We described the current state of the Guccifer 2.0 purported disclosures as leaking documents of minimal intelligence value for possible political points in the U.S. and reinforcing Kremlin themes to a Russian audience about the failings of democracy and the West. Here, we outline a couple of different trajectories for the Guccifer 2.0 persona and identify some of the indicators that would help us determine which path we’re on. … To have a substantial impact on the U.S. media, we assess Guccifer 2.0 would have to release documents that otherwise would have been used for higher priority intelligence objectives. If a release like this were to happen, it would be closer to the election as a final coup de grâce to push late media coverage in a way that benefits Russia’s desired outcome. If this scenario is part of a plan, we would expect to see efforts to make Guccifer 2.0 a more trusted interlocutor over the next few months by releasing higher quality documents or verifiable claims that establish his bona fides. However, if some external shock changes the Russian calculus, we might not see that on-ramp. In other words, the on-ramp would be indicative, but a lack of on-ramp does not necessarily preclude this outcome.
… The inconsistencies associated with Guccifer 2.0’s backstory, 0-day development, motivations, and even vernacular solidify the findings from our original analysis of competing hypotheses assessment. Guccifer 2.0 is not the ideological, righteous, independent, truth-seeking, media-fighting hacktivist that he claims to be. Rather, he is a persona cooked up for use in a denial and deception campaign because someone got their hand caught in the cookie jar. The persona exploits his audience’s lack of cyber knowledge to garner attention and followers.
The Russians have several options going forward for how they can use the Guccifer 2.0 persona, and the likelihood of each of those scenarios is certainly up for debate. No matter which scenario plays out, it’s important to understand this one, enduring fact: Guccifer 2.0 is a censored platform for Moscow. His version of the “truth” is only what the Russian actors behind him want to share with you.