Monday, 19 November, 2018

US indicts 12 Russian intel officers for hacking Democrats in 2016

Rod Rosenstein Modal Trigger Rod Rosenstein AP
Deanna Wagner | 14 July, 2018, 00:59

The indictment lays out a sweeping effort starting in March 2016 to break into key Democratic email accounts, such as those belonging to the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The accused also used a network of proxies and servers across the globe, for which they paid with cryptocurrency to keep their anonymity.

The charges, filed by the special counsel Robert Mueller in Washington, were announced as Donald Trump met the Queen in England and prepared to meet Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, next week.

Announced by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the charges were drawn up by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director who is looking into Russian interference in the November 2016 vote.

They corresponded with Americans but there's no information the Americans knew who they were talking to, said Rosenstein.

In a statement during a press conference Friday, Rosenstein said law enforcement officials are seeking to hold responsible those behind the election meddling and defended the probe against partisanship. The danger for Trump is the implication of collusion scattered throughout the indictments. "So he needs to understand what evidence we have of foreign election interference".

"I will absolutely bring it up", he said resignedly.

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"There will not be a Perry Mason here". I don't think. But you never know what happens. When I asked VR last month about the NSA's estimate that at least one employee of the company "likely" had their email account compromised, a company spokesperson replied: "To be clear, there was no "hack" by any standard definition of the word".

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The deputy AG denied the indictment was released to coincide with the Putin-Trump summit.

The flood of embarrassing information about the inner workings of the Democratic Party's leadership led to the resignation of then-DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

Rosenstein said that this specific indictment does not contain allegations that Americans committed a crime. "This is consistent with what we have been saying all along".

The deputy AG moments earlier described the charges.

The group also allegedly conspired to hack into computers of state election boards, secretaries of State and USA companies that supplied software and other technology related to election administrations.

The Mueller inquiry is looking into United States intelligence findings that Russians conspired to tilt the election in Mr Trump's favour, and whether any of his campaign aides colluded with this alleged plot.

"The units engaged in active cyber operations to interfere in the 2016 presidential election". The deputy attorney general added that the defendants worked for two units of the Russian intelligence service, the GRU. Rosenstein further informed that the conspirators created fictitious online identities, such as "DCLeaks" and "Guccifer 2.0". That came after the group allegedly floated the documents to multiple unnamed people.

In addition to releasing documents directly to the public, the defendants transferred stolen documents to another organization, that is not identified by name in the indictment, and they used that organization as a pass through to release the documents.

CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman said that might not be as important as proving Russian interference.