Report suggests Russia hackers breached voting software firm

According to a report at The Intercept, an internal document at the NSA shows that Russian military intelligence "executed a cyberattack on at least one USA voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November's presidential election".

In the weeks leading up to last year's presidential election, Russian military intelligence launched a cyberattack on a USA voting systems manufacturer, according to a classified National Security Agency report obtained by The Intercept.

The NSA report does not say if Russia's hacking actually affected the 2016 USA presidential election, but the agency does say that the hackers were part of a team with a "cyber espionage mandate specifically directed at US and foreign elections".

The NSA report, dated May 5, says Russian military intelligence attacked a USA voting software company and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials at the end of October or beginning of November.

According to The Intercept, the NSA report on the Russian hacking - dated May 5, 2017 - has been independently authenticated.

US intelligence agencies declined to comment.

Victor is a contractor with Pluribus International Corporation since mid-February, with a Top Secret clearance, authorities said. ".The actors likely used data obtained from that operation to.launch a voter registration-themed spear-phishing campaign targeting U.S. local government organisations". The complaint states an internal audit showed that victor was one of six people who printed the document, but she was the only one who had email contact with the news outlet. GRU "may have breached at least some elements of the voting system", particularly "elements of multiple US state or local electoral boards".

The Intercept said that the agency, Washington's most important signals intelligence body, sought first to dissuade them from publishing it, and then requested redactions.


Court records don't identify the agency victor worked for or the news organization.

Victor was working as a contractor for Pluribus International, and is accused of having given the document in question to The Intercept.

Reality Leigh Winner, 25, of Augusta, Georgia, was charged in U.S. District Court with copying classified documents and mailing them to a reporter with an unnamed news organization.

Winner's attorney, Titus Thomas Nichols, declined to confirm whether she is accused of leaking the NSA report received by The Intercept. "She is a very good person".

FBI special agent Justin Garrick told a federal court that victor - a cross-fit fan who graduated high school in 2011 and was in the US Air Force apparently as a linguist - confessed to reading and printing out the document, despite having no clearance to do so. Federal authorities said she printed out a copy of the report and mailed it to The Intercept.

Investigators thus queried their systems' audit logs, and found that six people had printed out that particular document: the work computers of those six were searched, and only Winner's had evidence she had been in contact with the news website. Garrick said investigators found victor had exchanged email with the news outlet using her work computer. Approximately a few days later, victor unlawfully transmitted by mail the intelligence reporting to an online news outlet.

Bynum reported from Savannah, Georgia.

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