Disinfo: US authorities’ only proof of Russian hacking is a draft report from a private company

Summary

It is clear that the government relied on assumptions made by a source external to the US intelligence services. According to the source the Russian state had been involved in hacking and stealing data from various servers and that data was sent to Wikileaks.

A private cyber security company recruited by the Democratic National Committee writes a draft report and removes some elements because it is worried that the FBI might discover something. And this is the main proof of Moscow’s role in this hacking? Of course, sceptics could ask why a private cyber security company conducted the investigation. Why wasn’t it the FBI? Faith can lift mountains, transform beliefs, policies, countries. No need for a prophet or a miracle. All you need is a private company.

Disproof

There is extensive research documenting Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections - see under US Elections 2016 here.

Government investigators independently verified that Russian operatives hacked the Democratic National Committee in 2016 and did not rely on the findings of a private cyber firm, said the US prosecutor in a court filing.

The prosecutors were rebutting a claim made in a prior court filing by Stone — a long-time Trump adviser who is fighting charges of making false statements to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering — that the government relied only on “an inconclusive and unsubstantiated report” written by cyber research firm CrowdStrike and did not “collect any evidence of the DNC breach directly.”

While the prosecutors noted that the investigators gathered evidence of the Russians’ involvement independently, which led to the indictment of 12 Russian military officials (in connection with the DNC hack). In the detailed indictment, one can read: "Lukashev used the account to mask a link contained in the spear phishing email, which directed the recipient to a GRU-created website (...) On or about March 21, 2016, Lukashev, Ermakov, and their co-conspirators stole the contents of the chairman’s email account, which consisted of over 50,000 emails" and other details.

See also the article in the New York Times, detailing how the FBI discovered the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) server 7 months before the Democrats hired CrowdStrike to investigate.

See more disinformation cases on Mueller's report, also known as Russia probe, or Russian meddling in the 2016 US and elsewhere elections.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue156
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/06/2019
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: Russia, US
  • Keywords: GRU, election meddling, Robert Mueller, Wikileaks

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Nathalie Loiseau’s defence resembles justifications of the terrorists’ host

“I did not know it,” said Nathalie Loiseau, explaining her participation in student elections alongside right-wing activists 35 years ago. These words are similar to those of Jawad Bendaoud, host of the terrorists of November 13, 2015.

In an interview on the day of the neutralization of Abdelhamid Abaaoud and his last accomplices, Jawad Bendaoud said he was not “aware that they were terrorists”.  The former EU affairs minister and the current LREM leader in the European elections said she agreed to be on the list “out of friendship” and did not know there were “people from the far right “.

Disproof

In 1984, 35 years ago, when she was student in fourth year at Sciences Po (French Institute of Political Science), Nathalie Loiseau (then Ducoulombier) took part in students' election to the Governing Board the Institute of Political Studies, being at the sixth position on the list of the Union of students of the right (UED). During their campaign, the UED promised to "strongly oppose all proposals which, under the guise of 'democratisation', aim to establish demagogy and Marxist terrorism" at Sciences Po. She was never elected. Being asked in 2019, Nathalie Loiseau first could not recall the episode and later explained that she accepted the participation to please a friend without a chance of being elected and is not responsible for what became other candidates afterwards.

Nothing allows to affirm the contrary so far. Long time French far rights researcher Jean-Yves Camus does not recall Ducoulombier as ever an activist of UED.  While far right parties' researchers argue what kind of rightwing movement the student's union UED was in 1984 - from clearly far right in 1978 to more moderate after 1981 (François Mitterand's election), nothing allows to compare the participation in these activities and explanations about them to ignorance of hosting terrorists.

Nathalie Loiseau promises a controversially sounding “Blitzkrieg” to boost her candidacy

To give a boost to her candidacy, [Nathalie Loiseau] – who appeared in 1984 on the list of a student association close to the far right – did not exclude a “Blitzkrieg”, though a “positive” one.

Disproof

The disinformation outlet lays out a tendentious coverage of Nathalie Loiseau's campaign during the European election 2019, mixing up different elements and therefore distorts her message.

During her speech delivered that day at the Memorial of Caen, Nathalie Loiseau, according to l'Obs, said "Nationalism is a war". The conversation about "Blitzkrieg" was not a part of speech delivered by Loiseau herself. The message about "Blitzkrieg" refers to Loiseau's interview for l'Obs. Its journalist asked Nathalie Loiseau weather she would do a "Blitzkrieg" in the very last moment of her campaign (the campaign appeared not to be very successful back then): "Do you plan a Blitzkrieg?" Nathalie Loiseau responded: "But a positive Blitzkrieg. Because we are here to propose and not to bomb!" The controversial word attributed to Loiseau was used by the reporter to illustrate the timing of her campaign.

Sweden will teach immigrants to have sex with Swedish women

The Swedish government is investing 5 million Swedish krona (around half a million euro) to teach migrants how to have sex with Swedish women. The funding goes to a web site, devoted to “health, sex and equality”. The material on the site can be read in Swedish, Arabic, Somali and Dari. The illustrations show dark-skinned men and blond women with European looks.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative, consistent with a message about decaying European values and Islamization of Europe. The site makes available information on sex, family planning, respect, health and love. Among the illustrations, women wearing Muslim traditional headscarves, hijab, can be seen.