Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Russian intel officers indicted for hacking DNC

Russian intel officers indicted for hacking DNC

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told reporters Friday that the defendants worked for the GRU, Russia's premier military intelligence agency.

Twelve Russian intelligence officers were indicted on charges they hacked into Democratic email accounts during the 2016 US presidential election and released stolen information in the months before Americans headed to the polls, the Justice Department said Friday.

Additionally, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos have pleaded guilty to making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the contacts they had during the campaign with Russians. They are charged with infiltrating computers including state boards of election, secretaries of state, and companies that provide software to monitor elections.

The Justice Department tweeted earlier Friday that the deputy AG would hold a news conference with "a law enforcement announcement".

The alleged conspirators hacked into the computer network of the Democratic Congressional Committee and Democratic National Campaign Committee. They used a scheme known as "spearfishing" which tricked users into disclosing their information that allowed hackers to gain access to emails.

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It also emerged two days before Trump is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin - who has denied election meddling - in Helsinki for a summit that includes a one-on-one meeting with only interpreters present.

The charges were brought as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether there was any collusion between Donald Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

"He needs to know what evidence there is of foreign election interference", said Rosenstein.

While Friday's indictment does not include any criminal allegations against a USA citizen, the charges note that Guccifer 2.0 allegedly communicated with "U.S. persons about the release of stolen documents". The indictment said the Russians adopted false online personas to push divisive messages, traveled to the United States to collect intelligence and staged political rallies while posing as Americans.

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