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    US Intelligence Report on 'Russian Hacking' Lacks Evidence and Credibility

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    The United States Intelligence Community published a joint report on "Russian activities and intentions" in the recent US presidential elections. According to the document, Moscow used various tools, including cyberattacks and media activities, to influence the results of the election.

    Highlights of the Report

    The document was prepared by analysts of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Security Agency (NSA).

    According to the author, the report covers "the motivation and scope of Moscow’s intentions regarding US elections and Moscow’s use of cyber tools and media campaigns to influence US public opinion."

    The report read that "Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple US state or local electoral boards." However, according to the report, the targeted or compromised systems were not involved in vote tallying.

    As for the recent presidential campaign, the authors of the report concluded that the campaign was intended to "undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency."

    The document also read the "influence campaign" was ordered personally by Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to US intelligence, President Putin and his entourage were interested in boosting Republican candidate Donald Trump’s chances of winning the election.

    "Moscow’s influence campaign followed a Russian messaging strategy that blends covert intelligence operations – such as cyber activity – with overt efforts by Russian Government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users or 'trolls,'" the report read.

    The document does not contain the names of hackers or hacker groups allegedly involved in the cyber activities. However, previously issued US intelligence reports linked such hacker groups as Fancy Bear (APT 28) and Cozy Bear (APT 29) to Russian intelligence.

    In particular, according to US intelligence analysts, Cozy Bear were one of the hacker groups behind the of Democratic National Committee (DNC) email hack.

    In July, whistleblowing website WikiLeaks published almost 20,000 pages of hacked emails that revealed top DNC officials deliberately worked to obstruct Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders' campaign in order to boost his then-rival Hillary Clinton's chances of becoming the party's presidential nominee.

    After the emails were leaked, Clinton said that Russia was responsible for the hack as well as the publication of some unspecified DNC documents.

    On Saturday, President-elect Donald Trump said that the DNC were negligent in securing their private information.

    "Gross negligence by the Democratic National Committee allowed hacking to take place. The Republican National Committee had strong defense!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

    Mysterious Hacker

    The authors of the report assessed that the Russian military intelligence (GRU) used the Guccifer 2.0 persona to publish all the information they obtained.

    In early-summer, Guccifer 2.0 wrote in his blog that he obtained access to the DNC email leaks and then handed over the leak to WikiLeaks. The hacker illustrated his post with a report on Donald Trump, which was allegedly prepared by Hillary Clinton’s electoral office.

    The pseudonym Guccifer 2.0 refers to Romanian hacker Marcel Lehel Lazar, known as Guccifer, who obtained access to Hillary Clinton’s personal emails in 2013.

    Speaking from prison in a Wednesday interview with Fox News, Lazar stressed that the allegations of Russia’s attempts to interfere with the US electoral system are "a fake cyber war" and that there is "hysteria" in the US regarding Russia stemming from the Cold War era.

    Nevertheless, US intelligence analysts assess that there is a group of people linked to the Russian government behind the Guccifer 2.0 persona. Previously, the same assumption was made by cybersecurity specialists from ThreatConnect and CrowdStrike.

    "Guccifer 2.0, who claimed to be an independent Romanian hacker, made multiple contradictory statements and false claims about his likely Russian identity throughout the election. Press reporting suggests more than one person claiming to be Guccifer 2.0 interacted with journalists," according to the report.

    At the same time, Guccifer 2.0 has made repeated statements that he did not like Moscow’s foreign policy. The hacker has also repeatedly denied media allegations of his links to Russia.

    "I read several reports, some experts found out that my proxy IP is hosted at a service that’s somehow connected with Russia and has a version in Russian as well as in English," Guccifer 2.0 wrote. "This is their strong evidence," he ironically added, as cited by The Wall Street Journal.

    WikiLeaks and Russian Media

    The US intelligence report also touched upon alleged links between the Russian government and the whistleblowing project WikiLeaks founded by Julian Assange.

    According to the authors, Moscow "most likely chose WikiLeaks because of its self-proclaimed reputation for authenticity."

    "Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries," the US intelligence assessed.

    As a piece of evidence, the report cited Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comment that it was important the DNC data was exposed to WikiLeaks.

    WikiLeaks commented on the report: "US government's declassified 'Russian hacking' report has the curious disclaimer that it is based on watching TV and reading Tweets."

    ​This is not the first time that the whistleblowing project has been accused of working in the interests of certain states. WikiLeaks has repeatedly denied such allegations.

    "Nothing in today's declassified ODNI report alters our conclusion that WikiLeaks' US election related sources are not state parties," WikiLeaks said in Twitter.

    Another piece of evidence, according to the document, is the alleged collaboration between the Russian broadcaster RT and Assange. Margarita Simonyan, RT’s editor-in-chief, visited Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in August 2013.

    "RT routinely gives Assange sympathetic coverage and provides him a platform to denounce the United States," the authors concluded.

    The report described RT’s activities as a "broader and long-standing anti-US messaging" campaign.

    On Thursday, Director of the US National Intelligence James Clapper said at a US Senate hearing on cybersecurity that RT had been "disparaging" of the US political system and was active in promoting its views on US hypocrisy regarding human rights and generally seeking out fissures in US society. Clapper also accused RT of spreading fake news stories.

    In response, Simonyan said that the broadcaster only reports on real events happening in the US.

    "The national intelligence head says that RT undermines the American system merely by reporting on what is happening in his country," Simonyan said.

    Related:

    Trump Says US Intel Has 'Absolutely No Evidence' Hacking Affected Election
    White House Struggles to Explain Why China Left Unpunished for 2014 Hack
    US Intel Says 'Russian Hacking' Retaliation for Panama Papers, Doping Scandals
    US Intel Community Confident About Russian Intentions to Influence 2016 Election
    Tags:
    election, social media, media, hacking, RT, Fancy Bears, WikiLeaks, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Vladimir Putin, Julian Assange, Donald Trump, Russia, United States
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    • avatar
      marcanhalt
      A well-written article to give you an inside look of a (set of) director(s), all without answers when made aware of a 'crisis', who says, "Give me SOMETHING, people! and give it to me STAT! and I don't mean tomorrow!"

      The bottom line, in a courtroom, is that if the evidence does not make sense, it is because there is no truth in it, and you have to press for a summary judgement. Not being privy to all the information may make a case for the "intelligence community", but leaving me without a workable outline to present a case for them. with a preponderance of evidence, makes them look shit faced. And, knowing that this is a government conclusion, where money and imagination is always a premium, I am sticking with a Jason Bourne conclusion; "What do you want from me?" These are threads that go nowhere with anyone that is far more discerning than the man on the street. We are conditioned to being lied to, and have been, for years by our own government. Therefore, we do not believe you.
    • avatar
      ivanwa88
      In reality the Intelligence dept simply cant grasp the talented pool of ordinary people who have a capacity coupled with a burning desire for the truth. No official allegiance or party affiliation was required.

      For those of us that were dedicated to debunking the warmongers to help bring peace this was a big opportunity to do so in a very small window at a unique point in time.

      There was no pay day or payment of any kind not a cent I personally posted some 3500 posts which has been my retirement hours spent in the most noble of pursuits.

      Did we have a impact I dear say we did, we did it for peace and humanity with a determination to end wars designed to prolificate profit on the backs of death and destruction.

      I can also understand the bewilderment of some in the proficiency obtained in what I call my 'Masters degree in geopolitics' obtained in little over 12 months by a huge amount of hard work to unravel the deliberately confused trail portrayed in the mainstream of media.

      Sputnik amongs't others brought us piece by piece the parts to a 50,000 piece puzzle.
      In my opinion Sputnik was never a propaganda machine in fact at times I thought they were quite insipid for what ever reason.

      For me I feel a great sense of achievement to having completed the Masters degree by proxy and how paradoxical that might be.

      To reiterate not a cent was earn't or paid nor am I affiliated to any party or organisation.
      I can only offer my early experience at age 9 when I started to read 'The Industrial Revolution' by Karl Marx.
      To understand what a revolution it started in my mind to explore the truth,one would need to read the book there is no other like it! especially as a young mind.
    • avatar
      nonyank
      Anyone with a single digit IQ knows the US has zero credibility and cannot be trusted under any condition.
    • avatar
      tobi.gelando
      There are 3 thinks the usa terror state is world class master as: Liars, destroy Free Country's and killing people !!! If Russia would have Hack the dmc party (what I never ever believe) it is better than the coup d'état In Ukraine, regime change in Syria or Libya !!!
      The usa hack the whole world like Germany and even Fr. Merkel !!!!
    • support
      Where can I buy the toy bear and toy computer in the picture please? SputnikNews could sell thousands of those per day.
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