2. SOUNDBITE (English): Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General:
"Good afternoon. Today a grand jury in the District of Columbia returned an indictment presented by the special counsel's office. The indictment charges 12 Russian military officers by name for conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. Eleven of the defendants are charged with conspiring to hack into computers steal documents and release those documents with the intent to interfere in the election. One of those defendants and a 12th Russian military officer are charged with conspiring to infiltrate computers of organizations involved in administering elections including state boards of election, secretaries of state and companies that supply software used to administer elections. According to the allegations in the indictment the defendants worked for two units of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian General Staff known as the GRU. Units engaged in active cyber operations to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. There was one unit that engaged an active cyber operations by stealing information and a different unit that was responsible for disseminating the stolen information. The defendants used two techniques to steal information. First, they use a scheme known as spear phishing which involves sending misleading e-mail messages and tricking the users into disclosing their passwords and security information. Second, the defendants hacked into computer networks and installed malicious software that allow them to spy on users and capture keystrokes, take screenshots and exfiltrate or remove data from those computers. The defendants accessed email accounts of volunteers and employees of a U.S. presidential campaign, including the campaign chairman starting in March of 2016. They also hacked into the computer networks of a congressional campaign committee and a national political committee. The defendants covertly monitored the computers and planted hundreds of files containing malicious computer code and stole e-mails and other documents. The conspirators created fictitious online personas including DC Leaks and Guccifer 2.0 and they used those personas to release information, including thousands of stolen e-mails and other documents, beginning in June of 2016. The defendants falsely claimed that DC Leaks was a group of American hackers and the Guccifer 2.0 was a lone Romanian hacker. In fact, both were created and controlled by the Russians. In addition to releasing documents directly to the public, the defendants transferred stolen documents to another organization that is not identified by name in the indictment and they used that organization as a pass-through to release the documents. They discussed the timing of the release in an attempt to enhance the impact on the election. In an effort to conceal their connections to Russia, the defendants used a network of computers around the world and they paid for it using crypto currencies."
The Justice Department has announced charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses during the 2016 presidential election.
The indictments were announced Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as part of the ongoing special counsel probe into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The Russians are accused of hacking into the computer networks of the Democratic National Committee and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.
Before Friday, 20 people and three companies had been charged in the Mueller investigation. That includes four former Trump campaign and White House aides and 13 Russians accused of participating in a hidden but powerful social media campaign to sway American public opinion in the 2016 election.