April 16, 2019

"A must read, Andy McCarthy’s column today, 'Dirty dealings of dirt devils who concocted Trump-Russia probe.' The greatest Scam in political history."

"If the Mainstream Media were honest, which they are not, this story would be bigger and more important than Watergate. Someday!"

Tweets Trump this morning.

He doesn't give a link, and googling "Dirty dealings of dirt devils who concocted Trump-Russia probe" only gets me back to Trump. It is a screwy headline. Dirt devils?!

I think the article in question — the column by McCarthy that went up last night in the NY Post — is "Behind the Obama administration’s shady plan to spy on the Trump campaign." A more dignified headline, no?!
There is no doubt that the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign. As Barr made clear, the real question is: What predicated the spying? Was there a valid reason for it, strong enough to overcome our norm against political spying? Or was it done rashly? Was a politically motivated decision made to use highly intrusive investigative tactics when a more measured response would have sufficed, such as a “defensive briefing” that would have warned the Trump campaign of possible Russian infiltration?...
A defensive briefing! Yes. Why didn't the Obama administration help the Trump campaign guard against infiltration?

Much more at the link. I gave up trying to choose excerpts. Read the whole thing.

135 comments:

Seeing Red said...

Exactly and what some have been saying for 2-3 years.

TJM said...

You expect honesty from the Infanticide Party? The media is one HUGE SuperPac for the Dems

Chuck said...

Looking soooooo forward to Thursday...

Anything special planned, Althouse? Colored lights? (Each color representing one basis for redactions.) Hanging ornaments? Drudge "flasher"?

Fernandinande said...

Trump's helpful ND 'tweet' = bad; Obama's useless corny predictable maudlin tweet = good.

Jersey Fled said...

"Was there a valid reason for it, strong enough to overcome our norm against political spying? Or was it done rashly? Was a politically motivated decision made to use highly intrusive investigative tactics when a more measured response would have sufficed, such as a “defensive briefing” that would have warned the Trump campaign of possible Russian infiltration?...

Answers:
No.
Yes.
Yes.

TJM said...

Anyone who believed in the Russian Collusion story is an idiot.

Here is Collusion:

Obozo the Magnificent caught on a hot mic telling the Russians he could be more "flexible" with them after the 2012 election. Every Obozo policy was designed to make Russia great again.

For starters our resident Russiaphiles can read this:

https://stream.org/obama-and-clinton-made-six-decisions-favorable-to-russia/

Original Mike said...

"A defensive briefing! Yes. Why didn't the Obama administration help the Trump campaign guard against infiltration?"

It's very simple. There wasn't any infiltration. The whole thing was a fiction used by Brennan/McCabe et al. to spy on and hopefully entrap the Trump campaign.

cubanbob said...

There was no valid reason. It was a setup from the jump to spy on the Trump campaign with the purpose of derailing it and if he had won to undermine his presidency. This didn't happen without Obama's wink and nod go ahead. By the way Chuck, now that you posted your usual please tell us again in advance why you are still going to vote for Trump again. because you know you will vote for him again.

rehajm said...

We all hang from nooses!!

If only it were true...

mccullough said...

The Carter Page FISA warrants turned up nothing.

That doesn’t look good. It’s either incompetence on the part of the FBI and DOJ or malevolence. Or a combination of both.

Relying on Steele, a paid Hillary operative, was very stupid.

These are stupid people — Comey and his covey. Very stupid people.

That’s why they were shitcanned.

Who were the morons who appointed Comey to high government positions? W and Obama.

Very stupid people.

Douglas B. Levene said...

McCarthy's commentary on the Mueller investigation and the Russia collusion claims has been by far the best of any public writer. Everything he's written has been borne out. His columns usually attract lots of angry comments from the ankle biters, to much merriment among those who actually understand what he's saying.

Original Mike said...

"It was a setup from the jump to spy on the Trump campaign with the purpose of derailing it and if he had won to undermine his presidency."

Yes. Remember it was a freaking "insurance policy".

mccullough said...

Charge Comey with lying to Congress.

Let him live under the regime he imposed on others.

Comey is a disgrace.

Rory said...

"There wasn't any infiltration."

Seriously. The only infiltration are the Facebook ads, and the Obama administration made a conscious decision to allow those to enter our country.

Jersey Fled said...

"McCarthy's commentary on the Mueller investigation and the Russia collusion claims has been by far the best of any public writer."

I would rank John Solomon as a close second.

Dave Begley said...

Read the whole thing.

Until McCabe is indicted and flips on Comey, the Fake News will ignore the story.

Big Mike said...

Because in 2008 people who should have known better elected a hack Chicago politician with the political instincts of a Chicago alderman to be President of the United States. By 2016 he had had almost eight years to surround himself with like-minded yes-men willing to do his bidding, laws be damned. Laws do not apply to senior-level Democrats.

Dave Begley said...

In my experience, the only thing Comey, Brennan, McCabe, Strzok et alia understand is the power of a federal judge to put them in jail for a long time. Until then, it is all talk.

Barr understands this. He's a tough guy per Paul Mirengoff (at Power Line) who had dealings with Barr in private practice.

This whole thing is going to come crashing down on the Dems and the Obama Administration.

rehajm said...

Thinking meta, what was the motivation to take such great risk to spy on your political opponent? Confidence there wouldn't be repercussions? Criminality wide and deep enough to warrant it? Embrace the power of and?

Curious George said...

Andy McCarthy....one of Inga's faves!

Michael K said...

"McCarthy's commentary on the Mueller investigation and the Russia collusion claims has been by far the best of any public writer."

It's been interesting to watch McCarthy slowly transition from close to a NeverTrumper to this stage where he is certain this was a crime and a scandal. Too bad some of his colleagues at NR did not make the same transition. I don'l think there will be enough Chucks to keep it alive through a second term.

Chuck said...

Big Mike said...
Because in 2008 people who should have known better elected a hack Chicago politician with the political instincts of a Chicago alderman to be President of the United States. By 2016 he had had almost eight years to surround himself with like-minded yes-men willing to do his bidding, laws be damned. Laws do not apply to senior-level Democrats.


And yet, lots of Americans voted for Obama. They could have voted for John McCain in 2008, or Mitt Romney in 2012. But they didn't. And a significant number of those Obama voters later turned and voted for Trump. Were they stupid, in 2008 and 2012? Or just fearful and emotional? When that discrete number of Obama-then-Trump voters turned, did they suddenly become more informed? Smarter? Better judges of character and policy? Or did Trump appeal to their fear, ignorance and emotion in a way that Obama had previously?

Chuck said...

Michael K;

Taking him at his word, McCarthy WAS a NeverTrumper.

"The global jihad is complex, comprising terrorist organizations and abettors that include rogue nations and other shady accomplices. Their fluid alliances and internecine rivalries often defy the Sunni–Shiite divide. Matters are complicated further still by ideological allies such as the Muslim Brotherhood that feign moderation while supporting the jihadist agenda. The threat is openly aggressive on its own turf but operates by stealth in the West. A president may not have to be good with names to oppose it effectively, but he has to grasp the animating ideology, the power relations, and the goals of the players — and how weakening one by strengthening another can degrade rather than promote our security.

"Donald Trump does not have a clue about any of this, careening wildly from vows to stay out of the fray (leaving it in Vladimir Putin’s nefarious hands) to promises that the earth will be indiscriminately scorched. The threat against us has metastasized in our eighth year under a president who quite consciously appeases the enemy. But the remedy is not a president oblivious of the enemy."

Andy McCarthy in National Review's "Against Trump" special issue symposium, January, 2016.


Brian said...

Looking soooooo forward to Thursday...

"Ah, but the strawberries, that's, that's where I had them, they laughed at me and made jokes, but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, with geometric logic, that a duplicate key to the ward room icebox did exist, and I've had produced that key if they hadn't pulled the Caine out of action. I, I know now they were only trying to protect some fellow officer. [pauses]

Naturally, I can only cover these things from memory. If I left anything out, why, just ask me specific questions and I'll be glad to answer them, one by one."

You be you, Chuck.

Big Mike said...

@Chuck, try this on for size: people were looking for change they could believe in. Obama promised it; Trump is delivering it, and you are headed for the trash can of history.

Chuck said...

Until McCabe is indicted and flips on Comey, the Fake News will ignore the story.

There oughta be a law against that. Said mob boss Don "The Donald" Trump.

chuck said...

> Trump's helpful ND 'tweet' = bad; Obama's useless corny predictable maudlin tweet = good.

Classic case of toxic masculinity, offering suggestions on how to fix things.

Ray - SoCal said...

Agree Michael K., McCarthy's evolution from “Inconceivable!” to use of the term spying based on released evidence/ information is impressive.

It’s sad other never Trumpers and LLR’s are still in denial, it just destroys their credibility, but may be that is a good thing. I now view them as useful idiots.

Brian said...

Trump appeal to their fear, ignorance and emotion in a way that Obama had previously?

How dare he not just sit back and lose! See, e.g., Dole, McCain, Romney...

Chuck voted for him, but didn't want him to win. And that attitude is what almost killed the Republican party. Trump renovated the RNC when he came down the escalator in 2015. Some people haven't caught up yet though.

BTW, AOC and Sanders are re-making the DNC as well. Schumer and Pelosi just haven't figured it out yet.

Mike Sylwester said...

Someone who apparently calls himself gjordan741, on this website, is developing an explanation of the hacking of the Democrat computers. On the website, he has published 13 parts of a planned 16-part series.

I have read the available 13 parts, and I summarize them as follows:

Some Russians -- perhaps Russian Intelligence officer or perhaps contractors of the Russian petroleum industry -- had hacked into the DNC servers during mid-2015. For a long time, the Russians did not "steal" (exfiltrate) any files. Rather, the Russians merely read them. Perhaps the Russians copied-and-pasted some of the files into Word documents or did screen-snapshots of files (see Part 10).

The NSA became aware of this hack, but because the Russians did not exfiltrate any files, the NSA was not able to track the hacking activities back to the hackers in Russia.

The NSA informed the FBI, which informed the DNC, but the NSA apparently asked the FBI to do such an ineffective manner that the DNC was likely to fail to respond effectively. In other words, the NSA was obligated to inform (through the FBI) the DNC, but the NSA preferred that the DNC fail to act, so that the NSA could continue to watch the Russians' hacking operation.

Eventually, however, the DNC discovered the hacking and therefore hired CrowdStrike to deal with the problem. The NSA learned of this development in the situation and secretly asked CrowdStrike to allow the Russians' hacking to continue. CrowdStrike complied with NSA's request, and so the Russians' searches of the DNC files continued for weeks.

CrowdStrike told the DNC leadership that the hacking would be allowed to continue so that CrowdStrike could track the hacking operations back to the perpetrators in Russia. CrowdStrike told the DNC leadership that a CrowdStrike application would be able to do so. However, CrowdStrike did not really have such an application.

In fact, the only the NSA is able to do such a tracking operation, because NSA has arranged with the communications cable companies to embed the necessary tracking capability into the cable systems. (See Part 6)

Eventually, on May 25, 2016 (see Part 11), the Russian hackers exfiltrated a huge number of files from the DNC server. This was the moment that the NSA had been waiting for, and NSA was able to track the exfiltration to the Russian perpetrators.

Soon after May 25, 2016, the NSA told CrowdStrike to begin dealing effectively with the Russian hack. Then CrowdStrike stopped further hacking, but by that time, thousands of DNC files had been compromised.

------

gjordan741 writes his argument clearly and compellingly.

stevew said...

"It was a setup from the jump to spy on the Trump campaign with the purpose of derailing it and if he had won to undermine his presidency."

Obama, Clinton, DOJ, and the FBI set aside their, supposed, principles and violated understood norms against spying on a rival campaign. To me there can be only two reasons:

1. They believed that a Trump POTUS was an existential threat to America, the American way of life, American democracy, and the Constitution;

2. They correctly understood that Trump was a legitimate threat to defeat Hillary Clinton and, should he do so would expose their corrupt dealings both domestically and internationally.

I'm going with #2.

WisRich said...

Original Mike said...
"It was a setup from the jump to spy on the Trump campaign with the purpose of derailing it and if he had won to undermine his presidency."

Yes. Remember it was a freaking "insurance policy".

4/16/19, 9:21 AM


None of these people thought Trump would win. It was not only to derail his campaign but to destroy and prosecute him on trumped up (no pun intended) charges after Hillary won.

Remember what Robby Mook said: Trump must be destroyed so the likes of him never rise again.

Rick said...

What predicated the spying?

Oppo research

1. paid for not just by his political opponents but by those who hate him,
2. produced by an out of work spy in collaboration with Russian agents,
3. to include relevant details like him paying prostitutes to piss on a bed because Obama once slept in it.

Who wouldn't act on such a dossier?

Tank said...

McCarthy was dragged kicking and screaming to this point, but at least he had the integrity to get there.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

OUr pals at Wiki wanted Bernie to beat Hillary. Where's the headline? The outrage?

No news at 11.

Maddow with zipped lips.

Francisco D said...

It’s sad other never Trumpers and LLR’s are still in denial, it just destroys their credibility, but may be that is a good thing. I now view them as useful idiots.

Forget about LLRs. Chuck is just a nasty old drunk.

One does not have to be a Trump fan to believe the evidence the he was spied upon.

The never Trumpers who refuse to believe his campaign was spied upon concern me. They are likely Deep Staters whose allegiance is to their pocketbooks and not to a philosophy of government. They are no different than the leftists who believe in By Any Means Necessary.

John henry said...

Mike S,

Interesting post and I will Pocket the commentary on the website for future reading.

I am having trouble with this statement, though. Not sure whether the wording is yours or his:

For a long time, the Russians did not "steal" (exfiltrate) any files. Rather, the Russians merely read them.

I don't understand why this is not stealing. If they had unauthorized access to the files regardless of whether they read them, copy/pasted or downloaded them it all seems the same. The same linkage exists.

OTOH, since whatever they did did not destroy or modify the original files is is fair to say they were "stolen" even if they had been downloaded or exfiltrated?

This goes back to the Napster and related cases. If I download a song from somewhere without permission have I "stolen" it? Courts said yes.

Thanks for posting, this comment is more about the semantics than about what happened.

John Henry

tcrosse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tcrosse said...

Trump appeal to their fear, ignorance and emotion in a way that Obama had previously?

How soon we forget who Trump was running against. Hint: it wasn't Obama.

Infinite Monkeys said...

dirt devils = vacuum cleaners = they suck

Sebastian said...

"A defensive briefing! Yes. Why didn't the Obama administration help the Trump campaign guard against infiltration?"

Why, oh, why? It's a mystery. Wrapped in an enigma.

But easy to unwrap: the O admin didn't want to "help" Trump, they wanted to frame him--first to prevent him from becoming president, then to undermine and remove him. Like anything in prog land, Russia was a tool.

Plan A, of course, was to keep Trump out by smearing him. The coup attempt was Plan B. But the coup was also insurance for the initial plotters: cover for their earlier misdeeds. As long as Mueller kept digging, and the MSM kept smearing, the initial spy-op fabrication looked halfway legit and Trump could not counterattack.

But the essential weakness was that the plotters knew they had nothing. Strzok said as much. Even running spies at Trump flunkies produced nothing. So they had to pin their hope on process: to keep investigating to keep the collusion narrative alive long enough to outlast Trump. But Mueller could not keep going forever. And so the whole thing collapsed, exposing the scandal for what it is.

Of course, as a cynical conservative I wouldn't underestimate deep-state malice for a moment, but I also think the coup had an air of desperation about it: Brennan et al. going for broke with a very weak hand. Why did they stake so much on so little? Perhaps, once Trump won, they had no better alternative.

Chuck said...

Francisco D said...
...

Forget about LLRs. Chuck is just a nasty old drunk.
..


Go fuck yourself. You don't know me. We've never met. You really ought to hope that we don't meet.

Are you trying to be funny? (I don't get it and I don't expect anybody else will either.) I don't know if you are referencing the fact that in disputes with other Althouse commenters where I successfully turned those disputes into wagers, I won several bottles of my favorite adult beverages. Is that it? That I am 2-0 in Althouse.blogspot wagers?

Really; just where do you step off, with a slur like that?

cubanbob said...

2. They correctly understood that Trump was a legitimate threat to defeat Hillary Clinton and, should he do so would expose their corrupt dealings both domestically and internationally.

I'm going with #2."

Agreed. However what I find strange is why Obama allowed himself to be so corrupted by the Clintons. He never needed her. Yet he allowed her to run the State Department from her home server and allowed Bill his dodgy fundraising for the family foundation while Hillary was SoS. What did the Clinton's have on Obama that Obama felt he had to go along with these grifters and run the risk of being smeared with their filth? The day Obama was elected he became a multimillionaire. Being the first Black President insured him of wealth after leaving the White House. I understand the 2016 shenanigans to stay out of trouble, by then he needed insurance, I just don't get why a smart guy like Obama put himself in the position where he was at risk from the Clintons.

John henry said...

"Dirty dealings of dirt devils"

Ann, alliteration in a headline, which is what a tweet mostly is, is a sure way to grab the reader. Or so editors tell me. And I like alliteration anyway.

I think this is a callback to the phrase "Dirty deeds done dirt cheap" which was popularized by a 1976 AC/DC song.

Wikipedia says it goes back to Dishonest John in the 50s and 60s cartoon series Beany and Cecil.

I don't see it that often but I have probably seen the phrase about once a year for most of my adult life.

When I read your post, I first read it as "Dirty deeds done cheap" and only after a moment realized it was Ditry Devils.

John Henry

John henry said...

"Dirty" devils.

Though ditzy works when referring to this gang as well.

John Henry

Rigelsen said...

Mike Sylvester wrote: “Igjordan741 writes his argument clearly and compellingly.”

Unfortunately, Igjordan741 doesn’t seem to understand the technical issues involved. “Exfiltration” would make next to zero difference to the NSA or CrowdStrike’s capability to determine this was a Russian hack, unless the NSA had compromised the Russians systems in burn and was able to watch their activity in real time without them being he wiser, a tall order.

Otherwise, even if the NSA was doing real-time packet inspection, that only avails them if the Russians were so dumb as to connect directly from their systems in Russia. Instead, any such infiltration would likely have involved a number of compromised systems in between. As soon as these hosts were no longer on the American or allied Internet, the NSA’s visibility into the hops between them would be severely reduced. Short of that, the NSA/Crowdstrike would have to rely on breadcrumbs. And real hackers don’t leave easy breadcrumbs to follow unless they’re trying to get caught.

Anyway, given that the DNC computers themselves were never inspected by the FBI, that says a lot about how seriously DNC, the government, or Crowdstrike, took “Russian spying”. Otherwise, at a minimum, Crowdstrike should have cloned the systems for further analysis before “cleaning” them out return them to service. I guess we’ll see soon enough if there’s indeed any actual new information to support Russian infiltration of the DNC’s systems, or if we’re still relying on Crowdstrike’s say-so.

John henry said...

Speaking of alliteration, and way off topic, are there any other Fibber McGee fans here? He did a weekly radio show for almost 30 years (I've listened to every one) and often did an alliterative bit. Not much on youtube but here is an example from his movie:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mR7YbCV1M60

Fibber is telling a visitor how he used to work in Old Man Bigg's machine shop tinkering and inventing.

"Bigg's tinker McGee, they used to call me..." As he goes into about a minute long tongue twister.

John Henry

tcrosse said...

Sometimes I say "t'ain't funny, McGee" but nobody gets the reference.

Ray - SoCal said...

I wonder...

This is just brain storming.

1. The illegal actions seemed to be an Obama staff led operation, I don’t think Hillary’s staff was involved directly. I may be wrong in this. fusion was being paid by Hillary, and they were up to their eyeballs on this.
2. It reeks of Chicago type political knee capping, dirty political
3. It smells of dirty politics and the ends justifies the means.
4. Actions were done because everyone knew Hillary would win, and she holds grudges
5. After the election lots done to cover up what was done, and to entrap Trump.
6. Obama took Trumps insults personally, and hates him.
7. The people involved in this scandal view Trumps election as dangerous to their vision of the US.
8. Most of the government was against Trump, both executive, legislative, and I hate to type this, judicial. Basically the elite as they saw themselves, against the deplorables.
9. The msm aided and abetted this illegal coup attempt.
10. Hillary’s and Obama’s people have led the resistance to Trump using leaking, the mueller investigation, judicial, and msm.
11. A lot of dark money is being used against Trump.
12. The Democrats are personalizing Trumps actions and allowing their emotions to control their actions.
13. The Democrats are allowing Trump’s trolling to control their actions.
14. The elected gop in congress has been a reluctant ally of Trump, especially in the first two years of his administration.
15. After the mid terms the gop in congress has been a better ally of Trump.
16. The never Trumpers have lost a lot of credibility.
17. Trumps rise in popularity in the black and Latino communities terrifies the Democrats. And the usual racism charges is not working. Do they resorted to Russian collusion for a while, now?
18. The house Democrats don’t know how to deal with their fringe members, with Trump highlighting their actions. This keeps the meme the Democrats are fanatical about impeaching Trump by any means possible.
19. Dems are between a rock and a hard place on illegal immigration, and trump is not allowing the Dems to change the subject.
20. Trump is aware of the bias of the social media companies and msm, and is bypassing them to communicate to the American people.

Bruce Hayden said...

“It's been interesting to watch McCarthy slowly transition from close to a NeverTrumper to this stage where he is certain this was a crime and a scandal. Too bad some of his colleagues at NR did not make the same transition. I don'l think there will be enough Chucks to keep it alive through a second term.”

I found his progression, at times, frustrating. But understandable, since he had spent years in the DoJ. And couldn’t comprehend the depravity of getting a special prosecutor appointed primarily to protect against the discovery of the illegal and immoral spying on Trump’s campaign, transition, and early Administration. It is fairly clear, by now, that there were people in the Mueller investigation (Weissman, Strzok, Page) who knew from the start that the entire investigation was a sham, but happily joined in.

But I read something this morning by McCarthy about why he thought that Julian Assange was not being charged with conspiring with the Russians to hack and disclose the DNC emails. He said he based his conclusions on an acceptance of DNI Clapper’s hand picked (including Strzok) analysts that the Russians had hacked the DNC server and relayed the emails to Assange and Wikileaks. But why? Clapper would never lie, would he? Nor would the other people involved like Peter Strzok? McCarthy suggested that the reason was that they couldn’t give away sources and methods, and everything would be inadmissible hearsay. But the obvious counter to that is that Assange has always claimed that it was an inside job, Clapper is a lying POS, the methods he used to get his desired result were highly suspect, and the last thing that the DoJ wants right now is proof that that IC result was fraudulently obtained. The end result is the same though - the DoJ can’t make a case against Assange for the DNC emails, but think they can for the Bradly/Chelsea Manning stuff, but the statute of limitations has mostly run for that, which is why the US may never get their hands on Assange.

Bay Area Guy said...

What's gonna come out in the wash is that the SPYING on the Trump campaign started BEFORE Crossfire Hurricane was initiated and BEFORE the FISA application on Carter Page was submitted to the FISA court.

Andy McCarthy is a true American hero.

Mike Sylwester said...

Following up my comment at 9:50 AM
------------

I speculate that the Russians began studying the DNC servers in mid-2015 because some files in those servers discussed the acquisition of NSA information about Republican politicians by FBI contractors whom the FBI allowed to search the NSA databases.

The Russians were not interested mainly about US politicians. Rather, they were interested mainly in the acquisition of NSA information.

* Who was being allowed to search the NSA databases?

* What procedures were used?

* What text strings were obtained in such searches?

The Russians perceived possibilities to search NSA databases for themselves or to recruit Americans who were allowed to search those databases.

This was the Russians' main interest in the DNC servers during 2015.

=======

As the US election race continued into early 2016, the Russians became more interested in the race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The Russians came to think that a Sanders victory in the Democrat primary elections and then in the general election would be the optimum outcome for Russia, because Sanders was the most determined opponent of fracking.

The USA's fracking industry was an increasing competitor of Russia's petroleum industry.

The Russian petroleum industry might have hired expert hackers -- perhaps Russian Intelligence officers or former officers -- to conduct secret operations to help Sanders beat Clinton -- or at least to push Clinton into a more anti-fracking position.

In other words, if Russians did use stolen DNC files to meddle in our 2016 election, then that operation might have been conducted by the Russian petroleum industry -- not by Russian Intelligence.

The idea that the Kremlin was trying to destabilize American politics and to cause Americans to lose faith in Democracy always was absurd. However, the Kremlin or the Russian petroleum industry did want to help US opponents of fracking to prevail in the elections.

======

Donald Trump was irrelevant to the Russians' hacking shenanigans. The Russian hackers focused on DNC computer files about Trump, but only because the DNC leadership was arranging to search the NSA databases mostly for dirt about Trump.

======

In mid-2015 (fifteen), the NSA became aware that Russians were searching through the DNC servers. The Russians were not exfiltrating files. Rather, the Russians were copying text into Word documents or taking screenshots. By using only such methods, the Russians were able to avoid being tracked effectively by NSA to their stations in Russia. NSA could track the operations effectively only if the Russians exfiltrated files from the DNC servers back to their station.

Therefore, the NSA wanted to continue to watch the DNC servers until they caught the Russians exfiltrating files.

The NSA informed the FBI that Russians were hacking the DNC servers. However, the FBI informed only the DNC "help desk", not the DNC leadership. Therefore it seems that the NSA told the FBI to inform the DNC ineffectively. The NSA wanted the DNC to not do anything about the Russian hacking.

Eventually, however, the DNC's own IT Department discovered the hacking, and so the DNC hired CrowdStrike. Immediately, however, the NSA asked (and perhaps paid) CrowdStrike to allow the Russian hacking to continue for weeks. CrowdStrike told the DNC leadership that it was allowing the Russian hacking to continue so that CrowdStrike would be able, using its own special software, to track and identify the Russian hackers. That CrowdStrike explanation to the DNC leadership was nonsense. CrowdStrike did not have any such capability. Only the NSA has such a capability.

Mike Sylwester said...

Continuing my comment at 10:48 AM
===========

The NSA and CrowdStrike did not foresee that the Russians would give the exfiltrated files to WikiLeaks, which would leak the files to the public in order to help Sanders defeat Clinton.

The NSA and CrowdStrike assumed mistakenly that the Russians' exfiltration of the DNC files would be inconsequential.

On the other hand, the Russian hackers did not foresee that Wikileaks would delay its leaking of the DNC files until the opening of the Democrats' national convention. By that time, the leaks came too late to enable Sanders to defeat Clinton.

=======

Trump was not involved in this situation at all. However, the Trump-haters in the US Intelligence Community assumed mistakenly that he was the major culprit in the USA. He was significant only because FBI contractors were searching the NSA's databases for dirt about Trump and then providing the dirt to the DNC leadership, which discussed that dirt in files on the DNC servers.

The Russians never were trying to help Trump beat Clinton. Rather, the Russians were trying to help anti-fracking Sanders beat Clinton. If Sanders failed to defeat Clinton, then he still might at least push her into a more anti-fracking position.

iowan2 said...

The media is ignoring information that is in the public domain. Lots of testimony before congressional committees is being released. That testimony provides an accurate, corroborated timeline. There was never any suggestion of Russian collusion. Stzork revealed that in his tweets. Hundreds of other data points. The Media is going to provide campaign support for the Dems and play stupid games of 'what if' concerning the Mueller report.

Its fake news all the way down.

stevew said...

cubanbob said...
"I just don't get why a smart guy like Obama put himself in the position where he was at risk from the Clintons."

Indeed, it is perplexing, he didn't need them. Perhaps it was hubris; he could so he did and would perpetuate his position as Democrat hero. Or maybe it was a bit of extortion by the Clintons. They already had the loyalty of a great number of senior Democrat office holders and appointees (Brennan, Comey, Clapper, and Lynch), had seeded the bogus oppo research paid for by Clinton, and could threaten to expose the Obama Administration's role, besmirching the name and legacy of POTUS Obama.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

If I lived in Michigan and had a lawyer named "Chuck", I would be very concerned.

Big Mike said...

@Mike Sylwester, I have no doubt that gjordan741 is an earnest individual, but if he was any good at information technology he would have regularly internalized the need to ask himself "in what way could I be wrong?"

I can think of several ways he is wrong, or at least on shaky ground.

First, why did only the Russians hack the DNC? Why wouldn't the Chinese also be interested? Or are the Chinese sophisticated enough that the NSA can't detect their hacks? (I sure hope not!) Given the anti-Zionist tone of the Democrat party in recent years, I would expect DNC Emails to be a target for Israeli intelligence as well. And probably a lot of other countries, both allied with the US and in an adversarial relationship.

I note in passing, that the RNC seems to have understood that American political organizations are a legitimate target for foreign intelligence operations, and defended themselves effectively. Hillary Clinton didn't get that, with her use of an unsecured Email server; nor did Podesta, falling for an obvious phishing attack; nor did Congressional Democrats, using foreign nationals as their system administrators; nor did the DNC.

I am laughing at the sentence: "For a long time, the Russians did not "steal" (exfiltrate) any files. Rather, the Russians merely read them." If you can read them, if you can display them on the screen of your monitor, you have stolen them.

I have taught computer security as an adjunct professor. The thing I tried to impress on my students is the need to watch out for the insider threat. The insider is more dangerous in some respects than the outsider because the insider has a valid user id and password, and can readily pass two-factor identification. The file was downloaded at 22.6 megabytes per second, or a bit rate of 180 megbits per second. This is more than thirty six times faster than the normal Internet bandwidth, particularly for overseas data transfers. But it is within the range of a USB 2.0 connection. Best guess is that the file was downloaded by a disgruntled insider onto a thumb drive or removable hard drive.

Yes, I have read people attempting to get back to Russia! Russia! Russia! by suggested that the file copying could have been a disk to disk transfer inside the DNC's network so that hackers could pick the file apart at leisure. This is highly implausible. If they could do a disk to disk transfer inside the DNC then they could read the Email files without bothering to do a copy.

Nope, the least likely scenario is a foreign hacker copying the file, the most likely, based on data transfer rates, is an insider downloading to a removable storage media.

Please note that it does not necessarily follow that Seth Rich was that insider. Given the evident laxness of DNC's security, it could have been anyone. It could have been a Russian after all, hired by the firm that cleaned DNC HQ. Or a Chinese hired as a janitor, or an Arab or an Iranian or a Korean. Or a Jew with ties to Israeli intelligence.

Mike Sylwester said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Sylwester said...

Rigelsen at 10:29 AM
gjordan741 doesn’t seem to understand the technical issues involved

I hope that you will read his 13-part series.

Even if you do not agree with his argument, as I have summarized it, you will find a lot of good information and explanation there.

I am sure that you will find the reading to be worth your time.

John henry said...

Mike,

Interesting thought about it being the Russian petro industry rather than the state doing the spying. Though they are so closely linked one might almost ask "What's the difference?"

They certainly had an incentive. Under Obama, and likely under a president Clinton, the US petro industry would have been throttled to some extent. Even small amounts of throttling, blocking pipelines or fracking, say, would affect the price.

Russia exports almost 11mm barrels a day of oil. Each dollar shaved off the price of oil costs them about $3.5 billion in annual revenue. The fall from over $100 to $50/bbl costs them $175bn per year. About 10% of GDP.

There is certainly an incentive for the Russian petros to intervene.

John Henry

Not couch cushion change.

Mike Sylwester said...

Big Mike at 11:00 AM
First, why did only the Russians hack the DNC?

My explanation -- not gjordan741's explanation -- is that Russian Intelligence found that files in the DNC servers were discussing FBI contractors' searches of the NSA databases for information about Republican politicians.

am laughing at the sentence: "For a long time, the Russians did not "steal" (exfiltrate) any files. Rather, the Russians merely read them." If you can read them, if you can display them on the screen of your monitor, you have stolen them.

Read gjordan741's articles. Crowdstrike itself told the NYT that the Russians were only reading -- not exfiltrating -- files on the DNC servers.

Chuck said...

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...
If I lived in Michigan and had a lawyer named "Chuck", I would be very concerned.


What if you lived in California, and your psychologist was named Francisco D?

What if you lived anywhere and you had been assigned the services of a professional who called himself "Bushman of the Kohlrabi"?

rehajm said...

You really ought to hope that we don't meet

Why would you say that?

narciso said...

Interesting, but I expected more examination of the code, notably x agents, which aren't uniquely Russian, or even particularly used by the fsb, it appears similar to what happened with fire eye and Equifax, 143 million files exfiltrated while the it contractor was monitoring the system so it's a red flag the size of a sailing ship

John henry said...

Blogger Big Mike said...

it could have been anyone. It could have been a Russian after all, hired by the firm that cleaned DNC HQ. Or a Chinese hired as a janitor, or an Arab or an Iranian or a Korean. Or a Jew with ties to Israeli intelligence.

That reminded me of a story about just before WWII. Some federal agency had infiiltrated an apparently uneducated, apparently low IQ, black man into the Japanese embassy as a janitor. Apparently, the guy was too stupid to tie his shoes.

Because of this the Japanese did not throw him out of the room when maps were exposed, high level secret conversations were held and so on.

How could such a dummy, especially a racially inferior dummy, be a spy? His presence was no more dangerous than a dog's would be.

The key word was "apparently"

In reality, he was educated, smart, trained and spoke Japanese. He provided a lot of top secret info to the govt in the period before Pearl Harbour.

I keep thinking back to Woody Harrelson's "Chump" character in White Men Can't Jump or Paul Newman's Fast Eddy Felson in The Hustler.

The cockier they are about their smarts, and the DNC folks seem prime examples, the easier it is to hustle them. (Republicans are no less guilty)

Did the Demmies get played by a "Chump"?

John Henry

Francisco D said...

Go fuck yourself. You don't know me. We've never met. You really ought to hope that we don't meet.

It must be lunchtime in Michigan because our favorite LLR has apparently started in on the martinis.

He enjoys instigating verbal abuse, but threatens physical harm when he gets it. Did you also flunk out of troll school, Chuckles?

LOL!

WisRich said...

stevew said...
cubanbob said...
"I just don't get why a smart guy like Obama put himself in the position where he was at risk from the Clintons."

Indeed, it is perplexing, he didn't need them. Perhaps it was hubris; he could so he did and would perpetuate his position as Democrat hero. Or maybe it was a bit of extortion by the Clintons. They already had the loyalty of a great number of senior Democrat office holders and appointees (Brennan, Comey, Clapper, and Lynch), had seeded the bogus oppo research paid for by Clinton, and could threaten to expose the Obama Administration's role, besmirching the name and legacy of POTUS Obama.

4/16/19, 10:57 AM
----------

Remember Susan Rice's email to herself in the last remaining minutes of Obama's administration saying the investigation was "Done by the books". She knew the sh*t was going to hit the fan sometime the road and was trying to protect herself and Obama. I suspect Brennan cooked this whole thing up, got the FBI buy in, presented it to Obama as a legitimate Op and Obama went along.

Curious George Loves Inga said...

“Andy McCarthy....one of Inga's faves!”

I love Inga so much that I just cannot help mentioning her! I keep track of all her likes and dislikes, because I’m besotted with her.

The Drill SGT said...

Bruce Hayden said...
the DoJ can’t make a case against Assange for the DNC emails, but think they can for the Bradly/Chelsea Manning stuff, but the statute of limitations has mostly run for that, which is why the US may never get their hands on Assange.


Define "get their hands on"

They can charge on the DNC stuff and get him extradited. They just won't be able to get a conviction. So they will have him on US soil for a year. Given his "flight risk", perhaps in custody. But he won't do the long course at Leavenworth.*

The "short course at Leavenworth" is CGSC...

narciso said...

those charges are even more dubious than the ones re manning, they received the material, they didn't work to break into the network,

n.n said...

ome Russians -- perhaps Russian Intelligence officer or perhaps contractors of the Russian petroleum industry -- had hacked into the DNC servers during mid-2015.

So old school. The "Russians" should have applied for employment at DNC offices, following the lead of other nationals and unaffiliated groups. Under the 1/2 (e.g. Caribbean-American) or 0 (selective-child) American rule of diversity, they would have received an exemption for spying... surveiling Americans. Here's to progress.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Indeed, it is perplexing, he didn't need them. Perhaps it was hubris; he could so he did and would perpetuate his position as Democrat hero. Or maybe it was a bit of extortion by the Clintons. They already had the loyalty of a great number of senior Democrat office holders and appointees (Brennan, Comey, Clapper, and Lynch), had seeded the bogus oppo research paid for by Clinton, and could threaten to expose the Obama Administration's role, besmirching the name and legacy of POTUS Obama.”

I have long thought it likely that Obama had done a deal with the Clintons, with his side of the bargain being Sec of State for four years (to plunder the State Dept) and his support for her in 2016, when he couldn’t run. Seems like a lot for just their late campaign support, but maybe his people thought it critical for winning. But what did they really bring to the table? One recurring thought is blackmail. We know little more than the basics about Obama’s education. And people have asked other questions about him from almost the start: his paternity; where he was born; who paid for his private schooling and university education; his grades and classes; his sexual orientation; and even to go so far as to claim that Michelle was actually male. Keeping whatever was being hidden, hidden, may be sufficient to induce him to bend the law to the Clintons’ advantage. Not sure there is any there there, and not sure if there is, that we will ever find out.

Francisco D said...

Big Mike wrote:

The file was downloaded at 22.6 megabytes per second, or a bit rate of 180 megbits per second. This is more than thirty six times faster than the normal Internet bandwidth, particularly for overseas data transfers. But it is within the range of a USB 2.0 connection. Best guess is that the file was downloaded by a disgruntled insider onto a thumb drive or removable hard drive.

I can only hope that our "experts" have thought of these things. However, has any law enforcement expert ever examined the DNC server? If I recall correctly, the answer is "no" That is really suspicious.

narciso said...

when even a quatari funded outsider is more sensible:


https://twitter.com/shadihamid/status/1116388236069363717

Bruce Hayden said...

“They can charge on the DNC stuff and get him extradited.”

The problem is extradition. The Britts apparently have him, and extradition would normally be pretty straight forward - except that they need to have viable charges to arrest him on, and with the DNC emails out as justification, that leaves Manning, and since the statute of limitations has mostly run, they need to show that the special three year extension applies, and it has a decent chance of failing in court.

Achilles said...

From Mike Sylwesters post I just want to look at one of these:

The NSA became aware of this hack, but because the Russians did not exfiltrate any files, the NSA was not able to track the hacking activities back to the hackers in Russia.

This doesn't make any sense from a technical perspective.

They did a "read"? They read it from the database into memory. Shit doesn't just display on your screen from far away. It goes into your memory and your browser or whatever viewing software formats it for your screen.

I will go to the link...

But we know for a fact that the files were transfered at a rate that means physical intrusion. It could not have been done remotely.
What format? I assume it was a database query and the response was JSON? XML?

You send a request to a server. It ACKs. Stuff comes back.

There is no "exfiltrate." Once you query a server and it sends stuff back if you read it you can save it send it where ever you want.

H said...

I see some discussion here that implies that McCarthy has been inconsistent (or has "evolved") from anti-Trump to anti-Obama-spying. There is no inconsistency in holding these two beliefs: (1) that Trump was unsuited to be President and would make a bad President and (2) that it is horrible and illegal and unacceptable for a President or administration to use FBI/DoJ/intelligence to influence the outcome of an election. Perhaps it is true over time that belief (2) has come to be more important relative to belief (1), either because Trump as President hasn't been as bad as expected, or because it is true that there is nothing that can be done about belief (1), but there is a lot that can be done to correct the problems in belief (2).

Rory said...

"Speaking of alliteration, and way off topic, are there any other Fibber McGee fans here?"

Satellite radio has an old-time radio channel, including Fibber McGee, Jack Benny, Dragnet, Gunsmoke, etc., etc., etc. I like and listen to nearly all the comedies.

Brian said...

I am sure that you will find the reading to be worth your time.

I'm sorry but most appears to be innuendo and the language suggests someone not versed in networking or cyber-security in general.

If I'm reading the email on a screen sufficient enough to "screencap it into Microsoft Word" then I've already "exfiltrated" the data... to my screen.

Best guess is that the file was downloaded by a disgruntled insider onto a thumb drive or removable hard drive.

The thing is you can't tell anything of such sort by file times. File times inside of a container (such as a zip file) are just software stamps. Easily changed. File times on a drive are also easily changed. It's just a filesystem table after all.

If you wanted to spoof people to think it's an internal user doing the hack then the data you pass to someone else would look like its an internal hack.

We'll never know if it was the Russians or a janitor or Seth Rich or anything else. Once Crowdstrike wiped the systems, all evidence contained therein is gone. It's a dead end.

Yancey Ward said...

CubanBob,

Obama brought her into the administration to prevent her from running for the nomination in 2012 rather than waiting for 2016 when she would be 69 years old. This may well explain why Biden was chosen to be the VP- he was the most plausible VP choice that was already going to be over 70 years old in 2016. In short, the deal was make Hillary wait until 2016 to run again.

daskol said...

McCarthy's evolution on this matter has been interesting. He started off skeptical of the "wiretaps" claim, defending the FISA courts and the professionalism of the Justice and intelligence agency leadership. As information dripped out, he went from incredulous to gobsmacked to outraged, although his prose took a while to catch up--he was always pretty dry in his National Review and other columns. Now he's sputtering mad, and no longer lawyerly and cautious about expressing it. I hope he collects his writings on this in a book.

Big Mike said...

@Mike Sylwester, as soon as you can distinguish read from copy from exfiltrate, please let me know.

Kirk Parker said...

Rigelsen,

The account of Russian hacking is even more bogus than you say -- it appears to rely on an understanding of hacking and computer infiltration based on physical human observation rather than the digital reality.

The writer seems to think that the 'observing' somehow took place passively, as if a spy was outside a room looking in the window, relying on photons bouncing around everywhere that could not be traced back to them.

But in fact any observation they made was via network packets being sent back to them, no different in their addressing and routing than any network packets that would have been involved in 'exfiltrating' the documents they were only 'reading'.

Fen said...

Chuck: "I don't know if you are referencing the fact that in disputes with other Althouse commenters where I successfully turned those disputes into wagers, I won several bottles of my favorite adult beverages. Is that it? That I am 2-0 in Althouse.blogspot wagers?"

1) when did this ever happen?
2) do they have your mailing address, tough guy who threatens violence
3) when did "several" become "2" ?

As for where he gets off, you're q traitor. Anything that can be done to you is in bounds.

Achilles said...

I made it through 3 parts of Mike's post.

It is good stuff.

Sorry about the above post. I know you were trying and I was applying a bunch of jargon.

If what this series describes is true the DNC and Crowdstrike are unimaginably incompetent.

Bay Area Guy said...

We have some serious National Security techno cyber geeks on this blog! I say this with awe -- well done!

My only pedestrian thought is that once Seth Rich was killed, once Crowdstrike wiped the DNC systems clean, and once Hillary's private server was destroyed, well, we are left with several major black holes.

With one exception -- Julian Assange.

If his source releases him from confidentiality, well, that would be interesting, No? The other option is for him to simply squeal. I dunno if Wikileaks can survive without him. If the ship goes down, well, is squealing that bad?

mccullough said...

I doubt Obama knew about the FBI bullshit investigation.

Obama, like W, checked out as president after 6 years. I’m sure he didn’t want Trump succeeding him but thought Trump had no chance.

Comey lies and hid shit from Obama just like he did Trump.

Comey thought he was a smart guy. A player. A lot of stupid think that.

Comey is a stupid man.

Yancey Ward said...

If I were in Michigan and my pool cleaner guy were named Chuck, I would still be worried.

Achilles said...

Big Mike said...
@Mike Sylwester, as soon as you can distinguish read from copy from exfiltrate, please let me know.

Kirk Parker said...
Rigelsen,

The account of Russian hacking is even more bogus than you say -- it appears to rely on an understanding of hacking and computer infiltration based on physical human observation rather than the digital reality.


The account at the link is not bad.

He describes it as Crowdstrike watching the hackers walk around barefoot on their servers for over a month while they tried to figure out who it was before they finally removed them.

They knew packets were being sent. They just thought they could watch and figure out who it was.

The time lines are good too.

Yancey Ward said...

McCarthy was a DoJ guy in a past life, and I have been reading his columns, all of them, for a long time, even before Trump began to run for office. He was a DoJ true believer, and he brought that faith in the institution with him when he started writing columns about the Russian Collusion investigation. I don't know whether or not he was just wide-eyed and naive optimist about the integrity of the DoJ and the FBI when this started, but he is definitely a man from whose eyes the scales have been removed as this scandal has been dragged into the sun light. At pretty much every point, he has first defended the methods and actions of the DoJ/FBI in this case, but has been forced by the revelation of facts to issue one mea culpa after another. At this point, he is now a full on skeptic, questioning everything they did rather than trying to defend it first.

Yancey Ward said...

Basically, the DoJ and the FBI has made McCarthy look the fool. To his everlasting credit, though, McCarthy is a man who can publicly admit he was wrong- that is a rare, rare thing in a political pundit, and it is why I still respect him today.

daskol said...

Indeed, and I just said more or less same thing a bit upthread. Wouldn't it be great to collect his columns on this in a book? He's an honest broker, an expert on many of the relevant areas of law and law enforcement practice. That might be the very best history we could get of this imbroglio.

Mike Sylwester said...

Big Mike at 12:13 PM
as soon as you can distinguish read from copy from exfiltrate, please let me know

I understand your objection, which I myself thought while reading the articles.

I acknowledge that your expertise is far greater than mine.

However, if you will read the articles, then you will see that CrowdStrike itself told The New York Times that the Russian hacker merely read files and did not exfiltrate them.

Then on one day -- May 25, 2016 -- the Russian hacker exfiltrated all the files that ever were exfiltrated. Even though the hacking began in mid-2015 and continued until June 12, 2016, all the files were exfiltrated only on that one day. On all the other days, files were only read by the hackers.

I have to assume that there was some good reason why the hackers refrained from exfiltrating the files on all but only that one day.

Also, I have to assume that there was some good reason why (it seems to me) the NSA wanted to continue watching the hackers until they began to exfiltrate files.

I am guessing here -- as just a pedestrian -- that the NSA is able to track the hacking to the perpetrating station more effectively when files are being exfiltrated. There is some technical limitation for NSA that was understood and exploited by the Russian hackers. Somehow, NSA's tracking ability was lesser if the hackers were only "reading" files in the DNC server.

=======

I speculate further that the went further than just "reading" and did exfiltrate on that one day because the Russians wanted to study the files' metadata, rather than just read the texts.

tcrosse said...

The long and the short of it is that Obama figured it would be better to have Hillary inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Joe Digenova the other day wrote that the rank and file FBI referred to Comey as "The Cardinal". "The “Cardinal” was a sobriquet that FBI agents used to denigrate their leader."

Mike Sylwester said...

Big Mike at 11:00 AM
The file was downloaded at 22.6 megabytes per second, or a bit rate of 180 megbits per second. This is more than thirty six times faster than the normal Internet bandwidth, particularly for overseas data transfers.

That download was done on July 5, 2016, probably by Seth Rich.

I am discussing an exfiltration from the DNC servers that was done by (allegedly) Russians on May 25, 2016.

n.n said...

It is quite the amateur who spies... surveils from their home, thereby improving the establishment of a one-to-one relationship between system and person. That said, why didn't they follow the lead of other foreign actors and apply for employment at the DNC?

readering said...

How many days until Thursday?

n.n said...

Obama spied. Clinton colluded. DNC denied democracy. The press held warlock trials.

Yancey Ward said...

How many old people are still hanging onto life until Thursday?

Achilles said...

Mike Sylwester said...


However, if you will read the articles, then you will see that CrowdStrike itself told The New York Times that the Russian hacker merely read files and did not exfiltrate them.

That isn't how it works. I assume the nerds at Crowdstrike had trouble explaining to the retard at the NYT what was actually happening so they just gave up and the misunderstanding got printed.

Then on one day -- May 25, 2016 -- the Russian hacker exfiltrated all the files that ever were exfiltrated. Even though the hacking began in mid-2015 and continued until June 12, 2016, all the files were exfiltrated only on that one day. On all the other days, files were only read by the hackers.

I have to assume that there was some good reason why the hackers refrained from exfiltrating the files on all but only that one day.


That is all nonsense from a technical perspective.

I know you are trying to understand this so I will try to describe what Rigelson posted in better terms.

The hackers had access to the server probably through a privilege escalation attack. They were accessing the server. Every time you "read" a file you for all intents and purposes download it. A series of TCP/IP packets is sent from the server to the hacker computer. A page is opened on the hacker's computer in virtual memory. You "exfiltrate" every file every time you read it.

The term hacker is awful by the way to geeks.

There are ways to track a hacker to find an identity, but the tools the hacker has to avoid tracing are better and on even skill levels the hacker will remain anonymous.

The large transfer of files was someone else. The hacker had no need as they were able to just walk around and peek at stuff at leisure. It would make no sense to cause a massive spike in network activity that is guaranteed to attract notice. They already had all the files copied.

Browndog said...

McCarthy spent a year and a half defending the integrity of the Mueller investigation.

It was a slow turn, but a complete 180 in the end. The evidence, court filings, and tactics became too much for him to ignore.

Does anyone remember the text message from Lisa Page "The White House wants to know everything"?

Apparently not.

Mike Sylwester said...

Brian at 12:09 PM
If I'm reading the email on a screen sufficient enough to "screencap it into Microsoft Word" then I've already "exfiltrated" the data... to my screen.

I understand that.

However, the hackers were careful not to exfiltrate files. The hackers merely read (or whatever) the files on the DNC.

Then, on May 25, 2016, the hackers exfiltrated thousands of files. Not before that date, and not after that date.

Also, NSA (I think) told CrowdStrike to allow the hackers to continue to read the files -- until the hackers began the exfiltration.

I don't know why, but there was a significant difference between merely "reading" files and exfiltrating them.

Achilles said...

Mike Sylwester said...

I am guessing here -- as just a pedestrian -- that the NSA is able to track the hacking to the perpetrating station more effectively when files are being exfiltrated. There is some technical limitation for NSA that was understood and exploited by the Russian hackers. Somehow, NSA's tracking ability was lesser if the hackers were only "reading" files in the DNC server.

I am just trying to help.

None of that is right.

A packet is a packet. If I read a file I download the file. In order to read it my computer needs a digital copy. It is mine. It is sent over in a series of packets. Every communication with the server as you move around is done in TCP/IP packets.

The packet is traceable whether it is a GET or a POST or whatever format or protocol. All packets are generally rendered down in size and multiple copies are sent with error checking etc.

TCP/IP protocol is the background info you would be interested in here.

Release the Mueller Report said...

If the report is going to be very heavily redacted, I suspect someone will leak the unredacted report. The real American people demand to know the truth.

Amadeus 48 said...

Just wait until Thursday. Having been wrong about everything for over two years, the MSM will pronounce that the Mueller report proclaims Trump’s guilt, and that Barr, Mueller, and Rosenstein are part of a conspiracy so vast that it defies the understanding omen, women, and others. Schiff will darkly proclaim that they got to Mueller, and he has seen the proof.
Somewhere along the way in the last 30 years, we stopped being serious people. I blame Perot.

Drago said...

"The real American people demand to know the truth."

Those democrats/leftists/LLR-left really dont like living under the laws they pass, do they?

Mike Sylwester said...

Achilles at 1:37 PM
A packet is a packet. If I read a file I download the file. In order to read it my computer needs a digital copy. It is mine. It is sent over in a series of packets. Every communication with the server as you move around is done in TCP/IP packets.

Maybe the exfiltration of a file is recorded better by the server. In contrast, just "reading" a file is recorded less effectively.

The hacker seems to have refrained from exfiltrating files for some good reason.

Browndog said...

Any redactions in the Mueller report is grounds for impeachment (obstruction of justice)

-In before Maxine Waters

Brian said...

However, if you will read the articles, then you will see that CrowdStrike itself told The New York Times that the Russian hacker merely read files and did not exfiltrate them.

Or, you know, someone was bullshitting someone to make it seem not as bad as it was. Or the NYT didn't understand what was being said, or any number of other things. That's not evidence.

What we know is that DNC emails (specifically Podesta) and voice mails (likely contained in some of the emails) were "hacked". By outside actors, inside actors, little green men, nobody can say. We only know about them because Wikileaks released them.

CrowdStrike may know, but they aren't telling. Mueller may know, but I doubt he kicked over that rock. I doubt that Crowdstrike "watched" anybody walking around systems they were responsible for securing. The NSA isn't going to pay the lawsuit when they get sued. They'll never get their credibility back.

Don't die on the "but the timestamps!" hill. It's wishful thinking. The Russians may have hacked the DNC. They likely attempted to hack the RNC. There were news stories to that effect during the timeframe in question. That doesn't lead to collusion or treason or any of the other things that Trump is accused of.

Quaestor said...

Go fuck yourself. You don't know me. We've never met. You really ought to hope that we don't meet. sez four-foot-nine ponce Chuck.

Brian said...

Maybe the exfiltration of a file is recorded better by the server. In contrast, just "reading" a file is recorded less effectively.

Or maybe they "exfiltrated" the file and just wanted people to THINK they only "read" them. It's all bullshit. The problem is that you are relying on articles designed for a 5th grade level for very technical subjects.

It's as much wishful thinking as the "secret indictments" from Mueller.

All we know definitively is that information owned by the DNC was released by Wikileaks. That's it. Don't get out in front of your skis on anything more.

Browndog said...

CrowdStrike is listed as a CIA contractor in their (public) budget appropriations.

Brian said...

CrowdStrike is listed as a CIA contractor in their (public) budget appropriations.

So?

Mike Sylwester said...

Brian at 2:01 PM
All we know definitively is that information owned by the DNC was released by Wikileaks. That's it. Don't get out in front of your skis on anything more.

That is good advice.

I appreciate all the criticisms I have received in this thread.

Browndog said...

Brian said...

CrowdStrike is listed as a CIA contractor in their (public) budget appropriations.

So?


What's your problem, pal?

Milwaukie guy said...

Does exfiltrate just mean anonymous copying to another network, like in a batch? Isn't roaming, or hacking, around the DNC server reading stuff then be infiltrating?

narciso said...

It remains removing data not mere viewing

Speaking of which the claims of malware! About the maralago incident seen to have been overblown

Brian said...

What's your problem, pal?

None. What does Crowdstrike doing contracting for the CIA mean?

A) They are such experts a big government operation uses them for services for their own internal networks?

Or

B) They are in bed with the CIA in an op against the President?

Your original statement means nothing. It isn't evidence of anything. It's innuendo, and not even good innuendo as it could be taken for opposite points depending on which side of the cognitive dissonance your brain is on.

Hence it's noise.

Big Mike said...

@Mike Sylwester, please go back and read the final paragraph of my 11:00 comment. That it was an insider seems very likely, with the caveat that the insider might be a foreign national in some apparently innocuous role. But to conclude that because Seth Rich was murdered, and the Washington, DC, police apparently disinterested in finding his killer, that is a leap I will not take, and I urge you not to take that leap either.

Alternate explanations include (1) someone stealing Seth Rich's user id and password to masquerade as Seth Rich, (2) someone downloading the Email file but leaving what we call "breadcrumbs" back to Seth Rich, (3) someone downloading the Email file, not leaving breadcrumbs back to Seth Rich, however Seth really was the victim of a random murder (it's not as though the DC police are the sharpest tacks in the bulletin board).

I'm not going to try to pretend to be within the same league as George Kurtz -- hardly anyone is, when it comes to cybersecurity. But, again, look at my comment at 11:00, the DNC is what we call a legitimate intelligence target -- so is the RNC, so is every major political campaign, so is every defense contractor (e.g., Lockheed Martin, Boeing), so is every federal agency, right down to the Department of Agriculture. So it would not surprise me that Crowdstrike would find evidence of Russian penetration in the DNC. That James Comey would proclaim that CrowdStrike and other firms attributed "the" hack to Russians surprises me only in that Comey, being an even duller tack in the bulletin board, assumes there was only one. Plus, given his track record, he might well be lying about what CrowdStrike found. Hard to believe CrowdStrike could overlook the issue with download transfer rates.

I spent eight years being frustrated at the Democrats' apparent total disinterest in safeguarding sensitive information. There was a hack of OPM data, the hack of SF-86 data was even more egregious. I've filled out SF-86s in my day, and by law you must put every piece of financial data, every piece of personal data, even every piece of information that you could be blackmailed over, on that form. And then some idiot in the Obama administration made that information accessible over the Internet. That they would extend their casual view of cybersecurity to Hillary Clinton's official Email traffic as Secretary of State, to the DNC and to foreigners administering the systems of leading Democrats, probably shouldn't surprise me, but still ...

I am also frustrated that people aren't also looking at the Chinese. Here's an interesting exercise. Compare pictures of the Chinese Xian Y-20 with our own Air Force's C-17, built by Boeing. Except for the main landing gear, the Y-20 is essentially a rivet for rivet copy. But only the Russians spy on us? Give me a break, people! And if anyone thinks that the Israelis aren't among the leaders of computer research, just go read a few of their published technical papers.

Big Mike said...

They are such experts a big government operation uses them for services for their own internal networks?

Tsk, tsk. It used to be classified that the CIA even used any outside consultants for any purpose. Yes, CrowdStrike has an outstanding reputation for cybersecurity expertise.

Achilles said...

Mike Sylwester said...

Maybe the exfiltration of a file is recorded better by the server. In contrast, just "reading" a file is recorded less effectively.

The hacker seems to have refrained from exfiltrating files for some good reason.


This just sounds like a nerd trying to badly explain something to a laymen. If they were trying to explain it to a journalist then they were likely trying to explain it to an idiot.

Exfiltrate is not a word we would use. It makes no sense in any context. We used it sometimes in the Army when the PL talked in a conop but in network protocol?

If I have root/admin privileges and I am reading files all of those transactions are recorded. If I open a file a digital copy is sent to my computer in packets. All of those transactions are logged. Every file access is logged by who and when and what. At that point it is mine. If I was doing this for months I had everything on the servers I opened or "read."

There is no second step. There is no "exfiltrate."

If I go into a file and change it then I trigger a "write" and that is logged. This is all obvious and trackable. Almost all of this happens on relational databases now in a cloud environment. A "copy" depending on by reference or value creates either a second instance of a file or a second pointer to a current file. As it relates to the database that is even more of a pile of technical lingo and garbage.

The point is that isn't how it works. There isn't any difference between a "read" and a download in laymen terms.

Now one of the issues with hunting down hackers is there can be millions or billions of lines of logs on large servers. I have actually worked with people who are trying to set up real time machine learning algorithms to automate security checking of these logs.

The second event where everything was transfered in one grabwas someone else. The transfer rates were too high to be done over IPv4/6 in any normal setting. That was 99% chance a large portable flash drive physically plugged into an actual network device. And there was no point if they had read access to everything for months.

It sounds like there were an unknowable number of people compromising the DNC servers because they were just fucking idiots.

Mike Sylwester said...

Big Mike at 4:12 PM
Alternate explanations include (1) someone stealing Seth Rich's user id and password to masquerade as Seth Rich, (2) someone downloading the Email file but leaving what we call "breadcrumbs" back to Seth Rich, (3) someone downloading the Email file, not leaving breadcrumbs back to Seth Rich, however Seth really was the victim of a random murder

It's too bad that the US Government apparently does not intend to explain anything.

Leland said...

Maybe the exfiltration of a file is recorded better by the server. In contrast, just "reading" a file is recorded less effectively.

As the lady said; "that's not how this works, it's not how anything works".

The sad part is Achilles just explained how it does work in the proceeding quoted section. The packet is a packet.

Once the data file has become a TCP/IP packet; it has been "exfiltrated" (if you really insist on using that word) from the server. It has been served and now can be received. The reception physically is a download of the TCP/IP packet. Actually many of them that the receiving terminal has combined back into a file, if you are reading the "exfiltrated" or "served" file. The file may not be amended, and thus can only be "read", but you are reading the content of the various TCP/IP packets received (exfiltrated).

The reason TCP/IP is mentioned, is because the TCP/IP packet contains the "From/To" information. If you believe the Russians hacked anything from the Internet, then you are interested in the "To" information. Or, as mentioned by others previously, you have to have the Russian receiving computer with evidence the file that shouldn't be there is there (and that would be a neat trick to both do that and prove you are innocent that just found that key bit of information).

Darkisland said...

Blogger narciso said...

It remains removing data not mere viewing

So you are saying that exfiltrating means copying the data (however) from the original server then deleting ti from the original server?

That is the first explanation of the difference that I have heard that makes any sense.

Though I can't see why anyone would want to delete files from the original server. In most cases all that would do is make it obvious someone had been there.

I suppose if the server held a file damaging to me and I knew it was the only copy (or I could do the same thing to every other copy somehow) deleting it might make sense. In general though, no.

John Henry

Darkisland said...

Another line of security problems entirely but how come we never hear of the Awan brothers anymore?

They apparently got off scott free.

John Henry

Kevin said...

If you're havin' trouble with the orange one's head
He's givin' you the blues
You want to win but not in 'is bed
Here's what you gotta do
Pick up the phone
I'm always home
Call me any time
Just ring
FBI DOJ GPS hey
I lead a life of crime

Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds and they're done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds and they're done dirt cheap

narciso said...

well at the beginning, the company used hughes tool, the maheu agency, (to approach parties like wouldn't like to be connected to the us government) mullen and co in south America, that's the late Robert bennett's firm who fired howard hunt, the idea of a private concern operating technical systems related to the puzzle palace, was a little less likely, but then you see trw, in the chris boyce affair, as the organization became more expansive and bureaucratized you end up with Rodney whitakers 'mother company' which resembles certain real life enterprises, crowdstrike, expanded into the field of the bureau's domain, with shawn price neatly eliding between the private and public world, in the uk, the fiction of Flemings universal exports, has become the reality of haklyut (downer) and fusion (steele, burrows) I suspect a firm like matt tait's capital partners, was enlisted to do the same for ghcq,

Nichevo said...

There are any number of possible exploits. For instance, you could RDP into a machine on their network, open the file on that machine and read through it, capturing the RDP session in one of a number of ways, which would not necessarily leave the trail of a file transfer.

Mike Sylwester said...

What does RDP mean?

Leland said...

Remote Desktop Protocol

Browndog said...

Brian said...

What's your problem, pal?

None. What does Crowdstrike doing contracting for the CIA mean?

A) They are such experts a big government operation uses them for services for their own internal networks?

Or

B) They are in bed with the CIA in an op against the President?

Your original statement means nothing. It isn't evidence of anything. It's innuendo, and not even good innuendo as it could be taken for opposite points depending on which side of the cognitive dissonance your brain is on.

Hence it's noise.


First of all, I've never seen someone on Althouse take the time to reply with to a comment with "so?".

Up your game.

Secondly, my original comment, a reply to "so?" was eaten by Blogger. Which is too bad, since it explained why that bit of information by be unknown to some Althouse readers, and important to their own self-discovery of who and what are behind this entire sordid ordeal.

Thirdly, there is a concept;cutting edge new, but effective--*SOB. It saves tiresome exchanges such as these.

*SOB/Scroll On By

Fen said...

"It sounds like there were an unknowable number of people compromising the DNC servers because they were just fucking idiots."

I've read that Podesta's password was p@ssword.

And that he asked his tech if he should click on what he suspected was a phishing email and the NO was miscommunicated or misunderstood to be YES.

Then there are people who, having researched all the details of the Mueller investigation that are horrified all these "top men" launched such an incompetent coup attempt. CIA Director Brennan being Head Clown.

And to think we take heat for second-guessing the "experts".

I'm still trying to understand why the French have forgotten how to put out a fire. I think it's related.

Bruce Hayden said...

The end of the article:

It is a major investigative step to seek surveillance warrants from the FISA court. Unlike using an informant (a human spy), for which no court authorization is necessary, applications for FISA surveillance require approvals at the highest levels of the Justice Department and the FBI. After going through that elaborate process, the Obama Justice Department and the FBI presented to the court the dossier’s allegations that the Trump campaign was coordinating with Russia to undermine the 2016 election.

To be sure, no sensible person argues that the government should refrain from investigating if, based on compelling evidence, the FBI suspects individuals — even campaign officials, even a party’s nominee — of acting as clandestine agents of a hostile foreign power. The question is: What should trigger such an investigation in a democratic republic whose norms strongly discourage an incumbent administration’s use of the government’s spying powers against political opponents?

The Obama administration decided that this norm did not apply to the Trump campaign. If all the Obama administration had been trying to do was check out a few bad apples with suspicious Russia ties, the FBI could easily have alerted any of a number of Trump campaign officials with solid national-security credentials — Rudy Giuliani, Jeff Sessions, Chris Christie. The agents could have asked for the campaign’s help. Instead, Obama officials made the Trump campaign the subject of a counterintelligence investigation.

That only makes sense if the Obama administration’s premise was that Donald Trump himself was a Russian agent.

Fen said...

"Brennan et al. going for broke with a very weak hand. Why did they stake so much on so little?"

A President's first 100 days are his most effective as regards agenda setting. If the Deep State's goal was to simply wait-out the term of a swamp drainer, handicapping him with Mueller would be a good tactic.

Even moreso if the appearance of Trump being a Russian puppet threw the House to the Dems and created gridlock.

I hate to harp on it but to me this seems like another example of Republicans turning a rout into an orderly retreat and calling that a victory.

Fusion GPS should have been raided last week.