The Intercept: Top-secret NSA Report Uncovers Russian Military Cyberattack Days Before U.S. Elections

Russian government hackers were part of a team with a 'cyber espionage mandate specifically directed at U.S. and foreign elections,' according to top-secret NSA report obtained by The Intercept

A voter casts his ballot in the 2016 U.S. election in San Francisco, CA, November 8, 2017.
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Russian military intelligence executed a cyber attack on a U.S. voting software supplier and sent malware to over 100 local government officials in the days before the 2016 U.S. elections, according to a top-secret National Security Agency report obtained by The Intercept.

According to The Intercept, the NSA report is the "most detailed U.S. government account of Russian interference in the election that has yet come to light" and "raises the possibility that Russian hacking may have breached at least some elements of the voting system, with disconcertingly uncertain results."

The report claims that "Russian government hackers, part of a team with a 'cyber espionage mandate specifically directed at U.S. and foreign elections,' focused on parts of the system directly connected to the voter registration process, including a private sector manufacturer of devices that maintain and verify the voter rolls."

According to The Intercept, "the document provides a rare window into the NSA's understanding of the mechanics of Russian hacking, but does not show the underlying 'raw' intelligence on which the analysis is based."

The NSA declined comment, but requested a number of redactions once The Intercept made clear they intended on publishing the report.

Read the full Intercept report here