DNC 'hacker' strikes again, calling elections 'farce'

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Guccifer 2.0, the online character who disseminates hacked emails and memos from the Democratic National Committee, has struck again.

And this time, the once-vague "hacker" is offering a conspiracy theory, recently adopted by Republican presidential candidate and reality television star Donald Trump, that the 2016 U.S. elections will be rigged.

The latest batch of documents, released Monday, largely consist of standard campaign strategies for House Democrats in five Florida districts. Each candidate is a challenger: Four districts are currently held by a Republican; the other is by Patrick Murphy, a Democrat who's instead seeking a Senate seat this election. Compiled by several consulting groups, the files delve deep into topics like the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the Democratic congressional candidate for each district, their biographies and voting record, and how that candidate can resonate with residents of those areas.

Less interesting than the contents of those files, however, is their presentation. On the WordPress blog where Guccifer 2.0 posts his files, he added a commentary: "It may seem the congressional primaries are also becoming a farce."

It's believed to be the first time Guccifer 2.0, who's taken a serious interest in the U.S. election, has openly cast doubt on the integrity of U.S. elections. But he's not the only one. Last week in Pennsylvania, a state crucial for Trump's plan to win the electoral college, and one in which polls say he's losing significantly, the self-proclaimed billionaire claimed that, "the only way we can lose, in my opinion—and I really mean this, Pennsylvania—is if cheating goes on."

Why Trump Claims General Election Will be 'Rigged'

That's not to say there's any direct link between Trump and Guccifer 2.0, of course. But it does add fuel to the theory that he's a character created by the Russian government, which openly supports Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton, to help disseminate those DNC documents.

Guccifer 2.0's true identity is hotly contested, though it's at least been clear he's been dishonest about it. The day before he created his WordPress and Twitter accounts to announce his presence to the world, the Washington Post broke the news that cybersecurity firms strongly believed the DNC had been breached by two distinct Russian government groups. Guccifer countered that he alone was the hacker and that he was Romanian and did not speak Russian. However, linguistic analysis of his English by Motherboard—his fluency seemed to vacillate wildly from conversation to conversation—pointed to Russian origins, as did modifications to the DNC files before they were posted. An email he sent to Vocativ, analyzed by cybersecurity experts at ThreatConnect, indicated he was using a Russian company to hide his online tracks.

One theory, supported by ThreatConnect's thorough analysis of Guccifer 2.0's behavior, is that while the DNC was hacked by more advanced Russian hackers, that information was passed to a different government actor to disseminate.

In a July Twitter direct message conversation with Vocativ, Guccifer 2.0 insisted that he wasn't specifically angling against Democrats. "if by any chance i had managed to breach into the rnc be sure i wouldn't have hesitated to leak their docs," he wrote. Elsewhere, he showed more of a preference. In one blog post, he wrote that "Hillary seems so much false to me, she got all her money from political activities and lobbying, she is a slave of moguls," but that "Donald Trump has earned his money himself. And at least he is sincere in what he says."

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CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 17: U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL 23rd District) and chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) speaks to reporters in the spin room after watching tonight's democratic presidential debate at the Gaillard Center on January 17, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley spent yesterday campaigning in South Carolina in lead up to tonight's debate. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 19: DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) introduces US President Barack Obama during the Democratic National Committee's Women's Leadership Forum, September 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Womens Leadership Forum is holding their 21st annual National Issues Conference a the Marriot Marquis Hotel. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (R) hugs DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (L), D-FL, as Clinton arrives on stage to speak at the Democratic National Committee's Womens Leadership Forum Issues Conference in Washington, DC on September 19, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JULY 23: Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz attends a campaign rally at Florida International University Panther Arena on July 23, 2016 in Miami, Florida. Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine made their first public appearance together a day after the Clinton campaign announced Senator Kaine as the Democratic vice presidential candidate. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/WireImage)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairperson of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), speaks during a campaign event for Hillary Clinton, presumptive 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, not pictured, in Miami, Florida, U.S., on Saturday, July 23, 2016. Clinton named Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate for the Democratic presidential ticket, a widely-anticipated choice that may say more about how she wants to govern than how she plans to win in November. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz speaks at a rally, before the arrival of Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her vice presidential running mate U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, in Miami, Florida, U.S. July 23, 2016. Picture taken July 23, 2016. REUTERS/Scott Audette
Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz talks with members of the media before the Democratic presidential candidates debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, December 19, 2015. REUTERS/Gretchen Ertl
U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) stands with her friend Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) (R) during a farewell ceremony for Giffords on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, in this still image taken from video, January 25, 2012. Giffords, wounded a year ago in a deadly Tucson shooting spree, stepped down from the U.S. Congress on Wednesday to focus on her recovery. REUTERS/HouseTV/Pool (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS PROFILE SOCIETY)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 21: Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., descends the House steps after a vote in the Capitol, October 21 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 17: U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL 23rd District) and chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) speaks to reporters in the spin room after watching tonight's democratic presidential debate at the Gaillard Center on January 17, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley spent yesterday campaigning in South Carolina in lead up to tonight's debate. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
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The post DNC 'Hacker' Strikes Again, Calling Elections 'Farce' appeared first on Vocativ.

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