CIA Identifies Operators Who Gave DNC Emails To WikiLeaks
CIA: We Have identified Go-Between For Russia And WikiLeaks
The CIA has reportedly identified the Russian officials involved in providing stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, as well as its party leader, to WikiLeaks during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. According to a new U.S. intelligence report, this hack was conducted at the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to benefit now president-elect Donald Trump. According to Reuters:
“The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Central Intelligence Agency and others have concluded that the Russian government escalated its efforts from discrediting the U.S. election process to assisting President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign.”
The new report by the CIA was presented to President Barack Obama on Thursday, and Donald Trump will be briefed on Friday. The president-elect has strongly rejected accusations that Russia and its head of state might be behind the cyber attacks that took place during the election campaign, which severely damaged the position of Hillary Clinton. At the same time, Russia has rejected all hacking allegations. However, one anonymous official familiar with the report stated that:
“By October, it had become clear that the Russians were trying to help the Trump campaign.”
It turns out, as one official said, that the material followed a “circuitous route” from the GRU – Russia’s main intelligence directorate – to WikiLeaks, in an attempt to make the original material harder to trace. This is a common practice used by intelligence agencies around the world. This in turn allowed Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, to declare that he did not receive the DNC emails from the Russian government or state agencies, although he did not rule out the possibility of a third party involved.
An unclassified version of the report is expected to be released on Friday, while the full report is considered top secret. As explained by Reuters:
“The report contains some of what the officials called “minor footnotes” about open questions and other uncertainties, in part because some of the evidence supporting the conclusion is inferential.”
Some of the information provided by the report states that senior Russian officials within Putin’s inner circle were aware of the hacking campaign. It is also said that once the early leaks started attracting the attention of the media, the Russians focused their hacking activities on Democratic targets rather than Republican ones. U.S. intelligence also found a strong resemblance to the malware Russians have used against targets in Europe.
The names of those identified have not been revealed. Yet it is said that the databases and email servers hacked also contained personal information that WikiLeaks has not published. But that information could be used to target individuals for recruiting efforts by Russian spies.
Featured image via Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images News