Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-18-2017, 12:46 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
2016 Election-from-Heck RnnrUp
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 6,572
What if the Russians didn't hack the DNC?

Lately, there's been a stir over the whole Russian hacking thing. This story seems to have started it:

The Nation on 8/9/17: A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack

Then there were some stories-about-the-story:

Bloomberg on 8/10/17: Why Some U.S. Ex-Spies Don't Buy the Russia Story

Salon on 8/15/17: What if the DNC Russian “hack” was really a leak after all? A new report raises questions media and Democrats would rather ignore

It seems that this didn't sit particularly well with some staff at the Nation, and they've started a "post-publication editorial review":

WaPo on 8/15/17: The Nation is reviewing a story casting doubt on Russian hack of DNC

The Hill on 8/16/17: The Nation reviewing challenged DNC hack article

Anyways, I was a little surprised that this hadn't gotten any attention here on the Dope. Did everyone miss it? Did no one think it was newsworthy or interesting or worth discussing?

ETA: and then this story came out today: http://www.rollcall.com/news/politic...litical-impact

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 08-18-2017 at 12:51 PM.
  #2  
Old 08-18-2017, 12:50 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 27,050
It's an interesting possibliity, and if true, would be a partial relief, in that the Russian effort to interfere with our election weren't quite as extensive as we thought before.
  #3  
Old 08-18-2017, 12:51 PM
Velocity Velocity is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 10,240
There might have been a little bit less gasoline on the fire, but the Trump campaign was already so rife with scandals, outrage, headline-popping news, and bizarre-ness that it probably would have made little difference. The media already had more than it could chew.
  #4  
Old 08-18-2017, 12:56 PM
asahi asahi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 4,196
I already addressed this on another thread but I'll entertain this again.

First of all, it's not uncommon to find some experts who challenge an official position. Just because Brennan, Clapper, and other senior experts conclude it was a hack, it's not surprising that others reach a different conclusion. In any case, I rather doubt that they would have come to this conclusion without at least some credible evidence that the Russians or pro-Russian forces were trying to do the alleged deed. Even so, given the fact that intelligence is quite often far from certain, it's actually a good thing to have people question intelligence conclusions.

I believe that there was at least some hacking and/or some efforts at penetration of the DNC, either by the Russians themselves or by forces that were sympathetic to their cause, or perhaps just people who really didn't like the tradition of assertive American foreign policy and thought that the inexperienced and seemingly isolationist Donald Trump might be a welcome change. I've also suspected that someone could have leaked the information from within the DNC and Clinton campaign - that would not at all surprise me. It could have been a Trump plant (if you believe in wild conspiracy theories) or it could have been someone who grew disillusioned with the Democratic party and the Clinton campaign and acted on their own. But what does the evidence tell us at this stage? At some point, conspiracy theories have to have legs of evidence; otherwise, they're just fiction.
  #5  
Old 08-18-2017, 01:23 PM
ganthet ganthet is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 585
It also doesn't help the skeptics' argument that Russia clearly had the motive to want to either defeat Hillary (best case scenario) or see her as a fatally weakened president (worst case scenario). Putin never directly criticized Trump during the campaign and the Russian government controlled RT gave Trump generally favorable coverage, particularly when compared to their coverage of Obama/Hillary.

The meeting set up for Trump Jr., Kushner, and Manafort with a Russian-only speaking lawyer with connections to Russian government officials and were promising dirt on Hillary, also hints at Russia's involvement with the hacks and again underlines their motive. Given Russia's proliferous hacking in the past, there is no question the have the capabilities.

So, you have a party with the motive, the capability, and there are numerous suspicious meetings and contacts that, while they do not explicitly show any coordination between Trump and Russia, clearly do indicate a much closer relationship than Russia had with Hillary's campaign. Given this and the U.S. Intelligence agencies' unanimous assessments based on the actual computer forensic analysis, it's hard to see what other party would have a similar confluence of suspicious and incriminating factors.
  #6  
Old 08-18-2017, 01:34 PM
Lance Turbo Lance Turbo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,449
The source of the story is VIPS.

They should not be regarded as a reliable source. Here's a bit about the last time they made the news in 2013.

Quote:
After the Ghouta chemical attack VIPS issued an "open letter" to President Obama claiming that their "co-workers" and "numerous sources in the Middle East" have informed them that Bashar al-Assad was not responsible for the attack, contrary to the position of the US government and foreign intelligence agencies. However, when asked about the identity of their sources, the group's report turned out to be based on an article from a conspiracy website "Global Research" and, Infowars, the radio show of the far right commentator and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Until I see something other than known conspiracy theorists pushing a conspiracy theory I'm not going to get too fired up about this.
  #7  
Old 08-18-2017, 01:41 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 21,799
Frankly, listening to to this group is just slightly more respectable than listening to InfoWars.

They don't believe that Malaysia Airlines flight 17 was shot down by a Russian missile, even though only Russia disagrees. (They have also called the Russian invasion of Ukraine an "engagement," for some reason.) They don't believe that Assad has used chemical weapons on his own people. They claimed that Israel was going to attack Iran in August 2010. They said that Bush's fragile mental state in 2007 was likely to result in war with Iran. They said the 2006 surge of troops to Iraq was leading to an independent Kurdistan.

I just don't consider them credible, regardless of their past employment.
  #8  
Old 08-18-2017, 01:50 PM
elucidator elucidator is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Further
Posts: 56,767
To be strictly fair, the OP did not express any belief or conviction. He is simply opening a line of conjecture. Proposing an inquiry. Just asking questions.
  #9  
Old 08-18-2017, 01:55 PM
steronz steronz is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Oh-hiya-Maude
Posts: 4,144
I'm open to being convinced on this -- neither the idea that US intelligence agencies are never wrong, or that Russia must have been behind the DNC hack, are critical to my worldview.

That said -- I'm not a forensic researcher, just a lowly web developer, but I know some things about computers. The source of the theory seems to be:

Quote:
These data did not come to him via any clandestine means. Forensicator simply has access to them that others did not have. It is this access that prompts Kirk Wiebe and others to suggest that Forensicator may be someone with exceptional talent and training inside an agency such as the FBI. “Forensicator unlocked and then analyzed what had been the locked files Guccifer supposedly took from the DNC server,” Skip Folden explained in an interview. “To do this he would have to have ‘access privilege,’ meaning a key.
This is gibberish. He had access to metadata that others did not have because of his "Exceptional talent," but if he got that talent from the FBI, then wouldn't everyone in the FBI have access to that metadata? And then, it wasn't the talent, it's that the had a key (presumably a decryption key?). This whole paragraph is vague and hard to parse, and yet if we're supposed to accept the theory, then we must accept that some random researcher named "Forensicator" has figured out something that nobody else has, without any details about why or how.

Moving on,

Quote:
“A speed of 22.7 megabytes is simply unobtainable, especially if we are talking about a transoceanic data transfer,” Folden said. “Based on the data we now have, what we’ve been calling a hack is impossible.”
The crux of the the argument is that 22.7 Mb/s transfer rates were impossible in the prehistoric year of 2016. But, while I'm not an expert in transfer speeds, I did have a 35 Mb/s internet connection in college way back in 1998. Right now I have a 24 Mb/s connection in my house, and it's pretty shitty in the grand scheme of things. Could I get a sustained 22.7 Mb/s from a DNC server? Probably not, but it's not such a ridiculous number for US internet connections last year (especially corporate or collegiate) that I'm left with no other conclusion but it being a USB 2.0 transfer.

Furthermore, nobody in the article posits the entirely reasonable theory that the Russian hacker was operating from a VPN or a hijacked computer on the east coast. I'm not a hacker, but if I were trying to pull down a bunch of information without getting caught, I might very well do it from a computer with better throughput to my target and then download it from there at my leisure. That might reset the timestamps that Forensicator was looking at, but then, without knowing what these timestamps were or where he got them from, there's no way to verify if his conclusions are the least bit reasonable.

tl;dr, gonna need more before I'm convinced one way or the other.
  #10  
Old 08-18-2017, 02:00 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 21,799
Quote:
Originally Posted by elucidator View Post
To be strictly fair, the OP did not express any belief or conviction. He is simply opening a line of conjecture. Proposing an inquiry. Just asking questions.
Well, he sort of implied that the Nation was reviewing the article for political reasons, as opposed to for the sake of accuracy. Or at least that's how I read one of his comments.
  #11  
Old 08-18-2017, 02:05 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: South Bay
Posts: 80,506
I knew it was a false flag by Crooked-Hillary all along!!
  #12  
Old 08-18-2017, 02:07 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
2016 Election-from-Heck RnnrUp
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 6,572
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
Well, he sort of implied that the Nation was reviewing the article for political reasons, as opposed to for the sake of accuracy. Or at least that's how I read one of his comments.
I'm guessing here, but I think this is the comment you're referring to:

Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
...
It seems that this didn't sit particularly well with some staff at the Nation, and they've started a "post-publication editorial review":

WaPo on 8/15/17: The Nation is reviewing a story casting doubt on Russian hack of DNC
...
I was paraphrasing the WaPo story I linked to below:

Quote:
There is some discontent in the Nation.

Staffers and contributors at the storied lefty magazine have raised concerns
about an Aug. 9 piece by contributing writer Patrick Lawrence under the headline, “A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack.” Based on technical evaluations, the article called into question the consensus view of U.S. intelligence agencies that the email disclosures last year from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) — which assisted the campaign of Donald Trump — were the work of Russian actors. The whole thing could have been the work of an internal leaker, notes the article.

Katrina vanden Heuvel, the Nation’s editor and publisher (and the writer of a weekly online column for The Post), tells the Erik Wemple Blog that Lawrence’s piece is undergoing a post-publication editorial review. “We’re doing the review as we speak, and I don’t want to rush to say anything,” said vanden Heuvel. Part of that review is an assessment of the technical feasibility of the points in Lawrence’s article.
ETA: but yeah, I think there are probably some political considerations at play. This is from the end of the Hill story:

Quote:
The Washington Post reports that writers at The Nation have become concerned with a pro-Moscow tone at the traditionally progressive magazine.

“I just felt that for some reason, we are too heavily invested in the defense of Putin and all his works,” columnist Katha Pollitt told The Post.

“These are our friends now? The Washington Times, Breitbart, Seth Rich truthers and Donald Trump Jr.? Give me a break. It’s very upsetting to me. It’s embarrassing.”

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 08-18-2017 at 02:12 PM.
  #13  
Old 08-18-2017, 02:39 PM
Evan Drake Evan Drake is offline
Suspended
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,719
It may not be true, the grand tale of Russian Hackers --- and the left has generally been more sceptical than say liberals or conservatives who hate Trump --- but it has become one of those essential lies that history finds necessary to keep. Politics is no place for abstract truth.


There are so many aspects that could eventually be disproved individually, yet even if in toto, the structure will still remain --- just as with the birth of a religion, parts can be shown false and as with Cabell's Manuel, all of the Redeemer's tales untrue and his companions misremembering, yet the Legend is stone.


With of course the hazy bits unexplained. For True Believers, how did Dread Vlad and Donald communicate their plot ? What exactly assured Vlad that the Trumpists would be his sword and shield in the new world ? When did Vlad lose his mind ?

Of course, even discarding the essential element of the Belief, that Trump conspired with a Foreign Power to Commit Treason -- which is kinda the whole point, even if like Mr. Van Jones said, it was a nothingburger --- that doesn't mean the Russians didn't hack, for their own purposes to stop Hillary.

WikiLeaks have always maintained they were given the stuff by a DNC internal source ( which makes Believers think WikiLeaks are a Russian front ) and Mr. Seymour Hersh has been scathing about the Russian Hacking Conspiracy recently; and now we come, as in an Ambler or Le Carre, to the heart of the question:




What made the candidate, the DNC, and their actions so damn demented they did stuff that would repel voters if made public ?
  #14  
Old 08-18-2017, 02:44 PM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 7,129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Turbo View Post
The source of the story is VIPS.

They should not be regarded as a reliable source. Here's a bit about the last time they made the news in 2013.



Until I see something other than known conspiracy theorists pushing a conspiracy theory I'm not going to get too fired up about this.
On top of that, the VIPS theory seems to be that, after discovering some disgruntled staffer had leaked DNC emails to Wikileaks, the DNC created Guccifer 2.0 as a false flag operation to pin the attribution on Russia.

On top of the numerous bits of implausibility to this theory, I'm frankly amazed that anybody inside of the DNC would have the technical knowhow to either pull this off in house or find a team who could do this. This isn't something political campaigns are typically set up to do.
  #15  
Old 08-18-2017, 03:02 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 21,799
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shalmanese View Post
On top of that, the VIPS theory seems to be that, after discovering some disgruntled staffer had leaked DNC emails to Wikileaks, the DNC created Guccifer 2.0 as a false flag operation to pin the attribution on Russia.
Which means that Roger Stone has been caught red-handed talking to a Democrat! Get 'im!
  #16  
Old 08-18-2017, 03:32 PM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Falls Church, Va.
Posts: 13,245
Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
First of all, it's not uncommon to find some experts who challenge an official position. Just because Brennan, Clapper, and other senior experts conclude it was a hack, it's not surprising that others reach a different conclusion. In any case, I rather doubt that they would have come to this conclusion without at least some credible evidence that the Russians or pro-Russian forces were trying to do the alleged deed.
Well, we know what the intelligence community based its conclusions on, because it told us. It relied on the report by CrowdStrike, the forensic analyst retained by the DNC, because the government's request to conduct an independent examination of the DNC server was refused. And we know what CrowdStrike's conclusion was based upon, because it's in the report. It says that the relevant hack was carried out using a tool called X-Agent, which CrowdStrike says is exclusively in the possession of the GRU. I have no qualifications to assess the reliability of these conclusions, but it's not a mystery what they are.

CrowdStrike's conclusion that X-Agent is exclusively in the GRU's possession has been challenged by some who say that other, anti-Russian hackers have it too. I also cannot assess this claim, nor is it clear whether the intelligence community has considered it. Crowdstrike's accuracy has been challenged in other contexts as well; earlier this year, it retracted a conclusion that Russian hacking had enabled the destruction of 80% of Ukrainian artillery, settling instead on a revised conclusion of 15%. That's not evidence as to the DNC hack, but it may figure into credibility about the company's expertise.

None of which is to say that VIPS's claim is credible, and conjecture based on one data point not seeming to fit is a hallmark of conspiracy theory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steronz View Post
The crux of the the argument is that 22.7 Mb/s transfer rates were impossible in the prehistoric year of 2016. But, while I'm not an expert in transfer speeds, I did have a 35 Mb/s internet connection in college way back in 1998. Right now I have a 24 Mb/s connection in my house, and it's pretty shitty in the grand scheme of things. Could I get a sustained 22.7 Mb/s from a DNC server? Probably not, but it's not such a ridiculous number for US internet connections last year (especially corporate or collegiate) that I'm left with no other conclusion but it being a USB 2.0 transfer.
Remember, we're talking upload speed. I've seen some sources say that average US upload speed reached the twenties in the last year or so, while others say it's more like 9 MB/s. I assume that an organization like the DNC would have a high-end system, so I agree that 22.7 doesn't seem ridiculous.
  #17  
Old 08-18-2017, 04:17 PM
Johnny Ace Johnny Ace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 3,971
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan Drake View Post
WikiLeaks have always maintained they were given the stuff by a DNC internal source ( which makes Believers think WikiLeaks are a Russian front )...
Given Assange's historical antipathy to Hillary, I'd take that particular assertion with a boulder of salt.

Last edited by Johnny Ace; 08-18-2017 at 04:22 PM.
  #18  
Old 08-18-2017, 10:03 PM
Evan Drake Evan Drake is offline
Suspended
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,719
I also have an antipathy to people who suggest droning me.
  #19  
Old 08-18-2017, 10:28 PM
Johnny Ace Johnny Ace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 3,971
Which, of course, must mean he's telling the truth.
  #20  
Old 08-18-2017, 10:35 PM
Evan Drake Evan Drake is offline
Suspended
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,719
Not really, just that she has no concept of diplomacy.
  #21  
Old 08-18-2017, 10:51 PM
Johnny Ace Johnny Ace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 3,971
Don't you have a better punching dummy? Or are you just bored?
  #22  
Old 08-18-2017, 11:09 PM
asahi asahi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 4,196
I am not in a position to know whether the intelligence agencies or their skeptics are correct in their assessments; I simply lack the information and the background to make that judgment. But I have enough faith in the government at this point (well, pre-2017 anyway) to believe that they at least think they're telling most of the truth.

One thing that occurred to me, though. It's not necessary for the Russians to actually hack or meddle in an election; they could accomplish a lot just by convincing people that they're trying to, and that they have the capability. So that's why I'm at least open to the idea that perhaps the agencies got it wrong. Not that they got it way, way wrong, and not that some intel errors makes Russian behavior on the whole any less serious. Just that there might be an alternative explanation (not alt facts of course)
  #23  
Old 08-19-2017, 01:22 AM
Evan Drake Evan Drake is offline
Suspended
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,719
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Ace View Post
Don't you have a better punching dummy? Or are you just bored?

Nah, she and Donald are the ideal targets for derision. Her more so since her disastrous candidacy enabled him to win.
  #24  
Old 08-19-2017, 01:24 AM
Evan Drake Evan Drake is offline
Suspended
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,719
Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
One thing that occurred to me, though. It's not necessary for the Russians to actually hack or meddle in an election; they could accomplish a lot just by convincing people that they're trying to, and that they have the capability.

Interesting point. A subtle and elegant theory.
  #25  
Old 08-19-2017, 01:54 AM
elucidator elucidator is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Further
Posts: 56,767
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan Drake View Post
....For True Believers, how did Dread Vlad and Donald communicate their plot ? What exactly assured Vlad that the Trumpists would be his sword and shield in the new world ? When did Vlad lose his mind ?...
Who says they did, necessarily? I have opined all along that I very much doubt Darth Vlad communicated his plot to Trump, because Trump is a blabbermouth who cannot be trusted. What did Putin have to gain? Money. Shit tons of it. He had already concluded a deal with the Prime Minister of Exxon to exploit Arctic oil. Russia needs that money, even more so now that it is an absolute kleptocracy, they've got to find money to make up for the money they stole.

Hillary sure as shit wasn't inclined to do Vlad any favors, like lifting the sanctions imposed on him. And that was the only thing standing in the way of the big money tap being turned and the sweet petrodollars splashing into his treasury. As I recall, Trump had floated more than one trial balloon about lifting the sanctions, a better relationship with Russia, I believe he called it.

So, yeah, Vlad doesn't need Trump to be his sword and shield, he needs him to be the guy who turns the money tap on. My dark suspicion is the otherwise inexplicable selection of Tillerson to be SecState was the first clear and unambiguous move in that direction. If you have a more plausible explanation, you might very well be the first.
  #26  
Old 08-19-2017, 02:06 AM
Evan Drake Evan Drake is offline
Suspended
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,719
Quote:
Originally Posted by elucidator View Post
Who says they did, necessarily?

Undoubtedly all those millions who bay Trump committed T*R*E*A*S*O*N. With no Trumpo-Slav Conspiracy it would just be did some foreigners hack the DNC.


As a foreigner I can assure you few of us care about the DNC, those of us that can identify it.




Quote:
What did Putin have to gain? Money. Shit tons of it.

And not being turned into glass. That's important to some people.
  #27  
Old 08-19-2017, 02:12 AM
elucidator elucidator is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Further
Posts: 56,767
I totally forgot about Putin trying to avert an impending thermonuclear attack. Good catch, there, Evan.
  #28  
Old 08-19-2017, 02:25 AM
Evan Drake Evan Drake is offline
Suspended
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,719
Well it was a lot more likely than Donnie blowing up the world to catch Little Kim in a gigantic Tom and Jerry cartoon as certain people banged on about just last week.



The key to Hillary is her massive self-regard: the key to Donald is that if it doesn't make him money he's not interested.
  #29  
Old 08-19-2017, 03:47 AM
ganthet ganthet is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
One thing that occurred to me, though. It's not necessary for the Russians to actually hack or meddle in an election; they could accomplish a lot just by convincing people that they're trying to, and that they have the capability. So that's why I'm at least open to the idea that perhaps the agencies got it wrong. Not that they got it way, way wrong, and not that some intel errors makes Russian behavior on the whole any less serious. Just that there might be an alternative explanation (not alt facts of course)
Except Russia has a well-established track record of hacking (and being able to hack) government and non-government systems in achieve its socio-political goals.

Since this was a DNC computer/network we're talking about and not some type of secured U.S. government network, I don't think there was ever any real doubt about whether Russia had the capability to conduct a spear-phishing attack or not given this track record.

Russia had the motive (in that they had the open desire to hurt Hillary and at least a lukewarm appreciation for Trump), the capability, and the DNC hack just happens to fit their M.O. Oh, and Wikileaks turned down a trove of hacked Russian documents in order to focus on Hillary in 2016. Sometimes when all signs point to a particular culprit, that culprit is actually the one responsible. This isn't Perry Mason.
  #30  
Old 08-19-2017, 06:43 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 74,865
I'm sure the Trump administration would welcome the opportunity to have a full and complete investigation which would clear their names.
  #31  
Old 08-19-2017, 06:55 AM
Evan Drake Evan Drake is offline
Suspended
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,719
Just like that TV/Radio presenter ( American ) a few years back would have welcomed a full investigation to clear his name of having raped and murdered a young girl in the '90s.
  #32  
Old 08-19-2017, 06:59 AM
asahi asahi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 4,196
Quote:
Originally Posted by ganthet View Post
Except Russia has a well-established track record of hacking (and being able to hack) government and non-government systems in achieve its socio-political goals.

Since this was a DNC computer/network we're talking about and not some type of secured U.S. government network, I don't think there was ever any real doubt about whether Russia had the capability to conduct a spear-phishing attack or not given this track record.

Russia had the motive (in that they had the open desire to hurt Hillary and at least a lukewarm appreciation for Trump), the capability, and the DNC hack just happens to fit their M.O. Oh, and Wikileaks turned down a trove of hacked Russian documents in order to focus on Hillary in 2016. Sometimes when all signs point to a particular culprit, that culprit is actually the one responsible. This isn't Perry Mason.
For the record, I believe the Russians actually did hack, probe, whatever you wanna call it. I find it hard to believe that the intelligence agencies would, one-by-one, after their own reviews of evidence, reaffirm such a damning set of allegations without at least some proof that something like that happened.

I'm just saying, like the Yellow Cake story, there are situations in which a power might opt to project the appearance of power rather than actually demonstrating the full exercise of it. This is for several reasons:

1. By merely projecting power, you keep your real capabilities secret.

2. By merely projecting power, you reduce the likelihood of a response in kind. The United States is arguably the most capable at delivering crippling cyber attacks. Russia knows this - everyone does. There's a limit to what they'd be willing to do, I would think. After all, we were able to jam North Korean missile tests - just for starters.

3. By merely projecting power, you can claim that you're not really doing anything bad. That may or may not help in the short run, but it can sow doubts about the credibility of intel gathering down the road, and that's not insignificant. CIA's credibility took a major hit after the Yellow Cake story and the pre-Iraq war build-up. That can make a democracy less willing to initiate a war, or even preparations for war, in the future. And that kinda already leads into point 4:

4. By merely projecting power and not actually using it, you can embarrass the shit out of a country's government if they turn out to be wrong about even just a few of the core facts. And in a democracy, this is especially powerful because government operates on the consent of the governed. Lose their trust, and then you have a problem of legitimacy. You don't need an actual hack to achieve any of this destabilization; it can be the result of merely the appearance of aggression.

Last edited by asahi; 08-19-2017 at 07:00 AM.
  #33  
Old 08-19-2017, 07:31 AM
Evan Drake Evan Drake is offline
Suspended
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,719
Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
For the record, I believe the Russians actually did hack, probe, whatever you wanna call it. I find it hard to believe that the intelligence agencies would, one-by-one, after their own reviews of evidence, reaffirm such a damning set of allegations without at least some proof that something like that happened.

Actually, the rather lunatic portentous claim that 17 agencies --- who knew the US had 17 intelligence services ? There would be some danger of reduplication and tripping over each over... ) --- each checked and reviewed before coming to an independent conclusion, one of Hillary's little exaggerations in October *, reduced under the evidence of General Clapper ( Clapper of the NSA ! ) to just 3 agencies working in unison.


Clapper testified before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on May 8 that the Russia-hacking claim came from a “special intelligence community assessment” (or ICA) produced by selected analysts from the CIA, NSA and FBI, “a coordinated product from three agencies – CIA, NSA, and the FBI – not all 17 components of the intelligence community,” the former DNI said.

Clapper further acknowledged that the analysts who produced the Jan. 6 assessment on alleged Russian hacking were “hand-picked” from the CIA, FBI and NSA.



Consortium News
[ leftish ]


* Politico ( warning: video starts )
  #34  
Old 08-19-2017, 08:31 AM
igor frankensteen igor frankensteen is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,129
Quote:
Originally Posted by ganthet View Post
Except Russia has a well-established track record of hacking (and being able to hack) government and non-government systems in achieve its socio-political goals.

Since this was a DNC computer/network we're talking about and not some type of secured U.S. government network, I don't think there was ever any real doubt about whether Russia had the capability to conduct a spear-phishing attack or not given this track record.

Russia had the motive (in that they had the open desire to hurt Hillary and at least a lukewarm appreciation for Trump), the capability, and the DNC hack just happens to fit their M.O. Oh, and Wikileaks turned down a trove of hacked Russian documents in order to focus on Hillary in 2016. Sometimes when all signs point to a particular culprit, that culprit is actually the one responsible. This isn't Perry Mason.
Best post about this huge mess so far.

I want to add as well, that Russia under the ex-KGB leader (read up on Soviet propaganda programs and techniques to understand how Putin likes to work) ALSO has a very deep and long standing program of undermining trust in OTHER NATIONS intelligence operations, by the exact means being used by The Nation and other Right Wing propaganda fonts here in the US.

There has been a LOT more than just hacking going on, for a very long time. Cyber warfare is just like modern guerrilla/terror-based warfare, in that in addition to overt efforts such as hacking and publishing secrets, and overt acts such as pushing "alternate facts" and directly manufactured propaganda versions of events, there are also Russian agents here and abroad, who are pretending to be average Americans, voicing personal opinions that are derisive of the genuinely factual reports coming from untainted sources. In short, there are people who are paid by Russia to go online, even in forums such as this, and pretend to be Americans who are certain that Russia and Putin are as innocent as pure snow is white.

They USE the clumsiness and foolishness and occasional mistakes of the people they are working to undermine, to persuade the rest of us to throw out the ENTIRE tub of bathwater without even bothering to check for babies of any kind. It's the same trick they used to great effect back in the 1960's and 1970's, helping the Left in the US to undermine the conservative government, just as they are now manipulating the Right in the US to undermine the conservatives and moderates.

Going back to the opening post, asking "what if there was no hack?" Is worse than a mistake, it is itself a propaganda attack. I am not going to accuse the OP of being a Russian plant, that actually doesn't matter, even as it didn't matter that some of the people on the Left back in the sixties were led to act on the Soviet Union's behalf as dupes, were not themselves traitors. But make no mistake, the act of casting doubt on established facts, and then calling for everyone to start attacking each other rather than recognize and deal with the ongoing Russian efforts to gain advantage in various places, is part of the Russian plan.
  #35  
Old 08-19-2017, 09:32 AM
Steve MB Steve MB is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 11,894
The sad trombone sounds for the OP as people who actually understand techie stuff chime in:

Stories Claiming DNC Hack Was 'Inside Job' Rely Heavily On A Stupid Conversion Error No 'Forensic Expert' Would Make
__________________
The Internet: Nobody knows if you're a dog. Everybody knows if you're a jackass.
  #36  
Old 08-19-2017, 11:34 AM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 7,129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve MB View Post
The sad trombone sounds for the OP as people who actually understand techie stuff chime in:

Stories Claiming DNC Hack Was 'Inside Job' Rely Heavily On A Stupid Conversion Error No 'Forensic Expert' Would Make
That techdirt article is awful. There's a lot of holes in the "the speed was too fast" story but techdirt hasn't managed to hit a single one of them.

a) Hackers often stage data onto temporary VPSs so the speed of the Romanian internet is irrelevant. It's likely both machines were within an AWS data center and the transfer was happening purely on a LAN.
b) It's irrelevant whether Romania could theoretically get 180Mbps internet since the major contention of the theory is that 180Mbps is more akin to USB drive transfer speeds than internet ones.
but
c) Last modified dates only show the most recent file transfer. It's possible the files were slowly trickled out over a long period of time and then transferred via USB to an air gapped computer to be distributed, thus explaining the time stamps.
  #37  
Old 08-19-2017, 12:35 PM
elucidator elucidator is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Further
Posts: 56,767
"But that overlooks one crucial detail! The express train from London to Blightbone did not depart as scheduled! It left the station at 1:27pm, and could not possibly have arrived at Buggerton Manor before 4:47pm! Perhaps you would like a moment to contact your solicitor, Col. Mustard?"
  #38  
Old 08-19-2017, 01:54 PM
blindboyard blindboyard is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Newark
Posts: 2,054
The idea that the Russians were behind such a hack seems to be nothing but an evidence-free conspiracy theory. The idea that there was a hack at all relies on an unsupported assertion by interested parties, while those with the actual knowledge say it was a leak and not a hack. The report the FBI issued on the other supposed Russian hacking relied entirely on the idea that Russian tor exit nodes, which would be used by someone pretending to be Russian, must be being used by actual Russians.
  #39  
Old 08-19-2017, 02:09 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 55,943
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan Drake View Post
the key to Donald is that if it doesn't make him money he's not interested.
He engages in far too much profitless and vindictive pettiness for this to be true.
  #40  
Old 08-19-2017, 02:10 PM
Johnny Ace Johnny Ace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 3,971
Quote:
Originally Posted by blindboyard View Post
The idea that the Russians were behind such a hack seems to be nothing but an evidence-free conspiracy theory. The idea that there was a hack at all relies on an unsupported assertion by interested parties, while those with the actual knowledge say it was a leak and not a hack. The report the FBI issued on the other supposed Russian hacking relied entirely on the idea that Russian tor exit nodes, which would be used by someone pretending to be Russian, must be being used by actual Russians.
Emphasis mine. Cite that.
  #41  
Old 08-19-2017, 02:31 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 55,943
I could readily buy that Russia influenced the election through misleading and false news, just because I take it as given that a great many Americans are dumb.
  #42  
Old 08-19-2017, 02:33 PM
DinoR DinoR is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,536
Even if we just accept it as a hypothetical it's largely an irrelevant side show.

It doesn't negate any of the evidence about Russian hacking efforts directed at state level election sites to include voter databases.

Evidence of a Russian disinformation campaign via social media, in accordance with practices we've seen them employ against our NATO allies before, doesn't disappear.

It doesn't negate allegations that the Russians were behind the public release of the information. Whether it was an inside job or a hack the Russians could have a central role in both the collection and dissemination of the emails for their own ends.

It doesn't negate the issue of the meeting between Trump campaign staff and the Russians to gather information that was never specified as being a result of those hacks.

The DNC email server information has no bearing on allegations of improper channeling of Russian funds to the Trump campaign.
  #43  
Old 08-19-2017, 04:38 PM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Falls Church, Va.
Posts: 13,245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I'm sure the Trump administration would welcome the opportunity to have a full and complete investigation which would clear their names.
Yes, it's too bad that the DNC obstructed the opportunity to have one. The refusal to allow the server to be independently examined certainly suggests one of two possibilities: Either the server would clear the Russians and the Trump campaign, or there's evidence on there of the DNC doing something even worse.
  #44  
Old 08-19-2017, 08:39 PM
Evan Drake Evan Drake is offline
Suspended
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,719
Quote:
Originally Posted by igor frankensteen View Post
Best post about this huge mess so far.

I want to add as well, that Russia under the ex-KGB leader (read up on Soviet propaganda programs and techniques to understand how Putin likes to work) ALSO has a very deep and long standing program of undermining trust in OTHER NATIONS intelligence operations, by the exact means being used by The Nation and other Right Wing propaganda fonts here in the US.

There has been a LOT more than just hacking going on, for a very long time. Cyber warfare is just like modern guerrilla/terror-based warfare, in that in addition to overt efforts such as hacking and publishing secrets, and overt acts such as pushing "alternate facts" and directly manufactured propaganda versions of events, there are also Russian agents here and abroad, who are pretending to be average Americans, voicing personal opinions that are derisive of the genuinely factual reports coming from untainted sources. In short, there are people who are paid by Russia to go online, even in forums such as this, and pretend to be Americans who are certain that Russia and Putin are as innocent as pure snow is white.

They USE the clumsiness and foolishness and occasional mistakes of the people they are working to undermine, to persuade the rest of us to throw out the ENTIRE tub of bathwater without even bothering to check for babies of any kind. It's the same trick they used to great effect back in the 1960's and 1970's, helping the Left in the US to undermine the conservative government, just as they are now manipulating the Right in the US to undermine the conservatives and moderates.

Going back to the opening post, asking "what if there was no hack?" Is worse than a mistake, it is itself a propaganda attack. I am not going to accuse the OP of being a Russian plant, that actually doesn't matter, even as it didn't matter that some of the people on the Left back in the sixties were led to act on the Soviet Union's behalf as dupes, were not themselves traitors. But make no mistake, the act of casting doubt on established facts, and then calling for everyone to start attacking each other rather than recognize and deal with the ongoing Russian efforts to gain advantage in various places, is part of the Russian plan.




‘Here, in fact, we have the ultimate in cynicism which reveals the irrefutable guilt of the accused – I refer to his so-called escape from captivity and his “voluntary” return to his country! Who would believe that a man who has been offered “gold and any horse thou wilt” would abandon all that and voluntarily return home? How could he possibly do a thing like that?’

‘There can, surely be only one explanation: Prince Igor was recruited by the Polovtsian intelligence service and sent back to undermine the Kievan state...!’



In The First Circle --- The Mock Trial
  #45  
Old 08-19-2017, 11:35 PM
marshmallow marshmallow is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6,633
Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
Did no one think it was newsworthy or interesting or worth discussing?
The Russia thing hasn't been interesting in many months. Not sure if it matters much either way. If there wasn't a hack then Trump's presidency is still in shambles, and it doesn't preclude him from being involved with Russia in other ways. The biggest effect might be if the info was leaked by a Bernie sympathizer, then America won't get UHC for another 50 years.
  #46  
Old 08-20-2017, 01:54 AM
Johnny Ace Johnny Ace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 3,971
Quote:
Originally Posted by blindboyard View Post
The idea that the Russians were behind such a hack seems to be nothing but an evidence-free conspiracy theory. The idea that there was a hack at all relies on an unsupported assertion by interested parties, while those with the actual knowledge say it was a leak and not a hack. The report the FBI issued on the other supposed Russian hacking relied entirely on the idea that Russian tor exit nodes, which would be used by someone pretending to be Russian, must be being used by actual Russians.
Oddly enough, this entire paragraph is evidence-free. Whenever you're ready to support it with, you know, evidence...otherwise it's yet more hot air.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:12 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017