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Vulnerabilities / Threats

7/29/2016
02:00 PM
Steve Zurier
Steve Zurier
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5 Things We Know So Far About The DNC Hack

The plot thickens this week as Donald Trump openly calls on Russia to release Hillary Clinton's emails. All roads appear to lead to Russia in the DNC -- and now possibly the DCCC -- hacks.
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It’s interesting to hear different opinions on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hack and other politically-motivated hacks. Many say Donald Trump committed treason by openly calling on Russia to release Hillary Clinton’s emails, and who could forget the “lock her up” catcalls when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie used his prosecutor skills to eviscerate Mrs. Clinton at the Republican National Convention last week.

Today the DNC breach and doxing took a new turn: the Democratic Congressional Campaign Commitee confirmed it is working with the FBI and CrowdStrike to investigate a breach of its systems it says is "similar" to the DNC hack.

The good news with these high-profile hacks is that cybersecurity is getting attention front and center.

The buzz around tech and politics hasn’t been this intense since the 1990s when Wired Magazine proclaimed “information yearns to be free” and the Netscape IPO gave rise to the boom to bust feeding frenzy that defined the rise of the World Wide Web.

But this feels different. Think 1957 and the Sputnik launch by the former Soviet Union. We may look at the Target breach of December 2013 as something akin to that, at least in terms of cybersecurity. It almost seems as if the rules of the road are shaping up for a new Cold War – a continuous cyber war on our businesses and government agencies that will last even longer than the war on terror.

Cyber experts tell Dark Reading that the malware strains various security groups have tested are consistent with what Russian-sponsored groups have used in the past. The Russians and other nation-states are more aggressive than ever because there is no downside to engaging in destructive hacks.

“There’s very little blowback when these events happen,” says Christopher Porter, manager of the Horizons team at FireEye. “Cybercrime is so prevalent today that it’s really easy for Russia or other nation-states to blame a hack on some random cyber criminal. If institutions were not so regularly hacked, then Russia wouldn’t be able to get away with it as easily. It’s actually easy for them to do these hacks and spread doubt.”

Porter says until the US and the rest of the world take cybersecurity and cybercrime as seriously as they would a physical terrorist attack, the situation could likely continue.

Here's a rundown of what we know about the DNC breach at this point, with additional analysis from key experts.

 

Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience, most of the last 24 of which were spent covering networking and security technology. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio

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Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Ninja
7/29/2016 | 7:07:48 PM
Was Snowden acting as an accomplice?
Regardless of whether it was the Russian state or merely Russian rogues, if the DNC break-in proves to be of Russian origin, it puts Edward Snowden in the position of publishing confidential information obtained not by him but from a Russian source. I've tended to view his actions as having enough public good to fall short of the treason charge. I hope not to learn that he's taken info. from the Russian government and published it on Wikileaks at a time of the source's choosing. It's the timing element right before the DNC that makes the leak so suspicious and a possible case of meddling in our internal affairs. In which case, Snowden had better negotiate a lifetime lease of his Russian apartment.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
7/30/2016 | 7:34:37 AM
Re: Was Snowden acting as an accomplice?
I tend to doubt this.  The man's got enough going on that he doesn't need to be causing additional trouble.

Unless, of course, part of his asylum agreement includes assisting in this way (which I tend to doubt).

Too conspiracy-theory for my tastes.
Faye___Kane
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Faye___Kane,
User Rank: Strategist
7/30/2016 | 6:20:46 PM
Re: Was Snowden acting as an accomplice?
 

No, Snowden didn't have anything to do with it.
  • He's not a hacker in any way. He was an NSA network admin who walked out with documents because he has real ethics.
  • Snowden loves America. He was in the military and was a guard for the NSA building at my Alma Mater. His concern for this country is why he blew the whistle on the spooks.
  • Trump is the kind of man Snowden detests.
  • Like China, Russia already has its own army of hackers.

The suspicion that Snowden was behind this is insu;ting and exactly the kind of simpleminded, crazy paranoia that induces the stupid people to vote for Trump.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
8/1/2016 | 7:27:49 AM
Re: Was Snowden acting as an accomplice?
There's also been the Twitter debate Snowden has engaged in about the ethical implications/improprieties of such leaking, so there's that (although, to stoke the conspiracy-theorist fires, purely for sake of argument, if I wanted to cover up my involvement in such a thing, public statements denouncing it would be one way to go).

Plus, while Snowden may be no Trump fan, I can't imagine he has positive feelings towards Clinton.

But either way, sure, why should he get involved?  Doesn't make sense. 
NicoleM459
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NicoleM459,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/2/2016 | 12:12:36 PM
Re: Was Snowden acting as an accomplice?
Wow, is this whole site so politically biased?  I thought this was an InfoSec site?
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