I think I did a good job of laying out the core hypotheses last time, save two: the Iranian government or a disgruntled Democrat did it. I think I can pick them up on-the-fly, so let’s skip ahead to step 2.
- “The Kremlin did it” (A) and “Independent hackers did it” (D) have about the same prior.
- “China,” (B) “North Korea,” (C) “Iran,” (H) and “the CIA” (E) are less likely than the prior two.
- “the NSA” (F) and “disgruntled insider” (I) is less likely still.
- And c’mon, I’m not nearly good enough to pull this off. (G)
President Vladimir Putin says the Russian state has never been involved in hacking.
Speaking at a meeting with senior editors of leading international news agencies Thursday, Putin said that some individual “patriotic” hackers could mount some attacks amid the current cold spell in Russia’s relations with the West.
But he categorically insisted that “we don’t engage in that at the state level.”
Intelligence agency leaders repeated their determination Thursday that only “the senior most officials” in Russia could have authorized recent hacks into Democratic National Committee and Clinton officials’ emails during the presidential election.Director of National Intelligence James Clapper affirmed an Oct. 7 joint statement from 17 intelligence agencies that the Russian government directed the election interference…
- Crowdstrike, hired by the DNC to check for an intrusion, fingered the Kremlin. One line of evidence mentioned is the use of the X-Agent implant, which isn’t in wide circulation and has been used on Russian opponents.
- SecureWorks declares “with moderate confidence that the group” which hacked the DNC “is operating from the Russian Federation and is gathering intelligence on behalf of the Russian government.” A key bit of evidence is the use of a DNS address used to launch spear phishing attacks.
- Researchers at Fidelis Cybersecurity, looking at the same evidence, conclude Russia is the likely actor.
- Researchers at ThreatConnect, looking at the same evidence as Crowdstrike, concur that the Kremlin is likely behind the hack.
- Researchers at Malidant concur that the Kremlin is likely behind the hack, based on malware samples provided to them.
- A US intelligence report states they were helped by British intelligence, which saw the DNC hack well before anyone else did and believed it to be a Kremlin operation. No-one from British intelligence has confirmed or denied this, though one British official claimed the Kremlin was capable of such attacks.
- While they haven’t analysed the evidence behind the DNC hacks, both FireEye and F-Secure believe the actors identified by others are tied to the Kremlin.
- Sean Gallagher, an IT correspondent for Ars Technica, reviews the above public information and concurs that the Kremlin is likely responsible.
- The aforementioned reports from the US intelligence community mentioned “human resources” as being critical in identifying Russian responsibility. The public release of that tid-bit should have triggered a mole search within their intelligence community, had it been accurate, and indeed a number of Russians were later arrested for treason. Some reports state this treason took the form of supplying information to US agencies; the Kremlin denied those reports, but gave no details on the sort of treason.
- Sergei Markov, a political analyst with ties to the Kremlin, denies any Russian attempt to interfere with the election but claimed “maybe we helped a bit with WikiLeaks,” which hosted the hacked emails.
- “Guccifer 2.0,” the hacker claiming responsibility for the DNC hacks, says they aren’t Russian. As hinted at before, some are skeptical.
- Julian Assange says the DNC emails published on Wikileaks did not come from Russia or any other state actor. He may mean they did not come “directly” from those sources, as he’s also stated “these [documents] look very much like they’re from the Russians. But in some ways, they look very amateur, and almost look too much like the Russians.”
- Craig Murray claims that an insider leaked the DNC emails, due to anger of how Bernie Sanders was treated.
- John McAfee, a famed IT security researcher, claims the Iranian government hacked the DNC citing sources on the “dark web.”
- Infowars suggest the CIA staged the DNC hacks in order to hurt Donald Trump. They take their inspiration from Wikileak’s dump of a suite of CIA hacking tools, which the latter hints could be used to launch false flag attacks.
- When asked about Russian meddling in the election, Donald Trump said “I’ll go along with Russia. Could’ve been China, could’ve been a lot of different groups.”