According to unnamed senior law enforcement official, the FBI requested access to the Democratic National Committee servers in an effort to uncover whether Russians hacked in and stole information. The DNC reportedly refused to allow FBI access to the servers.
The Democratic National Committee “rebuffed” a request from the FBI to examine its computer services after it was allegedly hacked by Russia during the 2016 election, a senior law enforcement official told CNN Thursday.
“The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated,” a senior law enforcement official told CNN. “This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information. These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier.
“The DNC had several meetings with representatives of the FBI’s Cyber Division and its Washington Field Office, the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, and U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and it responded to a variety of requests for cooperation, but the FBI never requested access to the DNC’s computer servers,” Walker’s email read.
The FBI has instead relied on computer forensics from a third-party tech security company, CrowdStrike, which first determined in May of last year that the DNC’s servers had been infiltrated by Russia-linked hackers, the U.S. intelligence official told BuzzFeed News.
“CrowdStrike is pretty good. There’s no reason to believe that anything that they have concluded is not accurate,” the intelligence official said, adding they were confident Russia was behind the widespread hacks.
The FBI declined to comment.
“Beginning at the time the intrusion was discovered by the DNC, the DNC cooperated fully with the FBI and its investigation, providing access to all of the information uncovered by CrowdStrike — without any limits,” Walker claimed.
It’s unclear why the FBI didn’t request access to the DNC servers, and whether it’s common practice when the bureau investigates the cyberattacks against private entities by state actors, like when the Sony Corporation was hacked by North Korea in 2014.
In a 13-page report made public the last week of December, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security confirmed in a joint analysis that Russia was behind the widespread hacks, which targeted Democrats with the intention to manipulate the US election. But the analysis was attributed to broad intelligence across both public and private sectors. Nowhere in the report does it say that the government conducted its own computer forensics on the DNC servers.
“Public attribution of these activities to [Russian Intelligence Services] is supported by technical indicators from the U.S. Intelligence Community, DHS, FBI, the private sector, and other entities,” the report says.
President-elect Donald Trump weighed in on the questionable intelligence assessment.
So how and why are they so sure about hacking if they never even requested an examination of the computer servers? What is going on?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
So what’s the real story? Did the FBI actually view the servers or are they basing their entire Russian hacking report on a third-party, paid by the DNC, report?
So this whole #russianhacking thing is based on a 3rd party, hired by the DNC, telling the FBI it was the Russians… seems legit.
— Jay P. Porter ن (@JayPPorter) January 6, 2017
With the history of this administration politicizing government agencies, I would say it is with “High Confidence” that it is probably happening again.