Reality Leigh Winner, an anti-Trump alert launcher betrayed by a printer

Reality Leigh Winner, an anti-Trump alert launcher betrayed by a printer

The FBI accuses Reality Leigh Winner of being the source of the leak of secret documents concerning the investigation of the Russian involvement in the American election. Signs concealed in a printed page would have made it possible to identify it.

She is 25 years old, a face barely out of adolescence, and she has just been arrested by the FBI . Reality Leigh Winner is suspected of sending a report from the NSA on Monday, June 5 to The Intercept . The document, classified as secret, revisits the supposed attempt of Russian piracy of US electronic voting systems. If these acts are confirmed, the young woman, by organizing the flight, will have added a new chapter to this voluminous file. But also committed a crime in the eyes of American law.

This young woman, born in Texas and passed by the US Air Force (military aviation), seems driven by strong hostility to Donald Trump. On the social networks, where it is very active, Reality Leigh Winner has been openly hostile to America “trumpienne” . “People are null,” she posted on Twitter on November 9, 2016, the evening of the victory of the Republican candidate in the presidential election. A few days earlier, she had already relayed with humor the suspicions of Russian interference in the campaign on Facebook: “At least, when we become the United States of the Russian Federation, weightlifting will become a national sport.”

  • This convincing anti-Trump found himself in almost daily contact with the reality of the American investigation on the links between members of the campaign team of the republican billionaire and Russia. An eminent linguist who speaks pashto, dari (two languages ​​used in Afghanistan) and farsi (the official language of Iran), she worked for Pluribus International Corporation, a subcontractor of various intelligence agencies specializing in data analysis . As such, she was entitled to access documents classified as top secret of the NSA.

    Small yellow dots

 

Thus she was able to consult the report on the supposed attempted Russian piracy of the electronic voting system in the United States. His decision to hand him over to The Intercept may have greatly facilitated the investigators’ work on the origin of the flight.

Indeed, in its article on the case, the site has reproduced several pages of the report of the American spies that contain a clue on the identity of the warning alert. These are small, almost invisible yellow dots that appear on the documents put online by the site.

The Intercept published scans of pages printed by the young woman from NSA premises. Problem: “Many new printers add these yellow dots in order to find when and where documents have been printed,” says the Errata Security site which first saw it.

Just enlarge the image of these reproductions, apply a filter to better bring out these markers and the trick is played. The pattern formed by the set of yellow dots makes it possible for those who know how to decipher it to understand that these secret documents were printed at 6.20 am on May 9, 2017 from printer number 54. The investigators then had no Difficult to identify from which computers documents were sent for printing at a specific time.

This information allowed the isolation of six individuals whose computers were carefully peeled. Reality Leigh Winner is the only one to have had an “email contact with the [The Intercept]”, explains the investigators in the FBI arrest warrant. The young woman soon recognized that she was the author of the leak when she was confronted with this evidence. She faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

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