A group of intelligence agencies and law enforcement authorities have, for months, led investigations into the possibility of hackers paid by the Russian government to infiltrate targets in the United States.
According to a McClatchy report published this week, the six agencies include the CIA, NSA, FBI, DOJ, the Treasury Department’s financial crimes enforcement division and officials working under the director of national intelligence.
The investigations were initiated as early as last spring, underlining the very notable effort taken by the United States government to investigate if Russia attempted to influence the US election process. Here in particular, investigators are looking to determine if Russian officials used a platform built to pay Russian-Americans a pension, rather than providing hackers with cash. Investigators are also looking into the possibility of Russia supply money to intermediaries who would then pay the hackers.
US officials have repeatedly blamed Moscow and Russian president Vladimir Putin for triggering and orchestrating attacks against the Democratic Party. The consequence of these hacks are a multitude of emails and leaked information about the DNC & party nominee Hillary Clinton’s emails.
The informal working group is a sweeping joint inter-agency effort with McClatchy sources speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the investigation.
A key objective of the six-agency working group has been to investigate who financed the email hacks of the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, the chairman of the Clinton campaign.
The report also reveals that the working group is paying close scrutiny to a handful of Americans affiliated with Trump’s campaign or his business empire as well as multiple Russian individuals along with other former Soviet nations with similar connections.
If the investigation finds proof of Russian-sponsored hacking in directing and funding the cyberattacks against the DNC, the ensuing fallout is certain to prove controversial. Russian officials including President Vladimir Putin has shown admiration toward Donald Trump throughout the latter’s presidential campaign. For his part, Trump has explicitly stated that he has “nothing to do with Russia.”
Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Image credit: Flick.
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