Report: Guccifer a Russian Spy Who Forgot to Use His VPN
Daily Beast has the scoop on supposed 'lone' hacker who might be Russian intelligence
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2018 11:43 AM CDT
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Is Guccifer really a spy working for the Russian government?   (Getty Images/imaginima)

(Newser) – It's hard to beat a Russian spy at his or her own game, but sometimes all it takes is forgetting to use one's anonymity shroud online. That's per Mashable, which offers a condensed breakdown of the Daily Beast's deeper dive into a startling claim about Guccifer 2.0: that the supposed "lone" hacker who said he pillaged Democratic National Committee emails and passed them along to WikiLeaks was really a military intelligence officer with the Russian GRU agency. The site says Robert Mueller has now stepped in to the Guccifer probe and recruited the FBI agents who worked on that case onto his own team. The US government hasn't yet confirmed the Daily Beast claim, but the site says it's a link that, if true, "would cross the Kremlin threshold—and move the [Mueller] investigation closer to Trump himself."

A researcher at cybersecurity firm ThreatConnect who worked to help unmask Guccifer tells the Daily Beast it was tough going to track the hacker; all paths led back to a French data center. But it was soon discovered Guccifer used a virtual private networking (VPN) service with Russian headquarters to keep himself anonymous. And one day, apparently, Guccifer forgot to sign in using the VPN, leaving his Russia-based internet fingerprint on the server logs of "an American social media company," per a source (the Daily Beast notes Guccifer often used Twitter and WordPress). US investigators traced the IP address back to Grizodubovoy Street in Moscow—the exact location of the GRU agency. It appears the Russian officer has also been IDed, though sources didn't give the Daily Beast a name. One person who has admitted he was in contact with Guccifer: Trump surrogate Roger Stone. More here.

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