‘Lone Hacker’ Posts Campaign Documents Purportedly Stolen From DNC

Patrick Goodenough | June 16, 2016 | 2:21am EDT
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A document posted online by a self-styled ‘lone hacker’ included a purported May 2015 DNC strategy document on dealing with the GOP presidential candidates. (Image: Wordpress)

(CNSNews.com) –  Documents posted on the Internet Wednesday by a self-described “lone hacker” were presented as examples of some of the material hacked from the Democratic National Committee’s computer systems, including opposition research on Donald Trump, suggested campaign talking points for Hillary Clinton, and strategies for confronting Republican candidates.

On a Wordpress site, the individual going by the name of “Guccifer 2.0” claimed responsibility for the hacking of the DNC’s computer systems, first reported by the Washington Post on Tuesday.

Earlier, the U.S. cybersecurity company hired to investigate the DNC breach had identified the perpetrators as two entities linked to the Russian intelligence services.

The Irvine, Calif.-based CrowdStrike responded to the “Guccifer 2.0” claims Wednesday by saying that it “stands fully by its analysis and findings identifying two separate Russian intelligence-affiliated adversaries present in the DNC network in May 2016.”

“Whether or not this posting is part of a Russian Intelligence disinformation campaign, we are exploring the documents’ authenticity and origin,” the company said. “Regardless, these claims do nothing to lessen our findings relating to the Russian government’s involvement, portions of which we have documented for the public and the greater security community.

In an earlier blog posting, CrowdStrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch identified the two “threat actors” as entities dubbed Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear. He said Cozy Bear had also been responsible for infiltrating the White House, State Department, and Joint Chiefs of Staff networks last year. Its intrusion into the DNC system dated back to the summer of 2015, while Fancy Bear breached the DNC network in April, he said.

“Both adversaries engage in extensive political and economic espionage for the benefit of the government of the Russian Federation and are believed to be closely linked to the Russian government’s powerful and highly capable intelligence services,” Alperovitch wrote.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied allegations of government involvement, telling Reuters, “I absolutely rule out the possibility that the government or government agencies were involved in this.”

Among the documents posted by “Guccifer 2.0” on Wednesday was what appears to be a 231-page opposition research document on the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee.

The document begins with a series of “narratives” on Trump (e.g.: “Trump is loyal only to himself” and “Trump has supported the GOP’s reckless approach to governing”), followed by chapters on his career, policy stances and personal life.

“Guccifer 2.0” also posted what were claimed to be lists of high-level donors to the DNC, and what appeared to be proposed campaign talking points for Hillary Clinton. (e.g.: “I can't believe in 2015, that Republicans running for President still want to deny people who love each other the right to marry. Still don’t believe that climate change is real.  Still won’t give people a path to citizenship. Are still trying to stop people from voting. And still trying to shut down Planned Parenthood clinics and make women drive hours to get basic health care. What century are they living in?”)


Other pages posted on the site purportedly came from a May 2015 DNC strategy document on dealing with the then field of Republican presidential hopefuls. Among suggested methods to “land these attacks” on the candidates, the document advised outreach to journalists:

“Working through the DNC and others, we should use background briefings, prep with reporters for interviews with GOP candidates, off-the-record conversations and oppo pitches to help pitch stories with no fingerprints and utilize reporters to drive a message,” the document states.

“Guccifer 2.0” said thousands more of the supposed DNC files had been passed on to Wikileaks for publication.

In a statement responding to the posting of the document, Trump accused the DNC of “hacking” its own system to divert attention away from its “deeply flawed candidate and failed party leader.”

As for the contents of the document, Trump said, “This is all information that has been out there for many years. Much of it is false and/or entirely inaccurate.”

An unnamed senior DNC official quoted by CNN said the committee suspected the posting of the material was part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

“Our experts are confident in their assessment that the Russian government hackers were the actors responsible for the breach detected in April and May, and we believe that this release and the claims around it may be a part of a disinformation campaign by the Russians.”

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