Federal officials say hackers working for the Russian government targeted the Minnesota secretary of state's website leading up to the 2016 election but did not break in.
Minnesota was one of 21 states notified Friday of attempted Russian hacking. Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said in a statement the Department of Homeland Security told him that entities "acting at the behest of the Russian government" scanned IP addresses associated with his office for vulnerabilities.
But Simon said there are robust security measures in place, and there was no attempt to breach the system.
"We just always go in with the assumption that people of all kinds, be they foreign governments or other international actors or domestic actors are trying to find a way in," said Simon. "That's the assumption we start with, and that's the safest assumption."
Simon said his office had previously identified the hackers' IP addresses scanning the system and blocked them.
He said such scans happen daily and he has created a security team to protect the system and his office is rebuilding its website on a more secure platform.
"No question in my mind, it's the number one potential threat to our election system, and we really have to continue to stay strong and try to stay one step ahead of the bad guys."