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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.

"Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate actors ... executed cyber espionage operations against a named United States company in August 2016, evidently to obtain information on elections-related software and hardware solutions", the NSA report says, according to The Intercept.

According to a DOJ release, 25-year-old Reality Leigh Winner is being charged with removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet.

According to the report, Russian military intelligence launched a cyber-attack on at least one United States voting software supplier. Late last August, the report says that these hackers sent emails that seemed to be from Google to workers at an election software company in the USA, the report said.

NBC News is reporting that the document victor is alleged to have leaked was published by The Intercept on Monday.

The U.S. Government Agency conducted an internal audit to determine who accessed the intelligence reporting since its publication.

Victor is a contractor with Pluribus International Corporation since mid-February, with a Top Secret clearance, authorities said.

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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 organizations, the document said.

The FBI said when they approached victor she admitted to printing out the document, removing it from her place of work and mailing it to The Intercept.

The government learned of the leak after a reporter contacted an individual working at another government contractor seeking an opinion about the document. For example, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in 2013 disclosed secret documents to journalists, including The Intercept's Greenwald, that revealed broad US surveillance programs.

Winner's mother said that her daughter is "touch and go" in an interview with CNN on Monday. "All this craziness has happened all of a sudden". Federal authorities said she printed out a copy of the report and mailed it to The Intercept. Authorities zeroed in on victor because she was the only one who had been in email contact with the news organisation, according to the affidavit. Garrick said investigators found victor had exchanged email with the news outlet using her work computer.

The Department of Justice has charged a government contractor in Georgia with leaking classified information to a news outlet, according to a statement from the department.

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

Bynum reported from Savannah, Georgia.

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