Firm Hired By DNC & Relied On By FBI To Prove Russia Hacking Forced To Withdraw Anti-Russian Report
By Jeff Dunetz
Reported in January, the FBI based its decision that it was the Russians that hacked into the DNC computers on a report commissioned by the DNC and generated by a company called CrowdStrike (the FBI was never allowed to examine the DNC server). The VOA recently caught CrowdStrike creating a bogus and unrelated hacking charge against Russia, and making up the facts to prove its veracity.
To make their determination that the Democrats were hacked by Russia, the FBI relied exclusively on information from private digital forensics company Crowdstrike. It wasn’t the FBI’s fault the DNC wouldn’t allow the FBI to look a their servers for the hacking investigation, instead forced them to use the Crowdstrike report paid for by the Party.
At the time a senior FBI law enforcement official told Wired,
“The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated.”
The FBI did substantiate that it relied on data from Crowdstrike in their investigation, but they blamed the Party for not looking at the servers themselves, according to the FBI official who spoke to wired:
The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated. This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third-party for information. These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier,”
Ten weeks after the above report CrowdStrike’s reputation is currently unraveling. Why? It seems that CrowdStrike is as politically motivated as everyone else in Washington, D.C. The company is an opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has been caught lying about a report to make a claim about Russian hacking damaging Ukrainian technology.
The VOA reported:
U.S. cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike has revised and retracted statements it used to buttress claims of Russian hacking during last year’s American presidential election campaign. The shift followed a VOA report that the company misrepresented data published by an influential British think tank.
In December, CrowdStrike said it found evidence that Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app, contributing to heavy losses of howitzers in Ukraine’s war with pro-Russian separatists.
VOA reported Tuesday that the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), which publishes an annual reference estimating the strength of world armed forces, disavowed the CrowdStrike report and said it had never been contacted by the company.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense also has stated that the combat losses and hacking never happened.
CrowdStrike was first to link hacks of Democratic Party computers to Russian actors last year, but some cybersecurity experts have questioned its evidence. The company has come under fire from some Republicans who say charges of Kremlin meddling in the election are overblown.
After CrowdStrike released its Ukraine report, company co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch claimed it provided added evidence of Russian election interference. In both hacks, he said, the company found malware used by “Fancy Bear,” a group with ties to Russian intelligence agencies.
CrowdStrike’s claims of heavy Ukrainian artillery losses were widely circulated in U.S. media.
On Thursday, CrowdStrike walked back key parts of its Ukraine report.
The company removed language that said Ukraine’s artillery lost 80 percent of the Soviet-era D-30 howitzers, which used aiming software that purportedly was hacked. Instead, the revised report cites figures of 15 to 20 percent losses in combat operations, attributing the figures to IISS.
The company who the DNC and FBI relied on not only made up a problem that didn’t exist, but then blamed it on Putin’s Russia. Shouldn’t that call into question the entire premise that it was the Russians who hacked into the DNC?
Even before the Democrats were using the Russian hack story in a lame attempt damage the nascent Trump presidency, they were using the tale as a tool to deflect from the Clinton scandals–before Wikileaks started publishing the Podesta emails. They took a joke made by the future president and turned it into a scandal, and when Wikileaks began publishing the Podesta emails, they simply added it to the Putin charges.
Now I am not suggesting that Putin is a boy scout, he is a despicable tyrant.. Was the report commissioned purely for campaign purposes? Based on the fact that the company has close ties to the Obama team, is friends with Hillary Clinton, and is connected closely to Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk (another friend of the DNC) can we really believe the report was done without DNC input, or did members of the party the campaign direct Crowdstrike toward the Russians, which the company already has a beef with? If everything was above board—well why didn’t the DNC allow the government intelligence sources to look at their server?
But most importantly, why is the FBI relying on this report, and why isn’t the House or Senate Committees investigating the Crowdstrike report?
First published at Lid Blog
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