Attributing the Russian Cyberattack: No Alternative Explanations

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When it comes to attribution—especially when foreign intelligence agencies are involved—plausible deniability is easy. However, the public has come to expect courtroom-quality evidence before believing attribution for cyber operations—a difficult task when the kind of cross-border cooperation you need to get to the bottom of the case is not likely to be forthcoming, for obvious reasons.

Alternatively, probabilistic, intelligence-based reasoning is the most honest and useful way to go about attribution. Once reasonable theories are established, they can then be compared to available evidence and eliminated. Those explanations that survive this scientific method-inspired attribution process are then thought to be more reliable and likely explanations. 

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