12 Russia GRU agents indicted for hacking and 2016 election interference

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announces that a dozen members of Russia’s military intelligence agency (GRU) have been charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for conspiring to hack the computers of Americans and U.S. organizations connected to the 2016 election.

“Today a grand jury in the District of Columbia returned an indictment presented by the special counsel’s office. The indictment charges 12 Russian military officers by name for conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. Eleven of the defendants are charged with conspiring to hack into computers, steal documents and release those documents with the intent to interfere in the election.

One of those defendants, and a 12th Russian military officer, are charged with conspiring to infiltrate computers of organizations involved in administering the elections, including state boards of election, secretaries of state, and companies that supply software used to administer elections.”

Rod Rosenstein

The charges allege that the agents were behind Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks, and that they worked directly with WikiLeaks. They are responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton presidential campaign, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, among others.

The conspirators also used the Guccifer 2.0 persona to release additional stolen documents through a website maintained by an organization (“Organization 1”), that had previously posted documents stolen from U.S. persons, entities and the U.S. government. The conspirators continued their U.S. election-interference operations through in or around November 2016.

To hide their connections to Russia and the Russian government, the conspirators used false identities and made false statements about their identities. To further avoid detection, the conspirators used a network of computers located across the world, including in the United States, and paid for this infrastructure using cryptocurrency.

The conspirators spearphished individuals affiliated with the Clinton campaign throughout the summer of 2016. For example, on or about July 27, 2016, the conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office. At or around the same time, they also targeted 76 email addresses at the domain for the Clinton campaign.

Excerpts of the indictment



Photo: Public Domain

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