Report suggests Russia hackers breached voting software firm

Russian government hackers carried out a cyberattack against one US voting software vendor last August and launched a spear-phishing attack targeting local USA organizations days before the 2016 USA election, according to a highly classified report within the National Security Agency.

The Department of Justice on Monday announced the arrest of Reality Leigh Winner, a contractor for Pluribus International Corporation who'd been assigned to a federal government agency in the state.

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 U.S. officials briefed on the probe.

The spear-phishing attack, which used a deceptive email to upload malware and steal user logins, was also aimed at 122 local government organizations in late October, the report said.

Sources confirmed to NBC News that victor was the person behind the leak of the document.

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.

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 USA local government organizations".

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied the Kremlin meddled in the election. USA intelligence officials then asked The Intercept to redact certain sections.

According to the document, the NSA compiled its report based on evidence it received in April this year.

The report shows that, by trying to steal log-in credentials and using spear-fishing emails to plant malware, the hackers "obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple USA state or local electoral boards". In a statement, the Justice Department said that victor had admitted to removing classified intelligence from her workspace in Augusta, Georgia, the soon-to-be home of the US Army Cyber Command near Fort Gordon.

While the criminal complaint doesn't identify the government agency, the news outlet, or the report victor allegedly leaked, it does reveal that the report was published May 5, 2017. "All this craziness has happened all of a sudden".

Garrick's affidavit said he interviewed victor at her home Saturday and she "admitted intentionally identifying and printing the classified intelligence reporting at issue" and mailing it to the news outlet. Federal authorities said she printed out a copy of the report and mailed it to The Intercept.

Rosenstein helped prosecute one of them, a case against James E. Cartwright, a retired four-star Marine general and a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff accused of disclosing classified information to reporters.

Asked if victor had confessed, Nichols said, "If there is a confession, the government has not shown it to me".

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