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Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images

36 states now have election hacking sensors deployed to detect intrusions in state computer systems managing voter data or voting devices, Reuters’ Chris Bing reports.

Why it matters: Only 14 sensors like these were installed before the 2016 presidential elections, when Illinois and Arizona had Russian hackers break into voter registration databases and targeted 21 states’ voter registration databases overall. Now the federal government has more visibility into when attacks are happening and can share that information with states, peg down trends, and can try to mitigate any associated damage.

The details: The sensors, known as "Albert" sensors, are $5,000 each, and are developed by the nonprofit the Center for Internet Security.

  • Although the Department of Homeland Security would not reveal which 14 states did not have the Albert sensors deployed, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters two of them are South Dakota and Wyoming.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
7 mins ago - World

China's Xi Jinping congratulates Biden on election win

Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to President-elect Biden on Wednesday to congratulate him on his election victory, according to the Xinhua state news agency.

Why it matters: China's foreign ministry offered Biden a belated, and tentative, congratulations on Nov. 13, but Xi had not personally acknowledged Biden's win. The leaders of Brazil, Mexico and Russia are among the very few leaders still declining to congratulate Biden.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
58 mins ago - Sports

College basketball is back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new season of college basketball begins Wednesday, and the goal is clear: March Madness must be played.

Why it matters: On March 12, 2020, the lights went out on college basketball, depriving teams like Baylor (who won our tournament simulation), Dayton, San Diego State and Florida State of perhaps their best chance to win a national championship.

1 hour ago - World

Scoop: Israeli military prepares for possibility Trump will strike Iran

Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a cabinet meeting. Photo: Abir Sultan/POOL/AFP via Getty

The Israel Defense Forces have in recent weeks been instructed to prepare for the possibility that the U.S. will conduct a military strike against Iran before President Trump leaves office, senior Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government instructed the IDF to undertake the preparations not because of any intelligence or assessment that Trump will order such a strike, but because senior Israeli officials anticipate “a very sensitive period” ahead of Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.