Tuesday, July 26, 2016

WikiLeaks Dismantling of #DNC is Clear Attack by Putin on Clinton

Following-up from yesterday, "Is Donald Trump a Vladimir Putin Plant?"

From John Schindler, at the New York Observer:

The recent Wikileaks dump of 20,000 emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee has caused political sensation and scandal on a grand scale. These internal communications reveal nothing flattering about the DNC or Hillary Clinton, who is set to be anointed as the Democrats’ presidential nominee at their party convention in Philadelphia that gets underway with fanfare today.

Wikileaks has thrown an ugly wrench into Hillary’s coronation. DNC emails reveal a Clinton campaign that’s shady and dishonest, not to mention corrupt. Its secret dealings with Hillary’s opponents—whether Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump—have been distasteful and possibly illegal. To say this is an unflattering portrayal of Team Clinton is like saying the Titanic had issues with ice.

The ramifications of this massive leak are already serious. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the embattled DNC chair, has been forced to tender her resignation in advance of the party conclave in Philadelphia, while Senator Sanders, who’s been revealed as the target of much aggressive DNC attention during the Democratic primary campaign, stated he was “not shocked but I’m disappointed” by the Wikileaks revelations. The Democrats are anything but united now as they prepare to take on Donald Trump and the Republicans.

On the eve of the four-day Democratic convention extravaganza, this data-dump could not have been timed better to damage Hillary and her efforts to move back into the White House this November. Although it’s doubtful that leaked RNC internal emails would make any more pleasant a read for the public, Clinton will emerge from this tarred with the indelible brush of corruption and collusion with her party’s leadership to fix the Democratic presidential nomination.

Wikileaks has delivered as promised on its public threats of damaging Team Clinton with hacked emails. Although the DNC can’t deny that many of the leaked messages appear authentic—they wouldn’t have forced the chair’s resignation if they were fake, obviously—there remains the important question of how the vaunted “privacy organization” got its hands on them.

It turns out there’s hardly any mystery there. It’s no secret that the DNC was recently subject to a major hack, one which independent cybersecurity experts easily assessed as being the work of Russian intelligence through previously known cut-outs. One of them, called COZY BEAR or APT 29, has used spear-phishing to gain illegal access to many private networks in the West, as well as the White House, the State Department, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff last year. Another hacking group involved in the attack on the DNC, called FANCY BEAR or APT 28, is a well-known Russian front, as I’ve previously profiled.

These bears didn’t make much efforts to hide their DNC hack—in one case leaving behind a Russian name in Cyrillic as a signature—and Kremlin attribution has been confirmed by independent analysis by a second cybersecurity firm.

The answer then is simple: Russian hackers working for the Kremlin cyber-pilfered the DNC then passed the purloined data, including thousands of unflattering emails, to Wikileaks, which has shown them to the world...
I'm getting a little more sold on the idea that Russia's behind the hack, although not so much that Trump's a Putin plant.

But keep reading.