Russia DNC hack: DOJ considers charges


Russian President Vladimir Putin (front) and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attend a ceremony to receive credentials from foreign ambbadadors at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Pavel Golovkin/Pool
President Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attend a
ceremony to obtain credentials from international ambbadadors in


  • A hacking group tied to Russian navy intelligence
    that infiltrated DNC servers had a broad “hit list” that
    focused a whole bunch of the Kremlin’s perceived enemies
    worldwide, The Associated Press reported.
  • The hit checklist was left uncovered on the web by
    the group, often called Fancy Bear, which allowed
    a cybersecurity agency to trace the hackers’ targets and
    exercise between March 2015 and May 2016.
  • The DOJ has recognized no less than six Russian
    authorities officers believed to be tied to the DNC hack and
    may file fees towards them as early as subsequent
    12 months. 

Hackers who breached the Democratic National Committee’s
e-mail servers had a “digital hit list” that focused a variety
of Russia’s perceived enemies, together with former
Secretary of State John Kerry, Ukrainian President
Petro Poroshenko, anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, and
half of the feminist protest punk rock group Pussy Riot.

The cybersecurity agency Secureworks uncovered the checklist
earlier this 12 months after the hacking collective often called Fancy
Bear, which has been linked to Russian navy intelligence,
by chance printed components of it.

Secureworks offered the info to The Associated
, which decided, amongst different issues, that greater than
95% of the malicious hyperlinks the hackers despatched to their targets
between March 2015 and May 2016 “had been generated throughout Moscow
workplace hours — between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday to

Fancy Bear’s American targets “skewed towards employees for protection
contractors reminiscent of Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin or
senior intelligence figures, distinguished Russia watchers and —
particularly — Democrats,” the AP reported.

“More than 130 celebration employees, marketing campaign staffers and supporters of
the celebration had been focused, together with Podesta and different members of
Clinton’s interior circle. The AP additionally discovered a handful of Republican
targets,” the report stated.

The cybersecurity agency CrowdStrike first found the
hyperlink between Fancy Bear and the Democratic National Committee
breach within the spring of 2016, and The Washington Post reported
that summer time that the DNC had been attacked by Russia-linked

Fancy Bear was making “aggressive attempts” to hack DNC’
staffers’ emails in early April 2016, Secureworks found,
which lined up with CrowdStrike’s findings printed final

“At DNC, COZY BEAR intrusion has been recognized going again
to summer time of 2015, whereas FANCY BEAR individually breached the
community in April 2016,” CrowdStrike’s chief know-how

Dmitri Alperovitch wrote.

dnc headquarters
headquarters of the Democratic National Committee is seen in
Washington, U.S. June 14, 2016.

Reuters/Gary Cameron

The DNC emails had been printed by WikiLeaks in late July.
The group’s founder, Julian Assange, has insisted that Russia
wasn’t the supply of the stolen paperwork.

But a 
senior safety researcher at
Russia’s prime cybersecurity agency, Kaspersky — which usually
avoids attributing cyberattacks to particular actors —
advised The Guardian in
January that the proof of Moscow’s involvement was

“Assange stated it may have been a 14-year-old hacker,”
stated the researcher, Brian Bartholomew. “If you take a look at the
collective operations of this group, there’s no method a 14-year-old
has this a lot cash, effort and time to conduct all of those
operations collectively.”

Assange just isn’t the one one who has floated various
theories for who hacked the DNC. 

President Donald Trump stated final 12 months that the hack
“could be Russia, but it could also be China.”

“It additionally could possibly be someone sitting on their mattress that weighs
400 kilos,” he stated.

kim dotcom seth rich
A conspiracy principle pushed by New Zealand-based
convicted hacker Kim Dotcom.

Fox News host Sean Hannity and different right-wing
commentators have instructed, with out offering proof, that
the breach was an inside job orchestrated by a younger
DNC staffer named Seth Rich
. Rich was shot and killed in
July 2016 in a case that continues to be unsolved, fueling conspiracy

The uncooked knowledge collected by Secureworks and obtained by the
AP, nonetheless, has offered the clearest proof but not
solely that Fancy Bear hacked the DNC, but in addition that it’s
managed by the Kremlin “and the general staff.” That’s
based on Andras Racz, a specialist in Russian safety coverage
at Pazmany Peter Catholic University in Hungary.

“I’ve no doubts,” he advised the AP.

The findings had been additional bolstered on Thursday when The Wall
Street Journal reported
that the Department of Justice had
recognized six Russian authorities officers it believes had been
concerned within the DNC hacks, and was contemplating bringing fees
towards them as early as subsequent 12 months. 

“If filed, the case would offer the clearest image but
of the actors behind the DNC intrusion,” the Journal

Cyber crime and cyber espionage have lengthy gone hand-in-hand
in Russia,
 and the DOJ’s case wouldn’t
be unprecedented. Two Russian Federal Security Service
(FSB) officers had been indicted in
for what the Justice Department stated amounted to
directing and facilitating a large hack on Yahoo in 2014 that
compromised roughly 500 million accounts utilizing a comparatively
easy methodology of badault.

The Soufan Group, a strategic safety agency that
makes a speciality of intelligence, regulation enforcement, and coverage
evaluation, wrote
earlier this 12 months that “e

xamples of the convergence
of malicious cyber exercise by Russia embody the hacking of
Western political events  and teams, the curiously
selective and well-timed releases by WikiLeaks — which is extensively
believed to be a Russian proxy — and theft from purely business
entities reminiscent of Yahoo.”

The Russian authorities plowed forward with the DNC
hack, the brand new findings counsel, and — because the Soufan Group
characterised it — overstepped the “boundaries of espionage by
purposefully veering into criminality.” 

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