News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Frenzied journalists at Aspen Security Forum in late July 2016 tried in vain to get US security experts to blame Russian government for release of DNC emails. No mention that DNC negligence allowed hackers to reside on its sites for nearly a year. FBI reached out to Hillary campaign about computer security, but her campaign, through lawyers, declined to provide requested data-Isikoff, Yahoo News. Aspen Times

7/29/16, "Journalists who moderated several discussions tried, with little success, to unearth new information from security pundits."

7/29/16, "Aspen Security Forum: Nothing definitive on Russia’s role in DNC hacking," Aspen Times, Rick Carroll 

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7/28/16, "FBI warned the Clinton campaign last spring (March 2016) of cyberattack," Michael Isikoff, Yahoo News

But but the Hillary campaign declined to work with the FBI on the matter:


7/28/16, "FBI warned Clinton campaign last spring of cyberattack," Michael Isikoff, Yahoo News 

"The FBI warned the Clinton campaign that it was a target of a cyberattack last March, just weeks before the Democratic National Committee discovered it had been penetrated by hackers."...

In a meeting with senior officials at the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters, FBI agents laid out concerns that cyberhackers had used so-called spear-phishing emails as part of an attempt to penetrate the campaign’s computers, the sources said. 





 


But the campaign, through its lawyers, declined to provide the data, deciding that the FBI’s request for sensitive personal and campaign information data was too broad and intrusive, the source said. 

A second source who had been briefed on the matter and who confirmed the Brooklyn meeting said agents provided no specific information to the campaign about the identity of the cyberhackers or whether they were associated with a foreign government. The source said the campaign was already aware of attempts to penetrate its computers and had taken steps to thwart them, emphasizing that there is still no evidence that the campaign’s computers had actually been successfully penetrated. 

But the potential that the intruders were associated with a foreign government should have come as no surprise to the Clinton campaign, said several sources knowledgeable about the investigation. 





 both the campaigns of Barack Obama and John McCain in 2008.

 





 




By mid-May, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was telling reporters that US. Intelligence officials “already had some indications of hacks into political campaigns that were likely linked to foreign governments and that “we’ll probably have more.” 

In a talk at the Aspen Security Forum Thursday [July 28, 2016], Clapper said the U.S. government is not “quite ready yet” to “make a public call” on who was behind the cyber assault on the DNC, but he suggested one of “the usual suspects” is likely to blame. “We don’t know enough [yet] to…ascribe a motivation, regardless of who it may have been,” Clapper said.... 
 
The FBI’s request to turn over internal computer logs and personal email information came at an awkward moment for the Clinton campaign, said the source, familiar with the campaign’s internal deliberations. At the time, the FBI was still actively and aggressively conducting a criminal investigation into whether Clinton had compromised national security secrets by sending classified emails through a private computer server in the basement of her home in Chappaqua, N.Y. There were already press reports, to date unconfirmed, that the investigation might have expanded to include dealings relating to the Clinton Foundation. Campaign officials had reason to fear that any production of campaign computer logs and personal email accounts could be used to further such a probe.

At the Brooklyn meeting, FBI agents emphasized that the request for data was unrelated to the separate probe into Clinton’s email server. But after deliberating about the bureau’s request, and in light of the lack of details provided by the FBI





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Added: Per July 29, 2016 Aspen Times report about Aspen Security Forum: Frenzied media  "got right to the point" about...

the issue on everybody’s mind" (per CNN correspondent Evan Perez)- 

-not that actionable DNC negligence allowed hackers to reside on its computers for nearly a year---rather
 
" — the hack into the DNC.”"

7/29/16, "Aspen Security Forum: Nothing definitive on Russia’s role in DNC hacking," Aspen Times, Rick Carroll 

"High-ranking officials at the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday shied away from saying Russia was behind the hack of Democratic National Committee emails. 

I don’t think we are quite ready yet to make a call on attribution,” James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, told Jim Sciutto, chief national security correspondent for CNN. “I mean, we all know there’s just a few usual suspects out there, but in terms of the process that we try to stick to, I don’t think we’re ready to make a public call on that.” 

Journalists who moderated several discussions tried, with little success, to unearth new information from security pundits. 

[Time correspondent:]We are told that the federal government believes with a high degree of confidence that Russia is behind the theft of emails from the Democratic National Committee that were subsequently released by Wikileaks, causing disarray at the first day of the Democratic National Convention and forcing the resignation of the DNC’s leader, Debbie Wasserman Schultz,” said Massimo Calabresi, deputy Washington bureau chief and senior correspondent for Time magazine. “What can you tell us about the U.S. government’s assessment of the theft of those emails and Russia’s possible role in it?”

Very, very little,” responded Elissa Slotkin, acting U.S. assistant secretary of defense for International Security Affairs. “I know it is the topic de jour and I’m going to start off disappointing the crowd.So I’m not going to be able to get into specifics. The FBI is handling it. That’s their job.”... 

At another discussion, Evan Perez, justice correspondent for CNN, got right to the point
and asked John Carlin, assistant attorney general for national Security, about “the issue on everybody’s mind — the hack into the DNC.” 

Carlin very gamely but effectively ducked the issue. He said the U.S. government has identified Iran, North Korea, China and Russia as countries that undertake hacking.

Just like with terrorist attacks, prevention is success in cyber attacks. When prevention isn’t possible, one of the tools the government uses is identifying the country once evidence points to hacking. 

“Some would call it name and shame, and that’s part of it,” he said. 

He noted that the U.S. government named North Korea as an “involved” party within 28 days of the Sony Pictures hack in late 2014. The hacking group demanded that the studio pull the movie “The Interview,” a comedy about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jung-un. 

“We treated it as a national security event,” Carlin said. A foreign nation was attacking American’s liberties, such as freedom of speech, he said. North Korea denies responsibility. 

Russia has never been targeted by the U.S. in a name-and-shame, but it shouldn’t be assumed that will never be the case, Carlin said. 

Another panelist in the discussion, Vinny Sica, vice president of defense and intelligence space ground solutions for Lockheed Martin, said he realized (CNN's Evan) Perez was looking for a smoking gun in the DNC hacking. There has to be definitive evidence, he said.  

“The bottom line is nothing should be assumed as safe," Sica said. 

Put on by the Aspen Institute, the Security Forum runs through Sunday."
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Added: 7/26/2016, DNC negligence:

DNC two month computer security review began in September 2015. Experts found many flaws, made dozens of recommendations, DNC didn't act on any of them, thus allowing already present hackers to stay for nearly a year. DNC desperately needed to divert attention from themselves: "Cyber-security assessments can be a mixed blessing. Legal experts say some general counsels advise organizations against doing such assessments if they don’t have the ability to quickly fix any problems the auditors find, because customers and shareholders could have cause to sue if an organization knowingly disregards such warnings." 

7/26/16, "Democrats Ignored Cybersecurity Warnings Before Theft," Bloomberg, Michael Riley

 "The Democratic National Committee was warned last fall that its computer network was susceptible to attacks but didn’t follow the security advice it was given, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The missed opportunity is another blow to party officials already embarrassed by the theft and public disclosure of e-mails that have disrupted their presidential nominating convention in Philadelphia and led their chairwoman to resign.

Computer security consultants hired by the DNC made dozens of recommendations after a two-month review, the people said. 

Following the advice, which would typically include having specialists hunt for intruders on the network, might have alerted party officials that hackers had been lurking in their network for weeks -- hackers who would stay for nearly a year Instead, officials didn’t discover the breach until April....

Cyber-security assessments can be a mixed blessing. Legal experts say some general counsels advise organizations against doing such assessments if they don’t have the ability to quickly fix any problems the auditors find, because customers and shareholders could have cause to sue if an organization knowingly disregards such warnings."...
 



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