The Cable

Guccifer Confirms Utter Boredom of Reading Clinton’s Emails

The Romanian hacker says he hacked Clinton's emails but didn't find them interesting.


By allegedly hacking into the home-brew email server of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Romanian hacker Guccifer learned a lesson that’s been dutifully absorbed by dozens of Washington reporters: The Democratic presidential front-runner’s emails are excruciatingly boring.

In interviews with NBC and Fox, the hacker claims that he penetrated Clinton’s email server “like twice.” What he found, Fox reports, was “not interest[ing].”

“I was not paying attention. For me, it was not like the Hillary Clinton server, it was like an email server she and others were using with political voting stuff,” Guccifer, whose real name is Marcel Lehel Lazar, told the cable news outlet from the Alexandria, Virginia, jail where he awaits trial on criminal hacking charges.

While he was hacking and making public a collection of emails from Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal, Guccifer discovered the private email account. Clinton has come under withering criticism for her decision to conduct government business on an email server run out of her Chappaqua, New York, home. Security experts argue such a system would have been an attractive and vulnerable target for hackers and spies looking to eavesdrop on America’s top diplomat.

Guccifer’s claim that he hacked Clinton’s server cannot be independently verified, and her presidential campaign is denying that the breach occurred and questioning Guccifer’s credibility.

“There is absolutely no basis to believe the claims made by this criminal from his prison cell,” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement provided to Foreign Policy. “In addition to the fact he offers no proof to support his claims, his descriptions of Secretary Clinton’s server are inaccurate. It is unfathomable that he would have gained access to her emails and not leaked them the way he did to his other victims.”

“We have received no indication from any government agency to support these claims, nor are they reflected in the range of charges that Guccifer already faces and that prompted his extradition in the first place. And it has been reported that security logs from Secretary Clinton’s email server do not show any evidence of foreign hacking,” Fallon said.

Guccifer’s claim that he successfully penetrated the server is sure to once more raise questions about whether Clinton jeopardized security by carrying out her email correspondence through a private system, rather than through the State Department’s servers.

Clinton has insisted that she sent no classified information on her email system — although messages from her server that have been gradually made public in recent months appear to have contained information that was later marked as classified. Some 22 emails on the server have been marked as “top secret.”

It is unclear what those 22 emails contain, but the thousands of messages that have been made public constitute a tedious, sometimes unintentionally hilarious chronicle of Clinton’s activities as secretary of state. They have shed some light on Clinton’s relationships with powerful friends, officials, and the favors they trade. That archive details Clinton’s desire to acquire fresh apples for her office and her struggles with using a fax machine.

Clinton has said she deleted some of the emails she deemed private and personal — including messages about the wedding of her daughter, Chelsea; funeral arrangements for her mother; family vacations; yoga routines; and “the other things you typically find in inboxes.”

Large portions of the released emails have been redacted, so it’s certainly possible that the juicy details of Clinton’s messages have been kept out of public view. But on that score, Guccifer’s hacking of — and apparent lack of interest in — Clinton’s email account provides her with a bit of unwelcome vindication: that the messages from her home email server were, in fact, pretty vanilla, indicating perhaps that Clinton kept the interesting material in more secure channels of communication.

Photo credit: NA SON NGUYEN/AFP/Getty Images

Elias Groll is a staff writer at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @EliasGroll

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