US intel officially blames the Russian government for hacking DNC

In an official statement today, the Director of National Intelligence and Department of Homeland Security officially blamed Russia for stealing and publishing archived emails from the Democratic National Committee this summer.

“The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts,” the statement reads. “We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”

The attacks had been widely attributed to Russia, particularly after a Motherboard interview in which the nominally Romanian Guccifer 2.0 failed to carry on a conversation in Romanian, but this is the first official statement the intelligence community has made to that effect. It also comes after an explicit request from Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) to investigate possible Russian efforts to influence the US election.

The release also mentions recent reports of attempted intrusions into voting systems in 20 different states, but says there is not yet enough evidence to attribute those attacks to the Russian government.

Despite the acknowledged threat, the DNI says digital attacks are unlikely to directly alter election results. “It would be extremely difficult for someone, including a nation-state actor, to alter actual ballot counts or election results by cyber attack or intrusion,” the statement reads. “This assessment is based on the decentralized nature of our election system in this country and the number of protections state and local election officials have in place.”

“Nevertheless,” it continues, “DHS continues to urge state and local election officials to be vigilant.”


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