Thursday, July 19, 2018
WHAT MUELLER’S LATEST INDICTMENT REVEALS ABOUT RUSSIAN AND U.S. SPYCRAFT
ON FRIDAY, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as part of his investigation into interference with the 2016 presidential election, charged 12 Russian military intelligence officers with conducting “large-scale cyber operations to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” The indictment contains a surprising amount of technical information about alleged Russian cyberattacks against a range of U.S. political targets, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Committee, members of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, the Illinois (probably) State Board of Elections, and an American election vendor, apparently VR Systems, and its government customers.
While the indictment only describes the U.S. government’s charges in this case, the specific technical evidence presented is compelling and paints by far the most detailed and plausible picture yet of what exactly occurred in 2016.
It also sheds light on what the U.S. government is capable of doing when it investigates cyberattacks, as well as how Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, or GRU, allegedly conducted the attacks — which it denies — and what operational security mistakes they made. Here are what I find to be the most compelling takeaways from the indictment.
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