United States intelligence agencies release analysis of Russian cyber espionage


The documentation will be offered in tandem with sanctions that the Obama administration announced Thursday in retaliation for the breach of Democratic National Committee e-mails as Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump were campaigning for the White House.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have released a declassified report on Russia's alleged hacking of the U.S. election.

According to the document, the hackers "successfully compromised" the "U.S. political party" and stole "email from several accounts". A more traditional, long-range intelligence agency, the FSB lurked on the DNC systems for over a year. Party leaders also voiced concerns about Clinton's performance, but the mere fact that the private emails came out into the public via WikiLeaks figured prominently in the controversy. There is no indication anywhere in the document that these two groups are in any way connected with the Russian intelligence services, however.

The first hacking unit, dubbed APT29, sent out a barrage of emails containing a "malicious link to over 1,000 recipients, including multiple USA government victims".

According to the report, an ATP29 spearphishing campaign delivered emails to more than 1,000 recipients that contained a malicious link. "Using the harvested credentials, APT28 was able to gain access and steal content, likely leading to the exfiltration of information from multiple senior party members".

The report also claimed that actors "likely associated" with RIS continue to conduct spearphishing campaigns, including one only days after the United States election. According to US intelligence officials, that hack likely gave Russian operatives access to the information of senior Democratic Party officials, which was then "leaked to the press and publicly disclosed".

The joint report will include newly declassified information exposing the internet infrastructure that Russian Federation used in the cyberattacks, including malware and computer addresses, according to the official who asked asked not to be identified before the report is made public.

The second half of the report is focused on mitigation strategies, from backing up one's data and changing passwords to information-sharing with the government and giving Homeland Security access to networks for "voluntary assessments" of vulnerabilities.

The report comes as a follow-up to claims of Russian involvement made in October, and as evidence in support of today's decision by the Obama administration to slap sanctions on Russia.

The report confirmed that two different Russian civilian and military intelligence Services (RIS) "actors participated in the intrusion into a U.S. political party".

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