Contractor charged with leaking NSA info on Russian hacking

Russian hackers targeted election officials just days before presidential vote

News is reporting that the documents leaked by victor were from a classified NSA report published by The Intercept on Monday showing Russian military officials attempted to hack a Florida-based voter registration company shortly before the election.

According to am FBI affidavit, when the news outlet shared the documents with US officials to authenticate them, federal authorities "determined the pages of the intelligence reporting appeared to be folded and/or creased, suggesting they had been printed and hand-carried out of a secured space".

The five-page classified National Security Agency report was published online Monday by The Intercept.

The NSA report does not say if Russia's hacking actually affected the 2016 USA presidential election, but the agency does say that the hackers were part of a team with a "cyber espionage mandate specifically directed at US and foreign elections". The report, dated May 5, 2017, is the most detailed US government account of Russian interference in the election that has yet come to light. News confirmed, through a "senior federal official", that Winner's leak was the one reported on by The Intercept.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denied during an interview aired Sunday that his government meddled in the USA election, though he admitted last week that "patriotic" Russian individuals may have acted on their own.

Winner, 25, has worked at the government facility since February and has held a top secret clearance.

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

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Prosecutors say when confronted with the allegations, victor admitted to intentionally leaking the classified document - and she was arrested June 3 in Augusta, Georgia. The complaint states an internal audit showed that victor was one of six people who printed the document, but she was the only one who had email contact with the news outlet. The company did not respond to questions about the specific hack detailed in the NSA document.

The Intercept said that the agency, Washington's most important signals intelligence body, sought first to dissuade them from publishing it, and then requested redactions.

"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 in a phone interview Monday. According to Justice's press release, victor admitted to knowingly printing classified information and sending it to the media.

A sworn affidavit from FBI Special Agent Justin Garrick only said that the document contained "defense information".

An NSA contractor in Georgia was arrested Saturday for leaking classified information to an online news organization. He said the agency that housed the report determined only six employees had made physical copies.

In one, the Russian hackers posed as another voting company, referred to as U.S. company 2, from which they sent phony test emails - offering "election-related products and services".

"I think she's trying to be courageous for me", Billie Winner said.

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