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Classified NSA Report: Russian Intel attacked U.S. voting suppliers, sent spear-phishing emails to 100s of local officials days before 2016 election

A highly classified report is compiled, gained by The Intercept, that Russian Military Intelligence actually attempted a cyber attack on at least one U.S voting supplier, sending spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials the day before November’s presidential election.

A month-long Russian effort is said to be involved in order to infiltrate in the U.S. election system. The report has been provided to The Intercept, anonymously and independently verified. The report, dated May 5, 2017, is very first of its nature to provide a detailed account on Russian involvement in U.S. 2016 presidential election.

The document gives a good overview of the techniques of Russian cyber attack but it doesn’t provide any detail on the underlying technique which is used to generate the information present inside this report. Intelligence officers are also of the view that a definitive result shouldn’t be concluded from the report, and it would be quite early to decide the extent of Russian involvement in U.S. election.

Report on Russian Cyberattack – Credits: The Intercept

The report says in the summary that Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU was majorly involved in conducting cyber attacks against U.S. election.

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 actors likely used data obtained from that operation to … launch a voter registration-themed spear-phishing campaign targeting U.S. local government organizations.

This NSA summary is highly against the Putin statement of non-involvement in U.S. elections. The NSA officials are not yet sure that whether there was a great effect of Russian efforts on U.S. election system or these were mere attempts. But still, they are sure that Russian Hackers might have been able to hack certain elements of the election system.

The intercept tried to contact NSA about the document and at first, they declined the true nature of the document but later NSA agreed to get the report published with certain editings. Let’s see how things appear in near future and how far was the Russian involvement.

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