In a telling interview that covered a broad list of topics before the upcoming G20 gathering in China, Russian President Vladimir Putin has swept aside all accusations of Russia’s alleged involvement in the high-profile hacks targeting the U.S. Democratic party.
If you have been paying attention during the run-up toward this year’s U.S. presidential elections, an unprecedented and intriguing element has been added to the churning pot of politics. Never before has the topic of cybersecurity been of such relevance to the political hoopla. Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her days as the secretary of state continues to hang over the Democratic presidential nominee as a dark cloud.
More recently, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has been inundated with a series of breaches that has proved to be embarrassing for the political party. First, there was the case of presidential rival and Republican nominee Donald Trump’s dossier, complied by the DNC, stolen by hackers. That was followed up with a leak of another dossier, this time belonging to Hillary Clinton, leaked by unknown hackers.
Then came the DNC email leak, a collection of nearly 20,000 emails and over 8,000 attachments which showed favoritism toward Hillary Clinton over other Democratic presidential hopefuls.
United States intelligence officials, political campaign chiefs, law enforcement agencies like the FBI, cybersecurity experts tasked with the investigation of the spate of recent breaches targeting the Democratic National Committee (DNC), are all pointing the finger east, at Russia.
For instance, Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook recently stated:
What’s disturbing to us is that experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails…other experts are now saying that the Russians are releasing these emails for the purpose of actually helping Donald Trump…That’s disturbing.
While the overall narrative from the west is overwhelmingly leaning to the possibility that Russian state-sponsored hackers are behind the breaches, Russian president Putin is having none of it.
“No, I don’t know anything about it,” he said, incredulously, in an interview with Bloomberg. Putin also opined that it would highly improbable to track down the hackers behind the breaches, as he spoke about the effective ease in which hackers operate from the shadows.
They act so delicately and precisely that they can leave their mark — or even the mark of others — at the necessary time and place, camouflaging their activities as that of other hackers from other territories or countries. It’s an extremely difficult thing to check, if it’s even possible to check. At any rate, we definitely don’t do this at a state level.
Brushing aside such allegations, he even stated that the focus of the breach shouldn’t be on the who, but on the what of the breach.
“Does it even matter who hacked this data. The important thing is that the content was given to the public,” he stated.
He further said that the hunt for the perpetrators of the breach was distracting the public from the real underlying revelations of the stolen emails.
“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, before stating in no uncertain terms:
But I want to tell you again, I don’t know anything about it, and on a state level, Russia has never done this.
Some U.S. officials have stated that Russia is attempting to influence the outcome of the upcoming presidential elections in November. Putin poured cold water over such allegations again.
We have never interfered, are not interfering and do not intent to interfere in [US] domestic politics.
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