8 must-reads about the email hack that potentially influenced the U.S. election

One of the biggest stories in play now regarding cybersecurity is the potential involvement of  Russian state actors in the breach of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails. The big question in the U.S. is to what extent the breaches and dissemination, primarily through WikiLeaks, of stolen email content may have tilted the election by manipulating public opinion.

There are a lot of questions and few concrete answers. One important point is that the election, to the best we know, wasn’t “hacked” when it comes to the actual voting or the counting of votes. (This New York Times story confirms that, U.S. Officials Defend Integrity of Vote, despite Hacking Fears.)

What isn’t clear is if the Republican National Committee was similarly breached, and if Russian state actors refused to release those emails and documents publicly. And, above all, everyone wants to know what the motivation of the attack was, and if it was intended to alter election results by swaying the views of the electorate.

With all of that in mind, here are eight of the best stories I’ve found on the subject of the DNC hack and its potential impact on the election. Consider this recommended reading for those of you following along:

1 U.S. Officials: Putin Personally Involved in U.S. Election Hack

This story asserts that the email breaches possibly began as a “vendetta” targeting Hillary Clinton, but eventually became an effort to undermine U.S. politics at home and abroad.

U.S. intelligence officials now believe with “a high level of confidence” that Russian President Vladimir Putin became personally involved in the covert Russian campaign to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, senior U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.

2 Exclusive: Top U.S. spy agency has not embraced CIA assessment on Russia hacking – sources

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence appears to be in alignment with the CIA’s analysis regarding the involvement of Russian attacks, but is not onboard when it comes to assigning a potential motive.

3 Q&A: Why the CIA, FBI differ on Russian election hacking

This article examines why the CIA’s and FBI’s analyses don’t currently align on their conclusions.

4 Did the Russians “hack” the election? A look at the established facts 

ARS Technica journalist Sean Gallagher takes a close look at the known technical details, and provides plenty of links for those who want to probe deeper. No smoking gun, but evidence suggests a Russian source for the cyberattacks on Democrats.

5 The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.

The New York Times takes a comprehensive look at the history behind the Russian hacking and how we got to where we are today. This piece was widely discussed by U.S. media and political pundits on release.

Here’s the public evidence Russia hacked the DNC — It’s not enough

 The Intercept takes a critical look at the public evidence available to date

There are some good reasons to believe Russians had something to do with the breaches into email accounts belonging to members of the Democratic party, which proved varyingly embarrassing or disruptive for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. But “good” doesn’t necessarily mean good enough to indict Russia’s head of state for sabotaging our democracy.

7 Russia, the DNC, Cyberwar and the Attribution Problem

Cybersecurity and cyberlegal expert Mark Rasch looks at the complicated, gray and fuzzy issues that surround the ability to attribute hacks to specific  attackers.

8 Russian hackers ‘threaten Germany 2017 election’, MPs warn

This story looks at how Russia may have already been involved in attacks against the German parliament and how these attacks may continue in Germany with the aim to undermine election outcome there.

German politicians have warned that hackers and others acting for the Russian state could undermine Germany’s general elections next year.

 

RELATED LINKS

What’s the risk of the presidential election being hacked?

Confronting the cybersecurity challenge in the public sector

Cybersecurity as an economic driver

 

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