Saturday, February 25, 2017

Russia's Hacked DNC, How Did it Influence the Election

Secrecy versus democracy collide in our modern, interconnected era. During our recent presidential election, it was revealed Russia was at the heart of a directed attack on the DNC. Schneier wrote in January:
The constellation of evidence attributing the attacks against the DNC, and subsequent release of information, is comprehensive. It's possible that there was more than one attack. It's possible that someone not associated with Russia leaked the information to WikiLeaks, although we have no idea where that someone else would have obtained the information. We know that the Russian actors who hacked the DNC -- both the FSB, Russia's principal security agency, and the GRU, Russia's military intelligence unit -- are also attacking other political networks around the world.
Beside the electronic trespassing, what did Russia do that swayed the election Trumps way? About all that has been said is that Putin did not like Clinton mainly due to her Secretary of State positions, and that he has had some business dealings with Trump, perhaps liking his chances with him over her. There's talk of fake news created by the Russians, which apparently is different than fake news created by the USA's main stream media.

There is no real evidence that the DNC hack by the Russian government contributed in any decisive way to Trump’s win over Clinton. The election did show us a number of things:

  1. We do a crappy jobs a information security; attackers can get into any system, not just the DNCs.
  2. Whatever the DNC lost from a hacked server was more than compensated for for the internal fake news and Democratic biased reporting by most of the media.
  3. The polls missed the voter dislike for Clinton, preferring to take a chance on a political outsider.
  4. When a favorite loses, those behind the scene try everything they can to assign blame, from campaign staff to the MSM.
  5. If the America people felt that Trump was in collusion with the Russian, he would have lost in a landslide. The evidence must not have been that compelling because Obama elected to hold off reporting it until after the election. He was not taking the "higher ground" -- if he thought it would have pushed Clinton ahead or discredited Trump, he would have done it.