Politics Scheme detailed in NSA report came after Obama told Putin to stop

07:40  07 june  2017
07:40  07 june  2017 Source:   CBS News

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. intelligence is still gathering new evidence of Russian cyberattacks before election day.

The leaked top-secret NSA report was only recently completed. It details how a week before Nov. 8, hackers connected to Russian military intelligence sent emails laced with malware to 122 local officials controlling voter registration systems.

The brazen scheme came just weeks after then-President Obama personally told Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the attacks.

"I felt that the most effective way to ensure that that didn't happen was to talk to him directly and tell him to cut it out," Obama said in December 2016.

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Law enforcement sources say voter databases nationwide were targeted by Russian hackers over a six-month period ahead of the election.

Jim Lewis, who advises the U.S. government on cybersecurity, spoke to CBS News about the worst-case scenario and whether the hackers were actually trying to affect the vote total.

170606-en-pegues-john-kelly.jpg © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. 170606-en-pegues-john-kelly.jpg

"I think that was their hope," he said. "I think that they were expecting to be able to manipulate votes in some way, maybe discredit the electoral system which they came closer to doing."

U.S. officials still believe the vote total was not affected.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said his department wants to help states secure their voting systems, but that some are wary of federal intrusion.

"There is nothing more fundamental to our democracy than voting," Kelly said. "Do you see us as partners and helpers in this, to help… help you make sure that your systems are protected," he asked.

On Tuesday, the Kremlin again denied interfering in the election. Late last year, an Obama administration official said we would never expect Russia to come out with their hands up. They don't do that.

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