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12 Russians indicted for hacking into Democratic servers

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Twelve officers were indicted today for hacking into the servers of senior Democrats, including its in 2016, days ahead of a meeting between US and his Russian counterpart

According to the indictment, the 12 are members of the GRU, a Russian Federation intelligence agency within the of the

These officers engaged in a sustained effort to hack into the computer networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Committee, and the presidential campaign of Hillary, and released that information on the Internet under the names "DCLeaks" and "Guccifer 2.0" and through another entity, the indictment said.

The indictment comes ahead of the crucial meeting of with his Russian counterpart in Helsinki, on July 16.

According to the indictment, officials in 2016, began spear phishing volunteers and employees of the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, including the campaign's

Through that process, officials in this unit were able to steal the usernames and passwords for numerous individuals and use those credentials to steal email content and hack into other computers.

They also were able to hack into the computer networks of the (DCCC) and the (DNC) through these spearphishing techniques to steal emails and documents, covertly monitor the computer activity of dozens of employees, and implant hundreds of files of malicious computer code to steal passwords and maintain access to these networks.

To avoid detection, these officials used false identities while using a network of computers located around the world, including the United States, paid for with cryptocurrency through bitcoin and other means intended to obscure the origin of the funds.

This funding structure supported their efforts to buy key accounts, servers, and domains. For example, the same operation that funded the registration payment for also funded the servers and domains used in the spearphishing campaign, the indictment said.

"The Internet allows foreign adversaries to attack in new and unexpected ways," said.

"Together with our law enforcement partners, the is resolute in its commitment to locate, identify and seek to bring to justice anyone who interferes with American elections," he said.

"Free and fair elections are hard-fought and contentious, and there will always be adversaries who work to exacerbate domestic differences and try to confuse, divide, and conquer us. So long as we are united in our commitment to the shared values enshrined in the Constitution, they will not succeed," Rosenstein added.

The said there were allegations in this indictment that Americans knew that they were corresponding with Russians. "There is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime. There is no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result," the said.

"Today's charges include no allegations of knowing involvement by anyone on the campaign and no allegations that the alleged hacking affected the election result. This is consistent with what we have been saying all along," Walters said in a statement.

The opposition demanded that Trump cancel his July 16 meeting with Putin. "These indictments are further proof of what everyone but the seems to understand: President Putin is an adversary who interfered in our elections to help President Trump win," Senate Minority Leader, said.

"President Trump should cancel his meeting with until takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won't interfere in future elections. Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy, Schumer demanded.

Senator said the indictment charging 12 Russian intelligence officers with conspiring to interfere with our is no witch hunt.

"The President needs to put first and stop undermining this crucial national security investigation," Leahy said.

Nancy Pelosi, the leader, said that the Russians waged a massive, concerted operation to interfere in US elections, and they will do so again in the fall.

"Strong, immediate action is needed to secure our state election systems, yet Republicans are wasting the country's time with sham hearings while refusing to provide a single additional penny to protect our elections," she said.

"The stakes for the upcoming Trump-Putin meeting could not be higher. President Trump must demand and secure a real, concrete and comprehensive agreement that the Russians will cease their ongoing attacks on our democracy. Failure to stand up to Putin would constitute a profound betrayal of the Constitution and our democracy," Pelosi said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, July 14 2018. 01:15 IST