Media Mishaps: Early Guccifer 2 Coverage

Media Mishaps: Early Guccifer 2 Coverage

In this second report of a series of three, we focus on early media coverage that reported on the “Trump opposition report” (1.doc).  We show that an additional sequence of circumstances/coincidences was necessary to produce the PDF’s that became the focus of early mainstream and social media coverage.

Wittingly, or not, the media served a critical role in getting the message out that there were “Russian fingerprints” inside the first document that Guccifer 2 disclosed.   The media became Guccifer 2’s assistant by  completing the long path from the original Trump opposition report to the final published PDF’s with Russian error messages in them (the so-called “Russian fingerprints”). We elaborate on that claim in this report.

Comments on the main report will be accepted here.  Comments will be open for roughly the next two weeks.  Off topic and off color comments will be silently filtered and discarded.

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7 thoughts on “Media Mishaps: Early Guccifer 2 Coverage

  1. I want to thank you for your work. Considering these emails, and Guccifer 2’s supposedly leaving clues as to his Russian identity are part of the narrative on Russian Collusion that is currently hindering and threatening the Presidency of the US, have you made your analysis available to anyone in the current DOJ or any other part of the Administration? I admit you haven’t established 100 percent that these forensics were forgeries, but your case is so strong circumstantially that if I had to bet my life on it, I would. So I guess my question is have you informed anyone that they should take a second look at this stuff, and if not, why not?

    Thanks.

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    1. Thank you. Some time needs to pass for the report(s) to be reviewed publicly – to catch any errors. In the past, we were privileged to have our first report taken up by the VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity) and they in turn were successful in contacting various officials within the US government.
      https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/24/intel-vets-challenge-russia-hack-evidence/
      We are hopeful that, if appropriate, our report will attract the attention of an organization like the VIPS and they will take it forward.

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  2. Perhaps TSG and Gawker had the same source confirming the document’s authenticity, and that source responded to each media company at similar times? Gawker and TSG, upon receiving confirmation, would then rush to publish their stories, resulting in the 6 minute difference between the creation time of their pdf’s?

    If Guccifer 2.0 went through all that trouble of planting the “Russian Fingerprints”, it seems highly probable that he would also go out of his way to figure out exactly which media companies would publish the document with those “Russian Fingerprints”. Perhaps using LibreOffice on Linux when opening questionable documents is one of Gawker’s standard operating procedures and providing journalists with Macs at TSG is common practice and Guccifer 2.0 knew these details?

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  3. I generally agree with your findings, but this statement is wrong:

    “Given that Apple’s Mac has about 10% of the desktop market and Linux has about 2%, it is a remarkable coincidence that neither outlet used Word for Windows to generate their PDF files.”

    You see, the share of Macs among American journalists is much higher, probably close to 90%, if not higher. Look at the photos taken in the offices of various American media outlets. It’s all Macs. For example, here’s the office of The New York Times (as of November 8, 2016): https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CwymjU9XcAAOsN6.jpg . So it’s not a surprise at all that The Smoking Gun uses Macs (and, consequently, Word for Mac).

    The surprising one is the Linux user at Gawker. I would expect a geeky outlet like Ars Technica or AnandTech to use Linux, but not Gawker.

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    1. Good point. Although a 2008 informal survey isn’t much to go on, here’s something.
      https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2008/01/survey-of-journalists-at-ces-reveals-27-mac-market-share/
      “Survey” of journalists at CES reveals 27% Mac market share
      Probably those numbers have increased (a lot). Note, however, in today’s world of cloud computing and CMS’s, many journalists don’t really need Microsoft Office except for document interchange. Still, point well taken.

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      1. I added an update to the report, citing your comment. One additional observation: “We note that both Ars Technica and IVN were apparently using Word for Windows, and Ars Technica is a recognized tech savvy media outlet.”

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