Election officials in 21 states have been notified by the Department of Homeland Security that hackers targeted voter registration systems ahead of last year's presidential election. In most cases, the systems were not breached. A small number of networks were compromised, but those affected were not involved in the actual tallying of votes. In most of the states, the targeting involved preparatory activity, such as scanning computer systems. Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin had confirmed they had been targeted as of Friday evening.
With President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin set to come face to face for the first time Friday at the G20 Summit, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said the commander-in-chief needed to be aware of the meaning of diplomacy. "Your goal is not a friendly chat - diplomacy is not a popularity contest - but a clear statement of US national security and economic objectives and an exploration of what issues the United States and Russia could pursue together," McFaul wrote on the Chicago Tribune. Even though the White House said Trump will be going into the meeting with no fixed agenda, former, McFaul lined up a few important topics the president might want to talk about during his meeting with Putin, starting with Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. "You must state bluntly to Putin that Russia can never again violate our sovereignty by stealing and publishing our data, and must stop cyber probes of our electoral machinery. You should hint at potential coercive responses, including sanctions and counter cyber actions, if we are attacked again," McFaul added.
Russia's attack on US electoral system was further reaching than the federal government initially said and it included attempts to meddle with systems in a majority of states, a report on Tuesday revealed. Hackers got into databases and software systems in 39 states - twice as many as the government has said, Bloomberg reported. In one state they were able to access a campaign finance database. In Illinois, the attackers tried to delete and make changes to voter data, the news publication says. The Obama administration contacted the Kremlin about the menacing behavior through a back channel in October, two sources told Bloomberg, and warned that the interference could escalate into a full-scale conflict.
In a move to curb violence in the UK, British police have asked YouTube to remove between fifty and sixty music videos and more than half have already been removed from the platform. The move comes as part of the Met police's Operation Domain strategy, which targets violent online content that the police have linked to knife- and gang-related crimes. The music videos flagged by the police are all "drill" songs, a genre of trap music that started in Chicago but has found vast popularity in the UK scene and particularly on YouTube. The music is characterised by violent imagery and the phrase "to drill" is slang for "to shoot somebody", due to the similarities between the sound of an automatic weapon and a construction drill. "The gangs try to outrival each other with the filming and content - what looks like a music video can actually contain explicit language with gangs threatening each other," the Metropolitan Police's Mike West told the BBC.
As news of a fatal mass shooting at a community newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland surfaced, the online conversation quickly turned to President Trump's reputation for inciting violence against the press. At least five people were killed in the horrific shooting at the Capital Gazette newsroom on Thursday. While the shooter's motive hasn't been confirmed by police, he has sent social media threats to the newsroom before -- the latest were sent yesterday, according to authorities. And top of mind for many was Trump's tendency to villainize reporters. With the way that trump demonizes the media is there really any surprise that there was a newsroom shooting today?