U.S. House Report Finds FBI Cyberattack Victim Notification Inadequate

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has published a redacted version of its report on Russian interference with the 2016 Presidential Election. The report concludes that Russia did conduct cyberattacks on U.S. political institutions in 2015 and 2016. It also found that the FBI's "notification to numerous Russian hacking victims was largely inadequate." The report recommends that the FBI improve cyberattack victim notification. In a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit EPIC v. FBI, EPIC obtained the FBI notification procedures that would have applied during the 2016 Presidential election. The documents state that "[b]ecause timely victim notification has the potential to completely mitigate ongoing and future intrusions and can mitigate the damage of past attacks while increasing the potential for the collection of actionable intelligence, CyD's policy regarding victim notification is designed to strongly favor victim notification." However, the FBI did not follow this procedure following cyber attacks on the DNC and RNC during the 2016 Presidential Election. The Committee also recommended measures to strengthen U.S. election systems, such as paper ballots, protection of voter registration systems, and funding for risk assessment of state election agency computer systems. In early 2017, EPIC launched the Project on Democracy and Cybersecurity.

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