Guccifer 2.0 – false flag DNC hacker or Russian intelligence agent?

More claims in the murky world of intellegence, hacking and election interference.

“Working off the IP address, U.S. investigators identified Guccifer 2.0 as a particular GRU officer working out of the agency’s headquarters on Grizodubovoy Street in Moscow.”

The Daily Beast – EXCLUSIVE: ‘Lone DNC Hacker’ Guccifer 2.0 Slipped Up and Revealed He Was a Russian Intelligence Officer

Today the most popular counter-narrative surrounding Guccifer 2.0 concedes that the account was a fake persona but posits that it was created by the DNC to support a false-flag operation implicating Russia. In this theory, advanced in two widely cited anonymous blogs, Guccifer 2.0 was the DNC posing as Russia posing as a Romanian hacker.

DNC = Democratic National Committee. There has been a lot of blaming and counter blaming on \email hacking and election interference.

But…

Guccifer 2.0, the “lone hacker” who took credit for providing WikiLeaks with stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, was in fact an officer of Russia’s military intelligence directorate (GRU), The Daily Beast has learned. It’s an attribution that resulted from a fleeting but critical slip-up in GRU tradecraft.

That forensic determination has substantial implications for the criminal probe into potential collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia. The Daily Beast has learned that the special counsel in that investigation, Robert Mueller, has taken over the probe into Guccifer and brought the FBI agents who worked to track the persona onto his team.

While it’s unclear what Mueller plans to do with Guccifer, his last round of indictments charged 13 Russians tied to the Internet Research Agency troll farm with a conspiracy “for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016.” It was Mueller’s first move establishing Russian interference in the election within a criminal context, but it stopped short of directly implicating the Putin regime.

Mueller’s office declined to comment for this story. But the attribution of Guccifer 2.0 as an officer of Russia’s largest foreign intelligence agency would cross the Kremlin threshold—and move the investigation closer to Trump himself.

Trump’s longtime political adviser Roger Stone admitted being in touch with Guccifer over Twitter’s direct messaging service. And in August 2016, Stone published an article on the pro-Trump-friendly Breitbart News calling on his political opponents to “Stop Blaming Russia” for the hack. “I have some news for Hillary and Democrats—I think I’ve got the real culprit,” he wrote. “It doesn’t seem to be the Russians that hacked the DNC, but instead a hacker who goes by the name of Guccifer 2.0.”

Five months later, in January 2017, the CIA, NSA, and FBI assessed “with high confidence” that “Russian military intelligence (General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU) used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com to release US victim data.” But the assessment did not directly call Guccifer a Russian intelligence officer. Nor did it provide any evidence for its assertions.

It turns out there is a powerful reason to connect Guccifer to the GRU.

Guccifer famously pretended to be a “lone hacker” who perpetrated the digital DNC break-in. From the outset, few believed it.

 

The alleged slip up was that Guccifer 2.0 once accidentally logged in to a US social media site without disguising their IP address.

But on one occasion, The Daily Beast has learned, Guccifer failed to activate the VPN client before logging on. As a result, he left a real, Moscow-based Internet Protocol address in the server logs of an American social media company, according to a source familiar with the government’s Guccifer investigation.

Working off the IP address, U.S. investigators identified Guccifer 2.0 as a particular GRU officer working out of the agency’s headquarters on Grizodubovoy Street in Moscow.

Security firms and declassified U.S. intelligence findings previously identified the GRU as the agency running “Fancy Bear,” the ten-year-old hacking organization behind the DNC email theft, as well as breaches at NATO, Obama’s White House, a French television station, the World Anti-Doping Agency, and countless NGOs, and militaries and civilian agencies in Europe, Central Asia, and the Caucasus.

There will no doubt be more on this, in support and against.

What is not known publicly is how much evidence the Mueller inquiry has to work on. What is certain is that they will have been or be carefully checking this link out.

11 Comments

    • PDB

       /  March 24, 2018

      Will this nonsense ever stop?

      Voters had to be either pretty desperate to vote for Trump or else they felt they had to because the opposing candidate was so bad – in the case of the last election it was both.

      • Regardless of the poor quality of the candidates (not just the final two), illegal actions and foreign country interference are major issues for democracies.

        Remember that a serious attempt to swing an election using illegally hacked emails was tried in New Zealand in 2014. It failed, and may not have involved a foreign power, but it is still a big issue.

        • PDB

           /  March 24, 2018

          Foreign powers (mainly the USA ironically) have ALWAYS tried to influence foreign elections – this one is of more interest only because it was a huge election upset against the odds.

          People nowadays are bombarded by all manner of advertising in their day to day lives so unless the foreign power is physically forcing people to vote the way they want, or are tampering with the actual votes in some way once they are cast then I think the issue is greatly over-exaggerated.

          The book ‘Dirty Politics’ is a different matter entirely.

  1. David

     /  March 24, 2018

    Podesta,s email password was “password” which is just too funny, they never allowed the FBI to investigate the hack which looks decidedly dodgy and then all to conveniently some computer company fingers the Russians…how convenient.
    Until there is a proper official report I dont believe anonymous sources leaking to Trump hating websites.

  2. MaureenW

     /  March 24, 2018

    You would have to wonder why the Meuller investigation has never asked Julian Assange where Wikileaks obtained the DNC emails from.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/with_integrity/status/903020675887239177

  3. Mercer financed Breitbart for Bannon, and also supported the Trump campaign.

    I think that the Guiliani in Bracewell & Guiliani is Rudy Guiliani, also heavily involved in the Trump campaign.

  4. Traveller

     /  March 24, 2018

    Educating our children to be discerning would be a start.

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  March 24, 2018

    Spies do what spies do. Unlikely Mueller will ever know more than spies already knew. Question is only how much of that he will reveal.