Leaked NSA Doc Highlights Deep Flaws in US Election System

Author

08 June, 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", it reads.

The NSA report adds significant new detail to previous US intelligence assessments that alleged Russia-backed hackers had compromised elements of America's electoral machinery.

The new revelations suggest that USA investigators are also still probing a more direct attempt to attack the election itself, and a federal official confirmed that is the case.

"Election integrity is very important to us here in Humboldt County and we're taking additional steps to make sure that nothing had been infiltrated", Sanders said.

"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.

Volusia's Lewis said such hacking attempts erode the public's trust in the country's voting process.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied widely made allegations by US officials that Russia was involved in efforts to game the election. The Associated Press has not independently verified the authenticity of the report, although its apparent leaker, an NSA contract worker, was arrested last weekend in Georgia. If it had not been leaked, the public would still have nearly no inkling about how diligently Russian hackers worked to penetrate United States voting systems in the view of the USA intelligence community. The emails included an attached Microsoft Word document infected with malware that appeared to be a user manual but if opened could give hackers wide access to a computer. However, there is no evidence that hackers were able to manipulate votes, or the vote tally. In fact, experts had been warning for months before the 2016 election about exactly the type of attack that was revealed Monday in leaked NSA documents. Then, on October 31 or November 1, hackers sent emails to 122 email addresses associated with local governments from a fake address purporting to be VR Systems.

More news: SpaceX set to host historic launch pad's 100th mission tonight

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".

Humboldt County's connection to VR Systems comes through the Texas-based company Hart InterCivic, Sanders said.

In a statement, VR Systems said its employees "immediately notified all our customers and advised them not to click on the attachment" when the company was first notified of the email.

The company makes software for on-site voter registration at polling stations and backend systems for voting management, according to its website, which says it has customers in California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The county has contracted with Hart InterCivic since 2013 to provide e-poll book technology, which Sanders said is used on election day to check voter registration statuses and voter history. The issue forced officials to abandon the system, issue paper ballots and extend voting hours. "Unless, someone goes in and begins to remove names from the voter registration system, when people show up to vote, forcing them to cast a provisional ballot or something that nature". Similarly, there need to be multiple databases of registered voters - including at least one hard copy - that allow people who file provisional ballots to have their votes counted.

According to the documents, the goal of the attack, which occurred last August, was "to obtain information on elections-related software and hardware solutions".


More news


  • John Oliver rips apart Trump's stance on the Paris Agreement

    But scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said Trump badly misunderstood their study. And for good measure, environmentalist Bill McKibben: "Trump's Stupid and Reckless Climate Decision".
    Kellyanne Conway's husband takes shot at President Trump's tweets

    Kellyanne Conway's husband takes shot at President Trump's tweets

    A Washington Post reporter confirmed that the Twitter account belongs to Conway . This was the second executive order President Trump signed on the matter.

    Lewis Hamilton not looking to be Mercedes' No 1 driver

    Daniel Ricciardo , Vettel's teammate during a dismal season at Red Bull in 2014, finished third to make it an even worse day for Mercedes .
  • Apple takes the iMac Pro with Xeons and Radeon Vega graphics

    We already knew that Apple was planning a Mac Pro redesign for 2018 , which would be preceded by an iMac refresh this year. Apple's Fusion Drive storage system is now standard on all 27-inch iMacs and can be specced on the 21.5-inch models.
    Password manager OneLogin compromised by data breach

    Password manager OneLogin compromised by data breach

    Customers were warned about the incident in an email yesterday, and OneLogin also posted a short blog post about the problem . OneLogin is now working with independent third-party security experts and law enforcement to investigate the intrusion.

    Top Trump aide exits as wider White House overhaul expected

    Lewandowski tells "Fox & Friends" that he wants to help promote Trump's agenda whether he's inside the White House or not. He shares his insight on the unnamed sources who say Jared Kushner's possible back-channeling was Russia's idea.
  • US employers add modest 138K jobs; rate dips to 4.3 percent

    From over past 12 months, the job gains for the month of May marked a sharp deceleration from the 181,000 monthly averages. Wages in May increased 2.5 percent from the year before, in line with the moderate growth they've shown in recent months.

    White House to stop taking questions related to Russian Federation probe

    The Secret Service says it has charged a person who attempted to jump over a bike rack barricade near the White House. Bierbauer noted: "There is no convention as to how long a briefing should last, nor that it should start on time".
    Two bounty hunters, Minnesota fugitive killed in shoot out

    Two bounty hunters, Minnesota fugitive killed in shoot out

    Minnesota bounty hunters tracked Hutchinson to Texas and called in Corpus Christi based Fidel Garcia Jr.to track him. Twenty shots were fired in about six seconds, according to a statement from Kathy Lucas, a spokeswoman for the city.
  • AMD releases 'Radeon Pro 500' Series graphics for iMac

    AMD releases 'Radeon Pro 500' Series graphics for iMac

    They also now use 10-bit dithering to deliver up to 1 billion colours, making them more accurate than ever before. Apple is also working on a completely redesigned next-generation Mac Pro , which is separate from this product.

    Spicer won't say whether Trump has confidence in Sessions

    In March, just hours before Sessions announced his recusal, Trump told reporters he had "total" confidence in Sessions. Trump's previous comments and tweets about the ban have already been used against the lawyers arguing on his behalf.
    European allies see the two sides of Trump

    European allies see the two sides of Trump

    The president tweeted Saturday, "I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!" Kushner's lawyers have said he will cooperate with the newly appointed special counsel.