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Putin doesn't think it's important who hacked the DNC

Engadget logo Engadget 2/09/2016 Nathan Ingraham
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Just before the Democratic National Convention kicked off in late July, Wikileaks published a trove of emails and other data that it acquired following a hack on the Democratic National Committee. The FBI started investigating, and very quickly it identified Russia as the likely source of the hackers. Now, Russian president Vladimir Putin is speaking out, denying his country's involvement in the incident -- but with some rather strange language.

"I don't know anything about it, and on a state level Russia has never done this," Putin told Bloomberg regarding the DNC hack and his country's involvement in it. Regardless of where the intrusion originated from, Putin doesn't seem to think it's that big of a deal, either. "Listen, does it even matter who hacked this data?" he asked. "The important thing is the content that was given to the public."

While his denial that the Russian government was responsible for the hack is expected, his comments about whether or not it matters where the hack came from certainly sound like some misdirection. If Russian wasn't involved, Putin wouldn't have any reason to care about the US continuing to investigate into the source of the intrusion.

Indeed, it would seem rather strange for a country so concerned with cybersecurity, as the US certainly is, to not investigate and find the source of such a hack, but that appears to be Putin's position. "There's no need to distract the public's attention from the essence of the problem by raising some minor issues connected with the search for who did it," he said.

Bloomberg also spoke with a "cybersecurity expert" at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington who said that Russia's "track record" doesn't lend much credibility to Putin's denial. James Lewis noted that Russia's history of state hacking goes back for a good decade or more, so if the country was behind this it wouldn't exactly be out of character.

But Putin's denial left little wiggle room. While speaking about the difficulties there are actually finding the source for such a data breach, he repeated that "we definitely don't do this at a state level." The FBI's investigation is ongoing, so we'll have to wait and see what, if anything, is made public about the identities of those who hacked the DNC.


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