A newly discovered report from the firm that was hired by the DNC to investigate the DNC breach says that the hackers were looking for information that would hurt Donald Trump and other GOP candidates. The report says:
“Based on the data exfiltrated from the DNC, one of FANCY BEAR’s goals appears to have been to collect opposition research the DNC’s research staff had gathered on President Elect (then Republican primary candidate) Donald Trump and other Republican (GOP) presidential candidates.” (page 11).
According to the Crowdstrike, Fancy Bear is the alleged hacking entity that stole data from the DNC and leaked it to Wikileaks. Crowdstrike’s findings have been used by the DNC and the US Intelligence Community to claim that Russian was involved in the election to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump. The newly revealed information appears to contradict that narrative by showing Fancy Bear was allegedly helping Clinton by hurting Trump and the GOP.
According to Palo Alto Networks, a spear fishing attack on May 26, 2016 “to a U.S. government entity” was successful, while Crowdstrike says the virus was in the DNC system in April 2016. The attack was allegedly passed on to targets through infected RTF files. Crowdstrike appears to contradict the report of Palo Alto Networks on the timeline of when the DNC was breached.
Roger Stone, having just testified before a closed-door meeting before Congress regarding the DNC security breach on September 26, is claiming that Congressman Schiff and Speier told him at the hearing that the DNC did, in fact, give over its server to the FBI. This contradicts James Comey’s testimony, when he stated that the DNC never handed over the server for investigation.
“The most interesting about the hearing was that, in my statement, I strongly asserted my suspicion that the Russians never hacked the DNC and, of course, one of the central arguments, to that effect, is that the DNC refused to turn over their computer servers to the FBI, instead having it inspected by CrowdStrike, a forensic IT firm controlled directly and paid by the DNC. When I said that, Congresswoman Speier from California corrected me and told me that the DNC servers had been turned over to the FBI, and then Congressman Schiff essentially confirmed that, after which, Trey Gowdy said, ‘wait a minute, James Comey came before this committee, secretary Johnson came before this committee, and testified under oath that the servers were not turned over to the FBI, so what are you talking about?’ Schiff tried to change the subject and said, ‘well, we’ve got a lot of information that we learned during the recess and maybe we should talk about this privately.’ Gowdy seemed furious and stormed out of the hearing, so somebody’s lying.”
The question is, did the DNC turn over its server during the summer recess?
The Washington Post article, “National Security Russian government hackers penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump” from June 14, 2016, states that the hacking group known as Fancy Bear “broke into the network in late April and targeted the opposition research files. It was this breach that set off the alarm. The hackers stole two files, Henry said.” The article then states that “The DNC said that no financial, donor or personal information appears to have been accessed or taken, suggesting that the breach was traditional espionage, not the work of criminal hackers.” The article continues, quoting DNC lawyer Michael Sussman of the Perkins Coie firm: “But at this time, it appears that no financial information or sensitive employee, donor or voter information was accessed by the Russian attackers,” he said.
However, in the subsequent article the following day, June 15, entitled “‘Guccifer 2.0’ claims credit for DNC hack“, the Washington Post reports that Guccifer 2.0 posted to a website some of the allegedly stolen documents. They included a file titled “Donald Trump Report,” dated Dec. 19, 2015, and a list of what was purported to be million-dollar-plus donors to the Democratic Party.”
Questions the DNC must answer are, 1) Why did the DNC say that only two opposition research files were taken, and not donor information, when Guccifer 2.0 did indeed take both the opposition files and the donor files? 2) Why did Guccifer 2.0 release the opposition research files, when those files could prove to be harmful to Donald Trump, if he was indeed a hacker on a mission to elect Donald Trump? 3) Did the DNC collude with Guccifer 2.0 in directing him to release the opposition research files? 4) Why did Guccifer 2.0 continue to release opposition research files, when he later released an archive of Sarah Palin’s Twitter messages on July 14, and the first page of the Trump Foundation’s income tax form and the Trump financial report on October 18, if he had already proven that he had hacked the DNC? and 5) What specific part of the software Crowdstrike used to analyze the DNC server would show that only two files were taken, when presumably hackers were in the DNC system for weeks on end?
If the answer is that the DNC or Crowdstrike did not have full visibility into the scale of intrusions on their security infrastructure, is it a coincidence that the only files the DNC or Crowdstrike thought were missing at the time were the two opposition research files, which if released would be damaging only to Trump and not Clinton, and that Guccifer the next day did indeed release those two opposition research files that are harmful to Trump but not Clinton? Those two files were entitled “Donald Trump Report” and “2016 GOP presidential candidates” in the releases. Are these opposition files that Guccifer 2.0 released the same ones that the DNC is referring to, or was Guccifer 2.0 holding on to even more harmful information, and released the Trump report and GOP report to deflect from it? All of the information from the Trump report comes from public sources. On the other hand, why would Guccifer 2.0 release the opposition research if he was supposed to be helping Donald Trump, if he could prove that he has hacked the DNC by sharing any of the 38 other files he subsequently leaked in later months?
Certainly, the case can be made that the CIA, at least outwardly, has been Pro-Obama and Anti-Trump. Take into account the many leaks from the Trump administration, to which President Trump tweeted on Feb. 14, asking, “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? President Trump went further and claimed that the CIA obtained the leak-worthy information through illegal monitoring, when he tweeted on Mar. 4 that he “just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory.” Mr. Trump also said in a Fox News interview, regarding the leaks, that “I think that President Obama’s behind it because his people are certainly behind it.” The question remains, how can the CIA be so obviously against Trump, yet potentially have helped him so much with the DNC leaks?
According to John McAfee, the internationally-renowned information security pioneer and founder of global computer security software company McAfee, “Any hacker capable of breaking into something is extraordinarily capable of hiding their tracks. If I was the Chinese and I wanted to make it look like the Russians did it, I would use Russian language within the code, I would use Russian techniques of breaking into organizations. (…) He continued, “If it looks like the Russians did it, than I can guarantee you, it was not the Russians.” The question is, why would Russia leave its fingerprints in the hacking job, if it was them, since they could have deleted those tracks?
Either the Russians wanted everyone to know it was them when they hacked the DNC, or it wasn’t them at all. It could also have been another country or group that replicated Russia’s fingerprints, including rogue individuals in the CIA, or it really could have been a Romanian hacker utilizing Russian hacking tools, as Guccifer 2.0 has claimed he is Romanian all along.
More needs to be done to find if there any Pro-Trump elements in the intelligence community in the run up to the 2016 Presidential Election, if Russia has in the past covered its tracks when it uses established hacking tools, and how easy it is for another country or group to replicate a Fancy Bear or Cozy Bear attack.