A Florida GOP campaign consultant who runs a blog under a pseudonym directly contacted the hackers behind the breach of the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and he solicited material from them. The Wall Street Journal reports that Aaron Nevins set up a Dropbox account specifically for “Guccifer 2.0” to drop files into, and he received 2.5 GB of data from the Democratic Party breaches—including the “get out the vote” strategy for congressional candidates in Florida.
Nevins analyzed the data and posted his analysis on his blog, HelloFLA.com. Guccifer 2.0 sent a link to the blog to Trump backer Roger Stone, who told the paper he was also in communication with the hackers. Nevins told the Journal that the hackers didn’t understand what they had until he explained the data’s value.
Some of the most valuable data, Nevins said, was the Democratic Party’s voter turnout models. “Basically, if this was a war, this is the map to where all the troops are deployed,” Nevins told the person or persons behind the Guccifer 2.0 account via Twitter. He also told them, “This is probably worth millions of dollars.”
Guccifer 2.0 responded via direct message, “Hmmm. ok u owe me a million :)”
The DNC breach has been attributed by a variety of means to attackers tied to Russian intelligence—specifically, to Russia’s GRU (the country’s foreign intelligence organization). Nevins told the Journal he didn’t believe that, but he said that it didn’t matter who Guccifer 2.0 was because “If your interests align, never shut any doors in politics.”
WSJ noted that it’s impossible to know whether the leaked data played a factor in any of the Florida races. One former campaign consultant told the paper he did suggest adjusting voter targets based on leaked data, but representatives for the GOP in Florida declined to comment.