‘Guccifer 2.0’ releases hacked DNC docs revealing mega donors, Clinton collusion
A lone hacker by the name ‘Guccifer 2.0’ has claimed responsibility for hacking the Democratic National Committee database, revealing research on GOP and donor information. This contradicts the initial DNC reports that Russia was behind the attack.
DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz acknowledged that the party servers were hacked and that opposition research was stolen, but denied that documents of a financial nature were compromised.
On his website, Guccifer 2.0 posted some of the documents allegedly lifted from DNC’s servers, such as a 200-page “opposition research” document on Donald Trump. The hacker also posted documents with names of famous individuals who have made donations to the Democratic Party in the millions of dollars, such as actor Morgan Freeman and hedge fund manager James H. Simmons.
A document titled “2016 GOP presidential candidates” from May 2015 – about a month after Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy – shows the DNC’s strategy to use the mainstream media to stress Clinton’s positives, while feeding reporters information and questions about Republican opponents to paint them in a negative light.
“Reporter Outreach: Working through the DNC and others, we should use background briefings, prep with reporters for interviews with GOP candidates, off-the-record conversations and oppo pitches to help pitch stories with no fingerprints and utilize reporters to drive a message,” the document says.
Instead of laying out strategies to help any given Democratic candidate that might win the nomination, document makes reference to Hillary Clinton in the document as “HRC,” giving credence to speculation that the DNC has been biased towards Clinton throughout the primary.
The same document calls for using targeted attacks on Republican candidates for the expressed purpose of taking the focus off of major questions that surround Hillary Clinton.
“Use specific hits to muddy the waters around ethics, transparency, and campaign finance attacks on HRC,” the document reads.
Among the documents revealed by the hacker was one titled Promises and Proposals – National Security & Foreign Policy, that was allegedly from 2008, during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. The document lays out the foreign policy goals for the Obama administration’s first term, and does not seem to include any classified information though it is marked “Secret.”
Guccifer 2.0 said that he sent the bulk of the documents he obtained to WikiLeaks, whose founder Julian Assange said that the organization had received enough information about Clinton to indict her.
“We’ve accumulated a lot of material about Hillary Clinton,” Assange said. “We could proceed to an indictment.”
The hack was initially reported to be the work of the Russian government agencies on Tuesday by CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC to investigate the data breach. Though Guccifer 2.0 insists that he worked alone, the company has stuck to its original story, and suggested that the hacker’s posting may be part of a “Russian disinformation campaign.”
“We are exploring the documents’ authenticity and origin,” CrowdStrike co-founder and chief technology officer Dmitri Alperovitch told The Washington Post. “Regardless, these claims do nothing to lessen our findings relating to the Russian government’s involvement, portions of which we have documented for the public and the greater security community.”
Alperovitch is also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative.
in 16 hours we've gone from "it was absolutely Russia" to "who did it?" pic.twitter.com/bzY2Zbf6mV— Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) June 16, 2016
In response to his work being attributed to a sophisticated government agency, Guccifer 2.0 wrote: “I’m very pleased the company appreciated my skills so highly))) But in fact, it was easy, very easy.”
The hacker’s moniker is a reference to the original Guccifer, a Romanian national named Marcel Lahel who hacked top US government officials and claims to have accessed Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Lahel was extradited to the United States earlier this year and is currently awaiting prosecution for his cyber-intrusions.
“Guccifer may have been the first one who penetrated Hillary Clinton’s and other Democrats’ mail servers,” Guccifer 2.0 wrote. “But he certainly wasn’t the last. No wonder any other hacker could easily get access to the DNC’s servers.”