ELDER PATRIOT – According to an affidavit contained in the criminal complaint handed down in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Bernie Sanders supporter Reality Leigh Winner, a 25-year-old contractor with Pluribus International Corporation, has been charged with leaking a National Security Agency (NSA) report on Russian Election hacking to left-wing news site The Intercept.
The stolen NSA report details the spear-phishing attack that involved infiltrating the systems of local voting officials through emails that mimicked those of the software provider that powered the voting machines and voter registration files they were using.
Jake Williams is the founder of computer security firm Rendition Infosec and was formerly a member of the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations hacking team. Williams said if this type of attack were successful, the perpetrator would possess “unlimited” capacity for siphoning away items of interest. “Once the user opens up that email the attacker has all the same capabilities that the user does.”
This is separate from the Wikileaks revelations. It falls short of suggesting any connection between Russia and the DNC hacking that occurred prior to the election.
There has been no link established, at this time, to Donald Trump or to any member of his campaign. There has also been no evidence that the hacking resulted in any alteration in voter totals or in any disruptions due to voters having been removed from or added to the voter identification lists in the eight states that the vendor’s software was employed.
Here’s what has been established though.
A senior law enforcement official said, “In August 2016 warnings went out from the FBI and DHS to those agencies. This was not a surprise. This was not hard to defend against. But you needed a commitment of budget and attention.”
Bruce Schneier, a cybersecurity expert at Harvard’s Berkman Center echoed those sentiments; “The problem we have is that voting security doesn’t matter until something happens, and then after something happens, there’s a group of people who don’t want the security, because whatever happened, happened in their favor. That makes it a very hard security problem.”
There’s ample reason to believe that Schneier is 100% correct. During the third presidential debate in October, Hillary Clinton tried to conflate this evidence into collusion between Trump and Russia but we now know it was a separate, apparently unsuccessful, attempt to penetrate our voting systems that affected nothing.
The information we currently have cannot confirm that these hackers were official state actors. If they weren’t that might explain why they penetrated the voting system but did nothing to affect the vote. Let’s assume that they were official state actors.
This was apparently well known in Democrat circles. At a December press conference, President Obama admitted that he told Russian President Vladimir Putin as early as September not to hack the U.S. election infrastructure. That was the extent of his actions.
Why was nothing done to secure these voting systems? Did the Democrats already sense that Hillary Clinton was going to lose and didn’t want to expose their complicity in working with the Russians to corrupt future voting?
Keep in mind, Fox News reported on a 2010 program headed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to help Moscow develop a “Russian Silicon Valley” that likely involved some of America’s biggest tech companies into “industrial espionage” – even advancing the country’s military and spying operations.
Also, remember that Hillary was responsible for signing off on the transfer of 20% of the U.S. uranium stockpile to Russian companies while the Clinton Foundation was simultaneously receiving $135 million in donations from entities and individuals with connections to those companies.
There was also this capture on an open mic between President Obama and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev prior to the 2012 U.S. presidential election:
Then there was Hillary and Obama’s absolutely inexplicable Middle East policy that resulted in the vacuum that has allowed Russia to spread its influence throughout the region.
Why in the world would the Russians want to see Obama and Clinton stripped of their power?
Obama used the hacking incident to order his Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to suggest nationalizing our voting infrastructure that only would’ve subverted they only thing that protects us from election hackers…and a rogue government like the one that Obama has established.
Think this is an unfair accusation? According to Schneier “Hacking an election is hard, not because of technology — that’s surprisingly easy — but it’s hard to know what’s going to be effective.” If you look at the last few elections, 2000 was decided in Florida, 2004 in Ohio, the most recent election in a couple counties in Michigan and Pennsylvania, so deciding exactly where to hack is really hard to know.”
In other words, it’s our decentralized voting system, using different technologies, spread among many thousands of voting districts coupled with our Electoral College system that actually protects us from outside interference.
The whole Russian hacking narrative to aid Donald Trump makes no sense but here’s a narrative that does incorporate the facts as we know them to be today:
Obama may have opened a back door for Russian election interference hacking or, at least, ignored the threat when it surfaced. Why? For many reasons, beginning with providing Russia with a channel to corrupting future elections to favor future “Progressive” candidates.
There’s also the likelihood that both Obama and Hillary knew she had no chance of winning the election and that Russian hacking would serve as a convenient excuse afterwards.
How can I say Hillary knew she was going to lose? Easy, she spent time raising money – that becomes hers – rather than traveling to states where she might’ve been able to influence the outcome of the election. That makes no sense unless she’d already conceded to herself and was intent – as she’s always been – with lining her pockets.
Regardless, there’s still no evidence to suggest that Russia had anything to do with the Trump campaign. More importantly there’s nothing to suggest Russia had any preference to see Donald Trump elected president but there’s a ton of evidence suggesting that they would’ve preferred a Clinton presidency.