Earlier this week Crowdstrike, a security company hired by the Democratic National Committee, announced that the party's servers had been deeply penetrated by hackers working for the Russian government, who had made off with many sensitive files, including the DNC's Trump oppo research spreadsheet.
According to Crowdstrike, the hacker(s) showed all the signs of being state-level actors, including the use of sophisticated, shifting zero-day exploits that flew under the radar of the DNC's security systems.
But the story just took a turn for the weird. An anonymous person or persons calling themself "Guccifer 2.0," has posted many files that appear to have come from inside the DNC's network, claiming credit for hacking the DNC. Guccifer 2.0 claims to be a lone hacker, working independently, and has mocked Crowdstrike for attributing much more sophistication to the attack than was warranted.
Guccifer 2.0's alias is a nod to the Romanian hacker who broke into Hillary Clinton's private email server and posted a dump of the mail there under the nom de guerre "Guccifer."
Donald Trump has suggested that the truth is that the DNC hacked itself. He is wrong.
But Guccifer 2.0's statement mocked that conclusion. The hacker said he or she was working alone, that the hack wasn't actually "sophisticated" at all. "I'm very pleased the company appreciated my skills so highly," he or she wrote. "But in fact, it was easy, very easy…I guess CrowdStrike customers should think twice about company's competence."
Security analysts following the release pointed to Guccifer 2.0's leak as evidence that Crowdstrike had misidentified the DNC hacker or hackers and badly overestimated their skills and resources. But Crowdstrike, in a statement, stood by its initial analysis. "Whether or not this posting is part of a Russian Intelligence disinformation campaign, we are exploring the documents' authenticity and origin," a spokesperson wrote in a statement to WIRED.
This Looks Like the DNC's Hacked Trump Oppo File
[Sam Biddle and Gabrielle Bluestone/Gawker]
A Chaotic Whodunnit Follows the DNC's Trump Research Hack [Andy Greenberg/Wired]