Hillary Clinton's mythical Russian connection

"Fake News" And How The Washington Post Rewrote Its Story On Russian Hacking Of The Power Grid

"Yet, it turns out this narrative was false and as the chronology below will show, illustrates how effectively false and misleading news can ricochet through the global news echo chamber through the pages of top tier newspapers that fail to properly verify their facts."

No, Russian Agents Are Not Behind Every Piece of Fake News You See

Election Hack Report FAQ: What You Need to Know

On Friday we published an analysis of the FBI and DHS Grizzly Steppe report. The report was widely seen as proof that Russian intelligence operatives hacked the US 2016 election. We showed that the PHP malware in the report is old, freely available from a Ukrainian hacker group and is an administrative tool for hackers.

We also performed an analysis on the IP addresses included in the report and showed that they originate from 61 countries and 389 different organizations with no clear attribution to Russia.

Our report has received wide coverage. Since then I have been interviewed on international network news and by online publications to share our findings. I’d like to provide some clarity both on the FBI/DHS report itself and our findings in the form of an FAQ.

"What is it about Russia that winds everyone up so much? Why all the anger, the endless barrage of alarmist rhetoric and ruthless drive to isolate a great power with a vast arsenal of nuclear weapons?

From left to right, hyperventilating pundits and politicians warn that the Bear is on the prowl and that Vladimir Putin is the saboteur of American democracy. As a result, they have spread exaggerations about the Russian threat, which have fuelled hatred and sowed misunderstanding."

How fake news starts.

"The Democratic National Committee “rebuffed” a request from the FBI to examine its computer services after it was allegedly hacked by Russia during the 2016 election, a senior law enforcement official told CNN Thursday.

“The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated,” a senior law enforcement official told CNN. “This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information.

The FBI instead relied on the assessment from a third-party security company called CrowdStrike."

Washington Post posts a retractionan

After claiming a Russian virus affected the electricity grid in Vermont a retraction was posted pointing out it was a regular virus, not from Russia and not connected to the network. In other words it can't physically affect anything. The Washington Post did a poor job of being journalism and had reported all sorts of awful things the Russians were to bre blamed for.

The New Red Scare Reviving the art of threat inflation

    ------------Summary of Page 1

  • Although many of those breaches had come from “servers operated by a Russian company,” the statement read, the United States was “not now in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian Government.”
  • By “wreak havoc,” Clinton presumably had in mind such embarrassing revelations as the suggestion by a senior D.N.C. official that the party play the religious card against Bernie Sanders in key Southern races, or her chummy confabulations with Wall Street banks, or her personal knowledge that our Saudi allies have been “providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups.” It made sense, therefore, to create a distraction by loudly asserting a sinister Russian connection — a tactic that has proved eminently successful.
  • The company in question is owned by Vladimir Fomenko, a twenty-six-year-old entrepreneur based in Siberia. In a series of indignant emails, Fomenko informed me that he merely rents out space on his servers, which are scattered throughout several countries, and that hackers have on occasion used his facilities for criminal activities “without our knowledge.” Although he has “information that undoubtedly will help the investigation,” Fomenko complained that nobody from the U.S. government had contacted him. He was upset that the FBI had “found it necessary to make a loud statement through the media” when he would have happily assisted them. Furthermore, these particular “criminals” had stiffed him $290 in rental fees.
  • Guccifer 2.0 had made public claim to the D.N.C. breaches early on, but this was generally written off as either wholly false or Russian disinformation. During the first presidential debate, on September 26, Hillary Clinton blithely asserted that Vladimir Putin had “let loose cyberattackers to hack into government files, to hack into personal files, hack into the Democratic National Committee. And we recently have learned that, you know, that this is one of their preferred methods of trying to wreak havoc and collect information.”
  • Donald Trump’s rebuttal (“I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the D.N.C. . . . It could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs four hundred pounds, okay?”) earned him only derision. But a closer examination of what few facts are known about the hack suggests that Trump may have been onto something.
  • “OK,” wrote Jeffrey Carr, the CEO of cybersecurity firm Taia Global, in a derisive blog post on the case. “Raise your hand if you think that a GRU or FSB officer would add Iron Felix’s name to the metadata of a stolen document before he released it to the world while pretending to be a Romanian hacker.” As Carr, a rare skeptic regarding the official line on the hacks, explained to me, “They’re basically saying that the Russian intelligence services are completely inept. That one hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing, that they have no concern about using a free Russian email account or a Russian server that has already been known to be affiliated with cybercrime. This makes them sound like the Keystone Cops. Then, in the same breath, they’ll say how sophisticated Russia’s cyberwarfare capabilities are.” In reality, Carr continued, “It’s almost impossible to confirm attribution in cyberspace.”
  • For example, a tool developed by the Chinese to attack Google in 2009 was later reused by the so-called Equation Group against officials of the Afghan government. So the Afghans, had they investigated, might have assumed they were being hacked by the Chinese. Thanks to a leak by Edward Snowden, however, it now appears that the Equation Group was in fact the NSA. “It doesn’t take much to leave a trail of bread crumbs to whichever government you want to blame for an attack,” Carr pointed out. Bill Binney, the former technical director of the NSA, shares Carr’s skepticism about the Russian attribution. “Saying it does not make it true,” he told me. “They have to provide proof. . . . So let’s see the evidence.”

    ------------End Summary of Page 1. Five more at the link.

Clinton's Russian Uranium Deal

"The deal made Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain.

But the untold story behind that story is one that involves not just the Russian president, but also a former American president and a woman who would like to be the next one." - NYTimes

US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims

December 12, 2016

"We have gone through the various claims about hacking. For us, it is child’s play to dismiss them. The email disclosures in question are the result of a leak, not a hack. Here’s the difference between leaking and hacking:

Leak: When someone physically takes data out of an organization and gives it to some other person or organization, as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning did.

Hack: When someone in a remote location electronically penetrates operating systems, firewalls or any other cyber-protection system and then extracts data.

All signs point to leaking, not hacking. If hacking were involved, the National Security Agency would know it – and know both sender and recipient because the have all the metadata for all of the calls.

In short, since leaking requires physically removing data – on a thumb drive, for example – the only way such data can be copied and removed, with no electronic trace of what has left the server, is via a physical storage device."

The CIA Leaked in March 2017

Wikileak's revelations about the CIA cause them soddenly have less creditability than Donald Trump with low blood sugar. Conveniently this happened at a time of peak anti-Russian hysteria from the left. Nobody else believes or cares, like climate, it's a strictly partisan issue.

Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier

The Washington Post’s Adam Entous looks at the role that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee played in funding the research that led to a dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s links to Russia.


forbes: "Fake News" And How The Washington Post Rewrote Its Story On Russian Hacking Of The Power Grid

fortune: No, Russian Agents Are Not Behind Every Piece of Fake News You See

manuder: Election Hack Report FAQ: What You Need to Know

not bad:

origin: How fake news starts.

retract: Washington Post posts a retractionan

threats: The New Red Scare Reviving the art of threat inflation

uranium: Clinton's Russian Uranium Deal

us vets: US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims

vault7: The CIA Leaked in March 2017

washpo: Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier