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NSA Report: Russian Military Hackers Targeted US Voting Software, Election Officials

Top-secret NSA report leaked by now-arrested federal contractor to journalists shows levels to which Russian hacking machine targeted US election.

A federal contractor was arrested by federal officials last weekend after watermarks on printouts of top-secret NSA information on Russia's hacking activities in the US election were traced to her after she anonymously shared the stolen files with The Intercept.

Reality Winning's arrest came even before The Intercept published its report yesterday that is based on the May 5 NSA intelligence she sent them via hard-copy. The top-secret NSA analysis report says Russian military hackers launched a cyberattack on a US voting software supplier as well as waged a spear-phishing campaign against 100 local US election officials just before the November 2016 presidential election. 

The report basically indicates possible deeper election-hacking activity by Russia than was publicly known. 

The Intercept received the files anonymously, and the publication's efforts to validate their autenthicity with the US government ultimately led to Winning's unmasking. The US Department of Justice yesterday announced that the 25-year-old Winner had been arrested on June 3, in her Augusta, Georgia, home and charged with "removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 793(e)."

DoJ did not mention The Intercept article, which published yesterday as well, nor the contents of the document.

According to The Intercept's article, the NSA report says:

"Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate actors … executed cyber espionage operations against a named U.S. company in August 2016, evidently to obtain information on elections-related software and hardware solutions. … The actors likely used data obtained from that operation to … launch a voter registration-themed spear-phishing campaign targeting U.S. local government organizations."

Read The Intercept report here, and the DoJ announcement here.

 

 

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