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Friday, 29 December 2017 13:50

Latest 'Russia hacked the DNC' claim strains credulity

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The latest round of "Russia hacked the DNC" claims has arrived in the form of a jailed Russian who claims to have left proof on the Democrat National Committee's server that he was behind the hack, which, he claims, was done at the behest of Russia's FSB.

Konstantin Kozlovsky, who is on trial in Russia on charges of being part of Lurk, a group accused of using malware to steal three billion roubles from banks, has also claimed to have hacked the PCs of investigators looking into the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight 17.

If that were not enough for patriotic US publications to stand up and take notice, Kozlovsky also claims to have been involved in the creation of the WannaCry ransomware which has been officially attributed to North Korea by the US Government.

This flight was brought down in July 2014 by a missile near the disputed Ukrainian border with Russia.

The first time the claims were reported, it was said that Kozlovksy posted them on Facebook. That a Russian who is in jail facing charges from the state is allowed to access the Internet does strain credulity a bit, but then the Russian hand in the election story has always been more about faith and less about evidence.

To anyone with a dash of cynicism, it looks like the man is trying desperately to get into the good books of investigators in the US.

His claim that he left his passport number and the number of a visa he had been granted to visit the island of St Martin in a data file on the DNC server as proof of his involvement can no longer be verified.

The company CrowdStrike, which was called in by the Democrats to investigate the alleged hack, did not allow anyone else access to the servers.

And if that proof was on the server, then CrowdStrike must tell us why they did not spot it. The company's chief technology officer, Dimitri Alperovitch, who is closely affiliated with the pro-Democrat Atlantic Council, was the one who coined the term Fancy Bear for the group he alleged was behind the DNC break-in.

Despite the obvious fact that there appears to be a misinformation campaign going on, US media have asked few questions about the story. It appears that the story which was initially spun to avoid blaming the Democrats themselves for the 2016 presidential election loss has now taken on a life of its own.

One of the lines that is particularly risible and appears in many of these stories is "The newest allegations are potentially significant." But the same line has been run before and in the end it turns to be anything but.


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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