The US Presidential election is almost a full year in the rear view mirror, but many are still working diligently to determine whether or not everything that happened during the course of the campaigns and voting process was above board. A new report from researchers at Unhack The Vote alleges that Donald Trump’s various web properties could hold a clue as to the President’s communication ties with Russia, and the evidence is quite substantial.
The report, which cites over 250 different subdomains belonging to the Trump organization, reveals that the web properties have hidden connections to servers that route through Russia — more specifically, through St. Petersburg. What’s most interesting is that these subdomains are named and cataloged in such a way as to avoid the chances that any random web user might accidentally stumble upon them.
The web addresses, which the report provides a full list of, include obscure subdomain identifiers that have seemingly no meaning or purpose besides serving to mask their existence. Chunks of text, typically either four or five letters in length, preface the primary web domains, such as “byfxf.donaldtrumpfurniture” or “nbxft.donaldtrumppillows,” making them hard to find, but that’s hardly the most damning thing about them.
The report claims that traffic traces on the domains reveal that they are actually bouncing traffic around from a number of different servers, including some which belong to the same hosting services used by Wikileaks. Wikileaks, as you’ll no doubt remember, released a treasure trove of hacked information from the Democratic National Committee, and that information was seemingly cherry-picked to be as damaging to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as possible.
On top of the strange communication with Russian servers, the researchers discovered what appears to be records of some extremely shady files. Filenames like “l0v3LYg1rLS0nlY4y0U.html1.zip” — which, if you’re not well versed in 1999 internet neckbeard leetspeak, means “lovely girls only 4 you” — or “gR33TpUsSY4Tth1SwE3k.html1.zip” (Great pussy for T this weekend), appear multiple times in the servers’ records. The full report is obviously well worth a read.
Donald Trump has been (and still is) under incredible scrutiny for his campaign’s ties to both Russia and Wikileaks, which some believe was part of a larger effort to “hack” the presidential election and resulted in his victory. At least one former member of the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos, has pleaded guilty to covering up his own interactions with foreign officials tied to the Russian government, and others are currently facing steep charges that they did the same.