The Evidence That Russia Hacked The DNC Is Collapsing

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Justin Raimondo via,

The allegation – now accepted as incontrovertible fact by the “mainstream” media – that the Russian intelligence services hacked the Democratic National Committee (and John Podesta’s emails) in an effort to help Donald Trump get elected recently suffered a blow from which it may not recover.

Crowdstrike is the cybersecurity company hired by the DNC to determine who hacked their accounts: it took them a single day to determine the identity of the culprits – it was, they said, two groups of hackers which they named “Fancy Bear” and “Cozy Bear,” affiliated respectively with the GRU, which is Russian military intelligence, and the FSB, the Russian security service.

How did they know this?

These alleged “hacker groups” are not associated with any known individuals in any way connected to Russian intelligence: instead, they are identified by the tools they use, the times they do their dirty work, the nature of the targets, and other characteristics based on the history of past intrusions.

Yet as Jeffrey Carr and other cyberwarfare experts have pointed out, this methodology is fatally flawed. “It’s important to know that the process of attributing an attack by a cybersecurity company has nothing to do with the scientific method,” writes Carr:

“Claims of attribution aren’t testable or repeatable because the hypothesis is never proven right or wrong. Neither are claims of attribution admissible in any criminal case, so those who make the claim don’t have to abide by any rules of evidence (i.e., hearsay, relevance, admissibility).”

Likening attribution claims of hacking incidents by cybersecurity companies to intelligence assessments, Carr notes that, unlike government agencies such the CIA, these companies are never held to account for their misses:

“When it comes to cybersecurity estimates of attribution, no one holds the company that makes the claim accountable because there’s no way to prove whether the assignment of attribution is true or false unless (1) there is a criminal conviction, (2) the hacker is caught in the act, or (3) a government employee leaked the evidence.”

This lack of accountability may be changing, however, because Crowdstrike’s case for attributing the hacking of the DNC to the Russians is falling apart at the seams like a cheap sweater.

To begin with, Crowdstrike initially gauged its certainty as to the identity of the hackers with medium confidence.” However, a later development, announced in late December and touted by the Washington Post, boosted this to “high confidence.” The reason for this newfound near-certainty was their discovery that “Fancy Bear” had also infected an application used by the Ukrainian military to target separatist artillery in the Ukrainian civil war. As the Post reported:

“While CrowdStrike, which was hired by the DNC to investigate the intrusions and whose findings are described in a new report, had always suspected that one of the two hacker groups that struck the DNC was the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, it had only medium confidence.


“Now, said CrowdStrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch, ‘we have high confidence’ it was a unit of the GRU. CrowdStrike had dubbed that unit ‘Fancy Bear.’”

Crowdstrike published an analysis that claimed a malware program supposedly unique to Fancy Bear, X-Agent, had infected a Ukrainian targeting application and, using GPS to geo-locate Ukrainian positions, had turned the application against the Ukrainians, resulting in huge losses:

“Between July and August 2014, Russian-backed forces launched some of the most-decisive attacks against Ukrainian forces, resulting in significant loss of life, weaponry and territory.


“Ukrainian artillery forces have lost over 50% of their weapons in the two years of conflict and over 80% of D-30 howitzers, the highest percentage of loss of any other artillery pieces in Ukraine’s arsenal.”

Alperovitch told the PBS News Hour that “Ukraine’s artillery men were targeted by the same hackers, that we call Fancy Bear, that targeted DNC, but this time they were targeting cell phones to try to understand their location so that the Russian artillery forces can actually target them in the open battle. It was the same variant of the same malicious code that we had seen at the DNC.”

He told NBC News that this proved the DNC hacker “wasn’t a 400-pound guy in his bed,” as Trump had opined during the first presidential debate – it was the Russians.

The only problem with this analysis is that is isn’t true. It turns out that Crowdstrike’s estimate of Ukrainian losses was based on a blog post by a pro-Russian blogger eager to tout Ukrainian losses: the Ukrainians denied it. Furthermore, the hacking attribution was based on the hackers’ use of a malware program called X-Agent, supposedly unique to Fancy Bear. Since the target was the Ukrainian military, Crowdstrike extrapolated from this that the hackers were working for the Russians.

All somewhat plausible, except for two things: To begin with, as Jeffrey Carr pointed out in December, and now others are beginning to realize, X-Agent isn’t unique to Fancy Bear. Citing the findings of ESET, another cybersecurity company, he wrote:

“Unlike Crowdstrike, ESET doesn’t assign APT28/Fancy Bear/Sednit to a Russian Intelligence Service or anyone else for a very simple reason. Once malware is deployed, it is no longer under the control of the hacker who deployed it or the developer who created it. It can be reverse-engineered, copied, modified, shared and redeployed again and again by anyone. In other words? – ?malware deployed is malware enjoyed!


“In fact, the source code for X-Agent, which was used in the DNC, Bundestag, and TV5Monde attacks, was obtained by ESET as part of their investigation!


“During our investigations, we were able to retrieve the complete Xagent source code for the Linux operating system….”


“If ESET could do it, so can others. It is both foolish and baseless to claim, as Crowdstrike does, that X-Agent is used solely by the Russian government when the source code is there for anyone to find and use at will.”

Secondly, the estimate Crowdstrike used to verify the Ukrainian losses was supposedly based on data from the respected International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). But now IISS is disavowing and debunking their claims:

“[T]he International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) told [Voice of America] that CrowdStrike erroneously used IISS data as proof of the intrusion. IISS disavowed any connection to the CrowdStrike report. Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense also has claimed combat losses and hacking never happened….


“’The CrowdStrike report uses our data, but the inferences and analysis drawn from that data belong solely to the report’s authors,” the IISS said. “The inference they make that reductions in Ukrainian D-30 artillery holdings between 2013 and 2016 were primarily the result of combat losses is not a conclusion that we have ever suggested ourselves, nor one we believe to be accurate.’


“One of the IISS researchers who produced the data said that while the think tank had dramatically lowered its estimates of Ukrainian artillery assets and howitzers in 2013, it did so as part of a ‘reassessment” and reallocation of units to airborne forces.’


“’No, we have never attributed this reduction to combat losses,” the IISS researcher said, explaining that most of the reallocation occurred prior to the two-year period that CrowdStrike cites in its report.


“’The vast majority of the reduction actually occurs … before Crimea/Donbass,’ he added, referring to the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

The definitive “evidence” cited by Alperovitch is now effectively debunked: indeed, it was debunked by Carr late last year, but that was ignored in the media’s rush to “prove” the Russians hacked the DNC in order to further Trump’s presidential ambitions. The exposure by the Voice of America of Crowdstrike’s falsification of Ukrainian battlefield losses – the supposedly solid “proof” of attributing the hack to the GRU – is the final nail in Crowdstrike’s coffin. They didn’t bother to verify their analysis of IISS’s data with IISS – they simply took as gospel the allegations of a pro-Russian blogger. They didn’t contact the Ukrainian military, either: instead, their confirmation bias dictated that they shaped the “facts” to fit their predetermined conclusion.

Now why do you suppose that is? Why were they married so early – after a single day – to the conclusion that it was the Russians who were behind the hacking of the DNC?

Crowdstrike founder Alperovitch is a Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council, and head honcho of its “Cyber Statecraft Initiative” – of which his role in promoting the “Putin did it” scenario is a Exhibit A. James Carden, writing in The Nation, makes the trenchant point that “The connection between Alperovitch and the Atlantic Council has gone largely unremarked upon, but it is relevant given that the Atlantic Council – which is funded in part by the US State Department, NATO, the governments of Latvia and Lithuania, the Ukrainian World Congress, and the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk – has been among the loudest voices calling for a new Cold War with Russia.” Adam Johnson, writing on the FAIR blog, adds to our knowledge by noting that the Council’s budget is also supplemented by “a consortium of Western corporations (Qualcomm, Coca-Cola, The Blackstone Group), including weapons manufacturers (Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman) and oil companies (ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, BP).”

Johnson also notes that CrowdStrike currently has a $150,000 / year, no-bid contract with the FBI for “systems analysis.”

Nice work if you can get it.

This last little tidbit gives us some insight into what is perhaps the most curious aspect of the Russian-hackers-campaign-for-Trump story: the FBI’s complete dependence on Crowdstrike’s analysis. Amazingly, the FBI did no independent forensic work on the DNC servers before Crowdstrike got its hot little hands on them: indeed, the DNC denied the FBI access to the servers, and, as far as anyone knows, the FBI never examined them. BuzzFeed quotes an anonymous “intelligence official” as saying “Crowdstrike is pretty good. There’s no reason to believe that anything they have concluded is not accurate.”

There is now.

Alperovitch is scheduled to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, and one wonders if our clueless – and technically challenged – Republican members of Congress will question him about the debunking of Crowdstrike’s rush to judgment. I tend to doubt it, since the Russia-did-it meme is now the Accepted Narrative and no dissent is permitted – to challenge it would make them “Putin apologists”! (Although maybe Trey Gowdy, the only GOPer on that panel who seems to have any brains, may surprise me.)

As I’ve been saying for months, there is no evidence that the Russians hacked the DNC: none, zilch, nada. Yet this false narrative is the entire basis of a campaign launched by the Democrats, hailed by the Trump-hating media, and fully endorsed by the FBI and the CIA, the purpose of which is to “prove” that Trump is “Putin’s puppet,” as Hillary Clinton put it. Now the investigative powers of the federal government are being deployed to confirm that the Trump campaign “colluded” with the Kremlin in an act the evidence for which is collapsing.

This whole affair is a vicious fraud. If there is any justice in this world – and there may not be – the perpetrators should be charged, tried, and jailed.

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VWAndy's picture

 Its a cult thing. They dont care about truth. As long as the cult leaders say its true thats all they need to know.

Laddie's picture

The (((DEEP STATE))) uses its power, control and ownership of media, to further its goals, and Putin, and Assad, STAND IN THEIR WAY

Putin on migrant rape: “It doesn’t fit into my head what they’re thinking over there”
Russia’s president Vladimir Putin is baffled over Europe’s migration policy and says he won’t be taking advice from Western ‘experts’ on the subject. At a meeting in southern Russia, Putin said that he just can’t understand what Europe is thinking when rapists are acquitted because of supposed cultural differences.

Vladimir Putin's SHORTEST EVER speech.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, addressed the Duma (Russian Parliament) and discussed tensions with minorities in Russia:

"In Russia, we live like Russians. Members of any minority, from anywhere, if they wish to live in Russia, to work and eat in Russia, should speak Russian and should respect Russian laws. If they prefer Sharia Law and to live the life of Muslims, then we advise them to go to those places where that's the state law.

Russia does not need Muslim minorities. Minorities need Russia and we will not grant them special privileges, or try to change our laws to fit their desires, no matter how loudly they yell 'discrimination'. We will not tolerate disrespect of our Russian culture. We had better learn from the suicides of America, England, Belgium, Holland, Germany and France if we are to survive as a nation. The Muslims are taking over those countries - but they will not take over Russia. Russian customs and traditions are not compatible with the lack of culture or primitive ways of Sharia Law and Muslims.

When this honourable legislative body thinks of creating new laws, it should have in mind Russian national interests first, bearing in mind that the members of Muslim minorities are not Russians."

The politicians in the Duma gave Putin a five minute standing ovation.

The Golden Shower and the Golden Bough

I don’t know whether Trump’s #GoldenShowerGate presser was the “moneychanger moment” or not, but it had the feel of a major escalation in the contest. Certainly, his enemies believed that this was a potential decapitation stroke. That it failed—as all of their previous efforts have failed—will only serve to strengthen their resolve. By exposing their corruption and incompetence, Trump has raised the stakes, which were already cosmic. The US Intelligence Community, a hermetic and self-governing authority in its own right, has decades of expertise in fomenting revolution, engineering regime change, and assassinating its opposition. They have taken down foreign leaders with some regularity. It is likely that they have done the same in our own country.

They see Putin’s Russia as an existential threat to their interests, not because of his imagined persecution of “journalists” (who are really just enemy combatants and subversives in the employ of the occult world order). Not because of his natural territorial ambitions in Russia’s traditional sphere of influence. Not because of “Muhleppo.” And certainly not because of his alleged “hacking” of the DNC. Putin is an existential threat because he is living proof that the world could be ordered in a different way. He undermines what Michael Hoffman in his book Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare described as the “myth of inevitability” that has always been the chief psychological weapon of progressives and globalists.

Putin to Israel: “The Game is Over”

Looney's picture


Putin is the main beneficiary of the “Russia did it” lie.

I betcha, now he can simply walk into the CIA lobby, pull out a laptop, and start hacking away… NOBODY WOULD BELIEVE IT NOW!  ;-)


xythras's picture
xythras (not verified) Looney Mar 26, 2017 2:36 PM

Actually, the DNC is collapsing.

Soon they will need a sanctuary to hide themselves in from the micro-aggressiveness of Trump.


VIDEO: Texas Gov. Abbott Wants to Jail Sheriffs who Push Sanctuary City Policies




TrollandDump's picture
TrollandDump (not verified) xythras Mar 26, 2017 2:46 PM

The democRATS are imploding.

After four years under Trump there won't be one left.

beemasters's picture

"The Evidence That Russia Hacked The DNC Is Collapsing"

I wouldn't be so sure. There are still people believing Saddam had and would use WMD! (Yes, even in ZH, apparently ...surprise!)

NoPension's picture

6:00 am.... MSNBC...

" Trump is a LIAR "
Joe Scarborough , like clockwork.

HarryKallahan's picture


Never heard of the al Muthanna Chemical Weapons Complex ?

Joe A's picture

The "evidence" used for the justification for the second Gulf war was based on the fraudulent statements of an Iraqi seeking asylum in Germany saying that he worked in a mobile chemical weapons lab. There were no such labs. This story was already labelled as a fraud by the Germans but was picked up by the English and the Americans. And then there was the story of the "yellow cake" from a PhD thesis that Blair used as "evidence" that Hussein was working on a nuclear weapon that could reach any city in Europe in 45 minutes. UN envoy Ritter concluded there was no substantial programme in Iraq for developing WMD.

bob_bichen's picture
bob_bichen (not verified) TrollandDump Mar 28, 2017 4:08 PM

dailywesterner,com  = SPAM - VIRUS - TROJANS !!


Chronic spammer XYTHRAS has "reincarnated" in a Truth-in-Advertising new handle as "TrollAndDump."


Take a minute and write to and ask that this SICK, SPAMMING FREAK SHOW of a TOXIC DUMPSTER FIRE who suffers from a serious case of SPAMMING COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOR and request that  "TrollAndDump" and "XYTHRAS" be permanently banned for chronic spamming.

bob_bichen's picture
bob_bichen (not verified) xythras Mar 28, 2017 4:08 PM

dailywesterner,com  = SPAM - VIRUS - TROJANS !!


Chronic spammer XYTHRAS has "reincarnated" in a Truth-in-Advertising new handle as "TrollAndDump."


Take a minute and write to and ask that this SICK, SPAMMING FREAK SHOW of a TOXIC DUMPSTER FIRE who suffers from a serious case of SPAMMING COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOR and request that  "TrollAndDump" and "XYTHRAS" be permanently banned for chronic spamming.

TeamDepends's picture

Antifa psychonauts plan to wear muslim veils at pro-Trump gatherings hoping to get "touched" so they can squeal "hate crime!". Proof positive that leftists are in bed with muslims in the US.

sagramore's picture

Stop slandering psychonauts.  

Oh. feminists do this too, when they have a compliant police department like Toronto's. 

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Looney Mar 26, 2017 2:21 PM

It wasn't hacked, it was leaked by Bernie Bro Seth Rich who worked there.

A week after Wikileaks published DCN emails he was murdered walking home and nothing stolen from him.


TheLastTrump's picture

Awesome Putin speech lol.


Truth hurts stupid people.


Whenever you see or hear something that's 100% backasswards from the way it SHOULD BE, you know then that Lucifer is involved.

FrozenGoodz's picture

By collapsing its insinuated it exists ... for the record

Lea's picture

Why do you carry on with the parenthesis elephantiasis rigmarole? Everybody knows it is some kind of dumb code supposed to mean "joos".

Just write joos and be done with it.

General Titus's picture

Our former muslim president Obozo stated in his last speech as president that Orthodox Christian controlled Russia did not hack the DNC, but the leaks came from a DNC staffer (the murdered Seth Rich?)

The central planners's picture

Trump just issued new sanctions against Russia. Can he be more idiot?

VWAndy's picture

 There is but one party. MONEY.

Yukon Cornholius's picture

Can't have a party without money. Tap water and poems are hard to recruit with.

radio man's picture

I'll be damn before I pay this parking ticket. The Russian Bastards hacked the meter! 

Caledonian's picture

Needed to be done.
Hope it happens again.
keep it juicy my friends

PoasterToaster's picture
PoasterToaster (not verified) Mar 26, 2017 1:47 PM

Need the names.  These are government employees; they are on a list somewhere already.  Just publishing the culprits' names should be enough to stop their rampage.

The central planners's picture

No names, the sanctions were against 8 russian military companies not individials.

BritBob's picture

Everyone is spying, especially the Brits.

Interesting to note that Snowden revealed that the UK was keeping an eye on Argentina and her Malvinas aspirations. But what is the strength of Argentina's Falklands' claim?


Falklands- Never Belonged to Argentina:

Ah, just a political distraction then.


You can now kick what Wikipedia and what Argentine politicians have said into touch.

Diplodicus Rex's picture

You should consult a doctor about that obsession you have there.

Winston Churchill's picture

I would guess he is one,prolly a psch.

lakecity55's picture

Craziest chick I ever poked was a psych.

Yukon Cornholius's picture

If a bunch of people from Malta suddenly immigrated to the Falklands, would it be the Maltese Falklands?

El Vaquero's picture

Nobody gives a fuck, Bobby.  

lakecity55's picture

Bob, what are Liverpool's prospects this year? Top 5?

True Blue's picture

I'd rather kick your sad, shriveled little elderberries up into your throat.

Andre's picture

It is a fundamental aspect of business you must satisfy the customer - or else.

Comey is satisfied if he hears what is convenient to his other agendas, whether truthful or not.

FBI forensics lab scandal, anyone?

quax's picture

I am shocked, shocked I tell you, to learn that identifying hackers from the forensic analysis of a penetrated system is not exact science.

If it was possible to have a direct trace form the hackers to the FSB, the latter would almost certainly wanted to be found. These guys aren't amateurs. They are the successors to the finest intelligence organization ever built.

Of course there won't be incontrovertible proof, and if there is, it will only come from clandestine sources, and no you won't read about it on ZH.

NoPension's picture

We are supposed to believe it was the Russians, because of all the " calling cards" they left after the hack.

Yeah, right.

After Wikileaks showed our spooks leave those calling cards routinely, as misdirection.

VWAndy's picture

 Just in case anyone was wondering just how far gone the DNC is. They got folks dressing up as twats and expecting to be respected for it.

lakecity55's picture

Who wants to join a Party full of fat lesbos who wear pussy hats?


jm's picture

You know, no one in the US really believed that Russian "involvement", if there was any, mattered at all.  People aren't stupid and they can see through the political games and bureaucratic vendettas that used this as a foil against the Trump administration.  In short, nobody cares about this non-issue.

With the exception of Zero hedge and other blogs that clearly have an extreme pro-Putin bias.  Not pro-Russian.  Pro-Putin.  Why is there such propaganda for an ex-KGB crook that literally rigs elections and kills political opponents in broad daylight with more impugnity than Erdoyan or the Sauds?  Trump's election, like him or not, is the telling example of how the US is different than such a dictatorship.  Why is Putin so elevated?  It is clear that he is a multi-billioinaire, enriched through corruption and shady deals.  Is he funding this idolization? He certainly has the means and motivation.  

These dubious connectiosn to Putin are why many find disgust at how this site has devolved and suspect a lucrative political prostitution racket for a dictator.

Benito_Camela's picture

I think it's you that has it all wrong. Nobody is propagandizing for Putin here - except maybe some whackjob commenters - but you're so brainwashed that you see anything short of non-stop blasting Putin as propaganda in his favor. 

Did the Russians hack the DNC? So far there is zero proof that they did AND lots of proof emerging that the story has been concocted by the clandestine agencies, media and the political interests pulling the strings. Do you agree or disagree with that assertion?  Let's try to stick to the subject. 

quax's picture

" ... so brainwashed that you see anything short of non-stop blasting Putin as propaganda in his favor". 

ZH is of course not propagandizing openly, the Tylers are a bit, albeit not much, more subtle than that.

Putin is clearly portrayed here as a trustworthy leader. And while I think Russians can trust him at having Russia's bet interest at heart, I can grantee you that this is where his benevolence ends. 

Putin is a smart man, and other than sometimes portrayed in the MSM, perfectly rational. But he sees the world through a very 19th century geopolitical lens, and clearly identified Western unity as a strategic threat to Russia. Otherwise he wouldn't fund RT and Sputnik etc., these outlets aren't exactly cheap.

corsair's picture

And yet, there is a lot simpler and more logical explanation for funding RT and Sputnik: To counter the demonizing of Russia by the Western MSM.

I hate quoting Wiki, but here you go anyway:

Demonization is the oldest propaganda technique aimed to inspire hatred toward the enemy necessary to hurt them more easily...

Demonization of the enemy can be much easier to conduct if the enemy is personalized in one man...

quax's picture

It is not demonizing to aknowledge the geopolitical realities and assumptions that motivate Russia's policies. 

In fact, I quite admire the way Putin played the Crimea take-over without a single shot being fired.

It was a cladestine occupation and annexation. And right now Russia is waging a cladestine infowar at the US and is winning. This kind of asymetric warfare is the only chance they have to take on the US, and they are damn good at it.


corsair's picture

...aknowledge the geopolitical realities...

Oh, is that what they are doing?

quax's picture

I was not referring to the MSM but my humble self. Of course the MSM is sensationalising this, after all they are flailing and need to move paper.

Of course they are late as always.  That there has been cold war posturing going on, has been a NATO defence reality for years now, ever since the Russian re-started air defense perimeter testing flights (full blown cold war style).


AKB0048Fan's picture

Russia and China are obviously using Fullerene nanofuel as rocket fuel now. Russia recently upgraded all of its submarine launched nukes and more than a third of its land based nukes. Clearly, Russia has already achieved nuclear first strike capability over the USA and NATO.

While this USAF video notes that Russian and Chinese air to air missiles now have 12x greater range than USAF AAMRAMs, Fullerene can also provide 12 times the rocket speed, or 6x speed combined with 6x range.

The recent positioning of Iskander-M missile batteries into Syria and Kalingrad is telling. If those missiles have been modified to use Fullerene, then all the NATO nukes in Europe have been nullified. Their past 500 km range would now be 3000 to 6000 km, probably 3000 km at 6x the travel speed. Their submarines similarly nullify the USA's nukes.

This soap opera should be ending soon...

Stinkytofu's picture

"...Did the Russians hack the DNC? So far there is zero proof......"


well, of course they did!  they also hacked the rnc and hillary's servers and citibank and and and..... 

but so did the french and the germans and the israelis and the chinese and just about every

intelligence agency on the planet.  that's their job. (the nsa and cia and dia and 14 other us

agencies did as well).  it's also their job to deny it, or at least to neither confirm nor deny.


but....did they pass the info to wikileaks or the press?  not likely.  they are all for the most

part professionals.  revealing sources and methods is too important for something as

insignificant as trump v. clinton.  remember....all these intel agencies have hacked into

hillary's servers, the state department, and the clinton foundations (and the trump

business empire).  plenty of clinton blackmail material if needed.  but i'd argue blackmail

would not be needed......they had 24/7 live access to everything clinton.  that would

have continued into a clinton presidency.  why would they pass that up for trump?


it just don't add up.

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

Flagged as #Lie-Swallower