The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, (ODNI), who oversees the 17 agency-strong U.S. intelligence community, rejected the claim that Russia was responsible for malicious Russian cyber activity during the election as, “ridiculous” in early December. He pressed his assertion that no evidence implicates Russia in the cyber attacks.
Regardless of that fact, a joint report has been released today by the Department of Homeland Security and the F.B.I. that supposedly sheds light on how federal investigators concluded that Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic political institutions in the presidential election.
Without mentioning either by name, the 13-page document illustrates how Russian civilian and military actors compromised the Democratic National Committee’s internal communications network and hacked thousands of emails sent and received by Hillary Clinton‘s campaign chairman, John Podesta, as well as other “U.S. government, political and private sector entities,” Washington Examiner reports.
“These cyber operations have included spearphishing campaigns, targeting government organizations, critical infrastructure entities, think tanks, universities, political organizations, and corporations leading to the theft of information,” states the report.
The report was released on the same day the White House imposed a series of new sanctions on Russian officials and institutions as part of its pledge to retaliate against Moscow for interfering in the 2016 election. It is separate from the “full review” of Russia’s hack-and-release operations President Obama requested earlier this month.
According to the report, the Democratic party appears to have been the victim of a spearphishing campaign in which hundreds of employees were tricked “into changing their passwords through a fake webmail domain” hosted by Russian hackers.
Though U.S. intelligence officials insist the hacks were perpetrated by the Russian government, President-elect Trump has refused to accept such findings as fact.
“I think we ought to get on with our lives,” Trump told reporters late Wednesday when asked about the Obama administration’s plan to level sanctions against Russia for the election-year hacks.