early and often

Suspected Russian Hackers Hit the Democratic Party Again

Donna Brazile points the finger at Russia (not pictured). Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Democratic officials say that hackers backed by the Russian state have hacked the Democratic National Committee once again.

During a cybersecurity conference in London on Tuesday, somebody who claimed to speak for notorious hacker Guccifer 2.0 — an identity widely believed to be a front for the Russian security services — took credit for the breach.

WikiLeaks tweeted out a link to a cache of leaked documents just after the announcement. The documents contain detailed Democratic donor lists, as well as donors’ personal information, documents discussing the party’s fundraising strategies, and allegedly even the personal cell-phone numbers of high ranking White House staff, including vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine.

The breach does bear a remarkable resemblance to a hack that rocked the DNC in July. As with this hack, a raft of documents was leaked via WikiLeaks, with Guccifer 2.0 taking credit.

And DNC interim chair Donna Brazile certainly seems confident that she knows who was behind the attacks and why.

“The DNC is the victim of a crime — an illegal cyber-attack by Russian state-sponsored agents who seek to harm the Democratic Party and progressive groups in an effort to influence the presidential election,” she said in a statement. “There’s one person who stands to benefit from these criminal acts, and that’s Donald Trump. Not only has Trump embraced Putin, he publicly encouraged further Russian espionage to help his campaign.”

At least one person — who has no foreign-policy or cyberespionage expertise whatsoever — disagreed with her theory. Speaking on CNN, Oliver Stone did not miss the opportunity to use the hack to promote his new movie — a biopic of the NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden. According to Stone and the unnamed “intelligence experts” he has spoken to, the hack was likely an “inside job,” with the documents leaked by the Democrats themselves.

Meanwhile, back in reality, it appears that Democrats weren’t the only ones targeted by Russian hackers. Similar hackers went after four American female athletes — Simone Biles, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, and Elena Delle Donne — and released their medical records in an attempt to make it look like they had been doping.

Anyone expecting many juicy revelations from this round of Democratic Party leaks will likely be disappointed. Presumably, Democrats have learned over the last few months to keep their strongest words and deepest secrets unwritten. The same cannot be said for Republican elder-statesman Colin Powell. BuzzFeed revealed today that his personal emails contain references to Donald Trump as a “national disgrace” and “international pariah” who is in the “process of destroying himself.”

Suspected Russian Hackers Hit the Democratic Party Again