Robert Donachie, DCNF
Former chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign John Podesta took a swipe at President Donald Trump Friday for calling special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election a “with hunt.”
A federal grand jury Friday handed down 12 indictments of Russian intelligence operatives for hacking Democrats’ emails and dispersing them during the 2016 presidential election.
After the announcement, Podesta took aim at the president.
“Donald Trump calls this a witch hunt? Well, we’ve just found some witches. And they’ve been indicted,” Podesta told ABC News.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, notably, said Friday that there is “no allegation in this indictment that the Americans knew that they were corresponding with Russian intelligence officers.” Thus far in Mueller’s probe, there is no indication or publicly released evidence that the president or his campaign directly colluded with Russian agents.
Podesta commenting on the indictments is interesting, aside from his joke about the president. Podesta fell for the same hacking tactic the Russians that were charged Friday employed.
Eleven of the 12 Russians indicted Friday were involved in hacking and releasing emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign. The indictments allege that the Russians used two techniques to obtain the Democrats’ emails. One of the tactics is known as “spearfishing” and it is what Russians used to hack Podesta in 2016.
The technique is arguably easy to avoid, if the target is aware. Hackers replicate a generic, well-known platform that their target uses, like Google’s g-mail. The attackers then try to trick the target into opening an attachment or clicking on a link that contains malware, which gives the them access to their server (personal, organization or campaign).
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