The leaks and disclosures published by WikiLeaks in the run-up to the US presidential election this year were a “conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect”, according to the director of the National Security Agency (NSA). US intelligence chief Michael Rogers, who has managed the secretive agency since 2014, said during a Wall Street Journal conference on 15 November that Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid was hampered by state-sponsored hackers who worked to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. “There shouldn’t be any doubt in anybody’s mind – this was not something that was done casually,” he said when asked about WikiLeaks’ publications. “This was not something that was done by chance. This was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily.”
The director did not name the nation-state in question, however he is on-record as saying that “Russians were behind the penetrations” while previously discussing intrusions at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
WikiLeaks, in a series of leaks throughout September and October, released 20,000 DNC emails and tens of thousands of messages from John Podesta, a close aide to Hillary Clinton. It is believed the infiltrations in the US were carried out by hackers affiliated with the Kremlin.