AuthorTopic: Is Russia Behind the DNC Hack to Help Donald Trump? FBI Initiate Investigation  (Read 2169 times)

Offline Palloy

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The only thing that puzzles me is the Snowden bit at the bottom.  He says XKEYSCORE could expose attempts at disguising the origin of the hack, and I'm sure that's true in countries like US, UK, Germany, where they have routers that archive network traffic.  But I doubt they have control of Russian and Chinese network routers - they can only watch the gateway in and out of that network, not inside it.

Snowden says in the past NSA has given evidence of originating hacks, citing a WaPo article, but that wasn't evidence, only "they used an IP address that has previously been linked to Russian hacking".  Where is the evidence that the IP was previously used by Russians?  This is just like saying "It was the Russians this time because it was the Russians last time, because we said so and got away with it."

http://thehackernews.com/2016/07/russia-dnc-email-hack.html
Is Russia Behind the DNC Hack to Help Donald Trump? FBI Initiate an Investigation
July 25, 2016
Swati Khandelwal
 
On Friday, just three days prior to the start of the party's national convention, WikiLeaks released almost 20,000 e-mails with more than 8,000 stolen from the US Democratic National Committee (DNC) following a cyber attack in June.

Two days later, on Sunday, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced her resignation and now had no major role on the party's convention stage.

Many of the leaked emails indicted that the top DNC officials were actively working against the campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders and strongly favoring Hillary Clinton over Sanders during the primaries, when they were supposed to be neutral.

The controversy ruined the start of the DNC's national convention in Philadelphia and forced the Wasserman Schultz to resign.

The leak, from January 2015 to May 2016, is believed to be an attempt by the Russian government to influence the presidential election, some U.S. lawmakers and cybersecurity experts say.

The leak features DNC staffers debating on things like dealing with challenging media requests and coordinating the party's message with other powerful interests in Washington.

The emails were leaked from seven DNC officials' accounts. One email shows how DNC staffers attempted to reference Bernie Sanders' faith in an effort to weaken him in the eyes of Southern voters.

Another represents an attorney advising DNC on how to defend Clinton against Sanders campaign's accusation of not living up to a joint fundraising agreement.

Putin Wants Donald Trump to be Elected as President


From the beginning of the DNC hack, it has been speculated that the breach of the committee's systems exposed in June was the work of Russian intelligence.

Multiple security firms, including CrowdStrike, Mandiant (part of FireEye) and Fidelis, have conducted a forensic analysis of the DNC's systems and found strong evidence linking to "the Russian government's powerful and highly capable intelligence services."

The Clinton Campaign Manager Robby Mook has also argued that Russian intelligence officials are trying to ensure that Republican Donald Trump, who has had an interesting relationship with Vladimir Putin, wins the White House.

    "There have been larger forces at work to hurt Hillary Clinton," Mook said. "They [the emails] are being released at this time to create maximum damage to Hillary Clinton to help Donald Trump."


Although Trump has always praised Putin, Clinton has tried to tie Trump to the Russian leader throughout her campaign.

    "He praises dictators like Vladimir Putin and picks fights with our friends," Clinton said last month. "Putin will eat your lunch," she once said. Moreover, if Trump were elected President, it would be like "Christmas in the Kremlin," she said.


The FBI is Investigating the DNC Hack


The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now investigating the DNC breach and is working "to determine the nature and scope of the matter."

    "A compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously, and the FBI will continue to investigate and hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace," the FBI said on Monday.


Edward Snowden on the DNC Hack

The NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, currently residing in Russia, has also blasted his host country for its alleged DNC hack.

Despite a staunch supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Snowden condemned the DNC email leaks but pointed NSA's secret data analysis program Xkeyscore that can be used to easily determine the location from which the organization is hacked.

"Even if the attackers try to obfuscate origin, #XKEYSCORE makes following exfiltrated data easy. I did this personally against Chinese ops," Snowden tweeted. Though, he criticized the NSA for not sharing information.
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Offline Palloy

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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45185.htm
Did Russian Intelligence Hack the DNC Servers?
Peter Van Buren
28 July 2016

Short answer: nobody knows, but the media is treating it as a fact based primarily on a single technical source employed by the Democratic National Committee. I read the source’s publicly available explanation. Here’s what I found.

A Quick Taste of Media Conclusions

Despite a line in paragraph five saying “Proving the source of a cyberattack is notoriously difficult,” the New York Times offers the following statements.

    “researchers have concluded that the national committee was breached by two Russian intelligence agencies;”

    “Though a hacker claimed responsibility for giving the emails to WikiLeaks, the same agencies are the prime suspects;”

    “Whether the thefts were ordered by Mr. Putin, or just carried out by apparatchiks who thought they might please him, is anyone’s guess.”

    “It is unclear how WikiLeaks obtained the email trove. But the presumption is that the intelligence agencies turned it over, either directly or through an intermediary. Moreover, the timing of the release, between the end of the Republican convention and the beginning of the Democratic one, seems too well planned to be coincidental.”

There’s more, but you get the picture. The article also quotes Clinton staffers citing unnamed experts and researchers.

Who Are These Experts?

The only experts cited work for a company hired by the Democratic National Committee to investigate the hack. There is no indication of any neutral third party investigation. The company, Crowdstrike, issued a publicly available report on what they found.

The report title makes clear the company’s conclusion: Bears in the Midst: Intrusion into the Democratic National Committee.

What Does the Report Say?

The report has some technical explanations, but focuses on conclusions that seem to be at best presumptions, despite the media treating them as fact.

    The key presumptive conclusion seems to be that the sophistication of the hacks points to a nation-state actor. “Their tradecraft is superb, operational security second to none and the extensive usage of ‘living-off-the-land’ techniques enables them to easily bypass many security solutions they encounter. In particular, we identified advanced methods consistent with nation-state level capabilities.”

    The hackers, two separate entities Crowdstrike says worked independently, used techniques known to be used by Russians. Better yet, with no evidence at all presented, Crowdstrike concludes, “Both adversaries engage in extensive political and economic espionage for the benefit of the government of the Russian Federation and are believed to be closely linked to the Russian government’s powerful and highly capable intelligence services.” Also, for one of the alleged hackers, “Extensive targeting of defense ministries and other military victims has been observed, the profile of which closely mirrors the strategic interests of the Russian government.”

    By the end of the report Crowdstrike is just plain out called the hackers “Russian espionage groups.”

FYI: Fidelis, another cybersecurity company, was hired by Crowdstrike to review the findings. Fidelis worked exclusively and only with data provided by Crowdstrike (as did several other companies.) Fidelis They concluded the same two hackers, COZY BEAR and FANCY BEAR APT, committed the intrusion, but made no comments on whether those two were linked to the Russian government.

Um, Valid Conclusions?

Despite the citing with certainty of experts and researchers by the media and the Clinton campaign, the only such expert who has made any findings public has basically thrown out little more than a bunch of presumptions and unsubstantiated conclusions.

Left undiscussed are:

    the commonality of hackers using “false flags,” say where an Israeli hackers will purposely leave behind false clues to make it seem that a Hungarian did the work. As one commentator put it sarcastically “The malware was written in Russian? It was a Russian who attacked you.

    Chinese characters in the code? You’ve been hacked by the Peoples Liberation Army.”

    the question of if the hackers were “Russians,” can anyone tie them to the Russian government? Joe Black Hat breaking into some system in Ireland may indeed be an American person, but it is quite a jump to claim he thus works for the American government.

    there is also a significant question of motive. For Putin to be the bad guy here, we have to believe that Putin wants Trump in power, bad enough to risk near-war with the U.S. if caught in the hack, and bad enough to really p.o. Clinton who will be nominated this week anyway, and hoping of course that evidence of dirty tricks by the DNC released in July will be enough to defeat her in November. That’s a real s-t-r-e-t-c-h, Sparky.

    other than those private persons who hack for their own entertainment or personal political beliefs, most work for money. They steal something and sell it. Information from the DNC system would find an easy buyer.

    Who might be interested in buying these emails? Along the range of actors who would benefit from exposing these emails, why would the Russians come out on top? Perhaps the Republicans? China? Pretty much any of the many enemies the Clintons have amassed over the years? Hell, even Bernie Sanders, whose complaints about the DNC were validated by the email release. The suspects based on motive alone make up a very long list.
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Offline Palloy

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https://www.rt.com/usa/353840-us-intelligence-hyperventilation-dnc-hack/
US intel head calls for end to ‘hyperventilation’ over Russia’s alleged role in DNC hack
29 Jul, 2016

The Director of National Intelligence says Washington is still unsure of who might be behind the latest WikiLeaks release of hacked Democratic National Committee emails, while urging that an end be put to the “reactionary mode” blaming it all on Russia.

“We don’t know enough to ascribe motivation regardless of who it might have been,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said speaking at Aspen’s Security Forum in Colorado, when asked if the media was getting ahead of themselves in fingering the perpetrator of the hack.

Some 30,000 Democratic National Committee emails were released by WikiLeaks last Friday, exposing the Democratic National Committee’s bias in favor of Hillary Clinton.

After the release, Clinton’s campaign accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 election campaign. Despite lacking any proof to substantiate their claims, a number of US media outlets picked up the ball and repeated the accusations, claiming Russians had hacked into the DNC’s computer servers and leaked emails to WikiLeaks in order to help the Donald Trump campaign.

Speaking on Thursday, Clapper said that Americans need to stop blaming Russia for the hack, telling the crowd that the US has been running in “reactionary mode” when it comes to the numerous cyber-attacks the nation is continuously facing.

“I’m somewhat taken aback by the hyperventilation on this,” Clapper said, as cited by the Washington Examiner.

“I’m shocked someone did some hacking,” he added sarcastically, “[as if] that’s never happened before.”

Clapper said that the US is facing a “different era,” when Americans needs to become “more resilient” to the modern challenges of extremism.

“I think we’re going to be in a state of suppression of extremism in whatever manifestation or form it takes, whether it’s al Qaeda or ISIS or some other group that’s spawned,” Clapper said. “This is going to be a long-haul proposition, and I think the same is true in the whole realm of cybersecurity.”

Clapper added that there is a growing awareness that all levels of cyber terrorism are a “profound challenge” for the US.

“I think we just need to accept that, and not be quite so excitable at yet another instance of it," he said about the recent media speculations.

Moscow dismissed the allegations of Russia’s involvement. “It is so absurd it borders on total stupidity,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
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Offline K-Dog

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If Russia is involved it does not change the facts.
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline Palloy

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Did the DNC annoy one of their sys-ops who was a closet Bernie/Trump/Green/Libertarian supporter?

http://zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-29/damn-it-feels-good-be-gangsta-until-you-get-sentenced-21-months-federal-prison
Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta; Until You Get Sentenced To 21 Months In Federal Prison
Tyler Durden
Jul 29, 2016

Many of us, at one point or another, have wondered what it would be like to quit a job in a blaze of glory...taking down computer networks and leaving a trail of mayhem in our paths on the way out the door. No, just us?   

Well, turns out that if you ever do go down that path it's probably best not to text your co-worker shortly thereafter admitting to the crime.  Unfortunately, that's exactly what former Citibank employee Lennon Ray Brown did and now he's facing a $77,000 fine and 21 months in a federal prison.

Per a press release from the Department of Justice, Mr. Brown, upset about a negative work review, decided to get even by taking down 90% of Citibank's networks across North America.  Per the Department of Justice:

    ...at approximately 6:03 p.m. that evening, Brown knowingly transmitted a code and command to 10 core Citibank Global Control Center routers, and by transmitting that code, erased the running configuration files in nine of the routers, resulting in a loss of connectivity to approximately 90% of all Citibank networks across North America.  At 6:05 p.m. that evening, Brown scanned his employee identification badge to exit the Citibank Regents Campus."

Unfortunately, Brown then made a "slight" unforced error when he decided to send a text message to his co-worker admitting to the crime:

    “They was firing me. I just beat them to it. Nothing personal, the upper management need to see what they guys on the floor is capable of doing when they keep getting mistreated. I took one for the team. Sorry if I made my peers look bad, but sometimes it take something like what I did to wake the upper management up.”

Guess these situations don't always go so well as portrayed in the movies.  Oh well, live and learn.
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Offline K-Dog

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Hillary



Teflon

It is slippery and nothing sticks to it.
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline Palloy

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Of course it might not be true at all, but it seems likely that this was a US payback, and FSB is showing the polite way to report these things - with no finger-pointing.

https://www.rt.com/news/353990-russia-cyber-attack-hackers/
20 Russian high-profile organizations attacked by spy malware in coordinated op – FSB
30 Jul, 2016

Computer networks of some 20 Russian state, defense, scientific and other high-profile organizations have been infected with malware used for cyberespionage, the Russian Security Service (FSB) reported, describing it as a professionally coordinated operation.

“The IT assets of government offices, scientific and military organizations, defense companies and other parts of the nation’s crucial infrastructure were infected,” the FSB said in a statement as cited by the Russian media.

The security agency said that all the cases are linked and appear to be part of a well-coordinated attack requiring considerable expertise. The coding of the malware and vectors of attack are similar to those used in previous cyber-offensive operations against targets in Russia and other nations, the report stated.

“The advanced software was tailored for each target individually based on unique characteristic of the computer under attack,” the report said.

The malware could be used to monitor internet traffic, take screenshots, secretly take recordings with an infected computer’s camera or microphone, log keyboard strokes and conduct other forms of surveillance, the FSB said.

The agency did not specify which party it suspects to be behind the reported cyber espionage or whether it was sponsored by any foreign government.

The report comes shortly after the US media accused Russia of hacking the DNC, claiming that the Kremlin wants to influence the outcome of the November presidential election. When asked about the allegations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that he would not comment because he did not want to swear.
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Offline Palloy

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"For some, however, there is no doubt that Putin is "desperate" to crush the democrats and to install his "puppet" Trump as the next US president, or something..."

http://zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-30/cyberwars-begin-nsa-hackers-target-russian-cyber-spies-kremlin-says-it-being-attacke
The Cyberwars Begin: NSA Hackers Target Russian Cyber Spies As Kremlin Says It Is Being Attacked
Tyler Durden
Jul 30, 2016

Several days ago, half jokingly, Edward Snowden gave the best advice on how to determine whether Russia was indeed, as the media has already decided, behind the hack of first the Democratic National Committee, then the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and, as of last night, the Hillary presidential campaign itself. This is what Snowden said in a July 25 tweet: "Evidence that could publicly attribute responsibility for the DNC hack certainly exists at #NSA, but DNI traditionally objects to sharing. The aversion to sharing #NSA evidence is fear of revealing "sources and methods" of intel collection, but #XKEYSCORE is now publicly known."

    Evidence that could publicly attribute responsibility for the DNC hack certainly exists at #NSA, but DNI traditionally objects to sharing.

    — Edward Snowden (@Snowden) July 25, 2016

It appears that the NSA has taken up Snowden on his advce, because as ABC reports,  U.S. government hackers at the National Security Agency are now targeting Russian government-linked hacking teams "to see once and for all if they're responsible for the massive breach at the Democratic National Committee." ABC cited three former senior intelligence officials. It's a job that the current head of the NSA's elite hacking unit said they've been called on to do many times before, ABC notes.

Robert Joyce, chief of the NSA's shadowy Tailored Access Operations, declined to comment on the DNC hack specifically, but said in general that the NSA has technical capabilities and legal authorities that allow the agency to "hack back" suspected hacking groups, infiltrating their systems to gather intelligence about their operations in the wake of a cyber attack.

"In terms of the foreign intelligence mission, one of the things we have to do is try to understand who did a breach, who is responsible for a breach," Joyce told ABC News in a rare interview this week. "So we will use the NSA's authorities to pursue foreign intelligence to try to get back into that collection, to understand who did it and get the attribution. That's hard work, but that's one of the responsibilities we have." Meanwhile, the NSA has deferred questions about its potential involvement in the DNC hack investigation to the FBI, which is the leading agency in that probe. Representatives for the bureau have not returned ABC News' request for comment. Lisa Monaco, President Obama's homeland security and counterterrorism advisor whose responsibilities include cyber policy, declined to comment.

As we reported last week, a former senior U.S. official said it was a "fair bet" the NSA was using its hackers' technical prowess to infiltrate two Russian hacking teams that the cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike alleged broke into the DNC's system and were linked to two separate Russian intelligence agencies, as first reported by The Washington Post. In some past unrelated cases, the former official said, NSA hackers have been able to watch from the inside as malicious actors conduct their operations in real time.

So are the US and Russian now in a state of cyberwar?

Rajesh De, former general counsel at the NSA, said that if the NSA is targeting the Russian groups, it could be doing it under its normal foreign intelligence authorities, as the Russian government is "clearly... a valid intelligence target." Or the NSA could be working under the FBI's investigative authority and hacking the suspects' systems as part of technical support for investigators, said De, now head of the cyber security practice at the law firm Mayer Brown.

While U.S. officials have told news outlets anonymously they concur with Crowdstrike and other private cybersecurity firms who have pointed to Russian culpability, the U.S. government has declined to publicly blame the Russians. The Russian government has said the hacking allegations are "absurd". Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the audience at the Aspen Security Forum Thursday that the U.S. intelligence community was "not quite ready to make a call on attribution," though he said there were "just a few usual suspects out there." The next day CIA Director John Brennan said that attribution is "to be determined" and a lot of people were "jumping to conclusions."

Professional hackers often use proxies, Brennan said, so investigators have to make two or three "hops" before tracing cyber attacks back to a state's intelligence agency, which makes the attribution process more difficult.

The NSA's Joyce said that in general it's very difficult to properly frame someone for a complex attack, since too many details have to be exactly right, requiring a tremendous amount of expertise and precision. But Joyce said that before the U.S. government pins blame on anyone for a cyber attack publicly, the evidence has to pass an "extremely high bar." So when they do come forward, he said, perhaps based on the results of attribution techniques that have not been publicly described, "You should bank on it."

For some, however, there is no doubt that Putin is "desperate" to crush the democrats and to install his "puppet" Trump as the next US president, or something... People like Michael Buratowski, the senior vice president of cybersecurity services at Fidelis Cybersecurity, who said the evidence pointing to the Russians was so convincing, "it would have had to have been a very elaborate scheme" for it really to have been anyone else.

Kenneth Geers, a former cyber analyst at the Pentagon who recently published a book about Russian cyber operations, told ABC News earlier this week that he didn't necessarily doubt it was the Russians, but said that even in the best cases when doing cyber investigations, "You can have a preponderance of evidence -- and in nation-state cases, that’s likely what you’ll have -- but that’s all you’ll have."

That, he said, opens the possibility, however remote, that a very clever hacker or hacking team could be framing the Russians.

Someone as clever as the NSA perhaps, the same NSA which is using the unconfirmed "Russian" hack to counterhack the Russians now, in what someone may be tempted to call is a false flag escalation
, meant to lead to just one thing: a convenional response from the Kremlin.

* * *

Meanwhile, earlier today, Russia's intelligence service said on Saturday that the computer networks of 20 organizations, including state agencies and defense companies, have already been infected with spyware in what it described as a targeted and coordinated attack. The Federal Security Service, the FSB, said the malware and the way the networks were infected were similar to those used in previous cases of cyber espionage found in Russia and other countries. The agency did not say who it suspected of being behind the attacks.

Now that the NSA is actively "hacking" Russia, however, we doubt that what is rapidly emerging as the first official cyberwar between the world's two hacking superpowers will remain under wraps for long.  We can only hope that said war remains in the cyber domain.
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Offline Palloy

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This explanation is the most reasonable of all - the NSA had Hillary's and DNC's emails all along, and any of NSA/CIA/FBI analysts with a Hillary grudge could have leaked them.  How many people is that? - 100,000 ?  Do NSA hacking tools leave behind traces of NSA? - of course not, they leave Russian traces, or Chinese or North Korean, or whoever is flavour of the month.  One example given of a reason to suspect Russia is that the source code was all complied during Russian office hours - can you think of a way of faking that?

http://zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-31/whistleblowers-stunning-claim-nsa-has-all-hillarys-deleted-emails-it-may-be-leak
Whistleblower's Stunning Claim: "NSA Has All Of Hillary's Deleted Emails, It May Be The Leak"
Tyler Durden
Jul 31, 2016

Over a year before Edward Snowden shocked the world in the summer of 2013 with revelations that have since changed everything from domestic to foreign US policy but most of all, provided everyone  a glimpse into just what the NSA truly does on a daily basis, a former NSA staffer, and now famous whistleblower, William Binney, gave excruciating detail to Wired magazine about all that Snowden would substantiate the following summer.

We covered it in a 2012 post titled “We Are This Far From A Turnkey Totalitarian State" - Big Brother Goes Live September 2013." Not surprisingly, Binney received little attention in 2012 - his suggestions at the time were seen as preposterous and ridiculously conspiratorial. Only after the fact, did it become obvious that he was right. More importantly, in the aftermath of the Snowden revelations, what Binney has to say has become gospel.

Which is why we are confident that at least a subset of the US population will express great interest in what Binney said earlier today, when the famous whistleblower said in a radio interview on Sunday that the NSA has “all” of Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails and the FBI could gain access to them if they so desired, William Binney, a former highly placed NSA official.

Speaking on Aaron Klein's Sunday radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and Philadelphia’s NewsTalk 990 AM, Binney raised the possibility that the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s server was done not by Russia but by a disgruntled U.S. intelligence worker concerned about Clinton’s compromise of national security secrets via her personal email use.

Binney was an architect of the NSA’s surveillance program. He became a famed whistleblower when he resigned on October 31, 2001, after spending more than 30 years with the agency. He referenced testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in March 2011 by then-FBI Director Robert S. Mueller in which Meuller spoke of the FBI’s ability to access various secretive databases “to track down known and suspected terrorists.”

    “Now what he (Mueller) is talking about is going into the NSA database, which is shown of course in the (Edward) Snowden material released, which shows a direct access into the NSA database by the FBI and the CIA. Which there is no oversight of by the way. So that means that NSA and a number of agencies in the U.S. government also have those emails.”

“So if the FBI really wanted them they can go into that database and get them right now,” he said of Clinton’s emails as well as DNC emails.

Asked point blank if he believed the NSA has copies of “all” of Clinton’s emails, including the deleted correspondence, Binney confirmed.

“Yes,” he responded. “That would be my point. They have them all and the FBI can get them right there.”

Binney then went on to speculate about something even more shocking: that the hack of the DNC could have been coordinated by someone inside the U.S. intelligence community angry over Clinton’s compromise of national security data with her email use.

    And the other point is that Hillary, according to an article published by the Observer in March of this year, has a problem with NSA because she compromised Gamma material.  Now that is the most sensitive material at NSA. And so there were a number of NSA officials complaining to the press or to the people who wrote the article that she did that. She lifted the material that was in her emails directly out of Gamma reporting. That is a direct compromise of the most sensitive material at the NSA. So she’s got a real problem there. So there are many people who have problems with what she has done in the past. So I don’t necessarily look at the Russians as the only one(s) who got into those emails.

According to Klein, the GAMMA classification is defined as follows: "GAMMA compartment, which is an NSA handling caveat that is applied to extraordinarily sensitive information (for instance, decrypted conversations between top foreign leadership, as this was)."

It would be truly ironic if instead of the Democrat hack originating at the Kremlin, as the media and Hillary have already concluded is the case without any actual proof, the true source of Hillary's hacked and leaked emails is none other than an unknown crusader at the the NSA itself, another "Snowden", determined to see the downfall of Clinton after her actions exposed national security to unprecedented risk for years. Alas we will never know: as we reported yesterday, it is the NSA that has been tasked with determining if Putin was responsible. We doubt it will find anything, however we are certain that it won't find itself to be the culprit.
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Offline JRM

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I see that all of this is speculation ... and -- at best -- flimsy in the way of "discoverability".  Even if any of the spook agencies nail down a solid epistemologically sound "proof" or factual demonstration of whom did what spying or hacking to whom, Americans would be asked to believe the NSA (or whomever -- FBI?) is telling the truth -- ... via some alphabet soup new company.  That ain't gonna be happening (Think Iraq, Afghanistan, G.W. Bush, etc.), so this can be nothing more than of (spurious) entertainment value.
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Offline Palloy

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Quote
I see that all of this is speculation

Yes of course it is.  Don't we follow speculation in the media all the time, exposing the hypocrisy of it?

https://www.rt.com/usa/354213-dnc-hack-wikileaks-clinton/
‘Absurd’ election rhetoric: Kremlin, Assange slam Clinton for blaming DNC leaks on Russia
1 Aug, 2016

While US media and politicians keep crying ‘wolf’ – or Russia – over the DNC email hack without providing any proof, Moscow called the accusations ‘absurd’. WikiLeaks refused to reveal its sources and promised new leaks before the November vote.

Some 20,000 DNC emails were made public by WikiLeaks on July 22, revealing a close working relationship between the party and some mainstream media figures, as well as collusion with the Hillary Clinton campaign to sideline Bernie Sanders, her challenger for the presidential nomination.

The DNC replaced Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the eve of the party’s convention in Philadelphia – she immediately got a post with the Clinton campaign – and fired back with accusations that Russia was behind the hack and the leaks, accusing Moscow of backing Republican nominee Donald Trump.

US media picked up the accusations, reporting them under headlines such as “Russian Intelligence Hacked DNC Emails” (NBC), “Suspected Russian hack of DNC widens” (Yahoo News), “All Signs Point to Russia Being Behind the DNC Hack,” (Motherboard), “Evidence mounts linking DNC email hacker to Russia” (The Hill) and “What we know about Russia’s role in the DNC hack” (Politifact).

Actual evidence, however, was nowhere to be found. Instead, reporters relied on insinuations such as, “there seems to be widespread agreement among cybersecurity experts and professionals” (Politifact) that Russia was somehow responsible.

Other experts cited as “evidence” of Russian involvement the fact that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hosted a show on RT – but without noting that the 11-episode run aired in 2012.

“I’m somewhat taken aback by the hyperventilation on this,” US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said last week.

Claims of Russian involvement actually go back to mid-June, when the first DNC documents appeared on the blog of Guccifer 2.0, a hacker who claimed responsibility for the breach. CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC to investigate the breach, pointed the finger at Moscow – again, without any proof. CrowdStrike’s chief technology officer Dmitri Alperovitch, who publicized the claims, is also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative. 

[Palloy: Atlantic Council is an "independent" Washington think-tank with a revolving door to the Administration - James L. Jones became National Security Advisor, Chuck Hagel became Secretary of Defense, Susan Rice became Ambassador to UN, Richard Holbrooke, Eric Sinseki, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Brent Scowcroft, etc ]

The Kremlin dismissed the charges that Russia was behind DNC hack as “quite absurd,” with presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov pointing out what he called the “American style” of casting blame first, then investigating afterwards.

“We in Russia are used to investigating first, before accusing anyone of anything. We believe it is more logical and more correct,” Peskov said.

“Such statements by Ms. Clinton are typical pre-election rhetoric,” Peskov told reporters Monday. “There is nothing tangible in her accusations, and we believe their character is more emotional.”

“The leaked information is very interesting, indicating specific actions to manipulate public opinion during the election campaign,” the Kremlin spokesman added. “In this case, there are attempts to cover up these manipulations by demonizing Russia again, which we feel is improper. Russia does not interfere, and never will interfere, in the internal affairs – especially the elections – of any other countries, including the US.”

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has also called DNC accusations an attempt to deflect attention from the contents of the leaked documents. Speaking to CNN from the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he sought asylum in June 2012, Assange rejected speculation that Russia was behind the hack.

"Well, what sort of question is that? I am a journalist. We don't reveal our sources," Assange told CNN’s ‘New Day’ host Poppy Harlow. "The goal of WikiLeaks as a media organization is to educate the public, to turn a dark world into a lighter world through the process of education, and we're doing it.”

    WL has sources is because it doesn't reveal who they are. Journalists, above all, should understand & support that. https://t.co/3F7VAfKq9E
    — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) August 1, 2016

Assange also addressed criticism from some quarters – including NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden – that the leaked documents contained private information that should have been redacted to protect the innocent, ruling out any efforts to redact future leaks.

“We are talking about the ruling party of the US and its material, not private information,” he said. “WikiLeaks is not going to be tampering with evidence which will almost certainly be used in several successive court cases.”
The State is a body of armed men

 

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