Election 2016

Officials Say Russian Hackers Want to Help Trump

Written by SK Ashby

Adding more fuel to the fire, a group of government officials spoke to the Daily Beast and privately opined that Russian hackers who breached the DNC did so to help the Republican presidential nominee.

It’s an operation that several U.S. officials now suspect was a deliberate attempt to influence the presidential election in favor of Donald Trump, according to five individuals familiar with the investigation of the breach. [...]

Officials also thought it was telling that the emails were given to WikiLeaks, which is perceived as being hostile to the U.S. government. “This wasn’t surprising to us,” said one U.S. official familiar with the investigation.

This doesn't necessarily tell us anything we couldn't already infer, but it's good to know intelligence and security officials appreciate the gravity of the situation.

Meanwhile, Vice has an in-depth look at how the DNC was breached including evidence that at least some of the documents leaked to the public were doctored or completely fabricated.

The metadata in the leaked documents are perhaps most revealing: one dumped document was modified using Russian language settings, by a user named “Феликс Эдмундович,” a code name referring to the founder of the Soviet Secret Police, the Cheka, memorialised in a 15-ton iron statue in front of the old KGB headquarters during Soviet times. The original intruders made other errors: one leaked document included hyperlink error messages in Cyrillic, the result of editing the file on a computer with Russian language settings. After this mistake became public, the intruders removed the Cyrillic information from the metadata in the next dump and carefully used made-up user names from different world regions, thereby confirming they had made a mistake in the first round.

Vice also reports that DNC computers were compromised by the hackers by impersonating the DNC's security firm which, at least to me, says that firm is crap.