Using recently discovered information from data that supposedly came from the DNC’s servers, William Binney claimed in a radio interview that he is “something like 99%” certain that the DNC servers weren’t hacked from the outside. He called on the U.S. Intelligence Community to immediately publicize any evidence used to decide that Russia was associated with the hacking of the DNC servers.
Binney was a creator of the NSA’s surveillance program. He’s also a leader of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), a team of former members of the United States Intelligence Community which started in 2003. In the interview, Binney repeatedly talked about a forensic analysis done by VIPS members on DNC files that were put online by the hacker called Guccifer 2.0. The VIPS analysis showed evidence that DNC server was probably not hacked from the outside.
The VIPS analysis was made possible an online researcher who calls himself Forensicator discovered a way to unlock metadata from Guccifer 2.0’s files.
The unlocked metadata demonstrates that on July 5, 2016 a total of 1,976 megabytes of data were rapidly downloaded into a file. The file downloads took only 87 seconds in total, which equates to a very fast transfer rate of 22.7 megabytes per second.
Any hack of the DNC server would probably have needed Internet service provider. But, in mid-2016 U.S. Internet service providers for personal computers couldn’t download data that fast. The data upload is consistent with downloading to a flash device like a thumb drive.
Yet, the VIPS report apparently overlooked the fact that some corporate and cloud networks can move information that quickly. The DNC has not commented on its own network speeds.
Binney stated, “It is almost absolutely not possible to do it from outside. I mean you have to have some access to the DNC network and some access from there that would allow you to take that rate in. That meant you had to be on the DNC network or some very high-speed network connected to it.”
Binney asserted that the NSA would have known about any hack of the DNC.
The Gufficer 2.0 files are a very important part of the Russia hacking story. A U.S. Intelligence report accusing the Russian government of interference in the 2016 presidential campaign says this of the Gufficer 2.0 files:
“We assess with high confidence that Russian military intelligence (General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU) used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets and relayed material to WikiLeaks.”
The U.S. Intelligence Community still has not given any evidence to the public to back up its accusations.
In a move that has caused suspicion, the DNC refused to allow the FBI to look at its servers.
A senior FBI official stressed the importance of the FBI getting direct access to the servers, something that was refused by the DNC.
“The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated,” he said. “This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information. These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier.”