Manos Antonakakis -- Durham's Researcher 1
The U.S. Department of Defense tasked the same Georgia Tech researcher embroiled in the Alfa Bank hoax with investigating the “origins” of the Democratic National Committee hack.
The special counsel’s office is investigating the investigation into the DNC hack and that prosecutors harbor concerns about the DoD’s decision to involve the Georgia Tech researcher in its probe.
According to the indictment, in mid-August, Antonakakis “queried internet data” maintained by Joffe’s tech company for the mail1.trump-email.com domain. The results from that search, however, showed no apparent connections between the Trump email and Russia, causing Antonakakis to tell Joffe that the results do “not make sense with the storyline you have.” Nonetheless, Joffe provided Antonakakis, Dagon, and Lorenzen a draft “white paper,” which presented a tale of an Alfa Bank-Trump secret communication channel, which the three then reviewed for Joffe.
Antonakakis then continued with this revealing anecdote: “I was asked point blank by Mr. DeFilippis, ‘Do you believe that DARPA should be instructing you to investigate the origins of a hacker (Guccifer_2.0) that hacked a political entity (DNC)?’”
The Georgia Tech researcher told his colleagues he replied that was “a question for DARPA’s director”—a seeming confirmation that DARPA had, as the special counsel’s question presumed, directed Antonakakis to investigate who bore responsibility for the DNC hack, although it is unclear whether Antonakakis’ task concerned solely the supposed identity of “Guccifer,” or more broadly the question of who hacked the DNC.
Manos Antonakakis said he tried to politely throw cold water on a key part of the Russia collusion hoax before the Alfa Bank lie was eventually shopped to the media and government agencies.
Antonakakis declared his research and innovation necessary “to preserve our democracy.” Why? “For a single yet fundamental reason: data driven scientific attribution is unbiased politically. Data belongs to no political party,” Antonakakis wrote.
Yes, that’s right, Antonakakis actually penned these words: “Data driven scientific attribution is unbiased politically.” Let that sink in for a moment, folks.
On August 19, 2016, “queried internet data maintained” by Joffe’s internet company for the trump-email.com domain that formed the basis for the Alfa Bank allegation. Antonakakis then emailed Joffe a list of domains that communicated with the Trump domain, none of which appeared to have links to Russia. The list “does not make much sense with the storyline you have,” Antonakakis would write at the time.
“Researcher-1” repeated these doubts, the indictment says, and asked, “How do we plan to defend against the criticism that this is not spoofed traffic we are observing? There is no answer to that. Let’s assume again that they are not smart enough to refute our ‘best case scenario.’ You do realize that we will have to expose every trick we have in our bag to even make a very weak association.”
“Researcher-1” allegedly further warned, “We cannot technically make any claims that would fly public scrutiny. The only thing that drives us at this point is that we just do not like [Trump]. This will not fly in eyes of public scrutiny. Folks, I am afraid we have tunnel vision. Time to regroup?”
|Georgia Institute of Technology||Employer||More|
|David Dagon||Partners, collecting DNS data||More|
|Rodney Joffe||Reported to Joffe||More|
|April Lorenzen||Worked front-end DNS||More|
|The Alfa Bank Hoax||Collected the DNS data for the Alfa Bank project||More|