First of all, I am disappointed but not surprised that “we the people” were never informed as to the entire extent that Russia interfered with the US 2016 presidential election process. Why did we have to find out that Russia had actually hacked into US voting systems from a NSA low level leaker versus directly from our US government? And why would these details be classified as this data could be construed to be of extreme public interest? Why does the US government keep eroding the trust that “we the people” would like to give it?
The media outlet, Intercept which published the leak, started up after the Edward Snowden saga, in order to allow for a safe place for whistle-blowers to share sensitive data that would be in the “extreme public interest” category. In this case, when Intercept personnel did their due diligence to verify details contained within the leak, they provided enough information to others, so that the source of the leak could be uncovered. And now we know the name, (Sara) Reality Leigh Winner.
According to the Intercept source, “the leaked NSA report is “the most detailed U.S. government account of Russian interference in the election that has become part of the public domain. It indicates that the Russian hacking may have penetrated further into U.S. voting systems than was previously explained to the American voters and “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.”
The NSA document alleges (Russia) the GRU hacked the voting systems company using a false Google alert requiring a target to enter login credentials. According to the report, it also attempted a parallel campaign using a fake email account meant to be confused with a second company. And yet, despite all that “planning Russia’s smartest, government / or hired hackers somehow left a trail so obvious that it indicates an intent to let the USA KNOW the source.
As per the Intercept report, “The NSA assessed that this phase of the spear-fishing operation was likely launched on either October 31 or November 1, 2016 and sent spear-fishing emails to 122 email addresses “associated with named local government organizations,” probably to officials “involved in the management of voter registration systems.” The emails contained Microsoft Word attachments purporting to be benign documentation for VR Systems’ EViD voter database product line, but which were in reality maliciously embedded with automated software commands that are triggered instantly and invisibly when the user opens the document. These particular weaponized files used PowerShell, a Microsoft scripting language designed for system administrators and installed by default on Windows computers, allowing vast control over a system’s settings and functions…”
(The Intercept link: “Top-Secret NSA Report Details Russian Hacking Effort Days Before 2016 Election.)
Here’s the rest of the story…
On 6/6/17, Donie O’Sullivan and David Shortell of CNN News penned the following post, “Accused leaker Reality Winner called Trump an ‘orange fascist’ on Twitter.”
“The federal contractor accused of leaking classified information to an online news outlet regarding a 2016 Russian military intelligence cyber-attack complained about the Trump administration and posted about leaks on what appears to be her public Twitter account.”