The release came a day after Senator John Mc Cain, the Arizona Republican who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, said at a hearing on foreign cyberthreats to the United States: “Every American should be alarmed by Russia’s attacks on our nation.” (Our blog of the hearing is here.)President-elect Donald Trump has been publicly skeptical of claims about Russia’s role. would take action in response, “at a time and place of our own choosing.” He went on: “Mr. Didn’t we already know about Russia hacking the Democratic National Committee and others? The assessment purports to add on-the-record detail on both actors and intent.He says it’s difficult to definitively say who was behind the hacking, and has supported the views of Julian Assange, the Wiki Leaks founder, that a “14-year-old could have hacked” Democratic officials. Putin is well aware of my feelings about this, because I spoke to him directly about it.” On December 29, he did more than speak: He sanctioned the two Russian intelligence services believed to be involved in the hacks (Russian military intelligence, the GRU, and the KGB’s successor the FSB, which is responsible for counterintelligence and internal security). Prior to mid-December, Putin personally had not been blamed for hacks resulting in leaks damaging to the Clinton campaign, though in October Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stopped just short of doing so, saying that “based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts ...Russian officials themselves have rejected the idea they are involved, as have Russian cybersecurity experts, one of whom dismissed it as “a classic stereotype of the nineties and early 2000s.” They say that it’s virtually impossible to trace the origin of a hack.
And it wasn’t until October that the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, went on the record to blame Russia—government actors, not, say, cybercriminals who happened to be Russian, “based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts,” and further declaring that they were “intended to interfere with the U. election process.” Days later, emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta appeared on Wiki Leaks.
So as of fall, the United States government had officially blamed Russia for the hacks, and stated that the hacks were intended to interfere with the American election.
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That revelation resulted in the Russian track-and-field team being banned from the games.
WADA was hacked in apparent response, and the personal information of several athletes, including the Russian whistleblower who alerted WADA to the scandal, was leaked online.
In a “declassified version of a highly classified assessment” released on Friday January 6, the U. intelligence community laid out its judgment that “Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election,” with the specific goal of harming Hillary Clinton’s “electability and potential presidency.” The report went on: “We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”These conclusions had previously been reported, based accounts anonymous intelligence officials gave to various news outlets.
The January 6 intelligence assessment was the first time the Office of the Director of National Intelligence had detailed them officially in public. After Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov threatened to retaliate, Putin declined to do so.
In September, Arne Schoenbohm, who heads Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), briefed German lawmakers about Russian hacking. And prior to perhaps their most high-value target thus far, the DNC, Russian hackers allegedly targeted the World Anti-Doping Agency ahead of the Rio Olympics this summer.
WADA had reported a widespread Russian state-run doping program that involved the country’s track-and-field program.
This is now the official position of the intelligence community.