The document outlines new details about alleged hacking efforts by the Russian military's Main Intelligence Agency - or GRU - in August against a voting-related software vendor, and another that targeted 122 local voting officials a few days before the US election in November.
The report says the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate, known as the GRU, was behind the attempt to compromise election-related software and hardware, including private sector companies that manufacture devices to maintain and verify voter rolls.
Reality Leigh Winner, a 25-year-old federal contractor for Pluribus International Corp. who had a top secret security clearance and was working at a government agency, was arrested by FBI agents Saturday at her home in Augusta, Georgia, according to the Justice Department. While the document doesn't say the hacking changed any votes, it "raises the possibility that Russian hacking may have breached at least some elements of the voting system, with disconcertingly uncertain results". Then, on October 27th, just 12 days before the election, they used information they gleaned from those accounts to launch a second spear-phishing attack, this time aimed at email addresses for more than 100 local government officials "involved in the management of voter registration systems".
The Associated Press could not confirm the authenticity of the May 5 NSA document, which The Intercept said it obtained anonymously.
US intelligence agencies including the NSA and CIA have fallen victim to several thefts of classified material in recent years, often at the hands of a federal contractor.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has widely mocked questions when asked if Russia attempted to influence the election. But US intelligence officials have repeatedly said vote tallies were not affected in the election, won in a shock upset by Donald Trump.
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According to the document, the NSA compiled its report based on evidence it received in April this year.
The report was published just days after Putin denied allegations that the Russian state had meddled in the U.S. election. They successfully gained access to "elements of multiple USA state or local electoral boards", according to the document. The audit did not reveal that any of the other individuals had email contact with the news outlet.
Winner's mother said that her daughter is "touch and go" in an interview with CNN on Monday. It's a top secret document; victor held a top secret security clearance.
FBI special agent Justin Garrick told a federal court that victor - a cross-fit fan who graduated high school in 2011 and was in the US Air Force apparently as a linguist - confessed to reading and printing out the document, despite having no clearance to do so.
"I never thought this would be something she would do", Winner-Davis said.
The affidavit states that an "Intelligence Community Agency" was contacted by a "News Outlet" about an upcoming story on May 30.