‘It’s not how hacking works’: Anonymous activist deconstructs ODNI report on ‘Russia hackers’

A member of the hacktivist network Anonymous has debunked the assertion that US intelligence report on Russia’s alleged hacking of the DNC proves a particular party’s guilt, explaining that such claims show a lack of understanding of how hackers operate.

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“The ODNI [Office of the Director of National Intelligence] report wants you to believe that Russian hackers hacked the DNC [Democratic National Committee] based on the evidence that the attacks looked identical to methods used by the same Russian hacking team. But this is not how hacking works in the slightest,” video journalist and Anonymous activist Alex Poucher told RT.

“Hackers can either code their own tools to use, or download pre-compiled scripts that are readily available on any exploit database. If two teams download the same exploits and use them, then the attacks will appear to be the same, identical even,” Poucher, who has a degree in IT Security, said.

He went on to explain that while a person is actually in America, he or she can log into a VPN (Virtual Private Network) located in Russia and launch attacks from America.

“When this attack is investigated, it will appear that it originated from Russia,” he said.

Saying that the report “does not state conclusively anything,” it also demonstrates that the US intelligence officials “are still not really sure who hacked the DNC,” Poucher said.

Guccifer 2.0, the entity believed to have originally distributed the leaked materials from the Democratic Party, and claimed to have some ties to Russia, “is a deeply suspicious figure,” the Anonymous activist said.  

“At the end of the day, an insurmountable heap of circumstantial evidence is all this report is, without any proof to back up any of the claims whatsoever, except hearsay,” he told RT.

“I have personally [gone] over every aspect of the attack and what I can tell you, what I have found is that every aspect of the attack, the entry or the payload, is not particularly sophisticated. A 14-year-old script kiddy with download capabilities could have pulled off this hack,” Poucher said.

Last week, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has also said a teenager could have could have hacked the emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief, John Podesta.

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“Podesta gave out that his password was the word ‘p@ssw0rd’... a 14-year-old kid could have hacked Podesta,” Assange said while commenting on the DNC leaks and Russia's alleged involvement in it in an exclusive interview with Fox News.  

Saying that President Obama’s administration has been “behind all the anti-Russia and Cold War-2 buildup,” the Anonymous activist suggested there might be “a complete U-turn” on the subject of Russia’s alleged involvement when President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in.

“He has already went on [with a] statement and said he did not believe Russia has anything to do with the DNC hacking scandal,” Poucher said.