web analytics

The Intercept has published leaked NSA report on Russian hacking of US election

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, June 6th, 2017 - 28 comments
Categories: International, us politics - Tags: , , , , ,

A scoop from The Intercept:

Top-Secret NSA Report Details Russian Hacking Effort Days Before 2016 Election
Matthew Cole, Richard Esposito, Sam Biddle, Ryan Grim

Russian military intelligence executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November’s presidential election, according to a highly classified intelligence report obtained by The Intercept.

The top-secret National Security Agency document, which was provided anonymously to The Intercept and independently authenticated, analyzes intelligence very recently acquired by the agency about a months-long Russian intelligence cyber effort against elements of the U.S. election and voting infrastructure. The report, dated May 5, 2017, is the most detailed U.S. government account of Russian interference in the election that has yet come to light.

While the document provides a rare window into the NSA’s understanding of the mechanics of Russian hacking, it does not show the underlying “raw” intelligence on which the analysis is based. A U.S. intelligence officer who declined to be identified cautioned against drawing too big a conclusion from the document because a single analysis is not necessarily definitive. ….

See the full piece at The Intercept.

28 comments on “The Intercept has published leaked NSA report on Russian hacking of US election ”

  1. I liked Russell Brown’s dig at Glen Greenwald.

    Time to watch red dawn 1 again…

  2. Bill 2

    I’m kind of surprised that “The Intercept” ran this.

    I think it was already very well established and accepted that various phishing attacks had taken place and whatever. The problem was that claims were made about it being the Russian Government but no evidence was produced that would underpin that claim.

    And there still isn’t any evidence being made available that would underpin that claim.

    As far as I can see this is a simple exercise of “rinse and repeat”.

    As ‘The Intercept’ fully acknowledges –

    While the document provides a rare window into the NSA’s understanding of the mechanics of Russian hacking, it does not show the underlying “raw” intelligence on which the analysis is based.

    • dukeofurl 2.1

      Yep.
      They are always going to find it was the ‘Russians, or Chinese, or North Koreans’ As of course , the US or its allies including Israel never does these sort of things.
      Interfering in other countries elections ? The CIA must have a whole division for that sort of operation since they were formed.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      Yep, anyone can write an analysis but you need the raw data to be able to back it up and we don’t have that.

      • McFlock 2.2.1

        but then if the raw data had been leaked, russophiles would be saying it had been faked.

        It is interesting that they seem to be saying the same thing in private that the msm has been saying for months, though. It’s not like they leaked a report saying that it was the DNC or a Nigerian 419 scam behind the hack, lol

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1

          but then if the raw data had been leaked, russophiles would be saying it had been faked.

          That is a possibility. That said, it’s still up to the people providing the analysis to also provide some sort of proof. Saying ‘trust us’ isn’t a viable position.

          It is interesting that they seem to be saying the same thing in private that the msm has been saying for months, though.

          I thought that they’d simply been repeating what they’d been told by sources. This is certainly corroboration of that.

          BTW, I’ve always thought that if it had happened then it probably was Russian hackers but that it was more likely to be private hackers on someone else’s payroll rather than the actual Russian Intelligence community. This leak, of course, moves that probability consideration the other way.

          • McFlock 2.2.1.1.1

            well, if you want to keep using a source, you don’t tell everyone who/what it is (as the source for this leak is finding out). So to a certain degree it has to be based on at least some level of trust.

            as for the MSM, I figured they’d been repeating information from undisclosed sources, but that opened them to two criticisms: 1) that they were possibly making up their sources, and 2) that their sources were lying. This corroborates the MSM for 1) and suggests that at least at a low internal level 2) was highly unlikely.

    • Liberal Realist 2.3

      I’m kind of surprised that “The Intercept” ran this.

      Indeed, as am I. Perhaps Greenwald has been brought to heel by the powers that be? Albeit, along with the noted acknowledgement …

      As far as I’m concerned the whole ‘Russia did it’ narrative is fake news until such time as verifiable concrete evidence is produced. As you mention, there is zero evidence in the leaked document that proves ‘Russia did do it’.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.4

      One of the rebuttals to your argument is that a source has put themselves at considerable personal risk to get this information/jigsaw piece into the public domain.

      The Intercept exists to report it: that’s what they do, and yes, that includes verification and caveats out the wazoo.

  3. adam 3

    Let me remind you the standard had one hacking attempt in recent times (sorry to remind you lprent) and in reality gets all sorts of phishing and other attacks on a daily basis.

    This is like reporting all my plants are fine now they are in the glasshouse for the winter. Like many gardeners I’m wintering over my babies is a safe environment. Factually true, but does not tell you anything.

    Sheesh that piece was the weak, and yeah OK maybe an insight to the NSA, so now we know the NSA do a lot of wild speculation, off the back of what is pretty day to day stuff.

    Is it just me, or are the warnings from Dwight D Eisenhower starting to look more and more stark.

    • lprent 3.1

      We get attempts on the site all of the time. What has been interesting is that in the last few weeks our main source has shifted. It is now coming out of TOR endpoints in NZ.

      I’m musing on what I’m likely to do about that.

      • infused 3.1.1

        Not much unless you block the tor endpoints. Which you should probably do. Very few legit reasons to use tor imo… and it gets you on lists pretty quickly. so I’ve heard.

        • lprent 3.1.1.1

          That was what I was considering.

          I haven’t bothered about them in the past simply because they weren’t being used to target this site. They’re commonly on the email server’s blacklists. But it hasn’t been common as a means to target wordpress sites.

          Most of the junk from them is either login attempts or attempted comments with phishing links or sites with dubious payloads. But that and the attempted site stripping gets dealt with pretty well with the various layers of killer toolkit anyway.

          Those few that get through that usually get caught by the basic traps at the site interface.

          One of the best things that I ever did on this site was getting rid of a need for logins. The other was rigidly making all new handle/email combinations pass the eyeballs of a moderator for their first comment.

          Looks easy enough to get the dynamic lists of TOR endpoints (there are a number of sources). Simply blocking them dynamically is simple. So would putting them in a time wasting trap.

          But it is probably just another kiddie script fad from some harvesting toolkit. So I’ll keep an eye on it to see if it dissipates like some of the others.

    • Mike Smith 3.2

      It’s not just you

  4. weka 4

    The other thread here is why the Intercept, which has a strong reputation of protecting sources, was so cavalier with this information as to lead to the leaker’s arrest.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      …that’s one interpretation of the facts to hand. Another is that the leaker was careless, and seems to have volunteered a confession during the execution of a search warrant.

      The Intercept have denied knowledge of the source’s identity.

      Edit: This from Huffington Post:

      The NSA conducted an internal audit and determined that six people had printed the May 5 report. The agency audited six desktop computers and found that Winner “had email contact” with the news outlet and that no others had communicated with the publication.

      No tradecraft whatsoever.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.1

        The alleged leaker left fingerprints everywhere. See 5.1

        • weka 4.2.1.1

          Yes, but I would expect The Intercept to walk any leaker through what those issues are before deciding to publish. Maybe the leaker didn’t know or they didn’t care, but either way it’s not a good look for The Intercept.

            • weka 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes. So the message now is that if you want to leak and don’t know what you are doing, The Intercept may publish without regard for your safety.

              Btw, I’ve read that article before, so just did a keyword search for ‘print’, and got nothing. Speculation is that the leaker printed out the information, and that left a trail.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                “Speculation” – well, that’s what it says in the arrest warrant – see Joe90’s link at 5.2.

            • Bill 4.2.1.1.1.2

              So assuming an intent to provide hard copy – not printing a ‘top secret’ document off at work (or photocopying any hard-copy at work either) and not then singing like a canary when the authorities turn up at your door. Those are just the bog standard ‘common sense’ type of things to not do. And always have been. (That The Intercept spells it out and doesn’t assume any given level of common sense is good.)

              I’d be interested to know how an anonymous source for material gets ‘walked through’ any issues by any prospective recipient of said information btw… given that they’re anonymous.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I take Weka’s point though: The Intercept puts would-be whistleblowers at risk by its very existence; its promise of (probably illusory) anonymity.

                That said, at least it’s a risk they volunteer for.

        • joe90 4.2.1.2

          An actual whistleblower?.

          btw – Trumpette going after the alleged leaker

  5. francesca 5

    The US intelligence agencies were also convinced without a shadow of a doubt that Russian spy agencies had hacked Macron’s emails.
    All the “respectable ” newspapers were full of it, until French intelligence admitted there was no evidence whatsoever of Russian hacking
    It’s nigh impossible anyway to identify who hacked what, as all hackers use code they’ve acquired from previous hacks
    As Wikileaks pointed out recently in the Vault 7 drop, the CIA has developed cyber tools to deflect the blame of their own cyber espionage on to other nations
    So I would be taking this latest attempt to smear Trump with the wicked Russia angle with a large pinch of salt

  6. timeforacupoftea 6

    Well – lets hope Mr Andrew Little and Jacinda (dam my minds gone blank) have the Russians on speed dial !

    Thank Goodness for Google.
    Miss Jacinda Ardern.

  7. D'Esterre 7

    “Russian military intelligence executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November’s presidential election, according to a highly classified intelligence report obtained by The Intercept.”

    Well, of COURSE they did, those dastardly Russians! And published by the Intercept! Good grief: as if anyone could take any of that seriously. The entire story of the leak – and subsequent arrest of the leaker – reads like a b-grade Hollywood script. Which is true of much of what’s come out of the US political arena over the last – how long? Life imitating art…..

    I’m trying to recall if the liberal msm ever claimed Bush jr. won office because of Russian hacking/interference. Oh that’s right: it was the hanging chads, first time round at least. But even so, it was probably the Russians dunnit: we all know that they’re the evil empire, don’t we?

    [lprent: If you are just going to do the same lines with minor variations over and over again, then you are just trolling. I looked at your comments over the last couple of days and I think that you need time off. You are sounding stupidly repetitive.

    BTW: If you are going to attempt satire, then I’d suggest that you need a lot of work on it to make it at least attempt to have some wit rather than simply being dire or dreary and goddamn boring. Remember that I have to read this goddamn crap whenever I have time to moderate. I dislike wincing this much on a single person’s comments.

    Take a week off, and consider that it is a warning to improve. ]

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Equitable response to Omicron vital
    The Green Party supports the Government’s decision to move Aotearoa New Zealand to traffic light level Red at 11.59pm tonight, but says its success will depend on the support that is made available to the most vulnerable. ...
    1 hour ago
  • How we’re preparing for Omicron
    As countries around the world experience Omicron outbreaks, we’re taking steps now to ensure we’re as prepared as possible and our communities are protected. ...
    3 days ago
  • What’s Labour achieved so far?
    Quite a bit! This Government was elected to take on the toughest issues facing Aotearoa – and that’s what we’re doing. Since the start of the pandemic, protecting lives and livelihoods has been a priority, but we’ve also made progress on long-term challenges, to deliver a future the next generation ...
    1 week ago
  • Tackling the big issues in 2022
    This year, keeping Kiwis safe from COVID will remain a key priority of the Government – but we’re also pushing ahead on some of New Zealand’s biggest long-term challenges. In 2022, we’re working to get more Kiwis into homes, reduce emissions, lift children out of poverty, and ensure people get ...
    2 weeks ago

  • NZ to move to Red
    Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region have now been confirmed as the Omicron variant, and a further case from the same household was confirmed late yesterday. These cases are in a single family that flew to Auckland on 13 January to attend a wedding and other events ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • New Zealand to provide further help for Tonga
    Aotearoa New Zealand is giving an additional $2 million in humanitarian funding for Tonga as the country recovers from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last weekend, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. This brings Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to $3 million. “This support will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work
    The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said. “Our response to COVID has helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Northland to move to Orange, NZ prepared for Omicron 
    Northland to move to Orange Rest of New Zealand stays at Orange in preparedness for Omicron All of New Zealand to move into Red in the event of Omicron community outbreak – no use of lockdowns Govt planning well advanced – new case management, close contact definition and testing rules ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu
    A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has departed Base Auckland Whenuapai for Tonga carrying aid supplies, as the New Zealand aid effort ramps up, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand congratulates Tonga's new Prime Minister on appointment
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Hon Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni on being appointed Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Tonga have an enduring bond and the Kingdom is one of our closest neighbours in the Pacific. We look forward to working with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High-tech investment extends drought forecasting for farmers and growers
    The Government is investing in the development of a new forecasting tool that makes full use of innovative climate modelling to help farmers and growers prepare for dry conditions, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said.  The new approach, which will cost $200,000 and is being jointly funded through the Ministry for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Support for fire-hit Waiharara community
    The government will contribute $20,000 towards a Mayoral Relief Fund to support those most affected by the fires in Waiharara in the Far North, Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan says. “I have spoken to Far North Mayor John Carter about the effect the fires continue to have, on residents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Manawatū’s ‘oases of nature’ receive conservation boost
    The Government is throwing its support behind projects aimed at restoring a cluster of eco-islands and habitats in the Manawatū which were once home to kiwi and whio. “The projects, which stretch from the Ruahine Ranges to the Horowhenua coastline, will build on conservation efforts already underway and contribute ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to continue Solomon Islands support
    A New Zealand Defence Force and Police deployment to help restore peace and stability to Solomon Islands is being scaled down and extended. The initial deployment followed a request for support from Solomon Islands Government after riots and looting in capital Honiara late last month. They joined personnel from Australia, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago