Lordy

Lordy, I hope... well, a lot of things...

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

It's Starting to Feel Like Russia Did Even More Than I Thought



When the news about Manafort and the Ukranian plank of the RNC platform came out about a year ago, I thought, "hey, Russia spent some money to buy off a couple of Trump's people to get their way." That's certainly not a *good* thing, but it seemed like standard-issue Republican corruption.

WikiLeaks happened in a couple of different phases, and I thought "Oh, Russia's trying to interfere with the election," but there's nothing in those e-mails that's incriminating, or really any more than catty. Trump screamed over and over about how great WikiLeaks was and about how he wanted Russia to release more e-mails, and I just took that for desperation. Even the Comey letter didn't faze me.

It wasn't until a few weeks after the election, when the polling started to come out that showed the damage that the Comey letter actually did, as well as getting the chance to look more granularly at the timing, the content, and the strategy around everything the Russians were doing that I understood that I was entirely wrong about all of the above and had to eat some crow.

But even after all of that, I refused to believe that Russia may have literally hacked into our voting systems. Seems I was even wrong there:

Russian military intelligence attempted to cyber-attack a U.S. voting software supplier and more than 100 local election officials in the days leading up to the 2016 presidential election, The Intercept reported Monday. While there is no indication that voting machines or the result of the election were tampered with, this is the first report of its type to raise serious questions about whether Russian hackers attempted to breach the voting system.   
According to an NSA document acquired by The Intercept, Russian military intelligence cyber-attacked a U.S. voting software supplier, using information gained in that attack to “launch a voter registration-themed spear-phishing campaign targeting U.S. local government organizations.”
“Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate actors … executed cyber espionage operations against a named U.S. company in August 2016, evidently to obtain information on elections-related software and hardware solutions,” the document states. The operation gave the hackers “persistent access” to the targeted computers, allowing them to “survey the victims for items of interest.”

The NSA refuses to say whether this had any effect on the election results, but this requires *serious* further investigation. If votes were literally changed, that would have to be grounds for overturning the election.

Additionally, this week, Roger Sollenberger explained how Russia did, and continues to, use Google to fool Americans into believing fake news and not seeing real news. Read the whole piece; excerpting doesn't do it justice.

We are in deeper than ever, folks.