Minnesota targeted by Russia-backed groups before 2016 election

Minnesota was one of 21 states targeted by groups acting on orders of the Russian government leading up to the 2016 presidential election, according to Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon.

In a statement, Simon said he learned of the development during a phone call with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

While Minnesota was targeted, DHS found "there was no breach and no attempt to breach Minnesota’s election system." The groups did, however, scan IP addresses associated with the Secretary of State’s website for vulnerabilities. The state's system blocked the IP addresses completing the scans.

"Scanning from outside entities is commonplace and happens every day, which is why I continue to believe the most serious challenge to the integrity of our election system is the threat of outside forces, including foreign governments, who seek to disrupt and undermine our elections,” Simon said in a statement.