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2017 American Political Scene

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  • 2017 American Political Scene

    If you look at all the inflammatory headlines it's always "Hackers used Zero day"* but if you actually read the story, it's always a variation of "The hacking group that hacked the DNC has been known to use Zero days before".

    The FBI report was pretty clear.

    "In summer 2015, an APT29 spearphishing campaign directed emails containing a malicious link to over 1,000 recipients, including multiple U.S. Government victims. APT29 used legitimate domains, to include domains associated with U.S. organizations and educational institutions, to host malware and send spearphishing emails.

    In the course of that campaign, APT29 successfully compromised a U.S. political party. At least one targeted individual activated links to malware hosted on operational infrastructure of opened attachments containing malware. APT29 delivered malware to the political party’s systems, established persistence, escalated privileges, enumerated active directory accounts, and exfiltrated email from several accounts through encrypted connections back through operational infrastructure.

    In spring 2016, APT28 compromised the same political party, again via targeted spearphishing.

    This time, the spearphishing email tricked recipients into changing their passwords through a fake webmail domain hosted on APT28 operational infrastructure. Using the harvested
    credentials, APT28 was able to gain access and steal content, likely leading to the exfiltration of information from multiple senior party members.

    The U.S. Government assesses that information was leaked to the press and publicly disclosed."

    In simple terms, they sent out emails saying "Your passwords are compromised.* Click here to input new password"...and they sent it out to everybidy, not just the Democrats....and the links directed them to websites that the Russians controlled.

    *I guess if you can say they did use Zero Days.....and those Zero Days were named Podesta and the ITs that the DNC employed.

  • #2
    Originally posted by YellowFever View Post
    And this is why I said Barry played this rather disasterously.

    I have no doubt the NSA has the capability to nail down exactly who hacked us. And maybe even some humint or intercepts reveal the intents. But now we are at a point where he started something stupidly and the only way to prove what he says 100% is to reveal some of our capabilities.

    JAD, did you not see this coming when Obama started this whole "review" bullshit?
    Come to think of it, there's a range of possibilities behind Obama's review. Policy solidification; warning shot across the bow (screw not with our election process); peek-a-boo-we see you; political cover for election defeat; reveal Putin's cretinous side; I'm-a-good-guy legacy building; highlight Trump's budding love affair with an avowed enemy; bowing to public & congressional pressure; stealing thunder from Trump's pre-inaugural chest pounding; -- from here the gruel gets thinner.

    I'm inclined to believe that Obama was boxed in on this. He didn't act last summer, so he says, because he didn't want to seem to be interfering in the election (a la Comey). Of course, he flew around making speeches for Clinton, so one wonders. An equally plausible explanation is that he didn't expect Clinton to lose, so why risk action that may have seemed he was using his office to help her. I think the answer lies somewhere in between.

    But then Clinton lost, and suddenly he faced the real possibility that the Russian hacks may have helped Trump win. Media speculation became white hot and, no doubt, so did the most of the Democratic leadership and a good many GOPers, too. Doing nothing was no longer an option for him. That is, if he wants to remain a force in Democratic circles. So, he initiated a "review", which word suggests he had been dealing with the problem all along. The rest you know.

    Yes, those who were briefed probably knows the hackers and methods but the problem is we do not and half the population think it's total bullshit while over 50% of Democrats think the voting machines were being hacked.
    You're absolutely right. It is a problem when insiders know for sure where the hack originated while the outsiders (public) don't. A credibility gap exists, and it would sure be nice if it were closed so we all could be sure the government is telling the truth. But may be too high a price to pay for public comfort. Revealing methods and tech could ultimately compromise our cyber warfare capabilities. Weighing that possibility against the positives of closing the credibility gap, there's no doubt in my mind which way to go--we have to keep our methods under wraps. That means the public has to accept their president's word and whatever skimpy proofs he puts forward. If he's lying, eventually the truth will out, just as the Iraq war exposed the bad intel on WMD.

    Also, he didn't take any actions when the Russians and the Chinese were snooping around something imporant, like the Pentagon servers or other national security servers.

    But now?

    Now when a friggin gmail account got hacked and released the Democrats dirty laundry? Now it's a matter of national security????

    Oh he also included some sob story of how a diplomat got harrassed at Moscow way back if to try desperately to convince us he was righteous on this.

    It's too soon to judge Obama's handling of this.

    In fact, some of the Chinese hackers you mentioned have been identified and there are outstanding warrants for their arrest. Also, we don't know what other countermeasures have been taken.

    The only reason I can think of as to why Obama mentioned the harassment of US diplomats (spies) in this context was to illustrate Russia's disregard for international norms and maybe to get their goons to lay off.

    Secondly, and I am also replying to snapper' question earlier on here:

    No, I am not one damn bit concerned about what the Russians did to us.

    I was a bit concerned earlier when I thought they used malwares or zero days to hack into the DNC or other institutions but they used FRIGGIN SPEAR-PHISHING.

    Sure, the FBI report made it out to be some exotic method that the Russians developed but as I stated before, it's the same amateurish method used by thousands of kids 20 years ago.

    Some common sense would've prevented this whole fiasco.
    We ought to care less about how the Russians did the hack than the effect it has had on our election process. I would rather a foreign leader openly support a US candidate than break into his opponent's office, steal files, and give them to the media.

    But this was no Watergate ordinary burglary where the intruders were actual people. It was a cyber crime done through the world wide web using exploits to harvest electronically stored files, and it was a low risk crime. The people behind it were miles away and nowhere near the targeted premises. Given the enormous store of such files all over the world, these types of cyber break-ins pose a huge threat to everyone.

    I think retaliation, when state actors are involved, and legal action, when private entities are behind it, will escalate as the number of such intrusions grow and begin to damage national institutions, etc. So, in a way, I don't see Obama's retaliation as overdone this time compared to past countermeasures. I see it as an escalation in countermeasures to deal with the growing number and severity of intrusions.

    And, if I may add, I believe we'll begin to see treaties specifically to control international cyber activity.

    I bet our American tech geeks probe all over the world too and just because some of theirs managed to trick some of our dumb people into giving them their passwords is no reason to get concenred about.

    It's cyber warfare and they managed to win a tiny battle on this one that the Democrats and The Media somehow turned into a huge disaster.

    In fact, I would even call it a blessing in disguise as it taught us an imporrant lesson before something really important did leak this same way.

    Right. The leaked material was ho-hum, at least for people who are accustomed to the two-faced nature of parties and other entities in the public eye. But for the average Joe, discovering a scrubbed, virtuous, caring, and smiling public figure is the product of careful calculation and bickering behind the scenes, he feels cheated. For a candidate for office, the result may be loss of support.

    The DNC/Podesta leaks may or may not have cost Clinton votes. But that is mainly an issue for Democrats. For the rest of us, the issue is attempted manipulation of national elections. This time it was stolen files comprising moderately embarrassing documents. What will it be next time? We have to go after the perpetrators of this kind of crime so that future potential perpetrators will think twice before trying to manipulate future elections.

    Also let's strip this down to the bone. They did not release some national secret, they released some emails from Podesta. The contents were embarrassing but there was nothing there that we didn't already know. Did the
    Dem party prefers Hillary over Bernie? Yes, and anybody that spends even a minute reading a newspaper knew this. Were the "mainstream" media cozy with Hillary? Yes we knew this. Hell, I bet the whole world knows this.

    So what new revelations did we find out because of the leaks?

    Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero.

    There is another way to look at it. For example, a girl shoots at President Ford, but misses. A robber breaks into a bank vault and finds it empty. Do we dismiss the acts because no harm was done?

    Ooops....gotta cut this short. I need to get drunk in the next hour to celebrate the New Year.
    Geez, I thought you were already drunk. ;-0
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato


    • #3
      Good summary +1 or 'like' etc..


      • #4
        It just goes to show how feckless an inept the Obama administration is.

        I had the idiocy put in some work in one of the administration's vaunted initiatives a few years back and sure enough beneath the hype there was a whole lot of nothing and ended on a whimper with a bunch of insiders gaining benefits to do not much of anything for selection reasons that no one else could fathom because it was nontransparent to the extent that not only did people not know the selection methods, but that it was even happening when it happened.

        Now this hacking incident. I'd find it positively shocking if the Russians weren't trying to hack both parties. In fact, were that the case, were I Putin I'd fire the spies and the bosses. Of course the Russians were hacking. It's a no brainier.

        But to first exaggerated the impact of a few leaked emails until a quarter of the country think Putin put Donald Trump in the White House, and then, come up with a response as feeble as sending some spies back to mother Russia and closing down a couple of vacation homes? To have an august "multi-agency taskforce" put together a deep dive that produces something I could have written in a weekend after spending half a day Googling "Russian hacking methods" and "computer security"?

        Good riddance to these 2nd rate losers.
        Last edited by citanon; 02 Jan 17,, 03:19.


        • #5
          Originally posted by JAD_333 View Post
          Geez, I thought you were already drunk.* ;-0
          Come to think of it, I was drunk. :D

          I think it was a residual effect fron exchanging posts with tankie.

          You just read the guy's post and you find yourself slowly getting drunk. :P

          JAD, I think you're giving Obama way more credit than he deserves.

          The media didn't turn this issue red hot until AFTER Obama went public with his order for a "review".

          Also I, and many Trump supporters found the level of politics played by this Director of the CIA and all his negative remarks twoards Trump pretty alarming.

          When was the last time a sitting director of one of our intelligence agencies spoke up so vehemently against a candidate before an election?

          So maybe many people had a reason to suspect a report from the CIA saying the Russians "hacked" an election to help Trump pretty unbelievable.

          You and I both know the CIA, as far as guessing the intents of foreign powers go, is not a group of people who gathers all the information and they all come to a consensus.

          Rather it's a lot like the State Department where multiple views are reached and submitted and what usually rises to the top are those reports that reflect the thinking of the brass...brass that is usually appointed by the President and mirros his point of view.

          How this works is that most intelliegence agencies are far from "impartial people with one goal of keeping America safe" is far from reality. Like other departments they are full of political hacks and whoever kisses the brass ass most usually rises to the top.

          WMD anyone?

          Frankly, I wouldn't have been so upset if the term "hacking the election" didn't come up. That term leads me to believe this was a political act more than anything else.

          In fact, the more I think about this, the more I'm pretty sure it was a political act.

          How did the narrative from the White House go from "hacking the election" to "an attempt to influence our institution and election" if they did have absolute proof that the Russians did indeed attempt to do exactly that?

          Your quote:

          We ought to care less about how the Russians did the hack than the effect it has had on our election process
          was right on the money but not in the way you think. The Russians (and the Chinese and whoever) did hack us before Podesta's emails and there will be much much more future hacking. As you say it is a cheap way to gather intelligence without a high price to pay politically.

          But the "effect" it had on our election process and institution was 100% caued by the media and a pretty peeved Democrat Party that wants to stick it to Trump pretty badly.

          Look, Putin is a thug.

          A simple patting of the shoulder and a "Hey look, Vlad, ole buddy, we know you're hacking into our systems.Please stop" is not going to deter him.

          I believed Obama when he said we have much more capability than the Russians do when it comes to cyber capabilities.

          If (and that's still a mighty big if) Obama knows for sure Putin did this to get Trump elected, the wise way to handle it would have been:

          1) Keep it quiet and find the person that leaked thd CIA report to the press and nail his balls to the wall.


          2) Use all our resources in the cyber realm to attack Putin mercilessly.

          Thugs or even regular leaders don't stop using a weapon (and that's all this really is) just because others ask him to stop. He has to realize that this weapon can hurt him equally, if not more, in order for him to come to the table to hammer out a treaty banning it.

          Instead we got what citanon outlined before my post. Pretty ineffective, pretty late and pretty lame.

          Putin is laughing his skinny little bald ass off right now because a simple harmless little hack is hurting us way, WAY more than it should because Obama made a big deal out of it.

          A small Putin victory became a huge one.

          Putin is a lot likeTrump in the way they see the media.

          They do not care what the media says. And they do not really care about political least not the way regular politicans care.

          It's what made them so beloved by their supporters.

          And Obama is trying to use the same old ways to hurt them and it's not working.

          You said it yourself before, JAD, there is no way we could do a do over election....

          So what is this "review" really accomplishing?

          Oh by the way, was there an offical statement that the review was completed?

          If so, why didn't we hear about it?

          (Oh god, please don't tell me this 13 page report by the FBI & DHS was the culmination of the review)

          And if not, why the hell were the sanctions imposed without waiting for completed review?

          Pure politics.
          Last edited by YellowFever; 02 Jan 17,, 09:05.


          • #6
            May I remind you, gentlemen, that it is the FBI that nailed it with Huma's mails a few days before the elections?
            If it were any doubts of effective Russian efforts to manipulate the elections,they would have shut up.
            Those who know don't speak
            He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mihais View Post
              May I remind you, gentlemen, that it is the FBI that nailed it with Huma's mails a few days before the elections?
              If it were any doubts of effective Russian efforts to manipulate the elections,they would have shut up.
              Sorry Mihais, tankie's posts are still affecting my brain.

              Can you repeat what you said?

              Edit: Ah, Abedin's email fiasco.
              Last edited by YellowFever; 02 Jan 17,, 09:22.


              • #8
                Huckabee is the man.

                My feelings exactly:


                • #9
                  Originally posted by YellowFever View Post
                  Sorry Mihais, tankie's posts are still affecting my brain.
                  Likewise , your PM has shown the real you huh , well you can f##k off mush , 1st you liked my ass pic , which aint mine , then you send me PMs confessing your a ponce or is it F A G where u live ? and can you visit ,,well no ya cant , im all wimmin luvvin , so sod off ,wanker.


                  • #10
                    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.



                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Parihaka View Post
                      Never seen elderly couple having a chit-chat?
                      No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

                      To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Parihaka View Post
                        across the pond banter n slag offs hari tiss all ,,,yella comin outta the closet . lol


                        • #13
                          I am no Obama fan in any way but when Trump calls on Moscow to hack to the Clinton campaign... and it seems highly likely at least that they did, you would dismiss it and "move on"? .
                          He made a joke regarding Hilldog deleting/hiding emails from her time at state. Partisan hacks and the clueless missed the humor and have transformed it to a "call for a hack."

                          Democrat emails got leaked and showed corruption, funny goings on, and complicity between the Democrats and the legacy media; that's the story. Putin didn't make them write those emails, or not campaign in certain states. Te evidence for a Putin hack is slim to nonexistent. This is the Zero trying to muddy the waters as much as possible before he is out of office and a bunch of people trying to come up with excuses (other than they all suck) for losing despite the media being in the tank and outspending a hobby politician two to one.
                          Last edited by troung; 02 Jan 17,, 19:51.
                          To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway


                          • #14
                            I have come to the conclusion that tankie is Anthony Weiner and he is bitter that he cost Hillary the election.

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                            Last edited by YellowFever; 02 Jan 17,, 20:07.


                            • #15
                              probably time to start that new thread. Congress is getting an early start on draining that



                              House Republicans vote to rein in independent ethics office
                              By Mike DeBonis and Karoun Demirjian January 2 at 8:13 PM

                              Defying the wishes of their top leaders, House Republicans voted behind closed doors Monday night to rein in the independent ethics office created eight years ago in the wake of a series of embarrassing congressional scandals.

                              The 119-to-74 vote during a GOP conference meeting means that the House rules package expected to be adopted Tuesday, the first day of the 115th Congress, would rename the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) as the Office of Congressional Complaint Review and place it under the oversight of the House Ethics Committee.

                              Under the proposed new rules, the office could not employ a spokesperson, investigate anonymous tips or refer criminal wrongdoing to prosecutors without the express consent of the Ethics Committee, which would gain the power to summarily end any OCE probe.

                              The OCE was created in 2008 to address concerns that the Ethics Committee had been too timid in pursuing allegations of wrongdoing by House members. Under the current House ethics regime, the OCE is empowered to release a public report of its findings even if the Ethics Committee chooses not to take further action against a member.

                              The move to place the OCE under the Ethics Committee’s aegis stands to please many lawmakers who have been wary of having their dirty laundry aired by the independent entity, but some Republicans feared that rolling back a high-profile ethical reform would send a negative message as the GOP assumes unified control in Washington. President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to “drain the swamp” and has proposed a series of his own ethics reforms.

                              House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) opposed the amendment to the House rules package, speaking out against it in the Monday evening conference meeting, according to two people in the room.

                              But the measure’s sponsor, Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), said in a statement that it “builds upon and strengthens” the current arrangement and that it improves the due process rights for the House members under investigation and witnesses interviewed in the course of OCE probes.

                              “The OCE has a serious and important role in the House, and this amendment does nothing to impede their work,” Goodlatte said.

                              Goodlatte’s amendment to the House rules “provides protections against any disclosures to the public or other government entities,” according to a summary provided by his office, and also mandates that the Ethics Committee — not the OCE itself — make any referral of a potential criminal violation to law enforcement.

                              “Feedback from Members and staff having gone through review by the OCE has been that those under investigation need increased protection of their due process rights, greater access to basic evidentiary standards, and a process that does not discriminate against them for invoking those rights,” the summary said. “The amendment seeks to strengthen each of these needs while maintaining the basic core of OCE’s functions.”

                              The measure also prohibits limits the OCE’s jurisdiction to the previous three Congresses, aligning its statute of limitations to the Ethics Committee’s.

                              An OCE spokeswoman declined to comment Monday. Because Monday’s vote was taken in a private party meeting, there is no public tally of how members voted on the proposal.

                              Ethics watchdog groups warned that the amendment could undermine public confidence in Congress.

                              “Threatening its independence is a disservice to the American people who need a nonpartisan body to investigate the ethical failures of their representatives,” said Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, a watchdog organization. “The fact that they do not want an Office with ‘Congressional Ethics’ in the name is a pretty good metaphor for how ethics scandals will be dealt with if this rule passes.”

                              Democrats, then in the House majority, established the OCE in 2008 in the aftermath of the lobbying scandal surrounding Jack Abramoff to conduct ethics investigations free from political influence. But in recent years, some members of Congress have sought to limit the office and its work.

                              At the start of the last Congress, Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) pushed for a rule change to stress that people being investigated by the OCE could not be denied their constitutional rights and had a right to counsel. According to media reports, Pearce raised the objection because he felt a staffer in his office had been treated unfairly.

                              The OCE’s rules permit people under investigation to work through a lawyer.

                              Last summer, Pearce repeated such complaints during comments on the House floor, when he proposed an amendment to limit the OCE’s funding, arguing that it was justified by government-wide budget restrictions and the need “to give notice to the OCE that we’re watching what you’re doing.”

                              The pushback hasn’t come only from Republicans. In 2011, Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) — who had been subject to an OCE investigation — drafted an amendment to slash funding from the OCE by 40 percent, calling the office “redundant and duplicative” of the House Ethics Committee. That amendment was rejected.

                              Democrats pounced Monday on the Republicans’ move. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement that the GOP “has acted to weaken ethics and silence would-be whistleblowers” and that the proposed arrangement “would functionally destroy” the OCE.

                              “Republicans claim they want to drain the swamp, but the night before the new Congress gets sworn in, the House GOP has eliminated the only independent ethics oversight of their actions,” Pelosi said. “Evidently, ethics are the first casualty of the new Republican Congress.”

                              The House Ethics Committee is composed of sitting members of Congress, five Republicans and five Democrats, while the Office of Congressional Ethics is run by a six-member board with two alternates. One alternate position is vacant.

                              It does not have subpoena power, but its reports and investigations are often a first vetting in situations where members are alleged to have violated the rules of congressional conduct. Several of the cases reviewed by the OCE have been referred to the House Ethics Committee for further proceedings.

                              Unlike most congressional committees, the Ethics Committee is evenly divided between the majority and minority parties. A senior GOP aide not authorized to comment publicly on the matter noted Friday that because of that, Republicans could not act unilaterally to protect members of their own party.

                              But in the decades before the OCE was created, the Ethics Committee was routinely criticized for protecting lawmakers of both parties by sanctioning members in only the most egregious and well-publicized cases.

                              In the Senate, there is no equivalent of the Office of Congressional Ethics.
                              There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov