A hacker now in Russian custody has publicly admitted to being the source behind the DNC and Hillary Clinton hacks/leaks, and the man first responsible for writing the infamous ‘WannaCry‘ malware source code. If we are to take this man at his word, he would literally be the key to solving multiple Federal Investigations, from the House and Senate to the FBI. However, there is just one major problem that US authorities face before they can question or prosecute this man, he is already being held and prosecuted in Russia for unrelated crimes. And as Edward Snowden could attest, the Kremlin has no incentive to extradite anyone – especially to the US.
His name is Konstantin Kozlovsky and he is currently being detained in the Russian city of Ekaterinburg, for his connection to a gang known as “the Lurk Group” – not for hacking the United States and undermining Western democracy as we know it. According to a report by Security Affairs, Kozlovsky was arrested this past June and has been charged with allegedly “stealing around $45 million USD from Russian financial institutions using the Lurk Banking Trojan.” However, now that he has been detained and is already facing years to life inside a Russian prison, Kozlovsky has apparently taken the opportunity to confess to all of his other crimes.
Here Is Where The Story Gets Weird Though
According to a transcript published by Dozhd TV three days ago, an independently owned news organization out of Russia, Kozlovsky says that he was commissioned by Dmitry Dokuchaev, head of the Center of Information Security at the FSB, an intelligence branch of Russia’s Central Government, to carry out the WannaCry ransomware attacks and hack the emails of Hillary Clinton and the DNC. Believe it or not, Kozlovsky also claims to have evidence proving it – sort of.
Kozlovsky says that after he successfully carried out the attacks on Hillary Clinton and the DNC’s servers, he left behind a hidden .dat File allegedly containing his passport number and other sensitive information indicating him. Moreover, Kozlovsky says that he only created and hide this file to one day serve as proof, should the Kremlin or FSB turn their backs on him – as they appear to have now done.
However, Vladimir Putin has personally assured Donald Trump and the international media that Russia had absolutely nothing to do with the hacks and leaks leading up to the US Presidential elections of 2016, and Trump has even said he believes Putin is telling the truth. If Kozlovsky’s statements are true, then this information could literally have world altering consequences and would completely reshape the face of modern geo-political relations going forward.
If This All Sounds A Little Too Big To Be “True,” Perhaps It Is
Given the current state of affairs regarding press rights and freedom in Russia, as well as the geo-political ramifications of the statements, why on Earth would the Kremlin just allow someone in their custody to make these sorts of statements in public or on national television – especially if it was true? It just doesn’t make any sense to me.
As multiple news organizations have also already pointed out, the Government of the United States has already publicly blamed North Korea for the WannaCry ransomware outbreak. Moreover, it was as a direct result of these allegations that the United Nations and the international community voted to levy newer and stricter sanctions against North Korea for this very activity, just 4 days after the US had first implicated them in the cyber attack.
The United Nations Security Council just voted 15-0 in favor of additional Sanctions on North Korea. The World wants Peace, not Death!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2017
Assuming the United States Government wasn’t lying to us and the United Nations had any clue about what they were doing – 😉 – this would already “prove” at least some of Kozlovsky statements “false.” Lets also face it, Kozlovsky is already facing decades to life in a Russian prison, what does he really have to lose saying he was behind three of the largest hacks in modern world history? Those sorts of accolades would technically make Kozlovsky a sort of “hacking God,” and would certainly help him gain more street cred/notoriety. I mean think about it, if you are already going to be spending the rest of your life in prison for hacking related crimes anyways, why not make people think you were one of the best or most influential hackers of all time!?
Moreover, considering that it is unlikely Kozlovsky will be extradited to the United States to face judgment for his alleged crimes any time soon, we should take his statements with a grain of salt. Even if Kozlovsky did leave a .dat File behind proving he was behind these hacks, the servers are now in FBI custody. Meaning that even if these files exist, unless someone from inside the FBI leaks this information, we wouldn’t know about it because this information is still technically classified – or at least sealed/protected under the context of an ongoing investigation. Given the snails crawl pace that all these Federal Investigations seem to work at these days, until any of these investigations finally do conclude, it may be months to years before we finally know the answer to who(m) hacked Hillary Clinton or the DNC – even if it turns out it was indeed Konstantin Kozlovsky all along.