A data dump from a hacker going by the name Guccifer 2.0 has caused a huge stir on Twitter over the last 48 hours. The data dump, which was released on Saturday via a Wordpress site is the second of its kind from the aptly named hacker who has taken responsibility for the recent Democratic National Committee (DNC) hack.
The data dumps (the second of which is being referred to as #Guccifer3 by Tweepers), are being revered by people everywhere for appearing to reveal vast amounts of corruptness within the Presidential race so far. In particular with regards to inside support from the DNC - that it is felt amounts to election rigging for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Internal memos stolen from the DNC by Guccifer 2.0, demonstrate that Clinton was already being referred to as the Democratic candidate back in May of 2015. Revealing that the massive support which fellow Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders, enjoyed during the primaries was always destined for failure. The news is enraging Sanders supporters enormously, who now feel that they have been subjected to a bent election process.
During the primaries race, the idea has been suggested (by Sanders supporters) that the Mainstream Media’s coverage of Clinton likely helped to tip the Democratic race her way. However, amongst the newly published documents there is smoking gun evidence of direct collusion between mainstream media outlets and the DNC to help crown Clinton as the Democratic candidate the during the election process.
A letter from May 2015 with the subject “2016 GOP Presidential Candidates”, explains details of ‘a suggested strategy for positioning and public messaging around the 2016 Republican Presidential field.’ Part of that plan is stipulated as follows;
‘Our goals in the coming months will be to frame the Republican field and the eventual nominee and to provide a contrast between the GOP field and HRC.’
Clear evidence, it seems, that HRC (Hillary Clinton) was being groomed for the Democratic candidacy. Further into the letter, HRC is once again referred to directly in a way that suggests a concerted emphasis from the DNC towards Clinton clinching the Democratic win,
‘Use specific hits to muddy the waters around ethics, transparency and campaign finance attacks on HRC.’
Media 'light-touch' reporting of Guccifer 2.0 leak
Even in the light of these damning DNC data dumps, the mainstream media has mostly concentrated on the portions that demonstrate the DNC’s planned strategy to harm Republican candidates, including unexpectedly strong GOP wildcard Donald Trump.
Another section, entitled ‘Reporter Outreach’ displays an undeniable will to specifically influence the media in an unfair way,
‘Working through the DNC and others, we should use background briefings, prep with reporters for interviews with GOP candidates, off the record conversations and oppo pitches to help pitch stories with no fingerprints and utilize reporters to drive a message.'
‘Both the DNC and outside groups are looking to do events and press surrounding Republican events to insert our messaging into their press and to force them to answer questions around key issues.’
Although this may not seem overly damning to some people, and it is certainly normal practice in politics these days for parties to attack their competition, the letter certainly shows a will from the DNC to directly influence the media.
That strategy appears to have worked strongly in Hillary Clinton’s favor - according to decisiondata.org - whose findings demonstrate that there was a ’shocking’ media blackout on the large number of supporters that were turning up to Sanders’ rallies (thousands and often much more than HRC was getting).
Amusingly, despite the data dump (the authenticity of which has not been denied by the DNC), the DNC is sticking to it’s claims that the hack was perpetrated by sophisticated Russian (possibly government or FSB) operatives. That belief in now open to question considering Guccifer 2.0’s claim that he acted alone,
‘Worldwide known cyber security company CrowdStrike announced that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers had been hacked by “sophisticated” hacker groups. I’m very pleased the company appreciated my skills so highly))) But in fact, it was easy, very easy.’
For their part in the story, the Russian government has denied involvement in the hack. Whether it is a lone hacker (as claimed), or not, the possibility of it being a Russian hacker remains, of course, a reasonable option - and there certainly is plenty of circumstantial evidence to suggest it was a Russian speaker - likely using a Russian keyboard.
It also seems obvious that whoever the hacker is; they will probably be doing their utmost to avert eyes away from the actual nature of their identity in order to avoid being caught like the original Guccifer namesake.
For those that aren’t aware, this latest whistleblower is named after the original Guccifer hacker: The Romanian cyber hacktivist who rose to infamy for a series of hacks in 2013 involving a number of US government officials. Including emails between Sidney Blumenthal and Hillary Clinton sent illegally on an ‘unsecured personal email’ that make mention of the 2012 Benghazi terror attack in Libya (amongst other things).
Guccifer is currently awaiting sentencing at Alexandria Jail in Virginia, after being extradited from Romania to the US to face charges for hacking government officials. Guccifer, whose real name is Marcel Lazăr Lehel, pled guilty to the charges laid against him. According to a statement from the Department of Justice,
‘In a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, [Lehel] admitted that from at least October 2012 to January 2014, he intentionally gained unauthorized access to personal email and social media accounts belonging to approximately 100 Americans, and he did so to unlawfully obtain his victims' personal information and email correspondence. His victims included an immediate family member of two former U.S. presidents, a former member of the U.S. Cabinet, a former member of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former presidential advisor, he admitted. [Lehel] admitted that in many instances, he publically [sic] released his victims’ private email correspondence, medical and financial information and personal photographs.’
As for Guccifer 2.0, it would appear that these first two damning data drops (that include scores of alleged DNC financial reports containing the details of enormous donations and their donors) are just the start. On the WordPress pages, the hacker has promised to release thousands of extra documents and emails that have (he claims) already been forwarded to Wikileaks (who it is believed will publish them in due time).
One interesting development, then, is the fact that Wikileaks has just released a curious torrent called ‘Wikileaks Insurance.' As of yet the contents of those files is unknown because the encryption key has not yet been released. Wikileaks has said that the torrent will act as a ‘dead man switch’ should they have any problems with making a future release (that the whistleblower organization plans to make soon).
Whether any of this will have an effect on the presidential race remains to be seen. If Hillary Clinton’s pampered standing so far is anything to go by, however, then Clinton is likely to move on unphased by these latest revelations. Untouchable is certainly a word that springs to mind.