Monday, August 01, 2016

RUSSIA - Hacking DCCC and Clinton?

"Clinton's campaign and the DCCC are cyber hacked — was it the Russians?" PBS NewsHour 7/29/2016


SUMMARY:  Clinton's campaign and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have been cyber hacked.  Sources told the NewsHour the DCCC hacker is the same as one that hit the Democratic National Committee.  U.S. intel officials believe they're Russian.  Judy Woodruff talks with Susan Hennessey of the Brookings Institution and Andrew Weiss, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace for insight.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  We return to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.

According to reports, U.S. intelligence has high confidence the Russian government was behind it.  Sources close to the investigation told the “NewsHour” one of the hackers was also involved in the breach of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and then today's revelations that Hillary Clinton's campaign was also hacked.

We explore how the U.S. government should respond now with Susan Hennessey.  She was an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel of the National Security Agency.  She is now a fellow at the Brookings Institution.  And Andrew Weiss; he has worked for both Republican and Democratic administrations, as a staffer on the National Security Council [and] in the State and Defense Departments.  He is now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

And we welcome both of you to the “NewsHour.”

Susan Hennessey, let me start with you.

Before I even ask you about the hacking of the Clinton campaign itself, which we just learned about this afternoon, how confident are you that it was the Russian government that was behind the hacking into the DNC and the Congressional Campaign Committee?

SUSAN HENNESSEY, Brookings Institution:  All right, so when attributing cyber-attacks, it's almost impossible to ever be 100 percent certain.

In this case, you are about as certain as you could reasonably expect to be.  There were strong technical indicators that emerged as early as June.

Now I'm hearing that the intelligence community has reported to the president high confidence.  That's a likely indicator that they have found corroborating evidence through other intelligence mechanisms, signals intelligence, financial intelligence, human intelligence

So, at this point, it's a fair operating assumption.  There might be some room for plausible deniability, but it's really quite certain.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  All right, I just want to say, we're having a little difficulty with your microphone.  We're going to trying to get that fixed.

I'm going to turn right now to Andrew Weiss.

What about you?  How much confidence do you have that it's clearly the Russian government behind what we know so far?

ANDREW WEISS, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:  Well, so far, this is a very fast-moving story.  And I think we all need to be cautious, because the facts are not clearly out there.

Yesterday, General Clapper, who is the president's director of national intelligence, was talking in Aspen, and he said he wasn't prepared at this stage to make a call.  But so far, everything that has dribbled out seems to point in the direction of some form of Russian government involvement.

There's been forensic data that has been trumped out — dribbled into the press that points to comparable attacks that have been attributed to Russia over the past several months.  And the attacks on the DNC and the DCCC seem to be fitting within the same group of Russian actors.

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