NEWS BRIEF U.S. intelligence officials accused Russia Friday of orchestrating the July hack of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, reaffirming speculation that Moscow played a role in the breach that resulted in the release of thousands of DNC staff emails.
In a joint statement by the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the U.S. government said it is “confident” the Russian government played a role in the hack aimed at interfering with the ongoing presidential election. Here’s more from the statement:
The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow—the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.
But the statement added that the U.S. intelligence committee and DHS “assess that it would be extremely difficult for someone, including a nation-state actor, to alter actual ballot counts or election results by cyber attack or intrusion.”
U.S. officials have long said Moscow was behind the breach that resulted in a leak of nearly 20,000 DNC emails—obtained by a hacker known as “Guccifer 2.0” and published by Wikileaks—which revealed DNC staffers favored Hillary Clinton over then-rival Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination; the leaks led to the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the committee’s chair.