June 5, 2017
Heard on All Things Considered
Russia's military intelligence agency launched an attack days before Election Day on a U.S. company that provides election services and systems, including voter registration, according to a top-secret report posted Monday by The Intercept.
The news site published a report, with redactions, by the National Security Agency that described the Russian spear-phishing scheme, one it described as perpetrated by the same intelligence agency — the GRU — that the Obama administration imposed sanctions on for the 2016 cyber mischief.
According to the NSA report, Russian hackers sent emails to people who worked at a company that provides state and local election offices with voter registration systems, trying to trick them into giving up their user credentials. The Intercept reports, "At least one of the employee accounts was likely compromised, the agency concluded." The NSA report says that the Russians then used information from that account to launch a separate phishing attack targeting 122 local election officials.