By Rob Enderle
Jan. 9, 2017
Russia and the DNC – just the fact
Now here are the facts. The DNC was breached. WikiLeaks got the information from the breach and released it starting prior to the end of the of the democratic party primary. This release surfaced DNC activity indicating they were working against Bernie Sanders in violation of its own rules. The head of the DNC was fired. These are all undisputed facts.
However, just because you discover an information breach doesn’t mean you’ve discovered the information breach. Unlike physical objects you can steal information multiple times and still have it remain in place. Particularly with a breach that is only discovered as a result of disclosure, as opposed to an invasive audit, there is a high probability that there are multiple breaches, because though you’ve identified the fact that your security is inadequate, you still may not be able to catch the thief without him/her disclosing the theft. Or, put another way, if you have 30 kids who have access to the answers in a test and one kid says he used them to cheat, it doesn’t mean the others didn’t yet that seems to be the common assumption.
Now the head of WikiLeaks claims he didn’t get the information he released from Russia and has implied he got it from a disgruntled DNC employee who was allegedly murdered. The investigation into the hack identified that Russian tools were used and it was done by hackers who spoke Russian.
Now stop for a second. If Russia excels in anything it is espionage. It is a country that is actually run by a guy who was once a top spy. Much like the U.S. wouldn’t leave obvious fingerprints if they were to hack a foreign government, Russia wouldn’t either and both countries employ competent people. Both Russian and NSA hacking tools exist in the wild and both are competent particularly to hack a server that wasn’t well-secured. And the tool used was in the wild so anyone, including our own intelligence organizations, could have used it but if the NSA was going to frame Russia they’d also likely do a far less obvious job of it.
What the misdirection seems to be covering up
There are three things that we have lost track of in our focus on Russia.
1. The release of the information is more important than the breach and it appeared timed more to help Bernie Sanders than Trump.
2. The claim that a now dead DNC staffer was the source for the information released and, if he was the actual WikiLeaks source, he likely was working for someone else (because he was not identified in the investigation as having stolen this information).