The entity known as Guccifer 2.0 has come out of hiding and slammed the Intel reports on Russian hacking as “crude fake” evidence.
The hacker or group of hackers known as Guccifer 2.0 admit breaching the DNC computer network by easily exploiting a software vulnerability on their system but deny any links with Russia.
The entity denies U.S. government’s allegations, which are now supported by Donald Trump, that it is tied to the Russian government’s hacking campaign against Democrats.
“The U.S. intelligence agencies have published several reports of late claiming I have ties with Russia,” the hacker wrote on their WordPress website on Thursday.
“I’d like to make it clear enough that these accusations are unfounded. I have totally no relation to the Russian government. I’d like to tell you once again I was acting in accordance with my personal political views and beliefs,” the post continues.
The Obama administration has insisted for months that Guccifer 2.0 and another group operating a website called DC Leaks is affiliated with Russia’s intelligence agencies. During the campaign, the websites distributed hacked emails and documents stolen from various Democratic politicians, party organizations, and other prominent figures, such as Colin Powell.
The hackers also provided exclusives of hacked documents to reporters, including to The Daily Caller.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence reiterated hackers’ links to the Russian government in a declassified report released last week.
“We assess with high confidence that Russian military intelligence (General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU) used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets and relayed material to WikiLeaks,” the report states.
Guccifer 2.0 first appeared on the national scene in June after a cyber security firm hired by the DNC called CrowdStrike issued a report alleging that a “sophisticated” hacker group had infiltrated the DNC’s computer systems.
The hacker responded to that claim in a blog post, saying that it was not difficult to infiltrate the DNC’s computer systems and did not require the support of a state actor.
“I’m very pleased the company appreciated my skills so highly. But in fact, it was easy, very easy,” the hacker wrote at the time, claiming that they exploited a vulnerability in software installed on DNC systems by a company called NGP VAN.
In that post, Guccifer 2.0 also claimed that they gave thousands of files and emails to WikiLeaks and that the group would “publish them soon.”
Sure enough, WikiLeaks released 20,000 DNC emails the next month.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has denied that his group’s source for the DNC emails — or emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta that were published in October — were provided by anyone affiliated with the Russian government.
In the latest post, Guccifer 2.0 also disputes information released late last month in a Joint Analysis Report released by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. The hacker claims that the report attributed malware code to the Russian government which is actually widely available on the Internet.
“The technical evidence contained in the reports doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. This is a crude fake,” the hacker wrote Thursday.
“A lot of hackers use it,” Guccifer 2.0 says of the code. “I think it was inserted in the report to make it look a bit more plausible.”
“It’s obvious that the intelligence agencies are deliberately falsifying evidence. In my opinion, they’re playing into the hands of the Democrats who are trying to blame foreign actors for their failure.”
While the U.S. intelligence assessments have been met with skepticism from some, Trump and key figures in his incoming administration appear to have come around to U.S. intelligence officials’ belief that Russia was behind the hacks.
“I think it was Russia,” Trump said in a press conference on Wednesday.
And on Thursday, Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, Trump’s nominee for CIA director, said during his Senate confirmation hearing that Russia’s senior leaders conducted an “aggressive” cyber campaign against the U.S.
By Chuck Ross