The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department Of Homeland Security have released a joint analysis report detailing the cyberwarfare campaign conducted by agents both civilian and military of the Russian Federation during the 2016 American presidential elections, which has now been codenamed Operation GRIZZLY STEPPE.
These cyber operations have included spearphishing campaigns targeting government organizations, critical infrastructure entities, think tanks, universities, political organizations, and corporations leading to the theft of information. In foreign countries,RIS actors conducted damaging and/or disruptive cyber-attacks, including attacks on critical infrastructure networks. In some cases, RIS actors masqueraded as third parties, hiding behindfalse online personas designed to cause the victim to misattribute the source of the attack.
While being vague in the description of events, there is no doubt that the “political party” referred to is the Democratic Party. Two actor groups, designated APT29 and AP28, have been confirmed to have infiltrated Democratic Party systems first in June 2015 (the hacking of the Democratic National Committee email servers) and in spring 2016 (the successful phishing of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta).
These Russian actor groups are known to have attacked government organizations, think tanks, universities, and corporations around the world at the bidding of the Kremlin. APT 29 successfully broke into Democratic Party servers because a certain somebody at the DNC and John Podesta apparently don’t know how the internet works and clicked on a link in a phishing email that they shouldn’t have, allowing malicious files to install, giving the hackers access to their accounts.
While the contents of those emails were not anything out of the ordinary, when combined with the relentless propaganda efforts put forth by Russian online trolls and the astounding ignorance of the American populace, you have a situation where over 50% of Trump voters believed that John Podesta’s emails were about satanic blood/semen/breast milk “spirit cooking” rituals and secret pedophilia sex rings. Half. That likely did have a significant effect on our election, and even if it didn’t, the point remains. Yes, it might be enormously hypocritical of us to protest, but a rival foreign power meddled in the democratic processes of the United States of America and that must be taken as a violation of our national sovereignty and responded to as such. The Republican desire to discard decades of toxic hyperpatriotism and sweep this under the rug must be interpreted for what it is – treason.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.