OPERATION GRIZZLY STEPPE: Homeland Security And FBI Issue Joint Report On Russian Hacking Campaign

The Hill reports:

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Thursday released a joint report detailing how federal investigators linked the Russian government to hacks of Democratic Party organizations. The document makes clear reference to the hacks of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, though it does not mention either by name.

The 13-page report provides technical details regarding tools and infrastructure used by Russian civilian and military intelligence services to “compromise and exploit networks and endpoints associated with the U.S. election, as well as a range of U.S. Government, political, and private sector entities.”

The report, known as a “Joint Analysis Report” or JAR, refers to the Russian hacking campaign as “Grizzly Steppe.” It comes as part of a slate of retaliatory measures against Russia issued Thursday by the Obama administration in response to the hacks, and expands on a joint statement issued by the two agencies in October, formally attributing the attacks to Russia.

See the full report.

  • Joe in PA

    Trump: nothing to see here folks, move on, come on, move on.

    • another_steve

      Locker room banter.

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      Trump: If I had known the election was supposed to be won without foreign interference, I would have campaigned different and won even more bigly.

      • clay

        “Uh, Mr. Trump, we DID tell you to stop soliciting foreign donations.”

        “What’s that, now? licking former Donna’s what?”

    • PickyPecker
      • JCF

        Sigh. Just to see “Madam President”, there on the right…

  • Sam_Handwich

    Not only does this further delegitimize Trump’s win, but it hands him two yuuuge new conflicts to contend with on day one. the first with Russia, the other with the senate GOP

    Thanks, Obama!

    • Skeptical_Inquirer

      Obama needs to create as many booby traps as he can.

      • Andrew Iverson

        Trump: “Did someone say boobies?!”


        • Steverino

          Trump probably thinks a booby trap is an iron-clad, lockable brassiere, akin to a chastity belt.

          • Gracemlacombe

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          • Jortandy

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      • pj

        not gonna be too hard to catch that boob.

    • BobSF_94117

      So far, I can only count two GOP senators who seem to give a fuck about this cyber attack.

      • Phillip in L.A.

        Those in the know are in a tough spot, Bob (or so I surmise). On the one hand, they can’t and couldn’t publicly tell everything they know, because it would cause widespread panic, alert the enemy, and also give up some of our own secrets (probably). On the other hand, anything they do now (after the election) will smack of “sour grapes” and could also cause widespread panic.

        Let’s pretend for a second you are the US President, and your intelligence folks come to you before the election with some of this news. What steps do/can/will you take?

        • BobSF_94117

          You call the House and Senate Intelligence committees to the Oval Office and you tell them they can either stand behind you — literally — during an address to the nation or they can explain why they’re not concerned that a hostile foreign power is manipulating our election. You make clear that the attacks have been aimed at both parties. And you don’t wuss-out just because McConnell doesn’t care.

          • BuckyB12

            Oh, he cared! He cared about what it would mean for the Republican party and his own job as majority leader. About the country? Fuck ’em.

          • Phillip in L.A.

            Totally agree, Bob, that the President would have to get together with Congress on this, if they were planning on doing anything

    • Kate

      Not particularly. Again, all that has been demonstrated is that Russia hacked the US, not that the information was released.

      If Russia didn’t release the information (because someone else did), then Russia had no bearing on the election.

      • pj

        you again. go away

        • TrollopeReader


        • Kate

          There’s a block button. Feel free to use it.

          • pj

            nah…this is my place. go back to yours. troll

          • Kate

            I’ve been here for quite a few years. I’m not going anywhere.

          • pj

            old troll

      • Diogenes Onionpants

        If Russia didn’t release the information (because someone else did), then Russia had no bearing on the election.

        Isn’t that a bit like saying “if Johnny merely stole your car but gave it to someone else to chop and sell for parts, Johnny therefore isn’t responsible for your not having a car”?

        • Kate

          Not really.

          If the US hacks Russia, and Russia hacks the US, then a Bernie supporter leaks to WikiLeaks, then it’s pretty hypocritical of the US to sit there and whine about election manipulation, not to mention inaccurate.

          • Diogenes Onionpants

            I’m sorry, but you’re terribly selective with regard to the information you choose to be skeptical about.

            Even the Daily Mail, the sole source of the “insider job!” story, noted that it was an unproven rumor based on the claim of a single individual with ties to Wikileaks.

          • Kate

            The “Russia did it” narrative is also an unproven rumor.

            All that has been proven so far is that Russia hacked the DNC.

        • Kate


          If you want to use a car analogy:

          If Johnny rifles through your car, looking for anything to steal, then Bobby actually steals your car, the surveillance footage of Johnny walking to your car doesn’t mean he stole the car.

      • TSS

        So who released the information? Who would gain from it? If it was a sophisticated operation by experienced hackers, then that narrows it down quite a bit, right?

        • Kate

          “So who released the information?”

          An insider.

          “Who would gain from it?”

          If the UK ambassador who actually received the emails and gave them to WikiLeaks is to be believed, an insider who was upset at how Bernie was treated.

          “If it was a sophisticated operation by experienced hackers, then that narrows it down quite a bit, right?”

          Not really. If it’s an insider, they already have access. Just export the mail to a USB stick and walk out the door.

          It’s actually a lot easier for an insider to do it than for a foreign government. Is it really that hard to believe that there was one nerd with an axe to grind?

          Wikileaks put 3 bunches of emails out. One was Clinton’s, from FOIA. They simply scanned them and did OCR so you can search them. The next is the DNC – if WikiLeaks is honest (and they have a perfect record so far), there was a leak. The next is Podesta’s emails, but that one was because his password was “[email protected]”, and he sent his password in plaintext in the DNC emails. It doesn’t take an elite hacker to log into Outlook with his password and download all those emails.

          An internal leak also explains why Russia hacked both the DNC and RNC, but only the DNC was leaked. Russia would have been interested in information to use themselves, and the Bernie supporter only had access to DNC emails, not the RNC. He or she leaks, an investigation is done, and the earlier Russian hack is found.

          It would be extremely difficult to prove that Russia was the actual leak, unless you can trace the path to WikiLeaks. It was a problem we ran into when I worked in the Security Operation Center for a large military contractor – if you look hard enough, you always find Chinese hackers. It’s what Russia, China, and the NSA do. So, if we had someone on the inside leak information (or another hacker), it would be easy to blame the theft on China when we found them in the network.

          Easy, and wrong.

      • ericxdc

        Is there anything that benefits trump or that trump does that you cannot rationalize away?

        You really seem quite adept at – and energetic about – these types of rationalizations.

        • Gerry Fisher

          It’s that “nothing about Hillary is beyond belief” and “nothing about Trump is 100% proven, so I won’t believe any of it.” It’s pretty childish, with an overlay of rhetorical and debating skills.

        • Kate

          I’ve opposed him (on this site) on getting in bed with religion, being pro-military, pro-israel, and picking a cabinet from Goldman Sachs.

          I’m just trying to keep things honest.

  • another_steve

    Glad to see this, but soooo complicated.

    Worse than the operating manual for my new washing machine.

  • Cuberly

    Funny, rusky/eastern-euro paid posters and bots are inundating sites with demands to see proof of Russian involvement. Check out the flood of them over on Mediaite. It’s rather pathetic.

    Well, I guess they have their proof now.

    • emjayay

      They are probably also just plain American wingnuts who believe whatever they want to believe, and when something comes up that is opposed to their worldview they have to scream about no proof being disclosed. Well, here it is and it’s too long and complicated and sophisticated for any of them to bother to read or understand if they actually did.

  • ColdCountry

    If Donny dismisses this with an “I don’t believe it,” I think there may be problems. I can certainly hope so, anyway.

  • Tom G

    Let’s get on with our lives…….. Trump has no idea what he’s in for.

    • Treant

      That’s certainly true. An entire shitload of work Don the Con can’t dodge or delegate is about to fall right into his lazy, incompetent lap.

      And nobody’s going to roll over and let him get away with anything he wants. It’s tit for tat or see you later, instigator.

      • charemor

        Reminds me of the Mae West comment: “I am willing to give anyone tit for tat, but they had better have a lot of tat!”

      • stuckinthewoods

        He can dodge it. There will be Cheneys. The best Cheneys. No briefings. He’ll appear like pharaoh in the Window of Appearances.

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      Yeah, I really don’t think he’ll make it through 4 years because (1) his own disinterest in actual governance, (2) his “unpresidented” amount of conflicts of interest and ethical/legal problems, and (3) his health and age. What makes it hard for me to go on like before is that I really think Trump is the symptom of something wrong with a large part of the country, and not really the cause. And also, that would leave us with a President Pence, which for LGBT Americans is probably even worse.

      • Treant

        “President” Pence would be faced with the problem that he’s now out from under the fridge with the light shining on him. He’s more dangerous as VP, pushing Donnie to sign things and suggesting judges.

        • bkmn

          Right now Pence has Trump giving him (and Bannon) cover so we aren’t hearing about what they are up to.

        • clay

          I’m not sure Bannon would stick around for Pence.

      • bkmn

        I am just waiting for the CEO of one of the companies that Trump tweets negatively about to sue him for slander and loss of stock value, which of course the people of the US will get stuck with the legal bill for….

      • Rick B

        I think that Trump will fail repeatedly and publicly, with no real successes he can use to defend his failures.

        He takes extreme measures, and repeated failures will have to be blamed on someone else. There will probably be people leaving his administration that no one expects to see leave, and that will also expand his clear set of failures.

        If he can’t successfully blame anyone else, then he is going to have to get out of the job. I expect to see him first sort of disappear to the media and hide out, and when that is insufficient, he will get sick with an unclear illness and resign.

        A question will be how long he can face repeated references to his failures in the media and how the media will deal with his angry temper tantrums.

  • Ninja0980

    Russian hacking wouldn’t have been as effective if the media hadn’t reported on the stolen content as much.
    It was sick to see so many folks so gleeful to read and report on stolen property.

    • Duh-David

      Should I blame the ants when I leave out a lidless jar of honey?

      • TrollopeReader

        no, blame the bees for making the honey.

    • CottonBlimp

      Come on, now, I don’t think it’s wrong for the media to have reported on it. The problem is their reporting was bad.

      What did the hacked emails actually reveal? That the DNC were kind of dickwads towards Bernie? And yet I hear people saying that the hacks revealed the DNC rigged the primary (not true) or just generally believe it proves Hillary is corrupt (though they struggle to specify how). The job of news media is to clarify these complex events for people, and yet they willfully contributed to confusion and misunderstanding, because THEY see news media as a product that they have to sell to the willfully ignorant conservative market as much as the reality based community.

      • Phillip in L.A.

        “The job of news media is to clarify these complex events for people, and yet they willfully contributed to confusion and misunderstanding”

        Excellent comment, CottonBlimp! Thx for posting. Especially agree with this quoted sentence!

        • CottonBlimp

          Thanks! I think it’s much more true of the despicable way the media reported Comey’s last shot, though. That close to an election, they REALLY had an obligation to provide a sober account of what the facts actually were and not just breathlessly scream “NEW CLINTON SCANDAL”.

      • Diogenes Onionpants

        Exactly. There are people who are claiming that Hillary herself (!) “rigged” the primaries.

        It’s true that the DNC was trying to put its finger on the scale, but the really damning emails were from young bozos in minor positions who wanted to contribute, and ended up proposing terrible ideas (‘let’s make an issue of Sanders’ Jewishness!’) that were completely shot down by the DNC higher-ups. Those emails–which went nowhere, and which Hillary had nothing to do with–are the shiny object that got waved around by the media, and which thereby ended up being associated with her in all discussion.

        • emjayay

          Thanks to DO and CB for explaining what I wanted to explain. The thing is that the far right wingnuts want to believe anything, like Obama is a Muslim and/or born in Kenya, a pizza place in an upscale DC neighborhood is a center of child prostitution, whatever. So they seized on everyday low level bonehead email conversations as some kind of vast left wing conspiracy when they meant nothing.

      • Gerry Fisher

        >That the DNC were kind of dickwads towards Bernie?

        It was the equivalent of talking crap at the coffee station. It was blowing off steam.

        • CottonBlimp

          They were being total assholes, and it revealed a slightly cultlike mentality within the DNC towards Hillary, but there was nothing that was even remotely illegal or scandalous, nor was there any indication that the primary was “rigged”.

    • JCF

      Yeah, if some black guy does it via a stick-up: “Horrible! Shoot him down!”

      Via Russian spies? “Hey, someone was going to use it!”

  • Skeptical_Inquirer

    Maybe we should write some of those Sunday news shows and demand they ask GOPers how they are not guilty of treason.

  • Joe in PA

    Interesting read. A lot of common sense stuff in here (SNMP is still in use?). But one thing that stuck out:

    Have we tested our ability to revert to backups during an incident? #hahaha

    At first I thought ‘who the hell changes their password because someone emailed them with a link to do that’? But, having lived through many government ‘change your password immediately’ drills (legit ones), I guess I can see it. I just had one from our local ISP. It looked phishy and it was!

  • Professor Barnhardt

    And that’s just what they’re showing you. Maybe they’re hiding to good stuff to blackmail Hello Twitty when the time comes.

  • PickyPecker
  • Paula

    Air all the Russkis dirty tricks, please…

  • That_Looks_Delicious

    What about Operation Mama Grizzly Step?


  • Halou

    Obama has until the 20th to tie a noose around Trump’s tiny orange testicles and force him to, as the saying goes, put America first. Lets just hope outgoing Obama follows through and does it.

    • The Return of Traxley

      It’s coming. I hear the rumbling in the distance. ..

      • Bryan

        You’re far more hopeful now than I. I’ve already used (absurdly bad) statistician logic to prove concretely that somehow we’re all the offspring of Rory Williams, and in a rare triple joke, since that means the “that which doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger, that which kills us ALSO makes us stronger” meme applies, and we have the threat of needing to fuckin’ repeat ourselves. I mean since….you know, winter is coming and some other…cliche like that, I’m sorry at this point I’m so angry I can only snark. The bloody silence so far has been deafening, DEA-FHENN-INGGG. I’ve held out slim hope Obama would come through for us but I’m having trouble…feeling it right now.

  • kevway
  • Phillip in L.A.

    Translation: (1) Someone clicked on phishing links in e-mails, and allowed malware to infiltrate their servers; (2) “best practices” are not only *not* implemented in US govt and party computers, but could not be, due to the age and poor state of US govt computer networks. (3) Also, intelligence community has known about this since before the 2016 Election.

    • Bluto

      Hillary was brought down by some moron who clicked on a penis enlargement ad.

    • emjayay

      All actual government employees are subjected to a very long online training every year in order to maintain online access. It gets better every year but still tries to be too comprehensive. It should ultimately be boiled down to a few ironclad rules for users.

      But probably DNC and campaign workers don’t get it anyway.

  • Henry Auvil

    Rigged! These are the same people who denied “Celebrity Apprentice” an Emmy!!

  • Skeptical_Inquirer

    Maybe the security agencies should take Turtle face aside and say, “If you guys don’t keep Trump and the rest of his Siberian-tainted people away from the government, we’re going after YOU too.”

    • clay

      As long as they include Treasury in that . . .

  • JCF

    But hey, it could just be a “400 lb guy on a bed in New Jersey”!


  • Bryan

    In a just world, heads would effing roll. HAH.