Pardon me, but I physically recoil when I read yellow journalism by shills trying to promote a narrative that is either entirely false or exaggerated for political purposes. During the election, at the vanguard of the Clinton talking points were to ignore all of the scandals coming out of Wikileaks or the DNCleaks because they were the byproduct of Russian hacking — a charge that was never backed up with any real evidence. CNN even went as far to say that it was ILLEGAL to possess the Wikileaks and that viewers should only watch CNN to see what it was all about. Utter and complete bullshit. Now we have a consummate professional shill, Chris Strohm, reporting for Bloomberg — suggesting that one of the leading internet security companies in the country believes Russia ‘weaponized social media’ to affect the elections. By doing so, Strohm is attempting to legitimize a talking point that hitherto has proven to be nothing short of conspiratorial guess work. Let’s examine his evidence. Claim: Russia’s government didn’t just hack and leak documents from U.S. political groups during the presidential campaign: It used social media as a weapon to influence perceptions about the election, according to cybersecurity company FireEye Inc.
Material stolen by Russia’s intelligence services was feverishly promoted by online personas and numerous fake accounts through links to leaked material and misleading narratives, according to an analysis of thousands of postings, links and documents by FireEye, which tracks Russian and Chinese hackers breaking into U.S. systems. The operation was a new and belligerent escalation by Moscow in the cyber domain, company Chairman David DeWalt said.
Firstly, FireEye has been making a lot of claims for a very long time. This isn’t anything new. Plus, their stock is a steaming pile of shit, down about 90% over the past few years — the very worst mut in a kennel filled with dogs. Secondly, there are hackers everywhere, many of which live right here in the US. Just because something is coming from Russia doesn’t mean the fucking government is doing it to crush the democrats. This is lazy thinking and not at all rational.
“The dawning of Russia as a cyber power is at a whole other level than it ever was before,” DeWalt said in an interview in Washington. “We’ve seen what I believe is the most historical event maybe in American democracy history in terms of the Russian campaign.”
What does that even mean? Yes, hacking is at an all time high. Yes, people need to remain vigilant. But when you say ‘Russia as a cyber power’, are you implying that the Russian government is doing it? If so, show us the evidence.
The closeness of the Nov. 8 election sparked scrutiny over the spread of fake news and has fueled demands from Green Party candidate Jill Stein, backed by some Democrats and independents, for a recount in key states lost by Democrat Hillary Clinton. President-elect Donald Trump responded on Twitter that “millions” of people voted illegally, which he said may have been what cost him the popular vote, but he offered no evidence.
A computer scientist for Stein said security flaws in voting machines and suspicions of Russian meddling justified the recount efforts. J. Alex Halderman, a professor at the University of Michigan, said hackers could have infected Pennsylvania’s voting machines with malware designed to lay dormant for weeks, pop up on Election Day and then erase itself without a trace. Trump narrowly won Pennsylvania as well as two other states where Stein’s campaign may seek recounts, Michigan and Wisconsin.
None of what he just said in the paragraph above is true. All parties, including Stein and Clinton have said, repeatedly, that there is no evidence that the elections were tampered with. Nate Silver, hardly a fan of Trump, explains to people drolling about the earth, like Strohm, that it’s the demographics stupid, not the Russians.
We found no apparent correlation5 between voting method and outcome in six of the eight states, and a thin possible link between voting method and results in Wisconsin and Texas. However, the two states showed opposite results: The use of any machine voting in a county was associated with a 5.6-percentage-point reduction in Democratic two-party vote share in Wisconsin but a 2.7-point increase in Texas, both of which were statistically significant.6 Even if we focus only on Wisconsin, the effect disappears when we weight our results by population. More than 75 percent of Wisconsin’s population lives in the 23 most populous counties, which don’t appear to show any evidence for an effect driven by voting systems.7 To have effectively manipulated the statewide vote total, hackers probably would have needed to target some of these larger counties. When we included all counties but weighted the regression by the number of people living in each county, the statistical significance of the opposite effects in Wisconsin and Texas both evaporated.
Even if the borderline significant result for Wisconsin didn’t vanish when weighting by population, it would be doubtful, for a few reasons. You’re more likely to find a significant result when you make multiple tests, as we did by looking at eight states with and without weighting by population.9 Also, different places in Wisconsin and Texas use different kinds of voting machines; presumably if someone really did figure out how to hack certain machines, we’d see different results depending on which type of machines were used in a county, but we don’t. And Nate Cohn of The New York Times found that when he added another control variable to race and education — density of the population — the effect of paper ballots vanished.
Back to Bloomberg’s Russian scare.
Kevin Mandia, chief executive officer, of Milpitas, California-based FireEye, and DeWalt said in the interview this week that they haven’t seen any evidence that U.S. vote tabulation systems were hacked. And U.S. officials have said they saw only “minor” cyber incidents on Election Day.
What the fuck is that all about? If you weren’t paying attention, the headline said ‘social media’ was playing a role in the elections, not hacking. But then the reporter delved right into hacking, making it seem like FireEye was implying there might’ve been a breach. Strohm even mentioned some guy who said some miracle voting virus could’ve been planted ahead of time and activated on election day. Yeah, and I could’ve won the lottery the other day, had I played it.
“We did not see anything that I would characterize as significant,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said at a Bloomberg Government event Nov. 14 in Washington. “There were minor incidents here and there of the type that you would normally expect, but nothing significant.”
End of story, right? Of course not, the lies have to be woven into an intricate web of deceit in order to confuse an otherwise idiot public. He continues.
Russian officials have repeatedly rejected accusations that the government hacks or supports groups that does so on its behalf.
That hasn’t quelled concerns. The activity detected in the FireEye analysis echoed the Russian strategy of information warfare seen previously in cyber attacks on Estonia, Georgia and Ukraine, where a simmering border conflict has claimed almost 10,000 lives over 2 1/2 years.
As far as I can tell, the so called ‘information warfare’ is nothing more than a few trolls opening up Twitter and Facebook accounts to fuck with people. Hello, wakey the fuck up. This is stupid.
The strategy isn’t limited to online media. The U.K. in October closed the British bank account for RT, a Russian state-controlled news service that was reprimanded by the U.K. media regulator Ofcom for biased or misleading reporting on Syria and Ukraine. Russia protested the move, saying it was being targeted for political reasons.
On Tuesday, Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee sent President Barack Obama a letter asking him to declassify information about Russian activity related to the U.S. election.
“We believe there is additional information concerning the Russian government and the U.S. election that should be declassified and released to the public,” the senators wrote. “We are conveying specifics through classified channels.”
Then do it and show us the evidence. Anything short of evidence is idle speculation or propaganda.
A month before the election, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Homeland Security Department issued a joint statement saying American intelligence agencies were confident that Russia directed hacking against U.S. political groups.
“The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts,” according to the statement. “The Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”
Remember Seth Rich. Again, there is zero evidence tying Russian agents to DCleaks or Wikileaks. This is childish already.
In line with those findings, FireEye has mapped what it says is a Russian-backed campaign using at least six key false hacktivist personas to advance the country’s interests, including Guccifer 2.0, DC Leaks, Anonymous Poland and Fancy Bears’ Hack Team. The company’s autopsy also includes thousands of postings on Twitter as well as fake social-media accounts used to pass the information back and forth to generate an online buzz.
So, FireEye has concluded that people from Russia have Twitter accounts and shitpost. Anything more? This is groundbreaking.
The hacking extends to trying to use legitimate websites to promote stolen material. Guccifer 2.0, for example, first promoted stolen documents from the Democratic National Committee through The Smoking Gun and Gawker. There’s no evidence that those websites knew that hacked material given to them was part of a broad campaign to meddle in the U.S. election.
The ‘evidence’ tying Guccifer 2.0 to Russia is a proxy IP address. How silly is this? In an interview with RT, Guccifer laughed the whole thing off.
“I read several reports, some experts found out that my proxy IP is hosted at a service that’s somehow connected with Russia and has a version in Russian as well as in English,” the individual wrote as cited by WSJ. “This is their strong evidence,” he wrote, adding a smile emoticon.
“It made me angry they attributed my deals to the Russians,” the hacker wrote. “But then I realised the deeper they go this way the safer I am.”
“My goal is to bring the truth, I call it to bring the light,” the hacker wrote, adding that “the big capital has occupied the policy” and “big [IT] companies are leading us to the disaster.”
Back to Bloomberg.
The campaign also includes what FireEye terms “direct advocacy,” in which the personas direct tweets promoting stolen or false information at the accounts of influential people such as journalists, and “indirect advocacy”in which social-media accounts seemingly unaffiliated with the personas also engage in promotion.
Which social media accounts have been hacked and which ‘influential journalists’ have been infiltrated by Russian hackers? I do this everyday and cannot recall seeing one in the news. Again, show me, the curious reader, actual evidence.
Even after the U.S. election, there are few signs that Russia’s actions are abating, creating a complicated, emerging challenge for the incoming Trump administration, FireEye’s DeWalt said. During the campaign, Trump was deferential to Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, and repeatedly questioned the conclusion of the U.S. intelligence community that Russia was meddling in American elections. For years, Russian spies carried out stealthy hacking attacks aimed at hiding their identities, said Mandia, the FireEye CEO. Their tactics began to change around the fall of 2014 and have now escalated to include leaking stolen documents and apparently caring less about operational security or getting caught, Mandia said.
“That’s a change in the rules of engagement,” Mandia said. “All of a sudden, they’re more of a tank through the cornfield when they hack, not a whisper or a ghost.”
Fucking drama Queens. Russian spies. Hacked Twitter accounts. People retweeting fake news. Tanks through the corn field. When will the madness end?
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