The hacker using the handle “Guccifer 2.0” posted another set of internal Democratic National Committee documents Thursday, along with a series of answers to questions posed to him by journalists and others via Twitter. The hacker claims to be a male, working alone, and said “none of the [US] candidates has my sympathies.”
The new set of documents includes memos about foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation, details of attacks on Hillary Clinton posted on Twitter by Republicans, spreadsheets with political action committee financial commitments (along with the email and phone numbers for the PAC lobbyists), and other DNC materials.
This is the third release from the hack. The first went public on June 15 in response to a Washington Post story from the previous day in which it was announced that the DNC, and perhaps Hillary Clinton’s campaign itself, had been hacked. The hacker released an alleged DNC opposition research file on presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump on June 15 and also posted a batch of other internal DNC files concerning notes, research on opponents (from both parties), positions on various issues, and information related to DNC donors to a WordPress blog site. In that post, the hacker claimed he was working alone and had been within the DNC’s computer system for a year before getting booted on June 12. He then claimed to have downloaded thousands of documents and passed them to WikiLeaks.
He also mocked the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, which had been brought in to handle the DNC hack and analyze its source. CrowdStrike said the hack was likely the work of hackers working with, for, or in collusion with the Russian government, a claim the Russian government denied to the Post. The paper reported that the hack appeared to be Russian, based on tools used in the attack, and that the Russians might be using this to help Trump.
The DNC has never confirmed the authenticity of the documents, but metadata associated with them, and some of the information within them, points to their authenticity. The DNC declined to comment on Thursday but said in a statement sent to Mother Jones after the hack was first revealed that it was all the work of the Russian government.
“Our experts are confident in their assessment that the Russian government hackers were the actors responsible for the breach detected in April, and we believe [it] may be a part of a disinformation campaign by the Russians,” a senior DNC official said.
In an interview with Vice News’ Motherboard on June 21, the hacker claimed he was working alone and was Romanian, not Russian. That same day, the hacker posted 261 new documents, including research on presidential candidates and talking points on Clinton controversies such as Benghazi.
On June 22, the hacker modified his Twitter account to allow questions to be sent via Twitter’s direct message system, saying he would answer them all at once. The hacker posted those answers Thursday in a post titled “FAQ FROM GUCCIFER 2.0”:
- On where he’s from: “I can only tell you that I was born in Eastern Europe. I won’t answer where I am now.”
- On suspected links to Russian intelligence: “I’ll tell you that everything I do, I do at my own risk. This is my personal project and I’m proud of it. Yes, I risk my life. But I know it’s worth it. No one knew about me several weeks ago. Nowadays the whole world’s talking about me. It’s really cool!” The hacker added that he’d never be able to prove he wasn’t affiliated with Russian intelligence, and he said cybersecurity firms like CrowdStrike have “no other way to justify their incompetence and failure” than to accuse Russia. “They just fucked up! They can prove nothing!”
- On his gender: “I’m a man. I’ve never met a female hacker of the highest level. Girls, don’t get offended. I love you.”
- About his political views and possible Trump support: “I don’t want to disappoint anyone, but none of the candidates has my sympathies. Each of them has skeletons in the closet.” He says he views Clinton and Trump differently: “Hillary seems so much false to me, she got all her money from political activities and lobbying, she is a slave of moguls, she is bought and sold;” Trump “has earned his money himself” and “at least he is sincere in what he says.” But, he added, he doesn’t support Trump: “I’m totally against his ideas about closing borders and deportation policy. It’s nonsense, absolute bullshit.”
- On Bernie Sanders: “I have nothing to say about Bernie Sanders. It seems he never had a chance to win the nomination as the Democratic Party itself stood against him!”
The hacker also said he hopes he doesn’t get caught by the FBI, “but it won’t be that easy to catch me.” The FBI hasn’t responded to a request for comment on Thursday.