Attribution: What do we mean when we say Russia?

According to Intelligence officials, cyber-security companies and the Clinton campaign it was 'Russia' who hacked into the Democratic National Committee, but who or what really is 'Russia'?

Ewan Lawson is the senior research fellow for military influence at the Royal United Services Institute
Ewan Lawson is the senior research fellow for military influence at the Royal United Services Institute

It's been hard to keep the DNC hack out of tech headlines. Not only is this a landmark in hacking, but geopolitics too.

The fallout from the disclosure of 20,000 emails continues to collect the scalps of high-ranking democratic party officials and sparking outrage among democratic party members and american citizens alike. It also gave the Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, a sizeable bump in the days following.

Almost immediately, fingers pointed to ‘Russia'. Several companies have pointed to Russian groups as responsible for the hack. Some have even gone so far as to say that the Kremlin were actively trying to pervert the course of American democracy.

The implications are gravely serious if true, but what do we mean when we say Russia? Do we really mean the head of a fractious and sprawling power structure like the Kremlin? Do we mean someone acting in service, but not on behalf of them? The answers are not clear, yet commentators cling to the single, nebulous suspect, ‘Russia'

Ewan Lawson, a veteran of the armed services, cyber-warfare expert and senior research fellow for Military Influence at the Royal United Services Institute joined SC to untangle some of the factual knots in the case.

Presented by Max Metzger, Directed by Tom Reeve