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Hacking the 2016 election: A timeline

Feb 03, 20171 min
CybercrimeElection HackingGovernment

Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election played out in a series of hacks taking place over several months. Here’s how the attacks unfolded.

kaboom election hacking
Credit: Thinkstock

History has yet to judge the 2016 presidential election, but from where we sit in the early days of 2017, it’s hard to imagine that it will ever be relegated to a footnote.

From how spectacularly polling failed to predict the election’s outcome to how the election was effectively decided by just “77,759 votes in three states,” not to mention that the loser walked away with 2.8 million more votes than the winner, the 2016 election season produced one big story after another.

But what may prove to be the biggest story of the 2016 election is the series of hacks that undermined both the democratic process and the Democratic candidate — and the the role of the Russian government in those hacks.

In a new report, network security provider Anomali puts the hacking incidents of 2016 into the broader context of an “increasing number of information security attacks on political organizations, government institutions, and political operatives” over the past two years. And explains how the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is at once a continuation of that trend and “the most profound example of supposed interference in a nation’s electoral process by another nation.”

2016 election hack timeline: Who, what and when