The So-called Russian Hack of the DNC Does Not Make Sense by Publius Tacitus


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 ( 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.
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13 Responses to The So-called Russian Hack of the DNC Does Not Make Sense by Publius Tacitus

  1. Fool says:

    Where was it reported that Rich was a Sanders supporter?

  2. Anna says:

    Mr. Dmitri Alperovitch, of Jewish descent (and an emigre from Russia), has been an “expert” at the Atlantic Council, the same organization that cherishes and provides for Mr. Eliot Higgins. These two gentlemen – and the directorate of Atlantic Council – are exhibit one of opportunism and intellectual dishonesty (though it is hard to think about Mr. Higgins in terms of “intellect”).
    Here is an article by Alperovitch:
    Take note how Alperovitch coded the names of the supposed hackers: “Russian intelligence services hacked the Democratic National Committee’s computer network and accessed opposition research on Donald Trump, according to the Atlantic Council’s Dmitri Alperovitch. Two Russian groups—codenamed FancyBear and CozyBear—have been identified as spearheading the DNC breach.” Alperovitch is not just an incompetent “expert” in cybersecurity – he is a willing liar and war-mongering, for money. The DNC hacking story has never been about national security; Alperovitch (and his handlers) have no loyalty to the US.

  3. LeaNder says:

    PT, I make a short exception. Actually decided to stop babbling for a while. But: Just finished something successfully.
    And since I usually need distraction by something far more interesting then matters at hand. I was close to your line of thought yesters.
    But really: Shouldn’t the timeline start in 2015, since that’s supposedly the time someone got into the DNC’s system?
    One could of course start earlier. What is the exact timeline of the larger cyberwar post 9/11, or at least the bits and pieces that surfaced for the nitwits among us, like: Stuxnet?
    But nevermind. Don’t forget developments and recent events around Eugene or Jewgeni Walentinowitsch Kasperski?

  4. Anna says:

    Wikileaks, the protector of the accountability of the top, has announced a reward for finding the murderers of Seth Rich. In comparison, the DNC has not offered any reward to help the investigation of the murder of the DNC staffer, but the DNC found a well-connected lawyer to protect Imran Awan who is guilty (along with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz) in the greatest breach of national cybersecurity:

  5. LondonBob says:

    The Russia thing certainly seems to have gone quiet.
    Bannon’s chum says the issue with pursuing the Clinton email thing is that you would end up having to indict almost all of the last administration, including Obama, unseemly certainly. Still there might be a fall guy, maybe Comey, and obviously it serves Trump’s purposes to keep this a live issue through the good work of Grassley and the occasional tweet. Would be amusing if Trump pardoned Obama. Still think Brennan should pay a price though, can’t really be allowed to get away with it

  6. Richardstevenhack,
    I’ll be damned. I am in full agreement with you on the value of Scott Ritter’s article. It is very good and clearly lays out valid reasons for the backlash against Alperovitch and his analysis of the DNC hack. He is a businessman and is focused on selling his business model of focusing on the adversary rather than the malware. The article also explains the CrowdStrike methodology and why it took weeks to examine the DNC network without spooking the adversary. That’s an intel approach rather than a network security approach.
    Publius Tacitus also makes a good point that Binney is damned near certain that NSA would have access to network evidence of the hack. Since the FBI warned the DNC several times that their network was compromised and actually told them data was being transferred out of the DNC network, Binney’s statement is most likely the truth. So between knowledge of that network activity and the cloned drives, the FBI has more evidence of what was done to the DNC network than CrowdStrike, even without direct access to the DNC network. The problem is that we will never see this evidence. Nor will we see that level of evidence of any of the other major hacks of US systems including the OPM hack. Are we then to conclude that that hack never took place? That hack investigation has only now, two years later, yielded one arrest. I’m with Binney on this one. The IC has a lot more intel on this whole Russia thing than the forensic data analysis.

  7. Cortes says:

    Having grown up in the UK with overwhelming admiration for the openness of the culture of the USA, recent developments diismay .
    B. 10/57

  8. Stephanie says:

    Seth Rich’s family have pleaded, and continue to plead, that the conspiracy theorists leave the death of their son alone and have said that those who continue to flog this nonsense around the internet are only serving to increase their pain. I suggest respectfully that some here may wish to consider their feelings. (Also, this stuff is nuts, you know.)
    “We also know that many people are angry at our government and want to see justice done in some way, somehow. We are asking you to please consider our feelings and words. There are people who are using our beloved Seth’s memory and legacy for their own political goals, and they are using your outrage to perpetuate our nightmare.”
    “Wheeler, a former Metropolitan Police Department officer, was a key figure in a series of debunked stories claiming that Rich had been in contact with Wikileaks before his death. Fox News, which reported the story online and on television, retracted it in June.”

  9. j2 says:

    You all being way above my pay grade, this will most likely be a one-time comment. I’ve a question, festering for weeks, that no one’s been able to answer. Perhaps you all might help.
    There were two “hacks” into the DNC servers. John Podesta’s email was also “hacked.” In an interview on 8 Feb 2017, John Podesta states “I think we knew…that there were two different incursions into the DNC but the GRU, the Fancy Bear side of this, was active in going after personal emails.”
    The Russia connection had already been setup and was well-underway. The Wikileaks emails of John Podesta contains an email from Podesta that sets up the Trump Russia connection 21 Dec 2015 – Podesta email from, Subject Re: HRC, Obama amd ISIS. In this email, Podesta writes “Best approach is to slaughter Donald for the bromance with Putin, but not go too far betting on Putin re Syria.”
    Moving back to the DNC “hack,” Seymour Hesch has drawn a line to Seth Rich. “Mr. Hersh told Butowsky that Seth Rich “offered a sample [to WikiLeaks][,] an extensive sample, you know I’m sure dozens, of emails, and said I want money.””
    Audio of Hersch’s statements re: Seth Rich
    However, “Hersh concurs with the D.C. police who say the murder was a botched robbery.”
    The Awans, Imran Awan and family, have been reported on extensively, and were in the business of collecting large amounts of money and sending the money to Pakistan. To me, the simple explanation is that the second “hackers” were the Awans, singularly or plurally, and the Awans were the ones who asked Wikileaks for money. Both “hacks” were done locally. The Awans had full access to Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s email and many House Democrats, including members of the House Intel Committee, and would have had no trouble accessing the DNC servers by having been “contracted” to do work on the DNC servers and/or by using Wasserman Schultz’s logon id or one of the other House Democrats logon ids. From Diana West “According to the New York Times picture above, dated December 13, 2016, a reportedly Russian-“breached” DNC server was just sitting in the DNC national headquarters in Washington, DC”
    (Now at the Daily Caller
    Since both “hacks” were done locally, the NSA would not have any record(s) of either “hack.” As for the identity of Guccifer 2.0, that could be anyone. Everyone “hacks” everyone.
    Does this fit in with the current thinking? Thank you.

  10. turcopolier says:

    Hersh has personally told me that all that is BS. pl

  11. turcopolier says:

    Ask him. pl

  12. DianaLC says:

    This has been a great read. I’ve followed the “Russia hacked the election” meme for a long time now and never believed that the Russians did it. Without any idea of how one would hack a server, I try never to comment about the details of hacking.
    But, having really enjoyed the disclosure of all the content of the emails, especially Podesta’s, I truly wanted to thank the criminal (since I know it was a criminal act) because those emails confirmed for me all my feelings about the character of the people at the DNC at the time, and especially the character of HRC and her friends.
    It made me sad and shamed that at one time, I had been fooled by her.
    So. now I am the “conspiracy theorist” among many of my friends and family because I insist that perhaps Assad was not the one who set off some of the gas attacks and because I insist that the Russians did not hack the election.
    On another note, it makes me angry that to many people, the deaths of four men were the result of a You tube video. so I still display my “Four men died, and Hillary lied” sticker on my car’s back window.
    It’s a different scandal, I know. But, we are really living in a time when so many believe lies so easily, simply because it satisfies their set way of thinking and they don’t want to be shaken into reality.

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