Russia/DNC indictment introduces new legal theories

There appear to be two new legal theories being tested in the indictment of the GRU military officers charged with hacking the DNC/DCCC.

First there are allegations that the use of hacked DNC email accounts amounts to aggravated identity theft. This is interesting because it’s a clear departure from what we normally think of in identity theft.

Second, there’s a money laundering charge. This one is even stranger because it seems to imply that because the Russians purchased infrastructure using Bitcoin and did so with the intent to obscure the financial trail, that amounts to money laundering. This could be a first attempt by the DoJ to establish case law criminalizing the use of cryptocurrency to commit (or attempt to commit) a crime.

Both of these are certainly something to watch. If you know of any other uses of these statutes in similar hacking cases, please let me know.


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