Friday, August 11, 2017

More Doubts That Russian Intelligence Was Involved In Last Year's DNC Hack

The headquarters of the Democratic National Committee is seen in Washington, U.S. June 14, 2016. Gary Cameron, Reuters

Patrick Lawrence, The Nation: A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack

Former NSA experts say it wasn’t a hack at all, but a leak—an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system.

Editor’s note: After publication, the Democratic National Committee contacted The Nation with a response, writing, “U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded the Russian government hacked the DNC in an attempt to interfere in the election. Any suggestion otherwise is false and is just another conspiracy theory like those pushed by Trump and his administration. It’s unfortunate that The Nation has decided to join the conspiracy theorists to push this narrative.”

It is now a year since the Democratic National Committee’s mail system was compromised—a year since events in the spring and early summer of 2016 were identified as remote hacks and, in short order, attributed to Russians acting in behalf of Donald Trump. A great edifice has been erected during this time. President Trump, members of his family, and numerous people around him stand accused of various corruptions and extensive collusion with Russians. Half a dozen simultaneous investigations proceed into these matters. Last week news broke that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had convened a grand jury, which issued its first subpoenas on August 3. Allegations of treason are common; prominent political figures and many media cultivate a case for impeachment.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Those who believe in the Russian collusion and Russian hack allegations are denouncing this "Nation" report .... The Nation Article About the DNC Hack Is Too Incoherent to Even Debunk (NYMag). But the chip-chip away of this story continues.

Update: Another must read for those who are not satisfied with rational behind the Russian collusion narrative can read this .... Why Some U.S. Ex-Spies Don't Buy the Russia Story (Leonid Bershidsky).

Update #2: Regular commentator Fred gave me this link a few weeks ago, and I have been sitting on this story since, but it fits with the above posts from the Nation and Bloomberg ..... U.S. Intelligence Veterans Believe the 'Russian Hack' of DNC Computers May Have Been an Inside Job (Truth Dig).

Update #3: Someone just emailed me that The Nation Post is difficult to read .... and I agree. Patrick Lawrence's post could have been made more clearer .... but it is the experts report that caught my eye, and it is where everyone's focus should be on.


fred lapides said...


Jay Farquharson said...

"This should, already, set off alarm bells: An anonymous analyst is claiming to have analyzed the “metadata” of “locked files” that only this analyst had access to? Still, if I’m understanding it correctly, Lawrence’s central argument (which, again, rests on the belief that Forensicator’s claims about “metadata” are meaningful and correct) is that the initial data transfer from the DNC occurred at speeds impossible via the internet. Instead, he and a few retired intel-community members and some pseudonymous bloggers believe the data was transferred to a USB stick, making the infiltration a leak from someone inside the DNC, not a hack.

The crux of the whole thing — the opening argument — rests on the fact that, according to “metadata,” the data was transferred at about 22 megabytes per second, which Lawrence and Forensicator claim is much too fast to have been undertaken over an internet connection. (Most connection speeds are measured at megabits per second, not megabytes; 22 megabytes per second is 176 megabits per second.) Most households don’t get internet speeds that high, but enterprise operations, like the DNC — or, uh, the FSB — would have access to a higher but certainly not unattainable speed like that.

If that’s your strongest evidence, your argument is already in trouble. But the real problem isn’t that there’s a bizarre claim about internet speed that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. It’s that Lawrence is writing in techno-gibberish that falls apart under even the slightest scrutiny. You could try to go on, but to what end? As an example: Lawrence writes that “researchers penetrated what Folden calls Guccifer’s top layer of metadata and analyzed what was in the layers beneath.” What on earth is that supposed to mean? We don’t know what “metadata” we’re talking about, or why it comes in “layers,” and all I’m left with is the distinct impression that Lawrence doesn’t either. Even if you wanted to take this seriously enough to engage with, you can’t, because it only intermittently makes sense. There may be evidence out there, somewhere, that a vast conspiracy theory has taken place to cover up a leak and blame Russia. But it’s going to need to be at least comprehensible."

Lawrence isn't a tech writer, in the least. He barely understands how a server works.

Now, if Marcy Wheeler, Emptywheel, were reporting this, it would be trustworty.

But this, is garbage and open disinfo.

jimbrown said...

Everyone should read the report. There is no conclusive evidence of anything.

The DNI signed off on this NSA CIA FBI making it only four agencies.

I ask again. If it were truly a Russia campaign, why was only Trump investigated?

Hear me now and see me later:
The Putin disinformation campaign was to create a link between him and Trump. This was meant to have a negative impact on Trump.

Like everything HRC,it did not work but the disinformation stuck and got bigger and bigger.

Useful idiots and paid assets made it happen.

Carl said...

Here's the original VIPS memo:

You'll find that 17 people signed it, many of whom are well known highly experienced professionals, unlike the "sources" for the hacking allegations not one of whom have been identified publicly.

The DNC response to The Nation is to repeat the same lie that "intelligence agencies" have concluded that it was a Russian hack, when in fact, it was only a cherry picked selection of analysts from three agencies--the CIA, the FBI and the NSA. There is in fact no consensus that it was a Russian hack.

Anonymous said...

MOSCOW — Shifting from his previous blanket denials, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia suggested on Thursday that “patriotically minded” private Russian hackers could have been involved in cyberattacks last year that meddled in the United States presidential election.

While Mr. Putin continued to deny any state role in the hacking, his comments, made to reporters in St. Petersburg, Russia, departed from the Kremlin’s previous position

Sheerah said...

Why didn't the DNC allow any Fed agency to examine it's servers after the breach? The only people that examined the server were from CrowdStrike - a private company, NOT an intel agency. The entire Russian hack story came about as a result of their examination...

Anonymous said...

Like the way Jay said "If that’s your strongest evidence, your argument is already in trouble," bit rich coming from someone who regularly relies on non-factual evidence to support his view that the Russians did it, and were responsible for putting Trump into office!

fred lapides said...

Anon: perhaps Jay and others have this sort of thing in mind by way of evidence