Claimed connections between the Trump Campaign/Administration and Russians

Revisiting the Trump server communications with Russia's Alpha Bank

(October 10, 2018)

Today New Yorker magazine posted a long article revisiting a semi-obscure detail in the Trump-Russia-Conspiracy story. Late in the 2016 election cycle news broke that Trump Campaign servers had been communicating through an arcane channel with servers owned by Alpha Bank. Alpha Bank is closely connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his cronies, and has been tied to Russian Oligarch money laundering activities. This communication is regularly referenced as part of the curious connections between the Trump Campaign and Putin cronies.

A year ago this site ran a story looking into the details, and finding it inconclusive. The story is based on studies of DNS query traffic, and not of actual traffic. A DNS query is made whenever software needs the IP address for a remote computer. The source for the story seemingly had access to query logs for a set of prominent DNS servers, but because they cannot have had query logs for all DNS servers any report they made would be limited. They claimed to have seen a curious pattern of DNS queries between a set of servers owned by Alpha Bank, the Trump Organization, and Spectrum Health (a company connected to the DeVos family).

The new article covers the same territory, and claims to have studied the issue more closely.

Was a Trump server communicating with Russia's Alpha Bank?

(October 27, 2017)

Late in the 2016 election, news broke that Trump Campaign servers had been communicating through an arcane channel with servers owned by Alpha Bank. Alpha Bank is closely connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his cronies, and has been tied to Russian Oligarch money laundering activities. The news came amid other allegations of collusion between Trump and the Russians, and is routinely mentioned by Journalists like Rachel Maddow as part of the rationale for the Trump-Russia-Collusion story.

The news broke in a Slate article that detailed work by a group of Internet Security researchers. The article discusses some kind of database of DNS records that somehow describe the architecture of a set of Internet services that somehow describe a pattern of communication between Trump's organization and Alpha Bank. Reading between the lines of the article, the data source has to be someone with access to primary DNS servers who can gather logs of DNS queries.