Notwithstanding the conventional wisdom that Russia hacked into the DNC computers, downloaded emails and a passed the stolen missives to Julian Assange's crew at Wikileaks, a careful examination of the timeline of events from 2016 shows that this story is simply not plausible.
Let me take you through the known facts:
1. 29 April 2016, when the DNC became aware its servers had been penetrated (https://medium.com/homefront-rising/dumbstruck-how-crowdstrike-conned-america-on-the-hack-of-the-dnc-ecfa522ff44f). Note. They apparently did not know who was doing it.
2, 6 May 2016 when CrowdStrike first detected what it assessed to be a Russian presence inside the DNC server. Follow me here. One week after realizing there had been a penetration, the DNC learns, courtesy of the computer security firm it hired, that the Russians are doing it. Okay. Does CrowdStrike shut down the penetration. Nope. The hacking apparently continues unabated.
3. 25 May 2016. The messages published on Wikileaks from the DNC show that 26 May 2016 was the last date that emails were sent and received at the DNC. There are no emails in the public domain after that date. In other words, if the DNC emails were taken via a hacking operation, we can conclude from the fact that the last messages posted to Wikileaks show a date time group of 25 May 2016. Wikileaks has not reported nor posted any emails from the DNC after the 25th of May. I think it is reasonable to assume that was the day the dirty deed was done.
4. 12 June 2016, CrowdStrike purged the DNC server of all malware. Are you kidding me? 45 days after the DNC discovers that its serve has been penetrated the decision to purge the DNC server is finally made. What in the hell were they waiting for? But this also tells us that 18 days after the last email "taken" from the DNC, no additional emails were taken by this nasty malware.
Here is what does not make sense to me. If the DNC emails were truly hacked and the malware was still in place on 11 June 2016 (it was not purged until the 12th) then why are there no emails from the DNC after 26 May 2016?
5. 14 June 2016 Washington Post publishes article alleging Russia was behind the "hacking."
6. On June 15, 2016 a blog post to a WordPress site authored by an individual using the moniker Guccifer 2.0 claimed credit for breaching the Democratic National Committee. Scott Ritter has provided an excellent analysis of Guccifer's role:
Almost immediately after the one-two punch of the Washington Post article/CrowdStrike technical report went public, however, something totally unexpected happened — someone came forward and took full responsibility for the DNC cyber attack. Moreover, this entity — operating under the persona Guccifer 2.0 (ostensibly named after the original Guccifer
, a Romanian hacker who stole the emails of a number of high-profile celebrities and who was arrested in 2014 and sentenced to 4 ½ years of prison in May 2016) — did something no state actor has ever done before, publishing documents stolen from the DNC server as proof of his claims.
Hi. This is Guccifer 2.0 and this is me who hacked Democratic National Committee.
With that simple email, sent to the on-line news magazine, The Smoking Gun, Guccifer 2.0 stole the limelight away from Alperovitch. Over the course of the next few days, through a series of emails, online posts and interviews, Guccifer 2.0 openly mocked CrowdStrike and its Russian attribution. Guccifer 2.0 released a number of documents, including a massive 200-plus-missive containing opposition research on Donald Trump.
Guccifer 2.0 also directly contradicted the efforts on the part of the DNC to minimize the extent of the hacking, releasing the very donor lists the DNC specifically stated had not been stolen. More chilling, Guccifer 2.0 claimed to be in possession of “about 100 Gb of data” which had been passed on to the online publisher, Wikileaks, who “will publish them soon.”
7. Seth Rich died on 10 July 2016. I introduce Seth Rich at this point because he represents an alternative hypothesis. Rich, who reportedly was a Bernie Sanders supporter, was in a position at the DNC that gave him access to the emails in question and the opportunity to download the emails and take them from the DNC headquarters. Worth noting that Julian Assange offered $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Rich's killer or killers.
8. 22 July 2016. Wikileaks published the DNC emails starting on 22 July 2016.
Bill Binney, a former senior official at NSA, insists that if such a hack and electronic transfer over the internet had occurred then the NSA has in it possession the intelligence data to prove that such activity had occurred.
Notwithstanding the claim by CrowdStrike not a single piece of evidence has been provided to the public to support the conclusion that the emails were hacked and physically transferred to a server under the control of a Russian intelligence operative.
Please do not try to post a comment stating that the "Intelligence Community" concluded as well that Russia was responsible. That claim is totally without one shred of actual forensic evidence. Also, Julian Assange insists that the emails did not come from a Russian source.