The hacker Guccifer 2.0, who claimed responsibility for giving Wikileaks with the stolen Democratic National Committee emails, has been identified as an officer of Russia’s main intelligence directorate, or GRU, according to a new report.
Guccifer’s identity was uncovered after he failed on one occasion to activate a virtual private network, or VPN, to disguise his IP address — which appeared on the server logs of an American social media company, a source told the Daily Beast.
Investigators pinpointed Guccifer’s identity, and U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller has enlisted the help of the FBI agents who traced the persona back to a GRU officer who works out of the Moscow headquarters, according to the report.
While the U.S. intelligence community concluded in a January 2017 report that the GRU utilized the persona to release the hacked emails, it was not previously known that a particular officer had been identified.
Mueller has taken over the investigation into Guccifer, who called himself a “lone hacker” and acted as a type of master of ceremonies heralding leaks in the summer before the elections.
Just last month, Mueller indicted 13 Russians and three companies as part of the ongoing investigation into probable links between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
Guccifer, who claimed to be Romanian, communicated with Trump associate Roger Stone through direct messages on Twitter after WikiLeaks released the trove of DNC emails.
Stone, who posted screenshots of the exchange with Guccifer on his own website, wrote on August 14, 2016, “Delighted you are reinstated. F–k the State and their MSM lackeys.”
Stone shot down claims that he conspired with Guccifer and wrote, “To reiterate, I myself had no contacts or communications with the Russian State, Russian Intelligence or anyone fronting for them or acting as intermediaries for them. None. Nada. Zilch.”
Stone also published an article on Breitbart News, saying, “It doesn’t seem to be the Russians that hacked the DNC, but instead a hacker who goes by the name of Guccifer 2.0.”