Friday, 17 August, 2018

Russians accused of hacking Democrats in 2016 U.S. election

Mueller departs after briefing members of the U.S. Senate on his investigation into potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign on Capitol Hill in Washington DC Joshua Roberts Reuters FILE
Patty Aguilar | 13 July, 2018, 20:05

Separately, The Daily Beast reported that Mueller's team has determined that the person calling himself Guccifer 2.0, who leaked sensitive DNC documents in the months leading to the 2016 election, is a Russian intelligence officer.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictment of 12-Russian intelligence officers Friday afternoon for a number of crimes, including hacking state election systems and digitally stealing documents.

Rosenstein supervises Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the USA election and ties to Trump's campaign.

He also said the Russian defendants infiltrated computers at US state boards of election and secretaries of state, plus software suppliers whose products help election officials verify voter registration data.

The alleged conspirators hacked into the computer network of the Democratic Congressional Committee and Democratic National Campaign Committee.

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The attacks were a signature feature of Russia's active measures against the United States; embarrassing emails were passed to Wikileaks, which released them publicly.

The GRU agents indicted Friday, he said, used the alias "Guccifer 2.0" and a website called "DCleaks" to disseminate the stolen information, presenting them as fronts for American and Romanian hackers.

Mueller has also obtained indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies related to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee. "When we confront foreign interference in American elections, it is important for us to avoid thinking politically as Republicans or Democrats and instead to think patriotically as Americans". On Feb. 16, his prosecutors charged 13 Russians and three Russian entities they said were part of a broader effort to sow discord among USA voters through social media - which they used to impersonate Americans, coordinate with unwitting US activists and even plan rallies.

The indictments are of 12 Russian military officers, and come just days before President Donald Trump is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland. Rosenstein said that Trump had already been briefed on the indictments earlier in the week.

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