Oct 5, 2017

Report: Russia stole data from NSA on U.S. cyber defense, capabilities

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives to attend City Day festivities at the Red Square this September. Photo: Yuri Kadobnov / AP

Hackers working for the Russian government stole highly classified materials in 2015 on U.S. cyber defense and how the U.S. hacks into foreign computer networks, the WSJ reports. How it happened: An NSA contractor reportedly kept the information on his home computer, and hackers identified the files through his use of anti-virus software from Kaspersky Lab. DHS last month ordered all government agencies and departments to stop using products from Kaspersky, a Russian company.

Why it matters: This data could have informed how Russia has bolstered its own network protections, making the NSA's job harder, and it could also have given Russians more methods for spying on the U.S. "It's a lot harder to beat your opponent when they're reading your playbook," Ben Sasse, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee said in a statement.

Kaspersky said this "has not been provided any information or evidence substantiating this alleged incident, and as a result, we must assume that this is another example of a false accusation." Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov didn't address whether the report is true in a statement and an NSA spokesman didn't comment on the breach but said "NSA's policy is never to comment on affiliate or personnel matters," per the WSJ.

Go deeper

Warren sees bump in national poll following Nevada debate

Photo by David Becker/Getty Images.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren surged to 19% and second place in a CBS News/YouGov national poll released Sunday, trailing front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders (28%) but edging out Joe Biden (17%) and Michael Bloomberg (13%).

Why it matters: The poll notes that only 42% of Democratic primary voters have made up their minds. While Warren underperformed in the first three states, her strong debate performance in Nevada last week may have given her campaign new life.

Pence aide says intel report of Russia helping Trump is "false information"

Marc Short. Screenshot: Fox News

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House has not received intelligence that Russia is seeking to help President Trump win re-election, calling it "false information" that has been selectively leaked by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

The big picture: Short and national security adviser Robert O'Brien both dismissed reports published in the Washington Post and New York Times last week about a briefing provided by top election security official Shelby Pierson, an aide to outgoing acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire.

Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.