USA grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking

USA grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking

Eleven of the 12 Russian operatives are charged with either hacking into or "spearphishing" (sending emails to trick people into providing passwords) the computer networks of Democratic Party officials; spying on network activity and collecting information; and creating fictional personas to spread the information and hide that the source was actually Russian officials with military intelligence agency GRU. Clinton and her campaign argue that the emails were personal in nature and not work-related, lamenting that they did not delete the emails after receiving a congressional subpoena from the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

Count Eleven charges conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States by attempting to hack into the computers of state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and U.S. companies that supplied software and other technology related to the administration of elections.

Computer records related to at least 500,000 voters were stolen, but no evidence has emerged that the election itself was compromised or that the result was affected.

Rosenstein said at the time that the Russians had waged "information warfare" against the United States during the 2016 campaign, with the aim of "spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general".

One group of officers were tasked with infiltrating computers and stealing data, while another worked to distribute it through anonymous channels in the U.S.

The indictment, secured by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his ongoing investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 election won by President Donald Trump, was issued three days before Trump, who is now on a visit to Britain, meets Russian President Vladimir Putin for a summit in Helsinki.

And an elections system vendor, VR Systems, which wasn't named in the indictment, repeatedly denied reports in 2017 that information was stolen from it and used to send phishing emails to local elections officials.

■ They released the materials by creating fictitious online personas, including "DCLeaks" and "Guccifer 2.0".

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They corresponded with Americans but there's no information the Americans knew who they were talking to, said Rosenstein. "This is consistent with what we have been saying all along", White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said.

"The Russian state has never interfered and has no intention of interfering in the U.S. elections", Mr Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said. GRU units 26165 and 74455, the indictment says, "conducted large-scale cyber operations to interfere with the 2016 presidential election".

Mr Trump said at a news conference on Friday near London with British Prime Minister Theresa May that he was not going into the meeting with Mr Putin with "high expectations".

"Russia, if you're listening", Trump said, "I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing".

John McCain (R-AZ) weighed in on the indictment of 12 Russian intel officers for election hacking and called for the summit to be pulled off if President Donald Trump is "not prepared to hold Putin accountable".

In February, he brought charges against 13 Russian nationals who allegedly carried out a campaign of social media-fueled information warfare - some of it supporting Trump and disparaging Clinton - that he said was aimed at meddling in the 2016 election.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. He said that Mueller's investigation continues. Picture: APFormer FBI Director and special counsel Robert Mueller.

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