Russian hackers attempted to break into voter rolls in Dallas ahead of the presidential election but were unable to breach the computer system.
Elections officials in Dallas County, Texas, said hackers could have wreaked havoc on Election Day if they’d been able to manipulate or delete the database of 1.3 million registered voters, reported the Dallas News.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security alerted local elections offices in October to look out for around 600 suspicious Internet Protocol addresses possibly linked to Russian hackers, county officials said.
The county found 17 of those IP addresses had tried to gain access to its servers, officials said, and federal authorities confirmed that at least some of those suspicious users were linked to Russia.
The number of unsuccessful attempts suggests the hackers “expected to disrupt” the county’s voting process, said Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price.
“If you disrupt the voter file, then when people are trying to validate at the polls, you got mass confusion,” Price said.
Russian hackers reportedly attempted to break into electoral systems in at least 39 states, a much more extensive attempt at interference than previously known.
It’s not clear whether Russian hackers tried to break into elections systems in other Texas counties.