Buzzfeed Publishes Insane WikiLeaks-Guccifer Conspiracy Theory, Inadvertently Proves the Opposite
Buzzfeed is continuing to push the bizarre conspiracy theory that Guccifer 2.0 was behind WikiLeaks’ email leak from the Democratic National Committee — but instead they just proved, yet again, that the shadowy figure was not the original source.
The author was reporting on alleged leaked direct messages between an activist named Emma Best, who had been angling for Guccifer 2.0 to provide her with leaked documents, and someone using the WikiLeaks Twitter account.
“[I] gonna send a large trove to wikileaks,” Guccifer 2.0 allegedly told Best in August, 2016. Best then messaged WikiLeaks and conveyed what the anonymous account had told her.
“I told them that Guccifer 2.0 was considering giving me at least part of the cache, which is when they asked me to be their ‘agent,’ which they said I would get ‘credit’ for,” Best claimed to BuzzFeed. She said that at this point she stopped messaging Guccifer 2.0 and she did not act as an intermediary.
1. if these DMs published by @kevincollier are genuine, they are the best evidence that there was NO dark conspiracy with #Russia: @wikileaks was trying to get important docs from alleged #Guccifer as other journalists were doing the same https://t.co/lJKfa9HUpQ
— stefania maurizi (@SMaurizi) April 5, 2018
If WikiLeaks had already received documents from Guccifer, why would they have needed a go-between for new ones? WikiLeaks had already published the bulk of their leak on July 22.
On August 12, 2016, Guccifer 2.0 also tweeted that they would be sending a large trove of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee documents to WikiLeaks.
Again, this is nearly a month after the initial DNC leaks were published by WikiLeaks. They never published anything from the DCCC.
— GUCCIFER 2.0 (@GUCCIFER_2) August 13, 2016
Documents shared by Guccifer 2.0 appeared to have Russian fingerprints deliberately placed on them, according to experts, but the establishment who seeks to discredit WikiLeaks have ran with the story claiming that that the “hacker” was a Russian military officer and behind all of it.
Last year, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) — a 30 member group made up of well respected former experts from the National Security Administration, tech companies, and other intelligence agencies, released a letter detailing their analysis of what the Guccifer 2.0 account was all about.
The report from VIPS states that “forensic studies of “Russian hacking” into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computer. After examining metadata from the “Guccifer 2.0” July 5, 2016 intrusion into the DNC server, independent cyber investigators have concluded that an insider copied DNC data onto an external storage device.”
Additionally, the former intelligence operatives detail how the FBI neglected to perform any independent forensics on the original “Guccifer 2.0,” and assert that “the reason the U.S. government lacks conclusive evidence of a transfer of a ‘Russian hack’ to WikiLeaks is because there was no such transfer.”
Among those who signed on to the report is William Binney, former NSA Technical Director for World Geopolitical & Military Analysis; Co-founder of NSA’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center, Larry C Johnson, who is retired from the CIA & State Department, Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst at SIGINT Automation Research Center of the NSA, and many more.
“There was no hack of the Democratic National Committee’s system on July 5 last year—not by the Russians, not by anyone else. Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak—a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device. In short, it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system. This casts serious doubt on the initial ‘hack,’ as alleged, that led to the very consequential publication of a large store of documents on WikiLeaks last summer,” Patrick Lawrence wrote for the Nation.
Lawrence went on to detail the findings in a report by a cyber expert who goes by the moniker “the Forensicator.”
The analyst found that the transfer took place at speeds of 23 MB/s, which means that a remote data transfer over the internet would be extremely unlikely. Instead, the report states that a more likely scenario would be “that the individual who was collecting the data either had physical access to the computer where the data was stored, or the data was copied over a local high speed network (LAN).”
“This initial copying activity was done on a system where Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) settings were in force. Most likely, the computer used to initially copy the data was located somewhere on the East Coast,” Forensicator reported.
In their conclusion, they asserted that they believe the files were obtained by plugging a USB drive directly into a DNC computer.
Buried at the end of his lengthy conspiracy theory in BuzzFeed, Kevin Collier admitted that “files that Guccifer 2.0 published on its WordPress account don’t appear in Assange’s first release in 2016 of hacked Democratic files, which WikiLeaks calls the DNC Email Archive on its website.” He also acknowledged that the conversation between Best and WikiLeaks occured after DNC emails had already been published by WikiLeaks.