The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has released an unclassified version of intel community’s findings on activities conducted by the Russian Government in the attempt to influence the 2016 US Presidential Election through cyber attacks and online propaganda.
“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments,” the report said.
“We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.”
The Russia tasked its cyber army of conducting cyber espionage campaigns against policy parties, and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2015. The Kremlin also used an army of online trolls to conduct online propaganda and PSYOPs aimed to spread fake news and influence public sentiment.
According to the report released by ODNI, the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), participated in the operations since March of 2016.
“We assess that the GRU operations resulted in the compromise of the personal e-mail accounts of Democratic Party officials and political figures. By May, the GRU had exfiltrated large volumes of data from the DNC,” reads the report.
According to the US intelligence, the mysterious hacker Guccifer 2.0 who passed the stolen information to WikiLeaks was an entity operated by the GRU.
“Since early 2014, Russian intelligence has researched US electoral processes and related technology and equipment. DHS assesses that the types of systems we observed Russian actors targeting or compromising are not involved in vote tallying,” continues the report.
The report also highlights the use of the RT America TV, a Russia-financed channel operated from within the United States, as a messaging tool to undermine faith in the US Government and fuel political protest.
The report confirmed that hackers belonging to the Russian GRU were behind the leak of data exfiltrated from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) database.
Of course, Russia denied claims it interfered with the US Presidential Election.
(Security Affairs – President Putin, US Presidential Election)