Election 2016

Report: Russian Hack Attempts Continued Until the Election

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Yahoo News reported this morning that Russian-backed hackers continued their attacks on the Clinton campaign and the Democratic party during the final days of the election.

Their final attempts to compromise the campaign, which apparently failed, involving phishing scams that prompted security alerts from the likes of Google.

[At] least one top Clinton campaign staffer, communications director Jennifer Palmieri, told Yahoo News Sunday that she received an alert from Google in mid-October informing her that her personal Gmail account had been targeted by a “foreign state” actor and that her password needed to be changed.

“They were targeting us throughout the election,” said another former senior Clinton campaign staffer, who asked not to be identified. “They never stopped trying to get back in.”

Palmieri is not alone in receiving an alert from Google warning her that a government-backed attacker had targeted them. Other Deemocratic campaign operatives and, more recently, even liberal journalists have received similar warnings that have been widely shared on social media.

I don't expect this will end any time soon, and actors other than Russia may engage in this kind of activity. There don't appear to be any consequences for doing so, at least not yet. Moreover, a significant portion of our own news media is desperate enough for material they will happily obsesses over the mundane emails of private citizens that are handed to them by foreign actors.

I believe the of lionization Edward Snowden and the gross misreporting of the documents he leaked to the public catalyzed this. No one in the media paid a price for getting the stories completely factually wrong. Many were actually rewarded for it, just as they were rewarded for engaging in a clickbait bonanza with misleading stories about the Clinton Foundation.

I'm sure someone more qualified than me is writing a book about that subject right now.

  • muselet

    The Washington Post reported Saturday that the CIA has briefed members of Congress on an assessment that the Russians targeted Democratic political organizations and campaign officials as part of a specific effort to defeat Clinton and elect Trump. This goes beyond an earlier public finding that U.S. intelligence officials were “confident” that the Russian government was behind the cyberattacks, but did not ascribe a motive for the Russians doing so.


    “At this point, the matter of attribution on the intrusions has been settled,” [CrowdStrike co-founder and CTO Dmitri] Alperovitch said. “There is nobody that looks at the evidence who disputes this.” Asked his level of confidence in his firm’s findings, he responded “100 percent.”

    [link omitted]

    The CIA has concluded that Russia was behind the DNC hacking attempts. The cybersecurity company hired by the DNC agrees.

    Donald Trump, who could maybe find the power key on a computer in five minutes, disagrees and says many ill-informed things about hacking and the sorts of traces left behind.

    One guess whose opinion will be more widely-reported. We do indeed live in a post-fact world.


    • TXDem1945

      Talking to a GOP member of Congress is the same as talking to a dining room table.

      • ninjaf

        A dining room table gives them too much gravitas. I would say more like a breakfast nook table. Bistro size, not even pub height.

        • TXDem1945

          I agree with that.
          Gravitas is not their metier.

    • mnpollio

      Remember the days when Republican heads would explode at the thought of Russia interfering with our government and they saw Communist boogeymen under every bed without a shred of proof to support their assertions? Now, we get solid proof that such a thing has occurred and many of those self-same Repugs are like “MEH! What do I care, our guy won!” None of them seem to be questioning why Putin and his cohorts were so anxious for Trump to claim the White House, and none of them seem to be exploring the notion that Trump may well be a Trojan Horse or a major collaborator in this. What do they care? They stopped caring about the US as a country and its citizens in general a generation ago. So long as someone with an (R) behind their name is in charge and they get to run riot, that is all that matters. About the only thing I can hope for in this nightmare is that ill news like a ton of bricks falls on every Trump voter and they get exactly what they deserve without taking the rest of us with them.

      • muselet

        I wish I could disagree about the Rs, but I can’t. They’ve been—as Arthur Dent said in a very different context—”half-crazed Visigoths” for decades now, essentially sacking the country and making horrific messes that the Ds have to clean up without getting much credit for it.

        As for Trump voters, in weak moments I find myself echoing the words of HL Mencken, as perhaps you do:

        Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

        Alas, the “good and hard” bit will affect everyone on the planet. As annoying as it is, it’s time for us on the Left to be the grown-ups yet again and try to keep the Righties from destroying too much of the world.


  • Aynwrong

    If the news media wants to redeem themselves they should abandon so called “objectivity.” Call a lie a lie. When Trump babbles out some nonsense about how “nobody knows” a reporter should just bluntly state “Yes, we do.”

    Because we do.

  • swift_4

    Someone will write a well researched, deeply insightful book about this. NPR will feature the author. thirty seven people will read it. Dr. Oz and Glenn Beck will be the New York Times bestsellers.

    • Aynwrong

      Because so many Americans (not all, but enough) are morons.

      • TXDem1945

        Not just morons.
        They have zero concern, zero interest.
        And, they have zero interest in having either one.