US spy agencies probe another flank in Russian hacking

Posted June 08, 2017

"We are only aware of a handful of our customers who actually received the fraudulent email and of those, we have no indication that any of them clicked on the attachment or were compromised as a result", the statement said.

Reality Winner, 25, the NSA contractor accused of leaking the report to the Intercept, an online news organization, had an apparent motive: Her Twitter feed (under the name Sara Winners) shows she was disappointed when Donald Trump won the election.

Bruce Schneier, chief technology officer of IBM Resilient and a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, said the report shows the weaknesses of USA election systems.

Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections attorney Ron Labasky says even with the intrusion, hackers never got access to ballots or voting software.

"Our voting system, our touch screens, our tabulation screens - they're not even hackable because you can't even get to an internet site off of those machines", she said.

But news of the hack and the local connection to VR has raised concerns, and officials are responding quickly.

On Nov. 1, VR Systems sent emails to almost all county supervisor of elections officials warning them not to open the attachments after the company was alerted to the hacking by a customer.

In a series of warnings published on Breitbart, Professor John Banzhaf wrote, among others: "This Presidential Election Could Be Hacked, Perhaps by a Foreign Power", "Hacker with Off-the-Shelf Malware Can Steal More Votes Than Any Corrupt Politician", "Yes, the Election Can Be Rigged", and "We Are Heading into a Perfect Storm' of Election Fraud".

But the county Office of Elections had a contract with elections company Hart InterCivic, and Hart used VR Systems for its electronic poll books, the devices poll workers use to check in voters at the ballot.

An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment Tuesday, as did the office of the special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and the Russian government.

An initial phishing email was sent on October 31 to former Volusia Elections Supervisor Ann McFall, who had retired months earlier but whose account remained active. "It does upset me", she said.

"I've said it hundreds of times: 'You can't hack paper.' Seminole County votes on trusted paper ballots".

The elections "department participated in an informational call with the Federal Bureau of Investigation related to elections security at the end of September 2016 where they alerted officials for the need to maintain security measures, but there was no indication of a Florida-specific issue". Boyd said that the Office of Emergency Services is also unaware of any other counties that use VR Systems.

Sanders said she first heard of the incident on Tuesday morning when she was contacted by the Secretary of State's Office.

In Floyd County, VR Systems supports electronic pollbooks, which is how voters sign in.

The leaked top-secret NSA report was only recently completed.

Warner did not directly address the classified intelligence report published Monday by The Intercept, an online news outlet.

The document, dated May 5, 2017, showed that intelligence collected by the NSA suggested a months-long Russian intelligence cyber effort against the USA election and voting infrastructure.

If convicted, victor may be imprisoned for up to 10 years. First, I want to remind you that contrary to the headline of numerous published reports, there has not been a verified report of any "hacking of USA voting system".