I am sending you two articles which seem contradictory. The first suggests that the DNC and the RNC were not hacked, but that there was a leak. The senders of the article indicate there is no evidence of a hack. However, I am missing out on where the evidence is for a leak. And who was the leaker?
In the second article, David Corn, though, indicates the NSA confirmed there was Russian hacking, So who does the average person believe? I believe the Russians hacked into both the DNC and the RNC emails. However, for obvious reasons only the DNC emails were released. What do you think.
US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims
As the hysteria about Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. election grows, a key mystery is why U.S. intelligence would rely on “circumstantial evidence” when it has the capability for hard evidence, say U.S. intelligence veterans.
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Allegations of Hacking Election Are Baseless
A New York Times report on Monday alluding to “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” leading the CIA to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin “deployed computer hackers with the goal of tipping the election to Donald J. Trump” is, sadly, evidence-free. This is no surprise, because harder evidence of a technical nature points to an inside leak, not hacking – by Russians or anyone else.
Monday’s Washington Post reports that Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has joined other senators in calling for a bipartisan investigation of suspected cyber-intrusion by Russia. Reading our short memo could save the Senate from endemic partisanship, expense and unnecessary delay.
In what follows, we draw on decades of senior-level experience – with emphasis on cyber-intelligence and security – to cut through uninformed, largely partisan fog. Far from hiding behind anonymity, we are proud to speak out with the hope of gaining an audience appropriate to what we merit – given our long labors in government and other areas of technology. And corny though it may sound these days, our ethos as intelligence professionals remains, simply, to tell it like it is – without fear or favor.
We have gone through the various claims about hacking. For us, it is child’s play to dismiss them. The email disclosures in question are the result of a leak, not a hack. Here’s the difference between leaking and hacking:
Leak: When someone physically takes data out of an organization and gives it to some other person or organization, as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning did.
Hack: When someone in a remote location electronically penetrates operating systems, firewalls or any other cyber-protection system and then extracts data.
All signs point to leaking, not hacking. If hacking were involved, the National Security Agency would know it – and know both sender and recipient.
In short, since leaking requires physically removing data – on a thumb drive, for example – the only way such data can be copied and removed, with no electronic trace of what has left the server, is via a physical storage device.
Awesome Technical Capabilities
Again, NSA is able to identify both the sender and recipient when hacking is involved. Thanks largely to the material released by Edward Snowden, we can provide a full picture of NSA’s extensive domestic data-collection network including Upstream programs like Fairview, Stormbrew and Blarney. These include at least 30 companies in the U.S. operating the fiber networks that carry the Public Switched Telephone Network as well as the World Wide Web. This gives NSA unparalleled access to data flowing within the U.S. and data going out to the rest of the world, as well as data transiting the U.S.
In other words, any data that is passed from the servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) or of Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) – or any other server in the U.S. – is collected by the NSA. These data transfers carry destination addresses in what are called packets, which enable the transfer to be traced and followed through the network.
Packets: Emails being passed across the World Wide Web are broken down into smaller segments called packets. These packets are passed into the network to be delivered to a recipient. This means the packets need to be reassembled at the receiving end.
To accomplish this, all the packets that form a message are assigned an identifying number that enables the receiving end to collect them for reassembly. Moreover, each packet carries the originator and ultimate receiver Internet protocol number (either IPV4 or IPV6) that enables the network to route data.
When email packets leave the U.S., the other “Five Eyes” countries (the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) and the seven or eight additional countries participating with the U.S. in bulk-collection of everything on the planet would also have a record of where those email packets went after leaving the U.S.
These collection resources are extensive [see attached NSA slides 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]; they include hundreds of trace route programs that trace the path of packets going across the network and tens of thousands of hardware and software implants in switches and servers that manage the network. Any emails being extracted from one server going to another would be, at least in part, recognizable and traceable by all these resources.
The bottom line is that the NSA would know where and how any “hacked” emails from the DNC, HRC or any other servers were routed through the network. This process can sometimes require a closer look into the routing to sort out intermediate clients, but in the end sender and recipient can be traced across the network.
The various ways in which usually anonymous spokespeople for U.S. intelligence agencies are equivocating – saying things like “our best guess” or “our opinion” or “our estimate” etc. – shows that the emails alleged to have been “hacked” cannot be traced across the network. Given NSA’s extensive trace capability, we conclude that DNC and HRC servers alleged to have been hacked were, in fact, not hacked.
The evidence that should be there is absent; otherwise, it would surely be brought forward, since this could be done without any danger to sources and methods. Thus, we conclude that the emails were leaked by an insider – as was the case with Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Such an insider could be anyone in a government department or agency with access to NSA databases, or perhaps someone within the DNC.
As for the comments to the media as to what the CIA believes, the reality is that CIA is almost totally dependent on NSA for ground truth in the communications arena. Thus, it remains something of a mystery why the media is being fed strange stories about hacking that have no basis in fact. In sum, given what we know of NSA’s existing capabilities, it beggars belief that NSA would be unable to identify anyone – Russian or not – attempting to interfere in a U.S. election by hacking.
For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)
Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator
Larry Johnson, former CIA Intelligence Officer & former State Department Counter-Terrorism Official
Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)
Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East, CIA (ret.)
Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA (ret.)
The NSA Chief Says Russia Hacked the 2016 Election. Congress Must Investigate.
It's up to Capitol Hill to protect American democracy.
By David Corn | Wed Nov. 16, 2016 3:24 PM EST
Despite all the news being generated by the change of power underway in Washington, there is one story this week that deserves top priority: Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. On Tuesday, the director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Michael Rogers, was asked about the WikiLeaks release of hacked information during the campaign, and he said , "This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect." He added, "This was not something that was done casually. This was not something that was done by chance. This was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily."
This was a stunning statement that has echoed other remarks from senior US officials. He was saying that Russia directly intervened in the US election to obtain a desired end: presumably to undermine confidence in US elections or to elect Donald Trump—or both. Rogers was clearly accusing Vladimir Putin of meddling with American democracy. This is news worthy of bold and large front-page headlines—and investigation. Presumably intelligence and law enforcement agencies are robustly probing the hacking of political targets attributed to Russia. But there is another inquiry that is necessary: a full-fledged congressional investigation that holds public hearings and releases its findings to the citizenry.
If the FBI, CIA, and other intelligence agencies are digging into the Russian effort to affect US politics, there is no guarantee that what they uncover will be shared with the public. Intelligence investigations often remain secret for the obvious reasons: they involve classified information. And law enforcement investigations—which focus on whether crimes have been committed—are supposed to remain secret until they produce indictments. (And then only information pertinent to the prosecution of a case is released, though the feds might have collected much more.) The investigative activities of these agencies are not designed for public enlightenment or assurance. That's the job of Congress.
When traumatic events and scandals that threaten the nation or its government have occurred—Pearl Harbor, Watergate, the Iran-contra affair, 9/11—Congress has conducted investigations and held hearings. The goal has been to unearth what went wrong and to allow the government and the public to evaluate their leaders and consider safeguards to prevent future calamities and misconduct. That is what is required now. If a foreign government has mucked about and undercut a presidential election, how can Americans be secure about the foundation of the nation and trust their own government? They need to know specifically what intervention occurred, what was investigated (and whether those investigations were conducted well), and what steps are being taken to prevent further intrusions.
There already is much smoke in the public realm: the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton's campaign. Also, Russian hackers reportedly targeted  state election systems in Arizona and Illinois. Coincidentally or not, the Russian deputy foreign minister said  after the election that Russian government officials had conferred with members of Trump's campaign squad. (A former senior counterintelligence officer for a Western service sent  memos to the FBI claiming that he had found evidence of a Russian intelligence operation to coopt and cultivate Trump.) And the DNC found evidence  suggesting its Washington headquarters had been bugged—but there was no indication of who was the culprit. In his recent book, The Plot to Hack America, national security expert Malcolm Nance wrote, "Russia has perfected political warfare by using cyber assets to personally attack and neutralize political opponents…At some point Russia apparently decided to apply these tactics against the United States and so American democracy itself was hacked."
Several House Democrats, led by Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, have urged  the FBI to investigate links between Trump's team and Russia, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has done the same . According to various news reports, Russia-related probes have been started by the FBI targeting Americans associated with the Trump campaign. One reportedly was focused on Carter Page , a businessman whom the Trump campaign identified as a Trump adviser, and another was focused on Paul Manafort , who served for a time as Trump's campaign manager. (Page and Manafort have denied any wrongdoing; Manafort said no investigation was happening.)
Yet there is a huge difference between an FBI inquiry that proceeds behind the scenes (and that may or may not yield public information) and a full-blown congressional inquiry that includes open hearings and ends with a public report. So far, the only Capitol Hill legislator who has publicly called for such an endeavor is Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). On Tuesday, Graham, who was harshly critical of Trump during the campaign, proposed  that Congress hold hearings on "Russia's misadventures throughout the world," including the DNC hack. "Were they involved in cyberattacks that had a political component to it in our elections?" Graham said. He pushed Congress to find out.
The possibility that a foreign government covertly interfered with US elections to achieve a particular outcome is staggering and raises the most profound concerns about governance within the United States. An investigation into this matter should not be relegated to the secret corners of the FBI or the CIA. The public has the right to know if Putin or anyone else corrupted the political mechanisms of the nation. There already is reason to be suspicious. Without a thorough examination, there will be more cause to question American democracy.
Source URL: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/11/will-congress-investigate-russian-interference-2016-campaign
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