Former US president Barack Obama’s cybersecurity adviser said Wednesday that he was confident Russian hackers were not able to alter voting records during last year’s election, and that the outcome was a true reflection of how the American people voted.
In an interview with Israel’s Army Radio, Michael Daniel backed up what US security officials told a Senate committee investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, allegedly on behalf of the eventual victor, President Donald Trump.
Daniel, 46, who serves as president of the Cyber Threat Alliance, an international internet security cooperation group, was Obama’s cybersecurity coordinator until six months ago, when Trump became president.
“I certainly think that the Russians or anyone else — they certainly didn’t change any votes, so that the votes that were cast properly reflect the votes of the American people,” Daniel said.
Both the House and Senate Intelligence committees are probing the extent of Russian involvement and hacking prior to the election. The FBI is also investigating ties between Trump’s staff and Moscow figures. US security agencies have said they discovered widespread attempts by Russian hackers to access voter details and have pointed the finger at Moscow as being behind the hack and subsequent leak of Democratic National Committee emails.
However, earlier this month US officials told the Senate committee that the cyber-assaults did not affect the eventual vote count.
Daniel was more cautious when asked about Trump’s possible collusion with the Russians.
“I can’t really comment on that,” he said. “Our system is designed to have a considerable number of checks and balances in it and the investigation will have to take its course.”
Daniel was tight-lipped as to whether or not Trump should step down over alleged Russian ties. He was also taciturn regarding Trump’s claims that Obama bugged his election team to listen in on him.
“I have no information on that kind of activity,” Daniel said and noted it was outside his purview of his job in the Obama administration, which dealt with readiness for cyberattacks.
Daniel was in Israel to participate in the Cyber Week Conference in Tel Aviv.
“Israel has clearly emerged as one of the experts on cybersecurity… and as the world goes even more digital, it is going to give you great opportunities,” he said.