News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Amid 24/7 promises to detail ways in which "Russia hacked DNC and Podesta emails, distributed contents to Americans via Wikileaks, thus tilting the election," is word that meaningful detail (assuming there really is any) will "remain classified." Outgoing Obama admin. revelations amount to “trust us”-Parry, Consortium News, 12/29/16

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

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DNC negligence, knowingly disregarding cyber security advice it paid for and received, leaves it open for lawsuits: 

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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12/29/16, "Details Still Lacking on Russian ‘Hack’," Robert Parry, Consortium News

"Exclusive: The mainstream U.S. media is all atwitter about Russia having to pay a price for hacking into Democratic emails and supposedly tilting the U.S. election to Donald Trump, but the evidence still is lacking, reports Robert Parry."

Amid more promises of real evidence to come, the Obama administration released a report that again failed to demonstrate that there is any proof behind U.S. allegations that Russia both hacked into Democratic emails and distributed them via WikiLeaks to the American people.

The New York Times, which has been busy flogging the latest reasons to hate Russia and its President Vladimir Putin, asserted, “The F.B.I. and Department of Homeland Security released a report on Thursday detailing the ways that Russia acted to influence the American election through cyberespionage.”

But the actual report fell far short of “detailing” much at all about how the disclosures of the Democratic National Committee’s manipulation of the primaries to hobble Sen. Bernie Sanders and the contents of Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street speeches ended up at WikiLeaks and ultimately became available to American voters.

Most of the 13-page FBI/DHS report was devoted to suggestions on how Internet users can protect their emails from malware, but there was little new that proved that the Russians were the source of the Democratic emails given to WikiLeaks.

The tip-off to how little proof was being offered came in the report’s statement that “The U.S. government assesses that information was leaked to the press and publicly disclosed.” When you read a phrase like “the U.S. government assesses,” it really means the U.S. government is guessing– and the report notably uses a passive tense that doesn’t even assert that the Russians did the leaking."...

[Ed note: The 12/29/16 report the Department of Homeland Security and FBI released opens with a disclaimer that it provides no assurances that its information is accurate. It uses phrases "that someone selling a lemon uses when he doesn’t want to talk about the fact that the blasted thing won’t run and doesn’t want to get sued for intentional misrepresentation or wilful concealment....It doesn’t mention Wikileaks…not even once.  In other words, the report does not allege that the Russians gave any Democratic Party or Podesta emails to Wikileaks."]








(continuing): "A well-placed intelligence source told me that there’s little doubt that elements of Russian intelligence penetrated the emails of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, but the Russians were far from alone. Indeed, placing various forms of malware on computers is a common practice, as average folks who periodically take their laptops to an I.T. professional can attest. There’s always some kind of “spyware” or other malicious code to be discovered.

The source said the more debatable issue is whether Russian intelligence then turned over the emails to WikiLeaks, especially given that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and an associate, former British Ambassador Craig Murray, have stated that the material did not come from the Russian government. Murray has suggested that there were two separate sources, the DNC material coming from a disgruntled Democrat and the Podesta emails coming from possibly a U.S. intelligence source, since the Podesta Group represents Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments.

Future ‘Details’

So, The New York Times misled its readers by claiming that the FBI/DHS report released Thursday was “detailing” how the Russians carried out the operation, and a separate Times article essentially acknowledged that the details were still to come.

“A more detailed report on the intelligence, ordered by President Obama, will be published in the next three weeks, though much of the detail — especially evidence collected from ‘implants’ in Russian computer systems, tapped conversations and spies — is expected to remain classified.

In other words, the FBI/DHS report really didn’t have much in the way of details and the “more detailed report” – due out before President Obama leaves office on Jan. 20 – will still be hiding “much of the detail” to justify Obama’s retaliation against Russia including new sanctions and expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats or intelligence officers from the United States.

But the Times article does inadvertently make the interesting admission that the U.S. government has penetrated Russian computers, much as the U.S. government accuses Russia of doing to U.S. computers.

But the data purloined by these U.S. “implants” and other clandestinely obtained evidence – assuming there really is any – won’t be something that the American people will get to see. 

The shell game will continue up to the start of the Trump administration with the apparent goal to hem in President Trump from trying to reach out to Russia to avert a costly and dangerous New Cold War.

But the evidence so far released by the Obama administration still amounts to “trust us.”"

"[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s Escalating the Risky Fight with RussiaandSumming Up Russia’s Real Nuclear Fears.”]"




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