Daily Beast: “What really happened: anonymous clerk at U.S. treasury googled the internet for ‘cyber’ while intel analysts were on their Christmas vacation,” Alisa Shevchenko tweeted on Friday. by Katie Zavadski and Noah Shachtman
'“Another version: a naughty Santa, deep in the Christmas night, hacked into Obama’s computer and put some random Russian names in his papers.”
'If that’s the case—and the U.S. government has supplied no evidence to back up the allegation of ZOR’s involvement—it could raise serious questions about the Obama administration’s retaliatory measures for the election-related hacks. The White House, Treasury Department, State Department, and CIA did not respond to requests to provide further detailing why ZOR was selected for sanctioning.
'Shevchenko is a self-anointed “self-taught offensive security researcher.” That’s a relative rarity in a field in which most people describe themselves as network defenders. She learned to code at 15 but was more drawn to hacking than programming, according to a 2014 profile of the businesswoman in Forbes Russia. Shevchenko dropped out of school and wound up working for five years as a virus analytics expert for Kaspersky labs instead. In 2009, she founded her own company, then known as Esage labs, and later as ZOR Security. (The acronym, in Russian, stands for “Digital Weapons and Defense.”) A self-described “offensive security researcher,” she focuses on finding vulnerabilities rather than fixing ones exposed by other hackers.'