Lately a topic whether Russia is behind hacking the dnc servers (also asked here). I have always thought that it is hard to trace the country of the attacker and be sure about it, since they can use various techniques to hide their traces and leave false information(and I would assume that if some group of hackers would be working for government, they would be skilled enough to hide themselves). Is that true, or is it possible to trace the attacker?
I am assuming so, geographic regions of the world have their own range of public IP addresses, that part is easy, you just check the logs of recorded ip addresses and cross correspond them with public BGP routing tables.
I don't think it's as easy as action films portray to leave false information, the only method I know of is proxies and VPN's, I imagine a state sponsored attack would have the funding to 'proxy hop' across several regions of the Earth giving the impression of the attack coming from elsewhere, of course depending on the proxy company, they can choose to give the information to the authorities, there might be loopholes that prevent the information from being passed over.
All I can say is Russia probably knows the length of time an attack like this would take to investigate properly - A LONG TIME - Putin is aware that Trump supports him and feels that when Trump gets elected, the investigation into the matter would be impossible or extremely unlikely to yield any usable results, therefore even if it can be traced, Putin doesn't have to worry because soon it won't matter.