Russian agents 'hacked USA voting system manufacturer before election'


In addition to cyberattacking at least one USA voting software supplier, Russian hackers also sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials days before the poll, the Intercept reported.

"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 report states.

On or about May 9, victor printed and improperly removed classified intelligence reporting, which contained classified national defense information from an intelligence community agency, and unlawfully retained it.

In October 2016, CNN reported that federal investigators believe Russian hackers were behind cyberattacks on a contractor for Florida's election system that may have exposed the personal data of Florida voters, according to United States officials briefed on the probe. The report, dated May 5, 2017, is the most detailed US government account of Russian interference in the election that has yet come to light. Within the past few hours, USA officials confirmed to Reuters that The Intercept's document is genuine, and that victor is the alleged source of the file. Around May 9, victor printed and removed the classified intelligence, and then "unlawfully transmitted by mail the intelligence reporting to an online news outlet".

Winner, 25, has worked at the government facility since February and has held a top secret clearance.

In late October, the group established an "operational" Gmail account and posed as an employee from VR Systems - using previously obtained documents to launch another spear-phishing attack "targeting U.S. local government organizations", the report says. It further states that the intelligence agency was subsequently contacted by the news outlet on May 30 regarding an upcoming story, saying it was in possession of what appeared to be a classified document.

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USA intelligence officials tell CNN that the information has not changed the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment, which found: "Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple U.S. state or local electoral boards". US intelligence officials then asked The Intercept to redact certain sections.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said fast work allowed authorities quickly to identify and arrest victor. The Intercept pointed out that while the company wasn't directly named, the NSA's report referenced the company VR Systems several times.

The Justice Department says victor admitted to leaking the documents when the Federal Bureau of Investigation searched her home on Saturday.

"She has no criminal history; it's not as if she's a threat to anyone, " he said. The indictment against victor alleges she "printed and improperly removed" classified intelligence reporting that was dated "on or about May 5, 2017". "All this craziness has happened all of a sudden". According to Justice's press release, victor admitted to knowingly printing classified information and sending it to the media. Federal authorities said she printed out a copy of the report and mailed it to The Intercept.

"I think she's trying to be courageous for me", Billie Winner said. A further audit of the six individuals' desk computers revealed that victor had e-mail contact with the News Outlet.