Russian hackers 'attacked at least one US voting software supplier'

Russian hackers 'attacked at least one US voting software supplier'

Russian hackers attacked at least one US voting software supplier days before last year's presidential election, according to a leaked government intelligence report.

The classified National Security Agency report, which was published online by The Intercept, does not say whether the hacking had any effect on election results.

However, it says Russian military intelligence attacked a US voting software company and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials at the end of October or beginning of November.

US intelligence agencies declined to comment.

However, the Justice Department announced on Monday it had charged a government contractor in Georgia with leaking a classified report containing "top secret level" information to an online news organisation.

The report the contractor allegedly leaked is dated May 5, the same date as the document The Intercept posted online.

The document said Russian military intelligence "executed cyber espionage operations against a named US company in August 2016 evidently to obtain information on elections-related software and hardware solutions, according to information that became available in April 2017".

The hackers are believed to have then used data from that operation to create a new email account to launch a spear-phishing campaign targeting US local government organisations, the document said.

"Lastly, the actors send test emails to two non-existent accounts ostensibly associated with absentee balloting, presumably with the purpose of creating those accounts to mimic legitimate services."

The document did not name any state.

The information in the leaked document seems to go further than the US intelligence agencies' January assessment of the hacking that occurred.

"Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple US state or local electoral boards," the assessment said.

The Department of Homeland Security "assesses that the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying".

The Intercept contacted NSA and the national intelligence director's office about the document and both agencies asked that it not be published.

US intelligence officials then asked The Intercept to redact certain sections. The Intercept said some material was withheld at US intelligence agencies' request because it was not "clearly in the public interest".

The Associated Press could not confirm the authenticity of the May 5 NSA document, which The Intercept said it obtained anonymously.

Also on Monday, Reality Leigh Winner, 25, of Augusta, Georgia, was charged in US District Court with copying classified documents and mailing them to a reporter with an unnamed news organisation.

Prosecutors did not say which federal agency Ms Winner worked for, but FBI agent Justin Garrick said in an affidavit filed with the court that she had previously served in the Air Force and held a top-secret security clearance.

Ms Winner's attorney, Titus Thomas Nichols, declined to confirm whether she is accused of leaking the NSA report received by The Intercept.

He also declined to name the federal agency for which Ms Winner worked.

More on this topic

Pompeo: I warned Russia about election meddlingPompeo: I warned Russia about election meddling

Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking Democrats in 2016 US electionRussian intelligence officers accused of hacking Democrats in 2016 US election

US senate committee agrees Russia backed Donald Trump against Hillary ClintonUS senate committee agrees Russia backed Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton admits mistakes and casts blame for election loss in new bookHillary Clinton admits mistakes and casts blame for election loss in new book

More in this Section

Michael Bloomberg puts gun control at heart of White House bidMichael Bloomberg puts gun control at heart of White House bid

Labour accuses BBC of ‘biased’ election coverage in letter to director generalLabour accuses BBC of ‘biased’ election coverage in letter to director general

‘Mighty mice’ on board supply mission to space station‘Mighty mice’ on board supply mission to space station

Saudi Arabia’s oil giant Aramco valued at 1.7 trillion dollars in IPOSaudi Arabia’s oil giant Aramco valued at 1.7 trillion dollars in IPO


Lifestyle

Sating the festive appetite is what Christmas is all about, here Joe McNamee takes us through the best culinary delights that are produced right here on our doorstep.Want to give local this Christmas? Joe McNamee rounds up the the country's very best food produce

Architect and artist Harry Wallace tells Eve Kelliher how his style has evolved.How a lifetime as an architect has inspired Cork artist Harry Wallace

Don’t let present stress ruin your run-up to Christmas. Pat Fitzpatrick has done all the hard work with this tongue-in-cheek gift guide for every budget, so you can tick everyone off your list and get down to enjoying yourself for the festive season.Gift stressbuster: We sort out who gets what and why

It’s not what you have that makes you happy, it’s what you do. And what better time to be proactive than during the season of goodwill, says Margaret Jennings.Joy to the world: Strategies to increase your happiness during the season of goodwill

More From The Irish Examiner