From Russia to Trump

Hacking Timeline

Originally posted 2 February 2017.


19 June, 2012
To avoid the rape charges against him, Julian Assange applies for asylum with Ecuador, whose president, Rafael Correa, he’d interviewed for his show on Russian state-owned RT. He repairs to the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

March/April 2013
Edward Snowden begins work as a contractor for Booz Allen, based in Hawaii. He takes the job to steal files from the NSA headquarters there.

March/April 2013
Using the pseudonym Carlos Danger, disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner sends lewd photos of himself to a 22-year-old Formspring user, later revealed as Sydney Leathers.

March/April, 2013
Russian hacker Yevgeniy Aleksandrovich Nikulin hacks into “accessed computers belonging to LinkedIn, Dropbox and Formspring,” obtaining information from the computers and causing “damage to computers belonging to a LinkedIn employee and to Formspring by transmitting a program, information, code, or command.” Too, Nikulin “used the credentials of LinkedIn and Formspring employees in connection with the computer intrusions” and “engaged in a conspiracy with unnamed co-conspirators to traffic stolen Formspring user credentials,” per the US DOJ.

4 April, 2013
Colonel Alexander Kazalupov, the Cuba bureau chief of the FSB (Russian intelligence), flies to Quito to meet with agents of SENAIN, the Ecuadorian intelligence agency, most likely about Snowden.

5 April, 2013
Snowden writes his only legal email to the NSA, asking about Executive Orders.

April, 2013
Snowden steals tranche of classified documents from NSA.

May, 2013
Snowden travels to Hong Kong, where he hands stolen data to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras.

8 May, 2013
Formspring shuts down.

4 June, 2013
Wikileaks begins publishing the stolen documents.

9 June, 2013
Snowden reveals his identity as NSA whistleblower.

21 June, 2013
The United States formally charges Snowden with espionage.

22 June, 2013
The United States revokes Snowden’s passport. Assange arranges Ecuadorian travel papers so that Snowden can fly to Moscow.

23 June, 2013
Snowden flies to Moscow, spends 40 days trapped at the airport.

23 July, 2013
Anthony Weiner’s Carlos Danger “sexting” scandal becomes public.

1 August, 2013
Snowden is granted asylum in Russia.

28 August, 2013
Anthony Weiner’s wife, longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, announces that the two have separated.

June, 2015
“Cozy Bear” or “APT 29,” hackers working at the behest of the main security service of the Russian government (FSB), successfully hack the servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), stealing the party’s opposition research on Donald Trump.

September/October, 2015
The FBI notifies the DNC that they have been hacked, but offers no specifics.


March, 2016
The DNC hires the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike to help secure its servers.

March, 2016
The hackers “Fancy Bear,” or “APT 28” — working at the behest of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence service — target the DNC as well as Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, including the e-mail account of campaign chairman John Podesta.

June, 2016
CrowdStrike releases evidence of Fancy/Cozy Bear’s involvement in the DNC hacks. A shadowy figure called Guccifer 2.0 begins releasing the emails, and claims responsibility for the hacks. It is widely believed Guccifer 2.0 is an online persona and not a real person.

22 July, 2016
WikiLeaks, i.e. Julian Assange, posts 20,000 stolen DNC emails.

28 July, 2016
Donald Trump calls on Russia to help locate 30,000 Hillary Clinton emails that he believes had been deleted.

21 September, 2016
The British tabloid The Daily Mail reports that Anthony Weiner had engaged in a months-long sexting with a 15-year-old girl, and that devices owned by Weiner were seized as part of an investigation into this incident.

3 October, 2016
The NYPD, acting on a tip from the FBI’s New York field office, seizes Weiner’s laptop.

5 October, 2016
The Russian hacker Nikulin is arrested in Prague. The FBI had issued a “red notice” for his apprehension and calls for his extradition to the U.S. to face charges.

7 October, 2016
The Washington Post releases the Donald Trump/Billy Bush/Access Hollywood video, in which Trump claims he can “grab” women “by the pussy.” This is widely thought to be the “October surprise” that will sink Trump’s already-faltering campaign.

26 October, 2016
Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York and a prominent Trump surrogate, boasted on TV about an October surprise coming that would mortally wound Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

28 October, 2016
FBI director James Comey sends a letter to Congress, revealing the Weiner latop and the possible re-opening of the Hillary/email investigation.

4 November, 2016
Giuliani says that his friends at the FBI told him about the October surprise.

8 November, 2016
Donald Trump wins the election.

[coming soon]