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Russian Emails Released by Ukrainian Hackers

Veteran News
Veteran News
October 28, 2016
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A Ukrainian group called “Cyber Hunta” this week released a Russian government email inbox containing more than a gigabyte worth of emails and other data from the office of one of Vladimir Putin’s top aides. The emails appear to show that Russia has, as suspected, been helping the separatist movement fight the government of Ukraine.Although Russia has denied that there is a working relationship between Moscow and separatists in Ukraine, the emails show how Russia controlled the separatist effort in the Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine, which tore the country apart and led to the Russian annexation of the Crimea region.The Digital Forensic Research Lab of the Atlantic Council has conducted an in-depth search of the emails and put them online for public viewing. Maks Czuperski of the DFRL calls the emails “a serious hack.”"We have seen so much happen to the United States, other countries at the hands of Russia," said Czuperski. "Not so much to Russia. It was only a question of time that some of the anonymous guys like Cyber Hunta would come to strike them back."


Russian Emails Appear to Be Authentic

The DFRL says that while it is quite easy to fake screenshots, PDF’s and other documents, it is very difficult to fake an entire inbox, which makes the hacks appear to be more authentic.The inbox belonged to the Kremlin’s “grey cardinal,” Vladislav Surkov, who is a political operative known in the West for his control of the states of South Ossetia, Abkhazi, and the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics in Ukraine.While there is a high degree of uninteresting emails in the inbox, there are definitely some telling tidbits which give clues as to Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine. In one instance, casualty lists from the Donbass region appear to show a Russian soldier being killed there.Another email involved a supposed letter from outraged Russian-sympathizing citizens in the Donbass who wanted an end to Ukrainian military activities in the region. The letter, which was sent to the inbox for “corrections,” then appeared in several pro-Russian news outlets. It was presented as a genuine outcry from citizens who were outraged at the Ukrainian military’s tactics in Eastern Ukraine, when it was more likely simply propaganda (although this is unproven by the emails alone).Other Russian emails detail political candidate recommendations for the new Donetsk republic, who were eventually “elected;” expense lists for a “Ministry of Information” in Donetsk; and details of how the Russians had a guiding or approving role in the election of ministers and government representatives for the new puppet government in Donetsk.There is no news on how or when the Russian government will respond. The Russians have been in the hot seat after allegations that they have been working with Wikileaks to release DNC and other hacked emails.

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