NSA reports Russia tried to hack voting system

A National Security Agency report, leaked to The Intercept, says that Russian military intelligence attempted to hack U.S. voter records shortly before the 2016 election.

The GRU reportedly was able to obtain passwords that enabled it to penetrate an electronic vote systems company.   The Intercept identified the company as VR Systems, which serves local election boards in eight states.  Using those passwords, the GRU attempted to penetrate at least 122 local governments.

The FBI has arrested a 25-year-old government contractor named Reality Leigh Winner on charges of giving the top-secret NSA documents to The Intercept.

Whether the Russian hackers succeeded and what, if anything, they did or tried to do to affect the election isn’t known.   And there is no indication that anybody in the Trump campaign was aware of any of this.

But the mere possibility that GRU tampered with the vote counting system is alarming.   The worst possibility is that local electronic vote-counting system were infected with malware that altered the result

This is much more serious than the possibility that Russians tried to influence public opinion, either by hacking and leaking confidential information or by trolling on the Internet.

During the election, there were mysterious discrepancies between what the exit polls indicated and the total vote count.  In four states that went for Donald Trump—Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin—exit polls indicated that the state was carried by Clinton.

The eight states served by VR Systems include Florida and North Carolina.  The others are California, Illinois, Indiana, New York, Virginia and West Virginia.

I am not going to jump to conclusions.  Where there’s smoke, there’s not necessarily fire.  But this is serious stuff.

All votes should be recorded on paper as well as electronically and there should be a count of the paper ballots whenever the outcome is disputed.


Top Secret NSA Report Details Russian Hacking Effort Days Before 2016 Election by Matthew Cole, Richard Esposito, Sam Bindle and Ryan Grim for The Intercept.

Leaked NSA Report Suggests Russia Could Have Hacked Election by Ed Kilgore for New York magazine.

Alleged Russia-Hacking Leaker Reality Winner: What We Know by Margaret Hartmann for New York magazine.

Why Reality Winner Is an American Hero by Joseph Cannon for Cannonfire.

Mark Warner: More state election systems were targeted by Russians by Susan Page for USA Today [Added 6/7/2017]

Leaked NSA Report Short on Facts, Proves Little by Scott Ritter for Truthdig.  [Added 6/8/2017]


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One Response to “NSA reports Russia tried to hack voting system”

  1. ashiftinconsciousness Says:

    Yes, Russians hacked our election, but so did U.S. “intelligence” – probably at the behest of our corporate rulers.

    In the U.S., we have selections, not elections.


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