DNC hacker calls on brethren to monitor US election

Guccifer 2.0 is warning that Democrats could rig Tuesday's election

The hacker who claims to have breached the Democratic National Committee isn't done trying to influence this year's election. On Friday, Guccifer 2.0 warned that Democrats might try to rig the vote next Tuesday.

Guccifer 2.0 wrote the statement in a new blog post as U.S. federal agencies are reportedly bracing for cyber attacks on election day.

The U.S. has already blamed Russia for allegedly meddling with the upcoming election by hacking into political targets, including the DNC, and then leaking the sensitive documents to the public.

The hacker known as Guccifer 2.0 has been among the sources dumping the information online. On Friday, he also called on other hackers to join him in monitoring for election fraud next Tuesday.

Although the U.S. has connected the Guccifer 2.0 persona to Russia, the hacker himself claims to be from Romania and motivated by political activism. Since June, he has been leaking information that's been harmful to Democrat Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Friday's warning, which provided no new leaks, was probably a "last-ditch effort" by Guccifer to affect the election, said Justin Fier director for cyber intelligence and analysis with security firm Darktrace.

"His goal during all this time has been public influence," Fier said.

Guccifer's comments seem to echo concerns raised by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump of a rigged election.

As part of Guccifer's new statement, the hacker seems to have suggested he had broken into the U.S. Federal Election Commission.

"I have registered in the FEC electronic system as an independent election observer," he wrote. "So I will monitor that the elections are held honestly."

He went on to claim that the software used by the FEC is riddled with vulnerabilities, potentially allowing Democrats to rig next Tuesday's election.

However, Guccifer appears to misunderstand the FEC's function. The commission has nothing to do with running elections but instead oversees campaign finance regulations.

"The administration of elections and vote tabulation are handled by state and local authorities and not the FEC," the commission said in an email on Friday. It also does not register election observers.

When asked over Twitter if he hacked the FEC, Guccifer 2.0 didn't respond for comment. The commission said it was not aware of any breach.

The hacker's statements, however inaccurate, are probably meant to create doubts over the election process, Fier said. Still, that's similar to comments from U.S. political parties about alleged tampering in this year's election, he added.

Although a "bombshell" leak could still affect Tuesday's outcome, "I think the majority of people have already made up their mind on who they'll vote for," he said.

Rick Holland, a vice president at security firm Digital Shadows, however, is concerned that the hacker will continue to try to influence U.S. politics, even after the election.

For instance, more leaks from Guccifer 2.0 could add fuel to already growing fears that this year's election has been tampered with. "It could make it difficult for the selected presidential candidate to govern," he said.

"If you had a Democratic president and a Republican Congress, you can imagine how little governing might be accomplished if claims of a dirty election kept coming up in the news," he said.

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Michael Kan

IDG News Service
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