Russian Hackers Get RANSOM to Keep Democrats’ Dirty Secrets
Who’s really in bed with the Kremlin when leftists pay Russia to keep their mouths shut?
Russian hackers demanded ransom money from Democratic groups for protester funding information. And many leftist organizations gave it to them. What exactly are they hiding?
Their Secret Is Out
FBI probes uncovered a new wave of cyber-attacks against Democrat supporters. Russian hackers targeted progressive groups, scouring emails and shared network documents for embarrassing information. Cyber-criminals then used the details to extract hush money.
Since the U.S. presidential election, these opportunists not only hacked more than a dozen left-wing organizations, but they also hacked the Democratic National Committee in 2016, according to the FBI.
Some left-wing organizations paid the demanded ransom, attempting to hide sensitive information about their role in funding anti-Trump protesters across America. The Unnamed organizations paid $30,000 to $150,000 ransoms using untraceable bitcoins, (a type of digital currency used to transfer funds without a bank). Yet, there is no guarantee hackers won’t publicize the documents anyway.
The Center for American Progress (CAP), a Washington think-tank linked to both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, was one of the groups targeted by hackers. Arabella Advisors, a group that guides liberal donors on which progressive cause in which to invest was extorted as well.
In a public statement, CAP denied the report:
“CAP has no evidence we have been hacked, no knowledge of it and no reason to believe it to be true. CAP has never been subject to ransom,” spokeswoman Allison Preiss, said in a statement.
Arabella confirmed the attack, however.
“Arabella Advisors was affected by cyber-crime,” said Steve Sampson, a spokesman for the firm, which lists 150 employees operating in four offices. “All facts indicate this was financially motivated.”
If the Arabella attack came from a different group, multiple criminals could be duplicating Russia’s DNC hack for profit.
Cyber-attacks are notoriously hard to trace.
The hackers used techniques that security experts consider hallmarks of Cozy Bear, one of the Russian government groups behind last year’s cyber-attack on the DNC. However, the FBI declined to comment regarding the latest hacks. Its ongoing investigation focuses on Russia’s alleged attempts to influence the 2016 election. A charge Russian officials deny.
“It would be cautious concluding that this has any sort of Russian government backing,” said John Hultquist, director of cyber espionage analysis at FireEye Inc. “Russian government hackers have aggressively targeted think tanks, and even masqueraded as ransomware operations, but it’s always possible it is just another shakedown.”
No love loss from President Trump, if the Russians have indeed found a “soft target.” The president accused such liberal groups of deploying protesters to congressional town halls. Mocking his opponents on Feb. 21, Trump tweeted:
“The so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!”
The day after the election, Russian intelligence agency, FSB, targeted hundreds including national security experts, military officers, and former White House officials. The majority of these cyber-victims worked for Democrat administrations or link to liberal causes.
The report did not clarify how the groups allocated funding – whether they paid protesters or bought materials for protest signs. But it’s clear that these groups have lots of money and something to hide.