Report: US government launching effort to stop Russia from hacking election

People vote during early voting for the 2016 General Election at the Salt Lake County Government Center on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, in Salt Lake City. Hillary Clinton may not be accumulating the type of early-vote advantage her campaign wanted, but she continues to maintain an apparent edge over Donald Trump, with roughly one-fourth of all expected ballots cast in the 2016 election. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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People vote during early voting for the 2016 General Election at the Salt Lake County Government Center on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, in Salt Lake City. Hillary Clinton may not be accumulating the type of early-vote advantage her campaign wanted, but she continues to maintain an apparent edge over Donald Trump, with roughly one-fourth of all expected ballots cast in the 2016 election. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Federal officials say they are taking all measures necessary to blunt any attempt by hackers backed by the Russian government to interfere in next Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election.

According to a story from NBC News, the White House and the Department of Homeland Security, along with the CIA, the National Security Agency and elements of the Defense Department, are part of the group who will be on alert for any attempt to create doubt in the country's election process.

The Washington Post is reporting that officials are doubtful that the hackers are capable of manipulating the voting system, but think it's a possibility that Russia could meddle after the election to throw the results into question.

Since voting for a president is not something done nationally – in that each state conducts its own election process – officials say it would be extremely difficult for the Russians to manipulate a large number of votes, the story explained.

"States ensure that voting machines are not connected to the Internet, and there are numerous checks and balances as well as extensive oversight at multiple levels built into our election process," an senior administration official told NBC News.

Government security agencies have, however, seen evidence that Russian hackers have “scanned” state voter databases and computer systems. A U.S. official told The Post, “Whether they were really trying hard to get in, it’s not clear.”

The NBC report said officials thought it was more likely that hackers would use social media to manipulate information or fool voters. The government officials, who were not named in the story, said they could see a cyber-attack that shuts down part of the internet – something similar to what happened in October where Twitter, Spotify and PayPal were knock offline for a time.