Tag: Election Results
Trump backed his belief on proclamation from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that leaked documents were not provided by Russia and that US media coverage had been “very dishonest.” Trump’s tweets invited comments from White House spokesperson Josh Earnest who said "There's a pretty stark line that's been drawn, and the President-elect will have to determine who he's going to believe." Vice President-elect Mike Pence came to his leader’s defense saying: "Given some of the intelligence failures of recent years, the President-elect has made it clear to the American people that he's skeptical about conclusions from the bureaucracy." While the Obama administration has launched a probe into the hacks, several Democrats and Republicans have called for independent investigation of the matter. Meanwhile, Trump’s spokesperson has said the President-elect will be meeting heads of the CIA, FBI and DNI tomorrow to discuss their findings, adds Reuters. Click here for more details. Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events.
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Senators on both sides of the political spectrum immediately called for an inquiry. "Recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American," said Senators John McCain (R‑AZ), Lindsey Graham (R‑SC), Charles Schumer (D‑NY), and Jack Reed (D‑RI). "This cannot become a partisan issue.
The stakes are too high for our country. We are committed to working in this bipartisan manner, and we will seek to unify our colleagues around the goal of investigating and stopping the grave threats that cyberattacks conducted by foreign governments pose to our national security." But in an interview Sunday on Fox News, Trump dismissed the CIA's report as ridiculous and said that any hacking could be by Russia, China, or just someone doing this in their basement. "They have no idea," he said, taking to Twitter later on the topic. Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card.
It would be called conspiracy theory! — Donald J.
Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2016 Unless you catch "hackers" in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn't this brought up before election? — Donald J.
Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2016 To muddy the waters further, senior FBI officials reportedly told a closed session of the House Intelligence Committee that the CIA's claims are "direct and bald and unqualified." They said that although Russia had interfered on one side of the election, it wasn't clear what its intentions were. Meanwhile, members of the Electoral College, which meets on December 19 to vote and confirm Trump into office, have asked for an intelligence briefing on the matter before they vote.
The College, made up of 538 members, could – in theory – change the course of the election by refusing to elect Trump. On Friday, President Obama added his voice to calls for an investigation, saying the facts need to be ascertained and protections put in place to avoid this sort of kerfuffle happening again. However, Craig Murray, the UK's former man in Uzbekistan and WikiLeaks insider, says that the hacking claims are wrong.
The Democratic emails didn't come from hacking, but from an individual in the campaign who leaked the data to WikiLeaks. "The worst thing about all this is that it is aimed at promoting further conflict with Russia," Murray said. "This puts everyone in danger for the sake of more profits for the arms and security industries – including of course bigger budgets for the CIA.
As thankfully the four-year agony of Aleppo comes swiftly to a close today, the Saudi and US armed and trained ISIS forces counter by moving to retake Palmyra.
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And the trick is bringing a benefit to the consumer while you're also benefiting your shareholders." Under President Obama, the Federal Communications Commission reclassified fixed and mobile ISPs as common carriers and imposed net neutrality rules that forbid blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization.
Carter seems confident the Title II decision will be reversed. "With Title II being overturned there are a lot of really interesting things you could potentially do, but we'll see what happens.
It's going to be an interesting year next year," he said. Carter is also hoping for tax reform that reduces the amount T-Mobile has to pay, he said. T-Mobile was nearly purchased by AT&T in 2011 and Sprint in 2014, but it remained a separate entity as US regulators objected to mergers that would reduce the number of major nationwide wireless carriers from four to three. Under Trump, Carter said he expects the US government to have "more openness to consolidation." On the specific question of whether the four major wireless carriers will be reduced to three, Carter said that it's too early to tell. Carter didn't detail exactly what "innovation" there would be if net neutrality rules are eliminated. Recently, the main controversy has been over zero-rating, the practice of exempting some online services from data caps.
Carter said that T-Mobile structured its Binge On video zero-rating carefully to avoid regulatory problems—the T-Mobile program zero-rates video from third-party services while reducing video resolution to about 480p.
But T-Mobile made the program open to any content provider and doesn't charge them for zero-rating, and it lets consumers opt out of the video quality reductions. AT&T and Verizon Wireless took a more risky approach, zero-rating their own video content while charging other companies for the same data cap exemptions.
The FCC has said this practice may violate net neutrality rules, but such plans will likely be allowed to proliferate when Republicans control the FCC. If the ban on paid prioritization is overturned, ISPs could also charge online service providers for faster access to consumers than online services that don't pay for prioritization. The end of Title II rules would "provide the opportunity for significant innovation and differentiation," Carter said. Carter also discussed cable companies' impending entry into the mobile market.
Cable firms such as Comcast and Charter would be resellers since they haven't built cellular networks, and Carter said this will put the cable companies at a disadvantage. When you control the wireless network, as T-Mobile does, "the power is you know what the individual consumer is doing and what the individual consumer is looking at, because it's purely a personal device," Carter said. "The cable industry now knows who the household is, but the household is very diverse.
The value creation you can get from understanding that intelligence down to the individual is very powerful, and you'll never get that type of integration with a resale-type agreement."
Despite that, Stein's campaign has already raised more than $700,000 from those who are interested in double-checking the three states' ballot totals. Stein says her Green Party campaign is in a good position to be "election integrity advocates" because she doesn't have "a personal conflict of interest in the outcome." Stein's campaign won 1.1 percent of votes in Wisconsin, 1.1 percent in Michigan, and 0.8 percent in Pennsylvania. Preliminary vote totals show Republican Donald Trump won all three states, beating Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin by a 1 percent margin; in Pennsylvania by 1.2 percent; and in Michigan with a slimmer 0.3 percent lead. Her move comes after discussions related to computer hacking took place between members of the Hillary Clinton campaign, election attorneys, and computer scientists including J.
Following reports of that call, Halderman published a blog post explaining his view that election hacking remains a real danger, even on election machines not connected to the Internet. Halderman writes: The only way to know whether a cyberattack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence — paper ballots and voting equipment in critical states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, nobody is ever going to examine that evidence unless candidates in those states act now, in the next several days, to petition for recounts. The deadline for filing for a recount in Wisconsin is Friday, and running a recount in that state alone will cost $1.1 million. An article today in The Hill lays out just a few of the many problems with the theory that Wisconsin's election was altered by hacking.
Clinton's totals line up similarly with the 2014 losing Democratic gubernatorial candidate. Wisconsin has 1,800 election municipalities, many of which have multiple voting machines.
And with no Internet connection, those machines would need to be hacked in person.
Finally, any potential hacker would have presumably wanted to account for the 200,000 votes that Clinton was expected to win by, according to the final polls. Wisconsin's Elections Commission says the state uses 90 percent optical-scan ballots, 5 percent hand-count paper ballots, and 5 percent DRE voting machines with a paper trail.
American political think tanks and NGOs were targeted by a well-known hacking group called The Dukes.
Russian hackers wasted no time this week, attacking American political think tanks and non-government organizations (NGOs) on Wednesday.
A round of targeted phishing campaigns (attempts to obtain sensitive information by pretending to be a trustworthy entity) came less than six hours after Donald Trump was named President-elect of the US.
According to cyber incident response firm Volexity, the hackers belong to a Russian gang best known for infiltrating computer networks at the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
The group—often referred to as APT29, Cozy Bear, or The Dukes—began targeting research organizations and NGOs in July 2015.
"This represented a fairly significant shift in the group's previous operations and one that continued in the lead-up to and immediately after the 2016 United States Presidential election," Volexity founder Steven Adair wrote in a blog post.
The Dukes in August launched several waves of highly targeted spear-phishing attacks, sending spoofed email messages to specific individuals at US-based organizations via backdoor malware dubbed PowerDuke.
The same malware, which allows the hackers to examine and control a system, was used again in this week's post-election invasions.
As reported by Volexity, two of the attacks purported to be messages forwarded from the Clinton Foundation, two posed as eFax links or documents regarding rigged election results, and the last claimed to be a link to a PDF download on "Why American Elections Are Flawed."
Last month, federal officials said they are "confident" that the Russian government is behind recent attacks of US political organizations, like the DNC. Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied any involvement in said hacks.
"The Dukes continue to launch well-crafted and clever attack campaigns.
They have had tremendous success evading anti-virus and anti-malware solutions at both the desktop and mail gateway levels," Adair wrote on Wednesday. "Volexity believes that The Dukes are likely working to gain long-term access into think tanks and NGOs and will continue to launch new attacks for the foreseeable future."
There were five different spearphishing campaigns spotted by Volexity, including attacks posing as emails forwarded from the Clinton Foundation, and two others posing as eFax URLs or documents. "These e-mails came from a mix of attacker-created Google Gmail accounts and what appears to be compromised e-mail accounts at Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS).
These e-mails were sent in large quantities to different individuals across many organizations and individuals focusing in national security, defense, international affairs, public policy, and European and Asian studies," said Steven Adair, founder at Volexity, in a post yesterday. Think-tanks and NGOs have been common targets of the group, also known as The Dukes, since July of 2015. "The Dukes continue to launch well-crafted and clever attack campaigns.
They have had tremendous success evading anti-virus and anti-malware solutions at both the desktop and mail gateway levels," Adair wrote. The group employs anti-VM macros and PowerShell scripts that help them bypass sandboxes that could detect them, for instance. "This combined with their use of stenography to hide their backdoor within PNG files that are downloaded remotely and loaded in memory only or via alternate data streams (ADS) is quite novel in its approach," he said. "Volexity believes that the Dukes are likely working to gain long-term access into think tanks and NGOs and will continue to launch new attacks for the foreseeable future." The first spear-phishing attack wave uses a lure of the "The Shocking Truth About Election-Rigging in the United States." The email is purportedly an electronic fax from Secure Fax Corp., and contains a link to a ZIP file.
That file has a Microsoft .LNK file that houses PowerShell commands, which execute anti-virtual machine checks and install a backdoor onto the victim's machine. "The PowerDuke backdoor boasts a pretty extensive list of features that allow the Dukes to examine and control a system.
Volexity suspects the feature set that has been built into PowerDuke is an extension of their anti-VM capabilities in the initial dropper files," Adair wrote. "Several commands supported by PowerDuke facilitate getting information about the system." Dark Reading's all-day virtual event Nov. 15 offers an in-depth look at myths surrounding data defense and how to put business on a more effective security path. In the second attack wave, the hackers uses a Word document with a malicious macro that checks for anti-VM features, and appears to come from [email protected] The subject line is "Incoming eFax: Elections Outcome Could Be revised [Facts of Elections Fraud]." The most widespread attack was the third one, which uses an email purportedly from Harvard's "PDF Mobile Service," which doesn’t actually exist. (There appears to be a typo in the message as well, calling it "PFD Mobile Service" as well).
The subject line: "Why American Elections Are Flawed." This one uses a ZIP file to mask the malicious executable. The Clinton Foundation is the lure for the fourth and fifth waves of spearphishing campaigns by the hacking group.
The first one uses "Clinton Foundation FYI #1" in its subject line, and deploys a Word document with a malicious embedded macro.
The macro checks for anti-VM features.
The email purportedly comes from the fictitious Harvard PDF Mobile Service. Then there's the "Clinton Foundation FYI #2" email wave from the same "Harvard" email address, which contains a link to a ZIP file with an LNK file embedded.
It contains the signature PowerShell commands that look for anti-VM, and installs a backdoor on the victim's machine. "Like Attack Wave #3, this e-mail message also purported to be forwarded from Laura Graham at the Clinton Foundation.
The message body contained dozens of e-mail addresses to which the message originally claims to have been sent, with organizations similar to Attack Wave #3," Adair wrote. Volexity's post includes screenshots of the emails and code snippets. Related Content: Save Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com.
She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ...
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