Cybersecurity experts are under investigation for potentially abusing their government privileges to aid a 2016 Clinton campaign plot to falsely link Donald Trump to Russia and trigger an FBI investigation of him and his campaign, according to several sources familiar with the work of Special Counsel John Durham.
Sources familiar with the investigation of John Durham confirmed that the team’s leader was Rodney L. Joffe, who has regularly advised the Biden White House on cybersecurity and infrastructure policies.
Until last month, Rodney Joffe was the chief cybersecurity officer at Washington tech contractor Neustar Inc., which was a longtime client of Sussmann at Perkins Coie, a prominent Democratic law firm recently subpoenaed by Durham, according to federal civil court records.
Rodney Joffe, 66, has been cleared of all charges. Neustar has removed Joffe’s blog posts from its website. “He no longer works for us,” a spokeswoman said.
According to an August 2016 email Joffe sent to the researchers, as a powerful and influential player in the tech world, Joffe tasked a group of computer contractors connected to the Georgia Institute of Technology with finding “anything” in Internet data that would link Trump to Russia and make Democratic “VIPs happy.”
The following month, the group accused Trump of keeping a secret backchannel to the Kremlin via the email servers of Russia-based Alfa Bank. The FBI, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the Justice Department inspector general, and a Senate intelligence panel later determined that those allegations were false.
(More detail on Real Clear Investigations)
Who is Rodney Joffe, ‘Tech Executive-1’ in Durham indictment?
Rodney Joffe is the person referred to as “Tech Executive-1” in Sussman’s indictment for allegedly lying to the FBI by withholding his connections to Hillary Clinton’s losing 2016 election campaign against former President Donald Trump, according to CNN.
Joffe’s LinkedIn profile says he retired earlier this month as senior vice president and security chief technology officer at Neustar Inc., a Reston, Va.-based company that provides various internet-related services and products to more than 8,000 commercial and government clients around the world.
Earlier, he founded the UltraDNS Corp., the first cloud-based company to develop and market the “domain name” services that translate numerical internet addresses into memorable names that can be typed into a browser, which was bought by Neustar in 2006 for nearly $62 million in cash.
Joffe also founded and was chief technology officer of Genuity, which was the first company to offer commercial hosting services that allow people and companies to create and maintain websites without running their own computer servers connected to the internet.
In 2013, he became one of the first civilians to be awarded the FBI Director’s Award for Cybersecurity, according to his profile on the Forbes website.
That honor involved the discovery of malicious software dubbed the “Butterfly Botnet,” which infected more than 11 million computers around the world and led to the theft of credit card, banking and other information that caused more than $850 million in losses before being stopped.
Joffe’s other honors include the 2016 Mary Litynski Lifetime Achievement Award from M3AAWG, the global Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group.
Joffe’s patents include innovations for establishing secure internet domain names and detecting compromised computer networks.
In 2015, he was among the cyber experts who called for the firing of Katherine Archuleta as director of the Office of Personnel Management under then-President Barack Obama in the wake of a massive cyberattack on OPM’s computer network.
Suspected Chinese hackers swiped the personal information of more than 22 million current and former government workers in one of the biggest cyberattacks in history.
(More detail on NewYork Post)