U.S. intelligence agencies are said to be closely watching Russian online blogs and other postings for any signs that Moscow hackers have covertly obtained the bulk of Hillary Clinton’s email messages stolen from her private email server and are preparing to make them public.
A U.S. intelligence official told Inside the Ring that the indications of the email release are being closely watched, although the veracity of at least two postings on the matter could not be confirmed as authoritative.
A State Department official has said Russia is one of at least three foreign governments likely to have obtained the full content of the former secretary of state’s server through covert hacking operations. The other two are China and Israel.
Russian intelligence agencies are suspected of cyberintrusions that obtained sensitive political information contained in Democratic National Committee networks. Last week, reports surfaced that computer networks of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation were also compromised, also by Russian hackers.
Russian intelligence is considered to be the most capable nation-state cyberespionage and cyberwarfare power, and its intelligence-gathering operations in the U.S. are said to be going at Cold War levels.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB intelligence officer schooled in the black arts of covert operations, would be the top authority to order the release of the Clinton emails, if in fact Moscow has obtained the tens of thousands of private emails.