Whatever the cause of the strange data, the question that arises in the wake of the indictment is whether Mr. Joffe and the other three computer scientists viewed their own theory as questionable and yet cynically advanced anyway. , as Mr. Durham suggests, or if they really believed the data. was alarming and made their assumption in good faith.
Previous articles on Alfa Bank, including in Slate and The New Yorker, did not name the researchers and used pseudonyms like “Max” and “Tea Leaves” for two of them. Mr. Durham’s indictment did not name them either.
But three of their names have appeared among a list of data experts in a lawsuit filed by Alfa Bank, and Trump supporters have speculated their identities online. The Times confirmed them and their attorneys provided statements defending their actions.
The “author 1” of the indictment is April Lorenzen, chief data scientist at news service company Zetalytics. Her lawyer, Michael J. Connolly, said she had “devoted her life to the essential work of thwarting dangerous cyber attacks against our country,” adding: “Any suggestion that she has engaged in wrongdoing is without question. false equivocation.
The “Researcher-1” of the indictment is another Georgia Tech computer scientist, Manos Antonakakis. “Researcher-2” is Mr. Dagon. And “Tech Executive-1” is Mr. Joffe, who in 2013 received the FBI Director’s Award for helping solve a cybercrime case, and retired this month from Neustar, another information services company.
Moreover, Alfa Bank’s suspicions were only half of what researchers sought to bring to the government’s attention, according to several people familiar with the matter.
Their other set of concerns was over data suggesting that a YotaPhone – a Russian-made smartphone rarely seen in the United States – had been used from networks serving the White House, Trump Tower and Spectrum Health, a Michigan hospital company. which the server had also interacted with. with the Trump server.