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Russians indicted over U.S. election hack

14 July 2018

Twelve Russian spies have been charged with running a sweeping hacking campaign to damage Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US presidential election - with the indictment landing three days before Donald Trump is set to meet Vladimir Putin.

They worked out of two Moscow locations: Unit 26165, located at 20 Komsomolsky Prospekt; and Unit 74455, based in a glass office block on 22 Kirova Street dubbed "The Tower". The affected groups include the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.

The indictment accuses the Russian hackers, starting in March 2016, of covertly monitoring the computers of dozens of Democratic officials and volunteers, implanting malicious computer code known as malware to explore the networks and steal data, and sending phishing emails to gain access to accounts. "The Conspirators responded using the Guccifer 2.0 persona and sent the candidate stolen documents related to the candidate's opponent".

■ They used a network of computers in the United States and other countries and paid for the infrastructure using the cryptocurrency bitcoin. Some of the bitcoin was produced by bitcoin mining.

The charges come as Mueller continues to investigate potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Browder worked with Congress to get the Magnitsky Act passed, preventing foreigners who violate human rights from entering the U.S. He once ran one of the largest foreign investment funds in Russian companies from 1996-2006. "At or about the same time, they also targeted seventy-six email addresses at the domain for the Clinton campaign". They stole passwords, tracked keystrokes, took screenshots and watched banking information, the indictment said.

Former FBI director James Comey said during congressional testimony a year ago he had "no doubt" the Russian government was behind the DNC hack.

Prosecutors say that in August 2016, a USA congressional candidate requested and received from stolen documents related to an opponent from an online persona created by the Russian cabal.

He also called it a "meaningless number" because "the idea Donald Trump is not tough enough on Putin--it's absurd on the face of it, especially when you look at him confronting Germany about the gas line from Russian Federation to Germany".

The men are identified by name, rank and job description and Mueller's indictment describes in granular detail when and how they carried out the hack-and-dump scheme.

One of the Russians probed election websites in Iowa, Florida and Georgia, looking for vulnerabilities just days before the November election, the indictment charged. Using an e-mail account created to look like it came from the vendor, they sent more than 100 spearphishing e-mails to organizations and people involved in administering elections in Florida counties.

The indictment, which alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy involving sophisticated hacking and staged releases of documents, raises the stakes for a summit next week between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Stone was an adviser to Trump during the campaign and has clearly been investigated by Mueller's team and the grand jury, after several of his business associates received requests for documents or to testify before the grand jury.

Russians indicted over U.S. election hack