AZ and IL State Board Of Elections Were Attacked By English-Speaking Hackers

When Yahoo leaked a restricted FBI Alert “Targeting Activity Against State Board Of Election Systems”, many people immediately assumed that it was Russia even though the evidence ranged from scant to non-existent.

The loudest voices were Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. Here’s what Schiff had to say:

“I have no doubt [this is Russia]. And I don’t think the administration has any doubt,” (Rep. Adam Schiff (D), House Intelligence Committee) said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”

Then, in a joint statement, Schiff and Feinstein said:

“We believe that orders for the Russian intelligence agencies to conduct such actions could come only from the very senior levels of the Russian government.

After the White House decided to officially blame Russia (using similar language to that used in the Schiff/Feinstein statement), I reached out to some of my contacts in Russia to see if anyone could introduce me to Vladimir Fomenko, the owner of the Russian company King Servers, whose company leased server time to the hackers who were responsible for the Arizona and Illinois SBOE attacks.

Fortunately, Vladimir was willing to speak with me and expressed some of his concerns over the reports that his company was part of any Russian government scheme to influence the U.S. elections. He also provided me with a few relevant details on the individuals who were responsible for those attacks.

They Used WebMoney

They used WebMoney to pay for their server time. When you want to pay for something from a Russian company and do it anonymously, one way to do it is to buy a pre-paid Visa or Mastercard with cash, then go to the WebMoney website and follow a few simple directions:

Click “Fill”
Choose your deposit method
Fill in your Pre-paid credit card information

And that quickly, you can buy whatever you want, under any name that you want, from any company that accepts WebMoney.

They Still Owe Him Money

I learned from a different contact that when King Servers tried to process another WebMoney payment, it failed. As of this writing, they still owe King Servers several hundred dollars.

They Spoke English

Vladimir told me that when they had filed service tickets with his customer support team, they were in English, not Russian.

English.

The email addresses the hackers used were with GMX.com (a German company that is part of 1&1 Mail and Media GmbH) and iname.com (owned by the New Jersey-based World Media Group).

Let’s Review

If you were to believe the leading Democrats on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, one or more FSB agents pretended to be incompetent, poorly financed English-speaking hackers that bought server time with a small Russian ISP to launch attacks against Arizona and Illinois SBOE data in the U.S. and “make a serious and concerted effort to influence the U.S. election”.

“I have no doubt”, Schiff said.

And you want to know why I don’t trust un-named intelligence sources?

For those critics who still believe that this was a Russian plot, the few details that Vladimir was willing to share with me can be verified by any U.S. government agency who is interested in speaking with him. So far, according to Vladimir, no one has shown any interest.

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