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Friday, June 09, 2017

How Russia Hacks Elections in the US and Around the World | WIRED

"JUST WHEN THE cybersecurity world thinks it's found the limits of how far Russian hackers will go to meddle in foreign elections, a new clue emerges that suggests another line has been crossed.

Even now, nearly a year after news first broke that Russian hackers had breached the Democratic National Committee and published its internal files, a leaked NSA document pointing to Russian attempts to hack a voting-tech firm has again redefined the scope of the threat. Taken with the recent history of Russia's digital fingerprints on foreign elections, it points to a disturbing trend: Moscow's habit of hacking democratic processes has only gotten more aggressive and technically focused over time.

This week, the national-security-focused news outlet the Intercept published a top-secret NSA file outlining how Russian hackers, believed to have been part of the country's GRU military agency, attempted to phish the credentials of employees at VR Systems, a Florida-based tech firm that sells equipment and software used in voting registration. The leak represents the first solid evidence that Russian election hacking has escalated beyond mere political leaks and disinformation to threaten the core systems of America’s voting apparatus.

"We were all kind of hoping that the election hacking was at the cognitive level: propaganda, doxing, influence operations. But this is proof that they were actually closer to the tactical, technical level," says Kenneth Geers, an ambassador to NATO's Cyber Center who has long followed Russian hacking campaigns. “They were closer to the guts, to the operating system of our democracy, than we knew.”...

How Russia Hacks Elections in the US and Around the World | WIRED

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