The file photo taken on Dec. 29, 2016 shows that vehicles wait for security check when entering the Russian Embassy to the United States in Washington D.C., the United States. The White House on Thursday announced sanctions against Russian entities and individuals over alleged hacking during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)
WASHINGTON, June 5 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Department of Justice on monday brought a charge against a National Security Agency (NSA) contractor for allegedly leaking a top secret document to the media.
The contractor, 25-year-old Reality Winner, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Saturday for allegedly printing out and mailing the document, which contained findings regarding Russian involvement in last year's election, to the press.
The classified document was published by media on Monday afternoon, one hour before the Department of Justice announced the single charge against Winner for "gathering, transmitting or losing defense information."
If convicted, Winner may be imprisoned for up to 10 years.
The document, dated May 5, 2017, showed that intelligence collected by the NSA suggested a months-long Russian intelligence cyber effort against the U.S. election and voting infrastructure.
"The report indicates that Russian hacking may have penetrated further into U.S. voting systems than was previously understood," according to The Intercept, the news outlet that published the story.
According to the classified report, Russian government hackers posed as e-voting vendors and tricked government employees into opening Microsoft Word documents invisibly tainted with potent malware that could give hackers full control over the infected computers.
The report stopped short of specifying the amount of damage Russia inflicted on the U.S. voting system, only demonstrating that it obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple U.S. state or local electoral boards.