Guccifer 2.0

In June 2016, cybersecurity experts at Facebook notified the FBI that they had been tracking a Russian hacking group believed to be linked to Russian military intelligence, GRU. They indicated they suspected a Russian espionage operation was utilizing their social network. They reported that they had found evidence the hackers had created a series of Facebook accounts, including one called Guccifer 2.0, and a Facebook page called DCLeaks. The accounts were being used to echo propaganda about emails stolen from the DNC. Source

On June 15, 2016, a hacker going by the name Guccifer 2.0 leaked documents stolen from the Democratic National Committee, including an opposition research file on Donald Trump. Source At least some of the leaked documents were altered before they were published. Source Digital fingerprints left on the leaked documents led the US intelligence community and a number of private cybersecurity firms to conclude that the hacking was mostly or entirely carried out by Russian intelligence. (See attribution, below.)

Based on the timing, this circumstantially appears to have been among the subject matter discussed at Trump Tower on June 9.

In August 2016, Roger Stone conducted private communications with Guccifer 2.0. In these communications, Guccifer 2.0 asked Stone to collaborate. Source Stone additionally publicly praised Guccifer 2.0. On August 13, during a brief period when Twitter temporarily banned the Guccifer 2.0 account, Stone protested that “Clintonistas” needed to “censor their critics to rig the upcoming election.” Source

Apparently, Stone agreed that Guccifer 2.0 was specifically targeting the Clinton campaign as a “critic.”

In late August 2016, the Guccifer 2.0 persona communicated with Internet magazine The Smoking Gun regarding their communication with Donald Trump’s friend Roger Stone, and bragging about hacking the DNC. Source

In late August 2016, the Guccifer 2.0 persona communicated with Internet magazine The Smoking Gun regarding their communication with Donald Trump’s friend Roger Stone, and bragging about hacking the DNC. Guccifer 2.0 additionally expressed their suspicion that the FBI was monitoring their communications. Source

On August 22, 2016, after Florida Republican operative Aaron Nevins solicited material from Guccifer 2.0 and offered his help, Guccifer 2.0 sent Nevins a large set of files stolen from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), including their “get out the vote” strategy for Florida. Nevins analyzed the data and post some of it along with his analysis on his anonymous blog HelloFLA.com. Nevins would later tell the Wall Street Journal that he believed the voter turnout models were exceptionally valuable information, and that Guccifer 2.0 didn’t realize their value until he told them. At least one Republican campaign consultant confirmed to the Journal that they may have modified their campaign strategy based on the leaked data. Source1 Source2

On August 31, 2016, Guccifer 2.0 leaked documents hacked from US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s personal computer. Source

On September 9, 2016, Guccifer 2.0 sent Roger Stone a link to Aaron Nevins’s Florida blog hosting material Guccifer 2.0 had stolen from the DCCC, asking Stone what he thought. Stone replied, “Pretty standard.” Source

On September 13, 2016, at a cybersecurity conference in London, UK, Guccifer 2.0 leaked a large file including additional internal documents stolen from the DNC. Source

On October 4, 2016, in a hoax, Guccifer 2.0 falsely purported to leak documents stolen from the Clinton Foundation. However, the release did not contain any Clinton Foundation documents, but rather only included documents already previously released that were stolen from the DNC; other publicly available documents; and other documents that were fabricated as propaganda (including a fake Clinton Foundation document titled, “Pay for Play,” showing false evidence of bribery). Source

Attribution

After technical analysis, the US intelligence community (source1, source2) and a host of private intelligence firms (source1, source2, source3, source4, source5, source6 (pdf), source7) concluded that the documents leaked by Guccifer 2.0 were obtained by Russian intelligence.

Steele Dossier

See page on Russia’s Influence Campaign.

The strong attribution of Guccifer 2.0’s actions, combined with the alteration of the leaked DNC documents, false characterization of the documents, and the inclusion of fabricated fake documents within the leaks confirms many aspects of the Steele dossier’s claims about Russia’s goals and actions.