Monday, June 12, 2017
Reality Winner accused NSA leaker
By Jim Emerson, staff writer
Reality Leigh Winner has been accused of printing classified intelligence and forwarding it to a media outlet. The Air Force veteran was an employee of Pluribus International Corporation, a defense and intelligence contractor for the U.S. government.
Winner was arrested Saturday at her home in Augusta, Georgia. According to an FBI affidavit, she “admitted intentionally identifying and printing the classified intelligence reporting from her office space, retaining it, and mailing it, to The Intercept. Winner knew she was not authorized to receive or possess the documents outside of a secure facility or to share it with unauthorized people.”
How she got caught.
Winner believed that Russia had hacked a U.S. voting software supplier by sending spear-phishing emails. Figuring this to be a ‘smoking gun’ of the Russians manipulating the U.S. elections, the millennial thought she could be a hero by showing the world how President Trump had stolen the White House. Winner Printed the document and sent it to The Intercept.
The Intercept, in an amateurish gesture, contacted the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence concerning the printed summary. The blog provided the agency with a copy of the document. After determining that the document had been had printed and smuggled out of a secured space, an internal audit revealed Winner was one of six people who printed the document but the only one who had email contact with the news outlet on her work computer.
When confronted by the FBI, Winner confessed and is currently being held without bond at a facility in Lincolnton, Georgia.
The so-called report.
The top-secret NSA document, dated May 5, 2017, analyzes information and summarizes on-going collections of a Russian intelligence gathering, cyber effort against elements of the U.S. election and voting infrastructure. Since U.S. elections are broken down to states and counties they would be extremely difficult to hack. America elections are decentralized and each local election entity is independently operated whether the particular election is local or national.
The summary did not ascertain whether the hack had an impact on the outcome of the election. The NSA, however, is uncertain about the results of the attack, according to the report. “It is unknown,” the NSA notes, “whether the aforementioned spear-phishing deployment successfully compromised the intended victims and what potential data could have been accessed by the cyber actor.”
If Reality Leigh Winner had bothered to read and understood the report she wouldn’t been in this mess. She is not a Whistle-blower and at the end of the day it wasn’t worth it.