Iran, Russia obtained voter registration info ahead of US elections: Officials

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe during his nomination hearing on Capitol Hill, May 5, 2020. (AFP)

Iran and Russia have obtained voter registration information less than two weeks before the US presidential elections, intelligence and security officials revealed Wednesday.

“Iran and Russia have taken specific actions to influence public opinion related to the elections,” US Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said during a joint news conference with FBI Director Chris Wray.

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“Some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran” and Russia, Ratcliffe said. He added that Iran was sending “spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest and damage President Trump.”

Tehran is also distributing “other content to include a video,” which implies individuals are casting fraudulent ballots from overseas.

Wray sought to reassure voters that “your vote counts.” He also said those who interfere in the US elections will be punished.

The voter-intimidation operation apparently used email addresses obtained from state voter registration lists, which include party affiliation and home addresses and can include email addresses and phone numbers.

Those addresses were then used in an apparently widespread targeted spamming operation. The senders claimed they would know which candidate the recipient was voting for in the Nov. 3 election, for which early voting is ongoing.

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- With AP

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Last Update: Thursday, 22 October 2020 KSA 03:06 - GMT 00:06
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