Network Security

Trump financial dealings with Russia? Nyet, says NY Times

Despite searches by the FBI into Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump's possible financial dealings with Russia, no clear evidence has yet surfaced, according to The New York Times.

One focus of an FBI inquiry was a computer that seemed to link the Trump Organization with one of Russia's largest banks, Alfa Bank, though the logs of the Trump server's DNS activity might be nothing other than marketing email or spam.

With government authorities blaming Russian hackers for breaches into the email accounts of John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton's campaign, and of staffers at the Democratic National Committee, and FBI Director James Comey publicly discussing further inquiries into emails related to Clinton's campaign, the investigations into Trump's ties to Russia were carried out at the urging of supporters of the Democratic presidential hopeful who claimed the Republican candidate was not scrutinized to the extent of their candidate.

The possible link to Alfa Bank surfaced when a group of computer scientists passed on their investigation into logs from Trump's servers to Paul Vixie, a developer of the internet's DNS infrastructure. He observed that the coding appeared secretive, as if the entities were communicating in a manner that excluded any other eyes.

While a number of cybersecurity experts have weighed in on the logs, some even doubting their legitimacy as they were posted in text format, which is possible to edit, there is no smoking gun, although some observers posited that the log activity indicates email being sent.

In a letter on Sunday blasting the FBI for not revealing what, if anything, it knows about Trump's alleged connection with Russia, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the minority leader, wrote: “It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers, and the Russian government — a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity. The public has a right to know this information.”

Trump's campaign manager, Paul Manafort, also was an adviser to Viktor F. Yanukovych, the former president of the Ukraine.

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