I’m no expert on the technical issues involved either, but when the intrusion was first discovered in June, The Washington Post reported that the company brought in by the DNC to investigate the hack, Crowdstrike, claimed they’d identified two Russian groups already known to them and associated with that country’s intelligence services who had separately targeted the DNC’s servers. It seemed strange to me at the time that they could identify the perpetrators with such precision but couldn’t explain how either group did it.
It’s also a little odd that hackers working for a state security service would be sloppy enough to leave behind such traceable digital fingerprints, making it easy for blame to be placed at their own government’s doorstep. And if Crowdstrike is to be believed, at least one of the two groups had been this careless on multiple occasions.
For his, her or their part, Romanian hacker Guccifer 2.0, denied Russian sponsorship and claimed sole responsibility for the intrusion, releasing 235 pages of opposition research into Donald Trump as proof after the US media began to run with the Russia angle. Guccifer 2.0 also claimed there are more disclosures to come in a WordPress blog, writing, “The main part of the papers, thousands of files and mails, I gave to Wikileaks. They will publish them soon. I guess Crowdstrike customers should think twice about the company’s competence.”
Even the New York Times seemed to feel the need to cover themselves in reporting on the story, pointing out that Democratic “campaign officials acknowledge they have no evidence” of Russian government involvement. Still, as media watchdog group FAIR pointed out, they buried this detail in paragraph 20 of a 21 paragraph story, with the previous 19 paragraphs building on the premise that agents of the Kremlin were behind the hack.