: "As stewards of Maine residents' personal information, we are very committed to guarding against any unauthorized access. We will continue to monitor the system for vulnerabilities through and beyond Election Day."

Investigators say the hack appears to be connected to the Russian government.

Another concern is the computer systems that count and report the votes. There's no indication those were compromised, but the FBI says states should be on guard.

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