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NSA can track Russian hacks, says Snowden document

A document leaked by Snowden could prove that US intelligence had previous knowledge and records of cyberattacks launched by Russian intelligence, according to The Intercept.

The NSA top-secret document, which had never been made public, shows the NSA had been intercepting communication to collect evidence of Russian cyberattacks, including regarding the Anna Politkovskaya case from over 10 years ago.

Politkovskaya was a Russian journalist and US citizen who opposed the Second Chechen War and strongly criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federal Security Service. She was assassinated in 2006 following a contract killing. It’s still unknown who ordered the killing. The top-secret information intercepted by the NSA on the Politkovskaya case was organized on an internal confidential wiki page and identified as “Top Secret Signals Intelligence.”

“Russian Federal Intelligence Services (probably FSB) are known to have targeted the webmail account of the murdered Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya,” reads the wiki. “On 5 December 2005, RFIS initiated an attack against the account annapolitkovskaia@US Provider1, deploying malicious software which is not available in the public domain. It is not known whether this attack is in any way associated with the death of the journalist.”

This shows that, for the past 11 years, the NSA has had the technology to track cyberattacks to their origins, meaning they have the capacity to now also track other hacks on the US such as those on the DNC and Hilary Clinton.

The NSA has made no comments on the wiki or on how the information was collected.

About the author


From a young age, Luana knew she wanted to become a writer. After having addressed topics such as NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech and has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.