US contractor arrested after leak of Russia hacking report

(Thomas Samson, AFP)
(Thomas Samson, AFP)

Washington - A federal contractor has been arrested following the leak of a classified intelligence report that suggests Russian hackers attacked at least one US voting software supplier days before last year's presidential election.

Shortly after the release of the report by The Intercept on Monday, the Justice Department announced it had charged a government contractor in Georgia with leaking a classified report containing "Top Secret level" information to an online news organisation. The report the contractor allegedly leaked is dated May 5, the same date as the document The Intercept posted online.

The report suggests election-related hacking penetrated further into US voting systems than previously known. A Kremlin spokesperson denied the report.

Russian government

The classified National Security Agency report does not say whether the hacking had any effect on election results. But it says Russian military intelligence attacked a US voting software company and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials at the end of October or beginning of November.

US intelligence agencies declined to comment.

The document said Russian military intelligence "executed cyber espionage operations against a named US company in August 2016 evidently to obtain information on elections-related software and hardware solutions, according to information that became available in April 2017".

Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson for President Vladimir Putin, denied the allegations on Tuesday, saying that the Kremlin did not see "any evidence to prove this information is true." He said Moscow categorically denies "the possibility" of the Russian government being behind it.


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