The Department of Justice has indicted 12 Russian intelligence agents for “conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential elections,” Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced on Friday.
The defendants worked for two GRU (Russia’s military intelligence service) units, one of which was tasked to steal information and another to disseminate it. They used “spearphishing” attacks to send misleading emails and trick targets into revealing their login credentials.
GRU intelligence officers also used malicious software to infiltrate computer networks and spy on users, take screenshots, record keystrokes, and exfiltrate data.
Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein Announces the Indictment of Twelve Russian Intelligence Officers for Conspiring to Interfere in the 2016 Presidential Election Through Computer Hacking and Related Offenseshttps://t.co/4di0Drcokd pic.twitter.com/x4PFJycIPk
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) July 13, 2018
The documents obtained during the process were made public through online personas named DCLeaks (disguised as started by a group of American hackers) and Guccifer 2.0 – a solo Romanian hacker.
These methods allowed them to access Hillary Clinton’s election campaign and many computers at the DNC. Back in 2016, Wikileaks published a DNC email dump that disclosed private conversations. The leak was claimed to be a work of Guccifer 2.0. Now, the indictment has confirmed the earlier reports of the solo hacker being Russian intelligence agent.
According to the indictment, Russian agents also targeted the local and state election offices and managed to gather information on about roughly 500,000 voters.
This indictment of 12 Russian GRU agents comes after an earlier indictment of 13 Russian nationals who were found working with the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency – which is also accused of influencing the U.S. presidential election.
Apparently, there are no allegations in the indictment that could point towards the active involvement of Americans in such acts.
In fact, there is no evidence in the indictment that proves that activities of the Russian agents had any influence either on the votes cast by Americans in the U.S. election or its results.
Rudy Giuliani, the private attorney for Donald Trump, tweeted that the indictments are “good news for all Americans” and called on the special counsel investigation to end.
The indictments Rod Rosenstein announced are good news for all Americans. The Russians are nailed. No Americans are involved. Time for Mueller to end this pursuit of the President and say President Trump is completely innocent.
— Mayor Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) July 13, 2018