Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, August 17, 2017

The hacker, known only by his online alias "Profexer," kept a low profile. He wrote computer code alone in an apartment and quietly sold his handiwork on the anonymous portion of the internet known as the dark web. Last winter, he suddenly went dark entirely. Profexer's posts, already accessible only to a small band of fellow hackers and cybercriminals looking for software tips, blinked out in January -- just days after American intelligence agencies publicly identified a program he had written as one tool used in Russian hacking in the United States. American intelligence agencies have determined Russian hackers were behind the electronic break-in of the Democratic National Committee.

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But while Profexer's online persona vanished, a flesh-and-blood person has emerged: a fearful man who the Ukrainian police said turned himself in early this year, and has now become a witness for the F.B.I.

"I don't know what will happen," he wrote in one of his last messages posted on a restricted-access website before going to the police. "It won't be pleasant. But I'm still alive."

It is the first known instance of a living witness emerging from the arid mass of technical detail that has so far shaped the investigation into the election hacking and the heated debate it has stirred. The Ukrainian police declined to divulge the man's name or other details, other than that he is living in Ukraine and has not been arrested.

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But Profexor's instinct to cooperate with the Ukrainian police, and now the FBI, suggests Russian intelligence may have relied on black market malware and exploits to run its hacking operations, in addition to its own tools. Even if the other hackers weren't always on the up-and-up, they may be truthful when they say they didn't have any idea what they were doing. Some of Fancy Bear's software choices appear to be off-the-shelf malware programs that led forensic investigators not to the perpetrators themselves, but to popular suppliers instead. - TPM

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2017-08-16 08:15 PM | Reply

But I thought the hacking never happened according to Conservative "software experts" here at the Drudge?

#2 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-08-17 10:55 AM | Reply | Funny: 2

#2, How absurd. Obviously the DNC was hacked and published by Wikileaks, which continues to deny a Russia connection.

On May 25, 2016 Marcel Lehel Lazar (aka "Guccifer") entered guilty pleas to charges of identity theft and unauthorized access to protected computers before a federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia. A Romanian who claims he broke into Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server and hundreds of other Americans including BushI, BushII.and Colin Powell. Since then we've had "Guccifer2" and others.

There is no doubt of this kind of activity by multiple State sanctioned hacking teams around the world and individuals. Whether Russia provided Wikileaks hacked material has never been shown to date. A more ridiculous stretch is to assume that Russia has the ability to rig an election when the Republican Party has the means, motive and track record of doing that for more than ten years. This doesn't mean that it is out of the question that Russia interfered, by for example using bots to spread rumors on Facebook. But, whether this had any effect on the outcome is doubtful. Not so for the Republicans, who control every aspect of the voting system in 2/3rds of all States and have cheated in very public ways without any consequence.

#3 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-08-17 11:30 AM | Reply

What I don't understand is why the competency of the federal government is not called into question when many billions of dollars are spent on cyber security with dedicated agencies crammed with thousands of staff ?
Basically, this guy is a walk in. Otherwise the alphabet soup of Intel agencies wouldn't be able to distinguish basement bedsit constructed malware from state sponsored stuff. And the Ukrainians are impartial neighbors of Russia, how ? We've been down this road before with Iraq, Niger Yellow cake, Italian Sismi and other bent actors egging on a global superpower.
Putin must be bent double in laughter. He'd be telling his ex KGB chums, "listen Comrades, I told you; we wasted tens of trillions building warheads and launching proxy wars against those capitalist pigs. All we needed to wait for was reality tv and the Internet to undermine them from within. Disinformation works every time- HA HA ha ha" (strokes orange cat)....

#4 | Posted by tunde at 2017-08-17 02:01 PM | Reply

#4 | Posted by tunde

You are making a lot of assumptions about "agencies" and he is a "walk in". Feds are NOT going to be able to stop or spot every hacker. You wouldn't believe the war going on in cyberspace. It isn't like me sitting here typing away either. You make a few hops using proxies and compromised systems and nobody can track you down. How did the silk road fall? The owner/admin didn't follow his own advice for accessing systems and did something traceable. He wasn't a hacker - just a "business" man that was tech savvy enough until he got sloppy. Encryption is a POWERFUL tool. That is why the government want's a back door into every encryption. That is why the governments don't want decentralized encrypted communication apps that leave no traces on servers.

As for Disinformation - it is very powerful. Just look at the right wing. It is FULL of it.

#5 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2017-08-17 04:13 PM | Reply

Photo of the Day: GOP Rep. Rohrabacher Poses With Holocaust Denier Chuck C. Johnson at Assange Meeting

Here we see Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher posing on the steps of the Ecuadoran embassy in London with Holocaust-denying white supremacist Chuck C. Johnson . . . as they prepare to meet with Julian Assange. Johnson, of course, is making that hand sign that white supremacists love to pretend has nothing to do with white supremacism.

littlegreenfootballs.com

Assange wants to make a deal, so Rohrabacher and Johnson paid him a visit. Rohrabacher is going to take Assange's message to Trump. I'm sure it's just a coincidence the guy (besides Trump) who McCarthy thought was being paid by the Russians is going to visit Assange with a white supremacist. Just as I'm sure that it's just a coincidence that the Daily Stormer, after being kicked off serves in the states, now has a home on a server in Russia.

#6 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-08-17 07:43 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I misspoke. Assange isn't looking for a deal:

"Josh Rogin‏ @joshrogin
Rohrabacher says Assange told him Russia wasn't involved in DNC hacks, plans to tell Trump. #facepalm"

I thought Assange said the hacked emails were given to him anonymously?

#7 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-08-17 09:33 PM | Reply

#7 The guy who received the e-mails, an ex-British diplomat, says they where given to him by an American. There's probably more details on that if you look them up.

#8 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-08-17 11:07 PM | Reply

#8 I never heard that. I know an ex-British diplomat gave the Steele dossier to McCain.

#9 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-08-17 11:12 PM | Reply

The hacker Matt Tait says this story is incorrect:

Pwn All The Things‏ @pwnallthethings

This claim by NYT based on a misunderstanding of DHS' report; this guy & his malware has nothing to do with DNC hack

The Grizzly Steppe report had a mashup of random things to look for; not DNC specific. Led to the Burlington Electric mistake and now this

He is a creator of unrelated malware. Not the malware found on the DNC network.

It's news because they misunderstood the DHS report and mistakenly think he has anything to do with the DNC malware, which he doesn't.

In fairness because DHS made it really unclear. This is the exact same trap WaPo fell into over the Burlington Electric "Grid hack" story.

#10 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-08-17 11:24 PM | Reply

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#9 Here's the story in the Daily Mail:

EXCLUSIVE: Ex-British ambassador who is now a WikiLeaks operative claims Russia did NOT provide Clinton emails - they were handed over to him at a D.C. park by an intermediary for 'disgusted' Democratic whistleblowers

www.dailymail.co.uk

To me, the Russia blaming gambit is just like WMD's in Iraq story. And I would still like to see the evidence.

#11 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-08-17 11:39 PM | Reply

There was a story during the primaries about Bernie's tech people viewing Hillary's research on the DNC website. Caused a kerfuffle, tempers flared all around. I think Bernie ended up firing some people. There are rumors that Bernie is dirty, worked with the Russians, because of stories like these and the fact that Tad Devine worked with Paul Manafort in Ukraine. I've always dismissed the stories. I believe that Jill Stein was a useful idiot for Putin, probably unwittingly. I don't believe Bernie or any of his people, including Tad Devine, would wittingly help Trump and the Russians.

#12 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-08-17 11:49 PM | Reply

I don't believe that any of the sides helped the Russians. Even the NSA admits that the probes of our voting infrastructure only went after names, addresses, and partial SSN's. Like any hacker would do. They didn't try to change anything. And the NSA won't blame it it on the Russians, either.

#13 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-08-17 11:54 PM | Reply

And I've heard of the Hillary/ Ukraine connection, but never gave it much thought. What was that about?

#14 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-08-17 11:55 PM | Reply

There was a story during the primaries about Bernie's tech people viewing Hillary's research on the DNC website. Caused a kerfuffle, tempers flared all around. I think Bernie ended up firing some people. There are rumors that Bernie is dirty, worked with the Russians, because of stories like these and the fact that Tad Devine worked with Paul Manafort in Ukraine. I've always dismissed the stories. I believe that Jill Stein was a useful idiot for Putin, probably unwittingly. I don't believe Bernie or any of his people, including Tad Devine, would wittingly help Trump and the Russians.

Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-08-17 11:49 PM | Reply

You're really "out there" on Bernie and Stein.

#15 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2017-08-18 12:03 AM | Reply

#11 from the link:

"Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and a close associate of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, told Dailymail.com that he flew to Washington, D.C. for a clandestine hand-off with one of the email sources in September."

The DNC emails were published in July:

The 2016 Democratic National Committee email leak is a collection of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails leaked to and subsequently published by WikiLeaks on July 22, 2016.

#16 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-08-18 12:14 AM | Reply

#16 Unless he's talking about the Podesta emails, but I didn't think those where on the DNC server. And I don't see how a Bernie Bro could have come across those legally:

'Neither of [the leaks] came from the Russians,' said Murray in an interview with Dailymail.com on Tuesday. 'The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks.'

#17 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-08-18 12:21 AM | Reply

#16 Yeah, wikileaks has always been real slow in publishing it's leaks. It took about that long for the Iraq and Afghanistan war leaks. I'll look the timeline up for you:

#18 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-08-18 12:28 AM | Reply

#18 I found one:

Hacks, Leaks, and Tweets: Everything We Now Know About the Attack on the 2016 Election

www.motherjones.com

#19 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-08-18 12:32 AM | Reply

"The Iraq War documents leak is the disclosure to WikiLeaks of 391,832[1] United States Army field reports, also called the Iraq War Logs, of the Iraq War from 2004 to 2009 and published on the Internet on 22 October 2010"

So about a year, from 2009 to October 2010.

en.wikipedia.org

#20 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-08-18 12:32 AM | Reply

I'll read it. I love Mother Jones, even though it's articles sometimes get banned here.

#21 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-08-18 12:33 AM | Reply

Okay, most of this comes from Guccifer 2.0, who cut and pasted his documents into Russian templates and then spread that, instead of the original documents. And some of the document meta-data was altered by some kind of of spy tool. And the original Guccifer says 2.0 is a state department cut-out.

So it's going to be real interesting wading through all that. But I love a good conspiracy story, so I'm up for it.

#22 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-08-18 12:40 AM | Reply

From the article:

"Oct 12: The Wall Street Journal reports the FBI suspects Russian intelligence hacked Podesta's emails. Stone tells a Miami TV station that he has "back-channel communications" with Assange."

Huh? Podesta worked for Assange? And by extension, Moscow?

#23 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-08-18 12:42 AM | Reply

I don't trust Assange:

Wikileaks' Julian Assange reportedly turned down a trove of documents related to the Russian government

www.businessinsider.com

#24 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-08-18 12:42 AM | Reply

Okay, scratch number 23. It's Stone saying he has back channel communication, not saying Podesta has it. Derp.

#25 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-08-18 12:43 AM | Reply

"From the article:
"Oct 12: The Wall Street Journal reports the FBI suspects Russian intelligence hacked Podesta's emails. Stone tells a Miami TV station that he has "back-channel communications" with Assange."
Huh? Podesta worked for Assange? And by extension, Moscow?"

I think you mean Stone had communications with Assange and by extension Moscow.

#26 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-08-18 12:44 AM | Reply

Here's another timeline:

Interactive Timeline: Everything We Know About Russia and President Trump

Explore our updated, comprehensive Trump/Russia timeline -- or select one of the central players in the Trump/Russia saga to see what we know about them.

billmoyers.com

#27 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-08-18 12:47 AM | Reply

Okay, that's worrisome. Assange should have released the 68 Gigs of Russian chats about corruption. That would have been illuminating. If the story is accurate, I wonder why? Can you find a second source on this, other than Business Insider?

#28 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-08-18 12:48 AM | Reply

www.washingtonexaminer.com

theweek.com

thehill.com

#29 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-08-18 12:50 AM | Reply

"As far as we recall these are already public," it said.

WikiLeaks responded via Twitter to the Thursday report: "WikiLeaks rejects all submissions that it cannot verify. WikiLeaks rejects submissions that have already been published elsewhere or which are likely to be considered insignificant. WikiLeaks has never rejected a submission due to its country of origin."

- the Hill

#30 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-08-18 01:16 AM | Reply

The same source that offered the Russia archive also offered WikiLeaks documents from an American security company.

WikiLeaks delayed accepting those documents, citing a lack of timeliness and manpower.

"Is there an election angle? We're not doing anything until after the election unless its [sic] fast or election related," WikiLeaks wrote. "We don't have the resources."

- the Hill.

I just don't buy into the narrative that wikileaks is a Russian front.

#31 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-08-18 01:17 AM | Reply

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