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Election Hackgate fallout – ‘I never work with douchebags’: Young Russian woman, Alisa Shevchenko sanctioned for helping Putin hack US elections denies she aided election hackers

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Alisa Shevchenko says US govt sanctions against her company may yet have it’s upsides
White House claims Alisa Shevchenko aided Russians involved in hacking the US election 
Denies she aided election hackers: ‘I never work with douchebags’
In an interview claimed US authorities guilty either of “a technically incompetent misinterpretation of the facts” or fooled by a “counterfeit in order to frame my company”
The Young talented Russian hacker, known for working with companies to find vulnerabilities in their systems, claims to “have received a number of employment, business partnership or collaboration offers” 
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Alisa Esage Shevchenko. Her company is one of three sanctioned by the Obama administration for allegedly aiding Russian hackers manipulate the US elections
Alisa Shevchenko, a young Russian hacker accused by the USsecutity services of helping Vladimir Putin interfere with the U.S election insists there’s no way she’d ever work with the Russian strongman.
“I never work with douchebags,” Alisa Shevchenko told the Guardian, adding that she never knowingly worked on a government contract. “I only work with honest and open people that I feel good about.”

In the interview, Shevchenko who declined to put a number to her age, said the authorities misinterpreted facts or were fooled.
Alisa Shevchenko claims  because ot the US sanctions against her company ‘I am now de facto blocked from the world’s major information security market’. Still, being named as a masterful hacker has boosted her street creds to create a the silver lining. She claims “I have received a number of employment, business partnership or collaboration offers” since the annoucement.
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Alisa Shevchenko denies involvement with either President Putin of hios flunkies in the ‘ 2016 election hackcapade’. She Claims ‘ [US] authorities misinterpreted facts or were fooled’ Shevchenko said. “I only work with honest and open people that I feel good about.” 
Alisa Shevchenko, a young Russian hacker accused by the US secutity services of aiding Vladimir Putin interfere with the U.S election insists there’s no way shen would ever work with the Russian leader.

Young college dropout Alisa Shevchenko,  is a talented young Russian hacker whose outfit is known for working with companies to sniff out vulnerabilities in their systems.
The geek who spends her winters in Asia, meditating and training in Thai kickboxing was identified by the US security agencies as part of the phalanx of Russin outfits who helped the President Vladmir Putin interfere in the 2016 US general elections.
When the White House annonced a raft of sanctions against individuals in the Russian intelligence community in retaliaion last week,Alisa Shevchenko’s company was a surprise inclusion on the US sanctions list, alongside top officers in Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency and two well-known criminal hackers.
Her company “provided the GRU with technical research and development”, according to the fact sheet released by the White House. No further details were given.

Vladmir Putin1.jpg
Russian President alledgedly implicated in the hacking of Democratic party and Hillary Clinton campaign servers during the last US general elections to aid GOP victory

A the time. the White House annonced US expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats from the country, and said it would take further, non-public measures in response. A week after being enjoined in the Russian interference in the election, apparently aimed at helping Donald Trump to victory, Shevchenko is debunking the allegations against her, claiming the sanctions are without merit.
Shevchenko told the Guardian she was furious at her company’s inclusion on the list, and denied ever having knowingly worked for the Russian government. She communicated via encrypted email, from a location she said was “a wild countryside area a few hours away from Bangkok”.

Stock photo of computer hacker.pngStock photo from hack any computer. Shevchenko is furious at her company’s inclusion on the sanctions list – She has denied ever having knowingly worked for the Russian government

Defiant in the face of the US allegations which she described as “insane …hysteria,”
Shevchenko suggested that the US authorities were guilty either of “a technically incompetent misinterpretation of the facts” or had been fooled by a “counterfeit in order to frame my company”.
Among those who could have had an interest in framing her she includes competitors, US intelligence or Russian intelligence, with the goal of screening the real culprits: “A young female hacker and her helpless company seems like a perfect pick for that goal. I don’t try to hide, I travel a lot, and am a friendly communicative person. And most importantly, I don’t have any big money, power or connections behind me to shrug off the blame. So really, it could be anyone,” Shevchenko said.
The consensus opinion in the US intelligence community is that the Democratic party’s servers were hacked, during the last election campaigns by a group known alternatively as Fancy Bear, APT 29 or Sofacy, which they say was working for the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence.
Top US security firm CrowdStrike, a major US security player lends credence to the government sector findings by directly linking the GRU to the hacks. The US government believes the hacked emails were then leaked, possibly through an intermediary, to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

Julian Assange1.jpgJulian Assange founder of Wikileaks, purportedly the conduit of disseminating the hacked information

On his part, Russian president Vladmir Putin has denied any suggestion Russian interference in the election, instead attributing the current ‘US hysteria,’  blaming Moscow, to sour grapes from the losing side. Putin has expressed hope and clearly anticipates improved US-Russia relations under the in-coming Donald Trump administration to smoothen out the current frosty relations between the two super powers.
Shevchenko described herself as “a typical introverted computer geek” who is largely self taught claims to have been approached repeatedly by people she believed to be from the Russian government, which she had always rejected the advances. She said she had not been threatened or intimidated as a result.
Experts agree Russian authorities have created an enabling environment, often employing a mixture of carrot and stick to engage prominent hackers in work for the state. It has also been noted that third-party contracting of state information security tasks is common in most countries.
A US software security expert said: “Pretty much everyone in the community has done some work for their government at some point,” adding that Shevchenko was “extremely well known in the information security community”.

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Alisa Shevchenko claims  because ot the US   sanctions against her company ‘I am now de facto blocked from the world’s major information security market’  – the silver lining is that “I have received a number of employment, business partnership or collaboration offers”

In her interview with the Guardian, the self-styled geek would not respond to enquiries regarding her age, which she deems an “impolite question,”  She counters : “If you really need a number then go ahead and make it up based on my photographs”.
For her bio, she said she dropped out of three different universities, as she was passionate about learning but did not enjoy the structure of a university course. Around 2004, she joined Kaspersky Lab, a high-profile Russian cybersecurity firm.

She left to set up her own company, initially called Esage Lab (“I was thinking of something ‘sage’, as in a wizard or a magician,” she said). Later, she changed its name to ZOR. Both names are on the US sanctions list.
Shevchenko specialises in finding so-called “zero-days”, previously undisclosed software bugs that could leave companies vulnerable. “We have not only searched for bugs but exploited them, but only with the customer’s sanction,” she said. She said she never hired anyone she knew to have a criminal background for her companies.
Shevchenko who once worked with DialogNauka, a Russian company that lists among its clients the Russian ministry of defence and parts of the security services, insisted that none of her own work for DialogNauka “was even remotely possible to use as a nation-state attacks supply”.

donald-trump1US president-elect Donald Trump. His victory is said to be aided by Russina interference in the 2016 Presidential elections 

Shevchenko said she had turned down plenty of offers of work on ideological grounds: “I never work with douchebags. I only work with honest and open people that I feel good about.” Asked directly if she had ever worked on a government contract in any capacity, she answered “not that I know of”.
Shevchenko said ZOR was closed more than a year ago, because it was difficult and expensive to do the requisite public relations work required to drum up business. She now works as a “one-man army”, she said.

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In her Facebook posting, Alisa Shevchenko sounds quite fiesty and a touch miffed she was sanctioned for her alleged role in ‘hackgate’
According to Louis Rothberg an expert in export control with an international law firm, “If she [Shevchenko] starts a new company, then that company is clean, but a lot of people might not want to do business with her if they do their due diligence and find that she’s one step removed from an SDN,” Rothberg said.

Shevchenko who said she assumes it is “not possible” for her to travel to the US now, say she also does not particularly want to.
“I am now de facto blocked from the world’s major information security market,” Shevchenko said.
According to the Guardian she admits there was a certain cachet in being named as someone who hacked a US election. “I have received a number of employment, business partnership or collaboration offers” in the days since the sanctions list was released, she said.

 

 

 

 

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