15 December 2016

Well, They Would Say That, Wouldn't They?*

The Democratic National Committee has hired cyber experts to look into their security, and they say that it was the Russians:
As Donald Trump and his surrogates continue to engage in dangerous denial of Russia's interference in our election and the intelligence community as a whole, one expert who knows of what he speaks made an appearance on Wolf Blitzer's show yesterday to knock a huge hole in Trump's arguments.

Trump has long dismissed the reports of Russian interference as ridiculous, going so far as to say it was maybe China or some 400-pound creepy guy in his mother's basement. Anything he can do to distract from Russia's interference, he's done.

But Dmitri Alperovitch, employed by Crowdstrike, the security firm hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign to come in and deal with the hack, begs to differ, and he's got the goods to prove it.

Right out of the gate, Alperovitch tells Wolf Blitzer that his firm "did catch the Russians in the act when the DNC hired us back in May."
It's remarkably convenient for Crowd Strike to echo the narratives of the people who are paying for them.

Also in declaring it the operation of a state actor, it excuses the ineptitude of the DNC, the Clinton Campaign, and (particularly) John "Nigerian Prince" Podesta.

Craig Murry calls this is 6 pounds of sh%$ in a 5 pound bag, because the report alleges that the Russians acted in a manner that appears to be deliberately calculated to point the accusing fingers at themselves:
I am about twenty four hours behind on debunking the “evidence” of Russian hacking of the DNC because I have only just stopped laughing. I was sent last night the “crowdstrike” report, paid for by the Democratic National Committee, which is supposed to convince us. The New York Times today made this “evidence” its front page story.

It appears from this document that, despite himself being a former extremely competent KGB chief, Vladimir Putin has put Inspector Clouseau in charge of Russian security and left him to get on with it. The Russian Bear has been the symbol of the country since the 16th century. So we have to believe that the Russian security services set up top secret hacking groups identifying themselves as “Cozy Bear” and “Fancy Bear”. Whereas no doubt the NSA fronts its hacking operations by a group brilliantly disguised as “The Flaming Bald Eagles”, GCHQ doubtless hides behind “Three Lions on a Keyboard” and the French use “Marianne Snoops”.

What is more, the Russian disguised hackers work Moscow hours and are directly traceable to Moscow IP addresses. This is plain and obvious nonsense. If crowdstrike were tracing me just now they would think I am in Denmark. Yesterday it was the Netherlands. I use Tunnel Bear, one of scores of easily available VPN’s and believe me, the Russian FSB have much better resources. We are also supposed to believe that Russia’s hidden hacking operation uses the name of the famous founder of the Communist Cheka, Felix Dzerzhinsky, as a marker and an identify of “Guccifer2” (get the references – Russian oligarchs and their Gucci bling and Lucifer) – to post pointless and vainglorious boasts about its hacking operations, and in doing so accidentally leave bits of Russian language script to be found.
Additionally, he has said that he picked up the emails from a contact in a Washington, DC park:
A Wikileaks envoy today claims he personally received Clinton campaign emails in Washington D.C. after they were leaked by 'disgusted' whisteblowers - and not hacked by Russia.

Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and a close associate of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, told Dailymail.com that he flew to Washington, D.C. for a clandestine hand-off with one of the email sources in September.

'Neither of [the leaks] came from the Russians,' said Murray in an interview with Dailymail.com on Tuesday. 'The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks.'

His account contradicts directly the version of how thousands of Democratic emails were published before the election being advanced by U.S. intelligence.


'Neither of [the leaks] came from the Russians,' Murray said. 'The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks.'

He said the leakers were motivated by 'disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders.'

Murray said he retrieved the package from a source during a clandestine meeting in a wooded area near American University, in northwest D.C. He said the individual he met with was not the original person who obtained the information, but an intermediary.
There are a number of things going on right now:
  • Numerous members of the Democratic Party establishment are flailing about trying to excuse their abject failure during the elections.
  • The "War with Russia" crowd have their casus belli.
  • It's like catnip for journalists.
  • Despite never denying the veracity of the materials, the accusations serve to draw attention away from the actual contents of the emails.
We know that the Democratic campaign was incompetent, and we know that their IT security protocols were ignored by senior officials, particularly John Podesta, who was phished using techniques that a script kiddie would sneer at.

Was there Russian involvement?  I don't know.

Certainly the Russians were monitoring the election, as were the French, the British, the Chinese, the Japanese, etc. because it's a big deal to them too.

What I do know is that the CIA and the FBI disagree, and that the DNI has remained silent, so it's not a "Slam Dunk".

It's also not an act of war, as some are eager to suggest.  It's just a computer hack, or a leak.

The Cuban Missile Crisis this ain't.

*Mandy Rice-Davies Applies (MRDA). The Profumo affair. Learn your history.


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