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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Mueller indictment backs July 2016 post on DNC "WikiLeaks" email dumps

On the heels of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, I posted a blog that raised a number of suspicions about what was then being called "the WikiLeaks DNC email dump." In a blog post titled Timing is everything - Why were WikiLeaks DNC emails released now?, 31 July 2016, I wrote:
While there has been a lot of speculation as to the source of the WikiLeaks DNC email dump, with mounting evidence that state-sponsored Russian hackers did it with an eye toward helping Donald Trump getting into the White House, less attention has been paid to the question of when this hack was done.

Obviously, the release, coming only 48 hrs before the start of the convention has had a major disruptive influence. As WikiLeaks leader and founder Julian Assange put it in an interview with Richard Engels of NBC News, this email dump is "now up-ending the DNC as we speak." He noted that because of what they call 'Hilary Leaks', “the very top of the Democratic party, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is now being forced to resign.” There is no question that the release of these documents after a long nominating process has been completed, but days before it is to be consummated, has disturbed the Democratic National Convention and given an advantage to Donald Trump.
I then asked the question, that has now been answered with a high degree of specificity by the Mueller indictment of twelve Russian GRU operatives:
So when did this hack take place and why is it being released only now?
To show when the hack was most likely done, I listed the seven accounts known to be hacked, and my conclusions based on an analysis of the hacked material:
An examination of the dump shows that the last email from each of the seven accounts was dated May 24th or May 25th:

AccountEmail ID#Time/Date
Communications Director Luis Miranda (10770 emails)30142016-05-25 00:42:48
National Finance Director Jordon Kaplan (3797 emails)32562016-05-25 12:03:21
Finance Chief of Staff Scott Comer (3095 emails)197812016-05-25 12:48:34
Finanace Director of Data Daniel Parrish (1472 emails)209632016-05-25 12:10:00
Finance Director Allen Zachary (1611 emails)30142016-05-25 00:42:48
Senior Advisor Andrew Wright (938 emails)161502016-05-24 18:55:10
N. CA Finance Dir. Robert (Erik) Stowe (751 emails)174152016-05-24 14:02:51
So there is no question that this data was captured on or after May 25th, and since these are people who use these email accounts every day, it is hard not to conclude that this hack was done before emails on or after May 26th could be captured. It would appear that this data capture, whether by leak or hack, took place on or about May 25th.
Now we have learned from the Mueller indictment:
Between on or about May 25, 2016 and June 1, 2016, the Conspirators hacked the DNC Microsoft Exchange Server and stole thousands of emails from the work accounts of DNC employees. During that time, ERMAKOV researched PowerShell commands related to accessing and managing the Microsoft Exchange Server. 30. On or about May 30, 2016, MALYSHEV accessed the AMS panel in order to upgrade custom AMS software on the server. That day, the AMS panel received updates from approximately thirteen different X-Agent malware implants on DCCC and DNC computers.
The indictment also includes this table of eight DNC victims of email hacking:

If the dates in this table indicate the date of first offense, or the day they were first hacked, six of these eight may be in my list above. It might be interesting to find more about that.

I speculated the the emails were released almost two months after they were hacked because they were meant to help Trump against Clinton, not Bernie Sanders against Clinton:
Imagine the difference it could have made had these hacked emails had been released within a week after the last ones stolen? That would have been before the primaries in California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota were held. Bernie Sanders won two of those and Hillary Clinton won four including California. Would she have done as well if these emails were public knowledge then? What if Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been dismissed as DNC chair at the beginning of June instead of now? We very likely would be experiencing a very different Democratic National Convention now. The very timing of the WikiLeaks release shows it was not done to defend democracy but only to further manipulate the process. This release certainly wasn't timed to help Bernie Sanders, it was timed to help Donald Trump.

Julian Assange hasn't just been silent as to the source of these emails. He also hasn't said when WikiLeaks got hold of them.
The Mueller report also filled in some of the blanks with regards to how these emails went from the Russian GRU to WikiLeaks [Organization 1], and why they took so long to be released:
47. In order to expand their interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Conspirators transferred many of the documents they stole from the DNC and the chairman of the Clinton Campaign to Organization 1. The Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, discussed the release of the stolen documents and the timing of those releases with Organization 1 to heighten their impact on the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
a. On or about June 22, 2016, Organization 1 sent a private message to Guccifer 2.0 to “[s]end any new material [stolen from the DNC] here for us to review and it will have a much higher impact than what you are doing.” On or about July 6, 2016, Organization 1 added, “if you have anything hillary related we want it in the next tweo [sic] days prefable [sic] because the DNC [Democratic National Convention] is approaching and she will solidify bernie supporters behind her after.” The Conspirators responded, “ok . . . i see.” Organization 1 explained, “we think trump has only a 25% chance of winning against hillary . . . so conflict between bernie and hillary is interesting.”

b. After failed attempts to transfer the stolen documents starting in late June 2016, on or about July 14, 2016, the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, sent Organization 1 an email with an attachment titled “wk dnc link1.txt.gpg.” The Conspirators explained to Organization 1 that the encrypted file contained instructions on how to access an online archive of stolen DNC documents. On or about July 18, 2016, Organization 1 confirmed it had “the 1Gb or so archive” and would make a release of the stolen documents “this week.” 48.
On or about July 22, 2016, Organization 1 released over 20,000 emails and other documents stolen from the DNC network by the Conspirators. This release occurred approximately three days before the start of the Democratic National Convention. Organization 1 did not disclose Guccifer 2.0’s role in providing them. The latest-in-time email released through Organization 1 was dated on or about May 25, 2016, approximately the same day the Conspirators hacked the DNC Microsoft Exchange Server.
Like I said, the DNC Microsoft Exchange Server was hacked on 25 May 2016! I could have told you that almost two years ago. Oh, I did!

The final point I made in that blog post was that Julian Assange and Wikileaks had some cuplability even if everything they said about their role was true:
There is another aspect of the WikiLeaks DNC email dump that is very likely to have partisan results that favor Donald Trump. In the past WikiLeaks has been careful to redact identifying information about those not their targets. Not so in this case. This data dump contains not just the email addresses of its seven targets but the undisguised email addresses of everyone they corresponded with. So in addition to making public the inter-workings of the DNC, WikiLeaks has also made public the private email addresses of hundreds, if not thousands of DNC employees and supporters. This is an open invitation to mischief. The disruptive possibilities of this list of email addresses is enormous. Even if Russian hackers had nothing to do with this email dump, as Assange claims, they will have a lot of fun with this list.
In October 2016, I published another blog about the curious timing of 7 October the "WikiLeaks" Podesta email dumps in a post titled: Was Wikileaks dump a diversion from Trump Super Predator revelations?, 13 October 2016, in that post I note:
There's an old cop saying: Never believe in coincidence. For example, it is almost certainly no accident that this tape got leaked days before the second debate. A little after 20:00 UTC on Friday 7 October 2016, the Washington Post released a lewd Trump tape that threatens to rock the Republican campaign to its core.

Less than an hour later, at 20:32 UTC Wikileaks released the first 2050 of well over 50000 emails from Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta.
View image on Twitter

This tweet was followed it quick succession by 20 others detailing revelations about the Clinton campaign from the released emails. Obviously this release had to have been planned well in advance. There is no question that it was a lucky break for the Trump campaign that this story broke just when they badly need a distraction from the lewd tape story.

Was it just fortuitous?
I also made note of RT's [Russia Today] quick line-up pattern on this story. They were the first media outlet to report on it, just 13 minutes after the dump. This latest Mueller indictment also alleges that these emails came from a Russian GRU hack:
49. On or about October 7, 2016, Organization 1 released the first set of emails from the chairman of the Clinton Campaign that had been stolen by LUKASHEV and his co-conspirators.
This treachery coming from WikiLeaks and Julian Assange is a little bit personal. I have had my own links to the Wikileaks organization in the past. I was a Wikileak associate journalist-researcher on the Strafor GIF and the Syria Files. I also was a staff writer for WL Central (An endorsed WikiLeaks resource). You can still see my WL Central posts from the beginnings of the Arab Spring on through the Occupy Wall St. Movement (Which WLC helped to spawn), here, although they have let its SSL certificate expire.

UPDATE ALREADY! While going over this post one last time for spelling and grammar errors, I became distracted by something else I caught wind of: In the Mueller narrative leading up to the pre-DNC convention email release, I think a tension between WikiLeaks [Julian Assange] and the Russian GRU [Vladimir Putin] is revealed.

In the 31 July 2016 blog post, I said I thought the email release was delayed to help Trump against Clinton, whereas a release soon after the 25 May 2016 hack would have helped Sanders against Clinton. In the Mueller indictment WikiLeaks [Organization 1] seems to favor an early release precisely to help Sanders against Clinton because it thinks Trump's chances of beating Clinton are 1 in 4. The problem for Assange was that the GRU had the emails, so they ultimately controlled the timing of the release.

When the Mueller indictment reports:
b. After failed attempts to transfer the stolen documents starting in late June 2016, on or about July 14, 2016, the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, sent Organization 1 an email with an attachment titled “wk dnc link1.txt.gpg.” The Conspirators explained to Organization 1 that the encrypted file contained instructions on how to access an online archive of stolen DNC documents. On or about July 18, 2016, Organization 1 confirmed it had “the 1Gb or so archive” and would make a release of the stolen documents “this week.” 48.
I smell a rat. I know WikiLeaks knows a lot about securely transferring files. I suspect the Russian GRU is pretty good at it too. I just finished another 10 hr shift as a Linux Systems Administrator. We also do a lot of file transfers, and nowhere in the IT world would it be found acceptable for "failed attempts" to run almost three weeks to transfer a gigabyte of data. Important IT operation, major websites even, don't simply grind to a halt for weeks on end because of "failed attempts" at data transfer. To give just one particularly relevant example: When I licensed Vietnam: American Holocaust to Russia Today, [now available on Amazon Prime BTW] we had to coordinate the transfer of an 11GB file from Los Angeles to Moscow. It took a far-too-long three days, largely because of technical issues and low bandwidth on my end, but it was important to both parties so, like any other important IT operation, we stayed on it until we got it done. 1GB data transfers only take weeks if the task is put on hold, and take up later.

Somebody was stalling! And we know who. Julian Assange was being played. He may have favored an early release, but WikiLeaks gave up that kind of independence long ago, by July 2016 he was no more than Putin's puppet.

Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!

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