A website tied to recent hacks waged against the Democratic Party published documents Tuesday it claimed to have acquired by compromising the Clinton Foundation — an assertion that was quickly discredited and widely dismissed.
The Clinton Foundation denied it was breached Tuesday after the Guccifer 2.0 blog released files purportedly stolen as a result of hacking and obtaining “hundreds of thousands” of documents and databases from the organization run by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her family.
“Hillary Clinton and her staff don’t even bother about the information security,” wrote a person using the Guccifer 2.0 alias. “It was just a matter of time to gain access to the Clinton Foundation server.”
The blog — a site which has previously been attributed with releasing documents obtained in earlier cyberattacks suffered by the Democratic Party — directed readers to a link containing more than 800 megabytes’ worth of data purportedly taken from the Clinton Foundation’s server.
“As you can see, the private server of the Clinton clan contains docs and donors lists of the Democratic committees, PACs, etc. Does it surprise you?” wrote the author of the post.
The claim was outright rejected by the Clinton Foundation, however, and further discredited upon actual inspection of the newly leaked documents.
“Once again, we still have no evidence Clinton Foundation systems were breached and have not been notified by law enforcement of an issue,” a foundation official said in a statement. “None of these folders or files shown are from the Clinton Foundation.”
A cursory review suggests the files were instead acquired as the result of an earlier data breach suffered by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, an official fundraising arm of the party. A person familiar with the documents told Politico that the data appeared to have come from the DCCC hack.
U.S. officials and cybersecurity experts widely believe the DCCC and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) were both breached leading up to the Nov. 8 election by a sophisticated cyber campaign being waged by the Russian government, and some have suggested the Guccifer 2.0 handle is intimately involved in the alleged state-sponsored operation.
“Given the Russians’ long track record of faking the origin and doctoring the content of documents acquired through cyberattacks, the committee is working to determine if these were stolen from our network,” Meredith Kelly, the DCCC’s national press secretary, told Politico on Tuesday.
In a Twitter conversation, the Guccifer 2.0 alias insisted the files came directed from the Clinton Foundation, Ars Technica reported. Upon its own review, however, the prominent tech blog concluded that “the files are clearly not from the Clinton Foundation” — an opinion widely shared elsewhere in the wake of this week’s document dump.
Specifically, metadata and revision history for several of the documents indicate they were authored by DCCC officials.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied using cyberattacks to disrupt the U.S. election. The Guccifer 2.0 alias has previously claimed to be a Romanian computer hacker who adopted the handle in tribute to the original “Guccifer,” a Romanian man who was recently convicted of hacking the internet accounts of one of Mrs. Clinton’s confidants and a relative of the President Bush, among others.