Could a Computer Hack Herald the Start of a New Cold War?


Need to Know

On Friday, WikiLeaks posted almost 20,000 emails hacked from accounts of Democratic National Committee’s top brass. They’re calling it “part one of our new Hillary Leaks series.”

The hack has revealed a whole lot of in-fighting, collusion between the DNC and Clinton campaign, as well as an Ariana Grande doughnut scandal.

But who is behind it? Despite early claims from hacker Guccifer 2.0 taking responsibility for the breach, security experts are reaching a consensus that links Russian intelligence groups with the DNC leak, part of what security expert Nicholas Weaver has labeled “Weaponized WikiLeaks”. Others in the intelligence community have declared “WikiLeaks is a front for Russian intelligence”.

So why would the Russians target Hillary Clinton on the eve of the Democratic National Convention? This is where things get murky.

Ties between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have been more than hinted at over this campaign season. Trump has openly praised the Russian president on the trail. Trump’s surrogates successfully removed pro-Ukrainian language from the official GOP platform. And then there’s this bizarre tweet from Trump in 2013.

Further revelations have clearly linked Trump’s, as well as campaign manager Paul Manafort’s, financial interests with Russian oligarchs close to Putin.

Consider also Trump’s interview with The New York Times last week, in which the candidate suggested he wouldn’t necessarily aid NATO states threatened by Russia.

Keep in mind, no actual link has been established between the actions of Russian hackers and the Trump campaign. But that hasn’t kept prevented some from sounding the alarm.

“Vladimir Putin has a plan for destroying the West—and that plan looks a lot like Donald Trump,” Franklin Foer wrote in Slate.

And yesterday, Clinton campaign chief Robby Mook told ABC News, “It’s troubling that some experts are now telling us that this was done by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.”


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