Published: Tue, June 06, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Justice Department names federal contractor as suspected leaker of 2016 classified intel

Justice Department names federal contractor as suspected leaker of 2016 classified intel

A top-secret NSA report obtained by The Intercept has revealed that Russian military intelligence launched a hacking campaign against at least one USA voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to over 100 local election officials.

The Intercept broke the story of the National Security Agency report on June 5, noting that it "indicates that Russian hacking may have penetrated further into us voting systems than was previously understood".

The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday charged a federal contractor with sending classified material to a news organization that sources identified to Reuters as The Intercept.

The published document expands on USA allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed a concerted effort, involving hacking and disinformation, to tilt the election toward Trump.

In addition, according to the portal with a link to the report, the Russian military intelligence sent fraudulent emails of more than 100 local staff of the election Commission a few days before the USA presidential election of 2016.

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The Intercept characterized the trove as "the most detailed USA government account of Russian interference in the election that has yet come to light".

Victor was one of only six individuals determined to have printed the document and the only to be in contact with The Intercept. The Intercept reports, "At least one of the employee accounts was likely compromised, the agency concluded".

Trump's comments drew widespread scorn in Britain but the USA leader went on the attack again on Monday, saying in a tweet: "Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his "no reason to be alarmed" statement. For a government employee or a contractor who has access to classified information to share it intentionally with someone who doesn't have a security clearance, including a reporter, is a crime", he said.

The NSA document posted on Monday offers some of the most official detail yet about Russia's cyberactivity, which the USA intelligence community has previously discussed in much broader terms.

The document, classified as top secret, was dated May 5; four days later, victor printed it, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

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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'.

The Intercept contacted the NSA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for its article.

"My client has no [criminal] history, so it's not as if she has a pattern of having done anything like this before", Nichols said.

Top White House adviser Kellyanne Conway argued Monday that media is making something out of nothing via an "obsession with covering everything [Trump] says on Twitter and very little what he does as president". "All this craziness has happened all of a sudden". "But the American public is entitled to know the the degree to which Russia invaded the election, to take the election away from American voters, and whether anybody with the campaign or the transition or the Trump administration was working with the Russians to sell out the country".

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