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Leonid Bershidsky

Why I Still Don't Buy the Russian Hacking Story

The latest evidence tying the DNC breach to Russian intelligence is not convincing.
Hack this.

Hack this.

Photographer: Sergei Volskiy/AFP/Getty Images

I'm willing to believe that Russia sought to hack the U.S. election, but I still find the evidence lacking. That skepticism applies to the latest sensation -- a report that Russian proxies in Ukraine are employing the same malicious software used on the U.S. Democratic National Committee.

For months, I have been parsing stories of the great Russian hack -- the anonymous leaks from U.S. administration officials, the two fact-poor statements from the U.S. intelligence community, the distant echoes of briefings received by U.S. legislators -- for technical evidence. There have been red herrings, such as a feeble attempt to prove that Trump was in contact with Russians through a server at Alfa Bank in Moscow (in reality, a marketing company was sending unsolicited email to Alfa managers). But so far, the only evidence pointing to Russian government involvement comes from cybersecurity companies that have studied Advanced Persistent Threat 28, a hacker collective that has attacked many targets over the years -- including the DNC in 2016.