NSA top-secret report details Russian cyber operations days before 2016 election

Russian intelligence powered a cyber attack on at least one US voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to election officials just days before Election

The online news outlet The Intercept obtained access to a top-secret NSA report that shows Russian state-sponsored hackers tried repeatedly to hack the US voting systems before last 2016 Presidential election.

According to the NSA top-secret report, hackers tied to the Russian GRU intelligence directorate targeted private organizations and hacked voter registration services and equipment for months until just days before the election day.

It is not clear if the nation-state hackers had any effect on the election, US intelligence officials repeatedly excluded any interference with the final result of the vote.

The report comes a few days President Putin blamed patriotic hackers for the cyber attacks against foreign countries and denied Russia involvement.

“This useless and harmful chatter needs to stop.” President Putin said.

The report blames Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a concerted effort to interfere with the election to help Trump.

The Russian effort involved cyber attacks and a strategic disinformation powered by the Russian Intelligence.

According to the document, Russian hackers used data-stealing malware launched spear-phishing attacks against people involved in the election to “obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple US state or local electoral boards.”

“The report indicates that Russian hacking may have penetrated further into U.S. voting systems than was previously understood. It states unequivocally in its summary statement that it was Russian military intelligence, specifically the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate, or GRU, that conducted the cyber attacks described in the document” states The Intercept.

“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.” reads the NSA top-secret report.

It is still unclear which kind of information hackers have stolen neither the systems they have breached.

Pierluigi Paganini

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