DNC email leak (2016)
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|Date||Between March and April 2016. The hack was discovered on 14 June 2016.|
|Suspected actor||According to a joint CIA, FBI and NSA investigation, Russian GRU intelligence officers were behind the pseudonym of “Guccifer 2.0”, who claimed to be a lone Romanian hacker responsible for the hacking. Officially, Russia denied any involvement in the malicious activity.|
|Target||The US Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Clinton campaign staffers|
|Target systems||Windows and MacOS-based systems|
|Method||The hacker spear-phished political targets including members of the US Democratic National Committee. The infected emails aimed at stealing credentials in order to gain access to the DNC network and deliver the hacking tools. In particular, a cross-platform implant called X-Agent was found within many system platforms. The tool managed to record keystrokes, take screenshots and exfiltrate files from the infected devices.|
|Purpose||The malicious actor conducted large-scale cyber operations in order to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, possibly directing the outcome in favor of the Republican party.|
|Result||According to a Symantec report, nearly 20,000 DNC internal emails have been leaked and made available to the public. By sharing and releasing the document through the DCLeaks website and Wikileaks, the malicious actors possibly sabotaged the presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders, caused the resignation of the Chairwoman of the DNC Debbie Wasserman Schultz and, at a later stage, prevented Hillary Clinton from winning the presidency.|
|Aftermath||On 13 July 2018, Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel for the investigation of the alleged collusion between Russia and the Republican campaign, indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for conducting cyber operations with the intent of interfering with the 2016 presidential elections. However, the indictment did not include any accusation that the Russians eventually managed to influence the outcome of the presidential election. Even though the investigation did not blame Russia for directing the outcome of the elections, states fear that the attempt could encourage other foreign adversaries to do the same to other countries.|
|Analysed in||Scenario 01: Election interference|
Collected by: Samuele De Tomas Colatin
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