In an ominous turn, a shady actor linked to Russian intelligence has leaked to the public stolen personal phone numbers and private email addresses of Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The latest data dump appeared Friday on the WordPress site of an individual (or individuals) known as Guccifer 2.0, also called Guccifer2. It contained personal data of the of the members and members of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or DCCC.
“Hi all! It’s time for new revelations now,” the post read. On Saturday, WordPress administrators removed the post for violating terms of service. But Guccifer2, through Twitter, promised to post the rest of the material to WikiLeaks.
At first glance, the doc dump appears to be less politically damaging than the original DNC emails but the release shows a willingness to drop personally identifiable information, or PII, of lawmakers. The practice of releasing PII online to harass or intimidate a target is often referred to as doxxing. The best-known example is the 2014 Gamergate affair, an intimidation campaign pitting hordes of angry, anonymous 4chan trolls against feminist video game developer Zoe Quinn and her supporters.
A growing body of evidence from cybersecurity professionals shows Guccifer2, the DCCC doxer who also took credit for the DNC break-in, is linked to a state-sponsored Russian intelligence group APT28, also known as FANCY BEAR. Cybersecurity firm FireEye first discovered FANCY BEAR (which it calls APT28) but numerous cybersecurity firms and members of the U.S. intelligence community (speaking on background to The New York Times) link the group to Russian state-backed actors.
The evidence linking Guccifer2 to FANCY BEAR, though more circumstantial, is still considerable. Guccifer2 claims to be Romanian, but has trouble speaking in Romanian; he uploaded stolen documents that had metadata modified in Russian and tagged with a Russian secret service moniker.
The most conclusive evidence linking Guccifer2 back to Russian state-sponsored actors …