The self-described “lone hacker” responsible for the Democratic National Convention data breach, who had been in touch with a longtime political adviser to President Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign team, was identified as a Russian military intelligence directorate (GRU) officer, according to news website The Daily Beast.
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Guccifer 2.0’s cover was blown because of a small but crucial oversight: on just one occasion, the hacker failed to turn on the virtual private networking service, or VPN, they were using to cover their tracks online before logging on to an American social media company.
This left a Moscow-based Internet Protocol (IP) address in the server logs of the American company, according to a source familiar with the U.S. government’s investigation into the hacker as reported by The Daily Beast. U.S. authorities were then able to follow the IP address back to a specific (and as of yet, unnamed) GRU officer working from Russia’s largest foreign intelligence agency on Grizodubovoy Street in Moscow.
According to Spiegel Online, German authorities attribute the June 2016 attack on the Democratic National Convention to a known Russian intelligence gathering unit dubbed APT28 by cyber security firm FireEye. Spiegel Online reports U.S. authorities requested German assistance because the hackers used a German freemail account. APT28 is known to use German infrastructure for attacks.
The Daily Beast reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has brought in the FBI investigators who tracked Guccifer and has taken over the probe into the hacker. The development could have a significant impact on the criminal investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to the news website.
Trump’s political advisor Roger Stone singled out Guccifer 2.0 in an August 2016 Breitbart News article entitled: “DNC Hack Solved, So Now Stop Blaming Russia.”
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