And then basically lied about it in a misleading report that gives the impression FBI had performed forensic research of its own
The first thing you do when investigating a possible crime is you refuse to examine the evidence. That is if you are the US government.
A journalist over at BuzzFeed has learned the FBI pointed the finger at Russia as having hacked the Democratic Party without ever taking a look at their computers. In fact six months from the alleged hack no US government entity at all has yet had a look:
Six months after the FBI first said it was investigating the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s computer network, the bureau has still not requested access to the hacked servers, a DNC spokesman said. No US government entity has run an independent forensic analysis on the system, one US intelligence official told BuzzFeed News.
“The DNC had several meetings with representatives of the FBI’s Cyber Division and its Washington (DC) Field Office, the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, and U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and it responded to a variety of requests for cooperation, but the FBI never requested access to the DNC’s computer servers,” Eric Walker, the DNC’s deputy communications director, told BuzzFeed News in an email.
Why have they not asked to take a look? Not only does it sound intuitive but security techies confirm this normally FBI wants to examine the computers for itself:
BuzzFeed News spoke to three cybersecurity companies who have worked on major breaches in the last 15 months, who said that it was “par for the course” for the FBI to do their own forensic research into the hacks. None wanted to comment on the record on another cybersecurity company’s work, or the work being done by a national security agency.
Instead this time the FBI has been happy to simply accept and repeat conclusions of the private security firm CrowdStrike which went from a small and obscure firm to the world's most well-known computer security company in May when it pointed the finger at Russians.
Aside from underwriting the claim Russians hacked the DNC without ever running a "forensic" analysis for itself the FBI also basically lied about this.
Its joint report issued last month with the Department of Homeland Security claimed the allegations were based on technical work conducted by the private sector, US intelligence agencies, the DHS and the FBI:
“Public attribution of these activities to [Russian Intelligence Services] is supported by technical indicators from the U.S. Intelligence Community, DHS, FBI, the private sector, and other entities,” the report says.
In fact however only the private sector had ever ran an analysis of its own, and everyone else if they did anything at all just worked with data they got from CrowdSource.