russia hackers

Russian hacker sought by the US arrested in Spain

  • Police in Spain arrested a Russian hacker sought by American authorities on Friday, amid rumors that the man is linked to interference in the 2016 United States presidential election.
  • According to the Washington Post, Pyotr Levashov was detained in Barcelona on a U.S. computer crimes warrant, which isn’t necessarily anything out of the ordinary. 
  • Foreign speculation kicked into high gear, however, after Levashov’s wife said in an interview with a Russian RT broadcaster that her husband had told her during a phone call from the police station that he had been brought in for creating a computer virus “linked to Trump’s election win.” Read more. (4/10/2017 10:34 AM)
For Republicans, there was no allegation too small to investigate with respect to Secretary Clinton, but now there is no scandal too big to ignore for Donald Trump.
—  Rep. Elijah Cummings

During a recent trip to Vladivostok these beautiful young ladies showed me one of their school computers. And I showed them how to hack into American government networks. Russian education system too strong!
Trump Grows Discontented With Attorney General Jeff Sessions
The president blames Mr. Sessions for troubles plaguing the White House, and has fumed that the attorney general recused himself from the Russia investigation.
By Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman

“The president faulted his own Justice Department for its defense of his travel ban on visitors from certain predominantly Muslim countries. Mr. Trump accused Mr. Sessions’s department of devising a ‘politically correct’ version of the ban — as if the president had nothing to do with it.”

The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.

“It was Mr. Trump who signed the revised executive order and, presumably, agreed to the legal strategy in the first place. His posts made it sound like the Justice Department was not part of his administration.”

“He has intermittently fumed for months over Mr. Sessions’s decision to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election … In Mr. Trump’s view, … it was that recusal that eventually led to the appointment of a special counsel who took over the investigation.”

  • “Dammit, Jeff! You were supposed to make this whole mess go away!”
  • “Ah’m sorry, Mr. President.”
  • “Keep the FBI and Comey off my back! Make the Russian thing disappear!”
  • “Ah’m sorry, Mr. President.”
  • “You said I had your loyalty. I put you in charge of the whole Justice Department!”
  • “Ah know, Mr. Pres–”
  • “Recusing yourself. What a loser!”
  • “Sorry, Mr. President.”
  • “And now there’s some ‘special counsel’ digging around? This is a disaster! Total disaster! How are people going to believe I didn’t do anything wrong with that going on, huh?”
  • “Ah’m truly sorry, Mr. President.”
  • “This is your fault. You had one fucking job. What did I even appoint you for?”
  • “Sorry, Mr. President.”
Russian hackers broke into voting systems in almost every US state, report claims
A Russian cyber attack on the US electoral system affected almost 40 states during the 2016 election, sources have revealed. The cyber attack – which targeted software used by poll workers on election day – hit 39 states, sources familiar with the US investigation into the matter told Bloomberg. The

A Russian cyber attack on the US electoral system affected almost 40 states during the 2016 election, sources have revealed.

The cyber attack – which targeted software used by poll workers on election day – hit 39 states, sources familiar with the US investigation into the matter told Bloomberg. That number, if accurate, represents a far larger attack than previously reported.

The Intercept recently published a top-secret National Security Agency document detailing an attempted launch of a Russian spear-phishing campaign on local governments in advance of the US election. The report suggested hackers had accessed at least one US voting software supplier.

According to Bloomberg, however, the hackers accessed dozens of voter databases and at least one campaign finance database.

The attack was so severe that it drove Obama administration officials to complain directly to the Russian government via a “red phone”. The administration feared the hackers would delete voter rolls or otherwise tamper with the voting process in order to undermine confidence in the election.

“International law, including the law for armed conflict, applies to actions in cyberspace,” the White House warned in one message to Moscow, NBC reported. “We will hold Russia to those standards.”

The hacking efforts continued even after this warning.

One former US intelligence official told Bloomberg it was unlikely the Russians had learned how to actually change votes across the country in the short time after the attack. But with three years until the next election, another warned, they will have ample time to practise.

Former FBI Director James Comey seemed to echo these sentiments in his Senate hearing last week.

“[This] it is a long-term practise of theirs,” the former intelligence official said of Moscow. “It’s stepped up a notch in a significant way in ‘16. They’ll be back.”

The Russian government has denied any meddling in the 2016 election.

The US investigation into the incident started in Illinois, where hackers accessed as many as 90,000 voter records. These records include names, dates of birth, genders, driver’s incenses and partial Social Security numbers, according to Ken Menzel, general counsel for the Illinois board of elections.

Investigators used this evidence to uncover successful hacking efforts in 38 other states.

A former Obama administration official acknowledged the scope of the hacking in a statement to Bloomberg.

“Last year, as we detected intrusions into websites managed by election officials around the country, the administration worked relentlessly to protect our election infrastructure,” said Eric Schultz, a spokesman for Mr Obama.

US intelligence agencies had previously reported that Russian hackers accessed “elements of multiple US state or local electoral boards”. The extent of this breach, however, was not revealed in the January report from the CIA, NSA and FBI.

‘Dear Donald, congratulations on winning the election that we totally did not rig in your favour (the boys in the FSB hacking unit send a shout out, by the way). Let us celebrate by erasing all of your debts to Sberbank! Ahahaha. I am fucking kidding. Those debts do not go away until America does. Now get to work! From Russia with love, Vova.’

@damedvedevand I thought it’d be funny to let this youngster try to guess our PC’s login password. Bad idea. As we giggled, he cracks it somehow and immediately finds our folder of unflattering selfies and starts uploading them to Facebook. The nerve of this nihilistic prick: “get your hands off me, or I post your uglies.” I’ve never felt so vulnerable. One of the SWAT snipers eventually took him out with a head-shot, but they cut it far too close for my liking p.s. my password is no longer “DeliciousPonyWarts;)”, in case you are thinking of trying the same thing
Ex-MI6 agent so worried by his Donald Trump discoveries he started working without pay
Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who investigated Donald Trump’s alleged Kremlin links, was so worried by what he was discovering that at the end he was working without pay, The Independent has learned. Mr Steele also decided to pass on information to both British and American intelligence officials after concluding that such material should not just be in the hands of political opponents of Mr Trump, who had hired his services, but was a matter of national security for both countries.

“Mr Trump’s campaign team had agreed to a Russian request to dilute attention on Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine. Four days later Mr Trump stated that he would recognise Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. A month later officials involved in his campaign asked the Republican party’s election platform to remove a pledge for military assistance to the Ukrainian government against separatist rebels in the east of the country. … There seemed to be little progress in a proper inquiry into Mr Trump. The Bureau, instead, seemed to be devoting their resources in the pursuit of Hillary Clinton’s email transgressions. The New York office, in particular, appeared to be on a crusade against Ms Clinton.”
What the last 48 hours told us about Trump's next 4 years
President-elect Donald Trump went nose-to-nose Wednesday with a press corps itching to cross-examine him after more than five months at arm's length, while his top nominees faced off with senators during a strategic crush of confirmation hearings.
By Gregory Krieg, CNN
  1. Donald Trump still hates the press, except for Fox News and Breitbart.
  2. Trump’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is so supportive of Russia and Trump’s buddy Vladimir Putin that he refuses to condemn Russia’s murdering journalists and bombing civilians.
  3. Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, will not pursue alleged civil rights violations by police and police departments.
  4. FBI director James Comey, asked whether the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign’s alleged contacts with Russia, refused to comment: “Especially in a public forum, we never confirm or deny a pending investigation.” (Except, of course, when it’s Hillary Clinton.)

FBI Director James Comey testifies that Russia hacked Republicans, too

  • Russian hackers infiltrated Republican data but didn’t leak any of the information, FBI Director James Comey told Congress Tuesday.
  • “There was evidence of hacking directed at state-level organizations, state-level campaigns and the [Republican National Committee], but old domains of the RNC, meaning old emails they weren’t using. None of that was released.” - Comey
  • He also said there was no sign hackers had targeted current RNC computers or the Trump campaign. Read more

Russia paid trolls to wage information warfare on behalf of Donald Trump

  • For the better part of the past decade, social media campaigns featuring legions of Russia-loving patriots have been a key strategy in the Russian fight against dissident views at home.
  • These trolls aren’t special agents sitting in darkened rooms in the heart of the Kremlin. 
  • Instead, they’re often white-collar workers in nondescript offices throughout Russia. Often, it’s hard to trace these workers to Putin and his close associates. Read more
How Alleged Russian Hacker Teamed Up With Florida GOP Operative
Political consultant Aaron Nevins asked for and received documents from hacker ‘Guccifer 2.0’ and posted some on his blog, after which the hacker called the blog to the attention of Trump adviser Roger Stone.
By Alexandra Berzon and Rob Barry

The hacking spree that upended the presidential election wasn’t limited to Democratic National Committee memos and Clinton-aide emails posted on websites. The hacker also privately sent Democratic voter-turnout analyses to a Republican political operative in Florida named Aaron Nevins.

Learning that hacker “Guccifer 2.0” had tapped into a Democratic committee that helps House candidates, Mr. Nevins wrote to the hacker to say: “Feel free to send any Florida based information.”

Ten days later, Mr. Nevins received 2.5 gigabytes of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee documents, some of which he posted on a blog called that he ran using a pseudonym.

Soon after, the hacker sent a link to the blog article to Roger Stone, a longtime informal adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump, along with Mr. Nevins’ analysis of the hacked data.

Mr. Nevins confirmed his exchanges after The Wall Street Journal identified him first as the operator of the HelloFLA blog and then as the recipient of the stolen DCCC data. The Journal also reviewed copies of exchanges between the hacker and Mr. Nevins. That the obscure blog had received hacked Democratic documents was previously known, but not the extent of the trove or the blogger’s identity.