Posts Tagged ‘Russian Hacking’

What we don’t know about Russia election hack

June 8, 2017

Double click to enlarge

Thomas Jefferson once wrote that newspaper articles should be classified into truths, probabilities, possibilities and lies.

I think the investigation of connections of President Trump and his supporters to Russia has uncovered possibilities and some probabilities, but few if any truths.

I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but I don’t want to overlook any probabilities or truths.

Scott Ritter, in an article in Truthout, points out that this leaked NSA document, published by The Intercept, uses a color code to differentiate truths, probabilities and possibilities.

The green lines point to things that the NSA analysts say are true, the yellow lines to things that the NSA analysts say they believe are probable and the grey lines to things they believe are possible.

In short, we the people are at the same point we were before.  We don’t have any certain knowledge.   Smart people make different judgments based on the same facts.  All the more reasons for Congress, the special prosecutor and the press to pursue their investigations.

LINK

Leaked NSA Report Short on Facts, Proves Little in ‘Russiagate’ by Scott Ritter for Truthdig

NSA reports Russia tried to hack voting system

June 6, 2017

A National Security Agency report, leaked to The Intercept, says that Russian military intelligence attempted to hack U.S. voter records shortly before the 2016 election.

The GRU reportedly was able to obtain passwords that enabled it to penetrate an electronic vote systems company.   The Intercept identified the company as VR Systems, which serves local election boards in eight states.  Using those passwords, the GRU attempted to penetrate at least 122 local governments.

The FBI has arrested a 25-year-old government contractor named Reality Leigh Winner on charges of giving the top-secret NSA documents to The Intercept.

Whether the Russian hackers succeeded and what, if anything, they did or tried to do to affect the election isn’t known.   And there is no indication that anybody in the Trump campaign was aware of any of this.

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A brief history of cyber-scares

March 22, 2017

From Russia, With Panic: Cozy bears, unsourced hacks—and a Silicon Valley shakedown by Yasha Levine for The Baffler.   It’s a bit long, but well worth reading in its entirety.

The unclassified report on Russian hacking

January 7, 2017

The unclassified CIA-FBI-NSA report asserts that they have “high confidence” that Russian intelligence agencies hacked the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign in order to elect Donald Trump.

office_of_the_director_of_national_intelligence_seal_usaPossible motives are retaliation for the Panama Papers leaks, the reports on Russian doping of Olympic athletes, and activities of the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy in Russia.

But the report presents no actual evidence that this happened.   All it says is that Vladimir Putin hoped Donald Trump would defeat Hillary Clinton, which is plainly true, and that this is the sort of thing that Putin would do, which might well be true.  Most of the report is devoted to analysis of anti-Clinton reporting by RT News, a Russian-funded TV news broadcaster.

It’s possible that the conclusion is true, but the report does not consider alternative explanations, such as leaks by a disgruntled DNC employee.   It does not describe the scope of the investigation—for example, whether the FBI had access to the DNC e-mails, or relied on the word of the DNC contractor, or whether it used NSA signal intelligence.

Maybe the classified version of the report does answer the unanswered questions.   I look forward with great interest to the congressional investigation.

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