Malware, spearphishing, and phony identities - indictment provides details of Russian hacking conspiracy

Malware, spearphishing, and phony identities - indictment provides details of Russian hacking conspiracy

Malware, spearphishing, and phony identities - indictment provides details of Russian hacking conspiracy

Twelve Russian military intelligence officers hacked into the Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic Party, releasing tens of thousands of stolen communications, in a sweeping effort by a foreign government to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election, according to a grand jury indictment.

Special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday indicted 12 Russian military officials, accusing them of massive attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election by emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign chief and another political committee, and penetrating state elections computers.

The Justice Department says 12 Russian intelligence officers have been charged for allegedly hacking the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign during the 2016 election.

The Russians also sent more than 100 spearphishing emails to "organizations and personnel involved in administering elections in numerous Florida counties" in and around election day in November 2016.

The charges come just three days before US President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

'The Internet allows foreign adversaries to attack America in new and unexpected ways, ' Rosenstein said.

Mr Rosenstein said: "The defendants covertly monitored the computers, implanted hundreds of files containing malicious computer code, and stole emails and other documents". This person, who remains unidentified, wanted stolen documents, and the conspirators responded with documents on the candidate's opponent, the indictment said.

Mueller is investigating whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation and whether the president has unlawfully sought to obstruct the Russian Federation investigation.

But Friday's indictment was the first by Mueller that directly charges Russia's government with meddling. "This is not a witch hunt and it is certainly not a joke, as Donald Trump has desperately and incorrectly argued in the past", Perez said.

"If it is Russian Federation, which it probably is not, nobody knows who it is, but if it is Russian Federation, it's really bad for a different reason because it shows how little respect they have for our country when they would hack into a major party and get everything", Trump said.

"One unit engaged by stealing information, a different unit by disseminating the information", Rosenstein said.

The Russia investigation has now led to charges against 32 people, including previous charges against 14 Russian nationals for their work on spreading Russian-based propaganda.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who made the indictment announcement from the Justice Department, did in fact make similar remarks.

The operatives created two fictitious identities, a supposedly lone-wolf hacker Guccifer 2.0 and another supposed group of Americans dubbed DCLeaks, as cutouts to share the information.

The DoJ reports that the indictment does not claim that the alleged criminal activities "altered the vote count or changed the outcome of the 2016 elections".

The defendants are named in the indictment as Viktor Netyksho, Boris Antonov, Dmitry Badin, Ivan Yermakov, Aleksey Lukashev, Sergey Morgachev, Nikolay Kozachek, Pavel Yershov, Artem Malyshev, Aleksandr Osadchuk and Aleksey Potemkin.

Related news