Cold War 2.0?
One of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, by far, was Hackers (1995). I don’t know how to hack anything, but I know enough about computers to know that there shouldn’t be random numbers and formulas floating through the screen, nor do I think the amount of action in that movie should be comparable to me playing Call of Duty.
In reality, however, hacking has become the spotlight in some of the world’s most recent events. Earlier this year the Obama Administration, the Democratic National Convention (DNC), and virtually the entire left have pointed their fingers at the Russian government for hacking into the DNC, along with Chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign John Podesta’s email account. When both sources were hacked, thousands of documents were released to the public via WikiLeaks and exposed the corruption in the Democratic Party. One of the pieces of evidence of corruption was of the incumbent Bernie Sanders.Now, whether or not you believe that the DNC and the entire establishment rigged the primary against Sanders is up to debate. Nevertheless, there is/was obviously some bias towards Hillary.
The current administration, much of Congress, and the DNC believe that Russia has influenced this years election. While Donald Trump and many conservatives believe that Russia didn’t do anything, the U.S government claims they have the evidence.
Here it is as follows from The Intercept:
- The attacker or attackers registered a deliberately misspelled domain name used for email phishing attacks against DNC employees, connected to an IP address associated with APT 28/Fancy Bear.
- Malware found on the DNC computers was programmed to communicate with an IP address associated with APT 28/Fancy Bear.
- Metadata in a file leaked by “Guccifer 2.0″ shows it was modified by a user called, in cyrillic, “Felix Edmundovich,” a reference to the founder of a Soviet-era secret police force. Another document contained cyrillic metadata indicating it had been edited on a document with Russian language settings.
- Peculiarities in a conversation with “Guccifer 2.0″ that Motherboard published in June suggests he is not Romanian, as he originally claimed.
- The DCLeaks.com domain was registered by a person using the same email service as the person who registered a misspelled domain used to send phishing emails to DNC employees.
- Some of the phishing emails were sent using Yandex, a Moscow-based webmail provider.
- A bit.ly link believed to have been used by APT 28/Fancy Bear in the past was also used against Podesta.
Since The Intercept presented the information we know in an organized fashion, I thought to use their source.
The information, when I first looked at it, seemed pretty hard. But after researching for a little bit, I realized that it’s not as hard as it initially looked.
Let’s start off with domain names: misspelling domain names is a common trait in computer attacks to get people to click on certain things. For example, if I clicked on Gooogle.com instead of Google.com, it may take me to a not-so-good website. CrowdStrike, a computer-security company that sells security services to other companies says that APT 28, a believed Russian intelligence hacker group, is known for misspelling domain names. But like I just said, that’s a common trait among a lot of hackers. For the second point, if the IP address was linked back to APT 28, would they really be that stupid to link it back to an already known IP address? CrowdStrike says that their “tradecraft is superb…both groups [APT 28/29] were constantly going back into the environment to change out their implants, modify persistent methods, move to new Command & Control channels and perform other tasks to try to stay ahead of being detected.” If they were that good, why would they have gone back to that same IP address? Were they that stupid in something that they’re “superb” at and that’s why they were caught? For the third point, just because he had Cyrillic writing doesn’t mean that he was a Russian operative, no more than using the English alphabet makes me an American. Next, in self-claiming that Guccifer 2.0, the hacker that released this information, is Romanian doesn’t mean much. While authorities and analysts believe he is not Romanian but Russian, based on a dialogue between analysts and him on his blog, it still does not mean that he is a hacker of the Russian government. Next, they say that Yandex was used. Yandex is like the Google/Yahoo/Bing of Russia. I, an American, can use this. So can anybody else. And finally, the same bit.ly link was used still does not indicate that it was a hacker from the Kremlin. The link is consistent with APT 28 tactics, but no concrete evidence. If you want to use the American law system, you are innocent until proven guilty. And there is no hard evidence to prove that they are guilty as charged.
Now, time for the backlash. Some, if not many, people would claim that this evidence is still overwhelming and that if you put two-and-two together, you have a Russian government-involved attack.
Here’s the problem. SecureWorks, another computer-security company that looked at the infiltration, stated that they believe Russia was behind these attacks with “moderate confidence.” All that means is that their sources are credible but they don’t have enough to frame it and blame it on someone. Even Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security made a joint-statment that they were “confident” that the Russian Federation was to blame. Again, being confident doesn’t mean they did it. “We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.” No, anyone could have done this, not just a government employee. This attack could be from a lone wolf who didn’t need any authorization. Saying words like “high confidence” doesn’t mean anything. The only question that matters is “Do you have concrete evidence, not speculation, that the Russian Federation hacked into the election?” The good news is that both the DHS and DNIES say that no evidence of vote meddling was found, meaning that if Russia did hack, it wasn’t changing vote counts but only influence. However, some people like John McCain believe that the Russians are threatening to “[unravel] the world order that was established after World War II, which has made one of the most peaceful periods in the history of the world…. If they’re able to harm the electoral process, they may destroy democracy, which is based on free and fair elections.” I’m going to go off the path here for a moment and say WHAT?! Do you have any idea how many deaths have been caused since World War II by us alone? And free and fair elections? Tell that to the DNC.
Hillary Clinton and Sergei Lavrov with the infamous ‘Reset Button’
Which brings me to my next topic. Did you know that most voters’ minds didn’t change after the e-mails were released? According to a Politico/Morning Consult Poll, Clinton’s numbers didn’t change from when the FBI Director James Comey (who Clinton blames for her loss) released a letter stating that they would look into her e-mails. In fact for 22 days, she was at 42%. 48% of people were more disgusted by Donald Trump’s comments about women compared to the 45% of people who were more angered about Clinton’s e-mails. EVEN IF you want to say that the e-mails affected her, 2.5 million more people voted for her than him. She simply didn’t do enough in the swing states to garner enough votes. One more fact is that whoever infiltrated the DNC infiltrated the RNC as well. While we are not sure what was taken from the Republicans, we do know that whoever broke in has seen some information and is most likely holding on to it for leverage.
But one of the main questions I have to ask is ‘Why is everyone getting angry over Russia (if they did it), when they exposed corruption?’ You are essentially shooting the messenger. Rather than getting angry over the corruption in the DNC, people are getting more fired up about Russia because they exposed the wrongdoings. My fellow millennials are seemingly more angry at Russia than they are of the Democratic Party. Why is that? Is it possible that they seem to be following the lead of the liberal president and liberals across the nation? Where were most of my fellow millenials when the DNC rigged the primary against Sanders? I didn’t see people protesting in the streets nearly as much as they were when Trump won. What, a few people holding up signs protesting outside the DNC in July is protest? Give me a break. Haven’t we learned from what happened 13 years ago? Pointing fingers and speculating that a nation did something without concrete evidence is the exact same mentality that got us to invade Iraq.
Perhaps the Russian government did order those attacks, we don’t know. But with the evidence that we the public have been provided with, we don’t have any of Putin’s prints anywhere over this. We do not have any concrete evidence to prove that Russia did this. The last time we had “high confidence” with something we invaded a country and caused the deaths of 500,000 civilians. Before we engage in an attack on another country without having the evidence of their attack, let’s get the info first. And let’s also realize and get to terms with why Hillary Clinton really lost, and not blame it on a foreign power. Don’t play the blame game unless you have proof. Get the other side of the story, no matter how unpopular it may seem.