NSA: Russian Hackers Targeted U.S. Election Officials

Russian military intelligence successfully phished U.S.-based voting software vendors and posed as those vendors in phishing attacks on local U.S. governments, according to National Security Agency documents obtained by The Intercept. Government officials told The Intercept that it was unclear whether the phishing had any effect on the presidential elections in November. Beginning in late August, Russian intelligence launched a series of phishing attacks on e-voting companies, according to the NSA documents. Russian intelligence agents allegedly sent these companies fake emails posing as Google, which prompted employees for their login credentials. By late October, Russian intelligence allegedly used these pilfered credentials to pose as the voting software companies and send phishing emails to 122 email addresses associated with local U.S. governments. If opened, the files in the second set of phishing emails could have opened a backdoor in government computers, “allowing virtually any cocktail of malware to be subsequently delivered automatically,” The Intercept reported. Both the U.S. and Russia have previously downplayed allegations that Russia may have compromised U.S. voting systems prior to the 2016 election. "We never engaged in that on a state level, and have no intention of doing so," Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview last week when asked about allegations that Russia had sponsored hacking attacks on U.S. government computers.