Hacking Elections

I spent the last twenty minutes reading this long and well reported NY Times story on the Russian hacking efforts during the recent Presidential Election.

If you read one thing today, I recommend you read this.

We have been engaged in information warfare with other countries for years. This is not a new thing. But, I believe, we have now witnessed how powerful information warfare is and we have witnessed its potential to change the global political landscape.

If I am comforted, and I am not sure that I am, it is with the knowledge that we are doing the same things to them that they are doing to us.

As the ancient proverb says, “he who lives by the sword dies by the sword”, and the sword of our times is information.

#hacking government

Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield

    Feels like we’re living in a surreality TV show.

  2. Tom Labus

    Instant replay for this election, please.

    1. andyswan

      You’re getting it every day. Trump keeps winning. BigLeague

      1. phoneranger

        Andy – you misspelled Putin

        1. andyswan

          Putin wanted to avoid the candidate that wanted war with him over a pipeline in Syria. I don’t blame him. I’m also not scared of him. Putin could be extremely useful in helping us exterminate ISIS…as we are seeing in Aleppo.

          1. Joe Cardillo

            This is not an ironic or rhetorical question – are you not seeing the direct accounts from civilians in Aleppo? Russian artillery and bombing pretty clearly aiding in war crimes there.

          2. andyswan

            There is a lot to sort through. I’m also seeing video of civilians being escorted by Assad’s troops and shot at by rebels. I’m also seeing photos of little girls stepping over dead bodies, supposedly “direct accounts from civilians” getting THOUSANDS of retweets and then finding out it’s a screen grab from a music video….and video of civilians dancing in the streets with joy that ISIS has been defeated.TONS of propaganda coming out of Aleppo. I’m sure it goes both ways. It’s war, and it’s devastating. I don’t pretend to be an expert on what’s going on there, nor do I believe every statement with a bloodied child attached to it. I’m just hopeful that the terrorists are finally on the run and being killed in mass numbers.

        2. LE

          Nice! You get today’s ‘funnier than Hirshfield’ award.

  3. awaldstein

    Read as well this morning.Trust this is true but not comforted by this honestly.We live in a world of nuance and need us all including the government to understand this.

  4. kidmercury

    Nytimes has been false so many times it is amazing ya’ll still trust them. Especially since they just hired self professed political hack Glenn thrush, lol. Guess old habits are hard to break.

    1. fredwilson

      I don’t trust publications. I trust well reported and researched journalism. And that piece is exactly that

      1. kidmercury

        I don’t think that piece is very well researched, as it relies heavily on anonymous sources and fails to address opposing viewpoints that already exist. Here is one such opposing viewpoint: https://www.google.com/amp/

        1. LE

          I actually wrote the following in reply to Fred but then killed the comment (after saving it). I will put it below to support your point:Fred: well reported and researched journalismIt very well may be. But honestly we don’t know that. The reason is none of us is a subject in the article and as anyone who has ever appeared in print knows (I have and this is not solely my opinion obviously) the things that are written are not entirely true quite often. In fact there is even a theory of this, I can’t find the link but I will summarize it below:When people read a story in the paper on a subject that they know about, they often find multiple things that are not true. What do they think? That the paper doesn’t know what it’s talking about. They then go on and read a story about something they know nothing about and they take it as the truth.The reason trials take such a long time in an important case is that the actual facts, details and all of that matter in terms of determining the truth. In the case of a news article we have the point of view of the writer and their editors. Once again this is not to say the article isn’t true or that there aren’t facts in it that are important to discuss. But honestly there are multiple sides to any important historical event (as you are pointing out now).I’ve been quote also saying things that even I know weren’t entirely true after being baited by a reporter for an interesting quip. I am sure I’m not the only person who has done this.

      2. kidmercury

        I don’t think that piece is very well researched, as it relies heavily on anonymous sources and fails to address opposing viewpoints that already exist. Here is one such opposing viewpoint: https://www.google.com/amp/

      3. pwrserge

        Anonymous sources are “well researched” now? I can claim that I have an “anonymous source” in the NSA that says Clinton is guilty of twenty counts of treason and that a black bag team is standing by once Trump is inaugurated. That doesn’t make it true.

        1. Pete Griffiths

          You can.But you’re not a professional journalist working for a reputable news source are you?Journalism isn’t a perfect profession but it is a profession and their are professional standards that mean something in reputable publications. Being able to spell ‘anonymous’ isn’t the same thing.

          1. pwrserge

            Reputable? Would that be the same NYT that’s been running CCP propaganda as “advertisements” (without labeling them as such) for years?

          2. Pete Griffiths

            I am not going to debate the relative merits and professionalism of this news outlet vs that. Suffice it to say that whatever shortcomings journals like the NYT have, they aren’t the same as the average Joe simply alleging something. To think otherwise is the beginnings of madness.

          3. pwrserge

            No, they are a party propaganda organ for the CCP and the DNC.And need I remind you that journalism is SUPPPSED to be the “average joe” in a free society? The larger a “journalistic” institution gets the less reliable their “news” is. Just look at CNN and MSNBC and the proven collusion with the Democratic Party in the 2016 election cycle.

          4. Pete Griffiths

            What on earth makes you say that “…journalism is SUPPPSED to be the “average joe” in a free society?”That’s like saying that plumbers should have the competence of the average joe. That the average guy is just as competent to wire your home as an electrician. That Mr Average should be given a scalpel and told to take your appendix out.Professions exist for a reason.

          5. pwrserge

            You see this? This is why nobody trusts the mainstream media anymore.I doesn’t take a college degree to report facts. In the modern information age, citizen journalism is a thing. That’s why sites like Breibart have larger followings than propaganda outlets like MSNBC and CNN.Need I remind you that the first “journalists” in the US were little more than average citizens with access to a printing press?

          6. Pete Griffiths

            There is real value to citizen journalism.But there is also value to professional fact checking.Journalists are professionals and all professionals screw up. But that doesn’t mean anyone else could do the job as well.I very much doubt you would trust your body to a ‘citizen surgeon.’

          7. pwrserge

            Yeah. Let’s pretend that surgery takes as little skill as displayed by the monkey typewriter brigade over at the New York Times.So called “professional fact checkers” are nothing more than left wing propagandists determining their Orwellian “good facts”. The fact that they have no conservatives on staff should be a dead giveaway.

      4. Justin Randolph

        The level of research that goes into a piece of information should in theory be correlated to the likelihood of it’s ‘truth’ and ‘accuracy’. We see this from our own experiences in life throughout our daily interactions. The more thought and preparation that was put into something, generally the more ‘accurate’ and ‘informed’ outcome prevails. Though it does raise the disturbing question of how do we absolutely know this to be true, and can we make generalizations from this conclusion? I like to believe that we have to, otherwise we lose all sense of trust and we burrow in and don’t believe anything we hear or read. And that world looks scary and difficult to navigate, in that it’s free from logic. But I guess that’s ultimately where it comes back to ‘trust’ and intuition about the intentions of the media we choose to consume and the the implicit likelihood we place on the sources we choose to read being manipulated to promote an ideology or belief.

    2. creative group

      kidmercury:REPOST REPLY———————————-Why are people so often in denial?Asked by Ron James of Manchester, UKIn the psychological sense, denial is a defense mechanism in which a person, faced with a painful fact, rejects the reality of that fact. They will insist that the fact is not true despite what may be overwhelming and irrefutable evidence.There are three forms of denial. Simple denial is when the painful fact is denied altogether. Minimisational denial is when the painful fact is admitted but its seriousness is downplayed. Transference denial is when the painful fact is admitted, the seriousness also admitted, but one’s moral responsibility in the situation involving the painful fact is downplayed.When a person is in denial, they engage in distractive or escapist strategies to reduce stress and help them cope. The effect upon psychological well-being in doing this is unclear.The concept of denial was formulated by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and greatly elaborated upon by his daughter, Anna Freud (1895-1982), in the second volume (1936) of her eight volume Writings of Anna Freud. The concept has been around for many decades. Denial is an important factor in public health.The American Heart Association cites denial as a principal reason why treatment for heart disease is often delayed. The same is true for cancer. Drs MS Vos and JC de Haes from the Department of Psychiatry at the Bronovo Hospital in The Hague, The Netherlands, recently point out that, based upon their study of cancer patients published in Psychooncology in July 2006, up to 47 per cent of patients deny the fact that they have been diagnosed with cancer, up to 70 per cent deny the impact of the diagnosis upon their lives, and up to 42 per cent deny that it has any effect upon their feelings.They add: “From a psychoanalytical viewpoint, denial is a pathological, ineffective defense mechanism..On the other hand, according to the stress and coping model, denial can be seen as an adaptive strategy to protect against overwhelming events and feelings.”Therein is the appeal of denial to humans. Denial allows someone to keep going unchanged despite reality. Denial is the path of psychological and moral least resistance.Five years after the 9/11 attack on New York and Washington DC, 40 per cent of New Yorkers are still to varying degrees “fearful”, “traumatised” or otherwise “unable to face reality”, according to NY public mental health experts. In such a psychological state, people are not at their reasoning best – easily confused, manipulated, and fooled.While in denial about global warming, people don’t have to think about anything, inform themselves, change their consumption patterns, becoming actively involved in reforms, or alter their behaviour in any way. Politicians with transference denial can absolve themselves of any moral imperative to take the necessary policy initiatives that that scientists say are mandatory for our species to survive.Stephen Juan, Ph.D. is an anthropologist at the University of Sydney. Email your Odd Body questions to [email protected]

  5. Twain Twain

    This is the election that’s going to change a lot of Information Theory, Algorithm Design & Security Protocols.It’s surfaced a Pandora’s box of technical problems and social contracts that need fixing.

    1. Jake Baker

      Not least of which is that social hacking/phishing seems to be among the most effective ways to gain access….

    2. Joe Cardillo

      Totally agreed – and reading the NYT piece, I still don’t get the impression that it’s sunk in with political operatives. Anyone can be hacked. They don’t seem to understand that basic principle.

      1. Rob Underwood

        This is fully in the “muse” category but here goes…Early in my career I did “tech stuff.” In the mid-2000s I got pulled into doing more “strategy stuff” – encouraged by a narrative and coaching that “people do tech early on and then so strategy later” (this was “Big-4 consulting”). The message was clear – tech was for the hoi polloi, the déclassé; strategy was for the elite. Do tech for a bit to make your bones, but don’t loiter there. And, critically, tech and strategy have no relation to each other (which I thought was bulls**t). Tech is from Venus, Strategy is from Mars. Duality.I left consulting in 2013 in part because I was never happy with the narrative and did and do find tech incredibly interesting — and by tech I mean the inner guts of it not tech is the abstract.Where I’m going with this is that I still get the sense many of our “elites” (now an incredibly loaded term) approach “tech” as something beneath them, something they don’t need to know. Not all, but many. At best it’s a curiosity.To Joe’s point I don’t think they “understand the basic principle” because I think many of them take the view that they can just outsource and hire out understanding tech to other people – other people beneath them in the organization. Tech is what the little people – IT and the help desk – do, not the big shot operatives. That won’t cut it any more. Now they (we) need to understand the tech itself, ourselves.And while I acknowledge that relying too much on end-user security and good choices is fraught with major problems, I don’t accept that it’s just “way too hard” for incredibly smart people like John Podesta to use something like PGP and be made aware of how to spot likely phishing attacks (also see http://nymag.com/selectall/… if you haven’t already).Our host does a lot of work about CSForAll, and one of the benefits of that should be in the long term a citizenry more technology literate. But in the mean time, I’m kind of done with the cop out from people in positions of power that “tech is beneath them” and “it’s too hard.” That doesn’t cut it for me anymore. There is too much at stake.Go pull off that thin little white book from a decade ago on the shelf — your cheese has been moved.

        1. Twain Twain

          Everyone should get their hands dirty by doing tech because that’s how problems get solved.

          1. Rob Underwood

            YES

        2. SubstrateUndertow

          “in the long term a citizenry more technology literate”Mcluhan pointed out that for every unit of knowledge specialization society requirers the requisite matching units of educational policy/strategy to maintain the cross disciplinary awareness required to sustains a holistic reintegration of our collective-knowledge efficacy.Little to no formal educational effort/expense has ever been focused on this systemically mandatory societal success underpinning.(social substrate meme development)Interdisciplinary “superficial working characterizations” taught as core high school curriculum components could go a long way to solving this now critically accelerated existential societal disintegration challenge.Complex holistic systems demand complex inter-component awareness/synchronization via effective language/signalling. Information age social/economic constructions are quintessential instantiations of just such complex holistic systems.”History is a race between education and catastrophe”—(H.G Wells)Continuing to living inside convenient/lazy isolated pockets of knowledge/awareness is our present zeitgeist “race between education and catastrophe” challenge !P.S.I first got introduced to the significance of this problem when in first year university(late 60s). I was desperate to avoid my weakness in language/literary skills. It was mandatory to take at least 1 english/literature class. I could avoid that feared English course by taking a interdisciplinary sciences-appreciation course targeted at art student but some how not explicitly forbidden as an English equivalency course for engineering students. I saw it as a sneaky English avoidance tactic and a easy lark of a course to boot.Was I wrong ! ! !That coarse was given by a salty old Scotsman with a true passion for how such cross disciplinary awareness, targeted at art students, was an essential social awareness/cohesion tool. To boot the course was fun, fascinating, enlightening and still colors my global perceptions to this day.That old Scotsman was so ahead of his time !

        3. LaVonne Reimer

          Makes me crazy that the DNC is still flopping around, seemingly unable to grasp the strategic implications because they don’t get the tech.

          1. Rob Underwood

            But they would tell you – as would have the HRC campaign – that have/had great tech people, which they do/did. But the fact that they view things that way – tech as people to have rather than something to know – is the very problem.

          2. LaVonne Reimer

            Exactly.

    3. TeddyBeingTeddy

      Trump just announced that kid from Mr. Robot will be the new Secretary of Defense. Fact. In the news.

      1. Twain Twain

        Haha, Teddy, very mischievous of you!In seriousness, though, these are testing times for democracy, data, technology and trust. And we’ll need to rise to the challenge of making better systems.The algorithms run bank trading platforms, fake news on Google-Facebook-Twitter, recommendations across the Internet, everything on the Blockchain, defense & security, and increasingly … the law. https://uploads.disquscdn.c…* https://www.ft.com/content/

        1. ZekeV

          Article should have mentioned ironclad.ai and interviewed the founders. I’m a skeptic about applying machine learning to corporate legal needs, but there are clearly some very intelligent people working on the opportunity. Someone will get it right.

          1. Twain Twain

            Thanks for the link! There are very intelligent people working in AI but that doesn’t mean we overlook some basic factors.For example, the language of law evolved from our subjective, moral and perceptual reasoning of trying to be “fair and just” towards our fellow humans by putting ourselves in their shoes and considering the facts (thinking with care) as well as analogizing about human experiences. Think of King Solomon’s case involving the two women who claimed to be the mother of a baby.The language of law did NOT evolve from the language of mathematics. Their definitions of fairness, ethics and human experiences are very different.What language AI (including law) tries to do is build a database of facts and figures and correlate them, according to probability (a man-made tool invented to model the “fairness” of dice — dice which is an inappropriate proxy for us), in a knowledge graph.The arguments get made that AI’s more intelligent than us because it’s objective (maths is involved), unbiased and removes our irrationality.The fact that’s emerging is AI is badly biased and this affects life / death decisions:* https://techcrunch.com/2016…The inadequacies of the AI to do Natural Language Understanding are also a reason they’re unable to filter for fake news that can affect elections.And no one in Silicon Valley has any idea how to solve the problem:https://www.technologyrevie…BLOCKCHAIN===========At Ethereum’s DEVCon last November, I heard Nick Szabo talk about “Dry Code” (logic and bits) of computers resolving and eradicating the flaws of “Wet Code” (the subjectivity of law and human analogy)” so I shared with @fredwilson:disqus and @wmoug:disqus that he’d find himself on the wrong side of history.Look at how Trump’s team (with help from other sources like the Macedonian teenagers) applied “wet code” and it was that that spoke to the hearts of the people who voted the Republicans in.”Wet code” is also what causes the governance issues for Blockchain and Ethereum, alike.It gets overlooked that we’re not “dry code” (logic and bits) and never will be. We’re subjective+objective atoms and those are in the DNA of our brains, beings and experiences.If the machines are to speak and understand our language, including our laws and morals, they would have to SIMULATE that subjectivity and objectivity — not simulate “dry code” with probability as a proxy for us mixed in.The election results have surfaced that pretty much everything needs to be re-engineered: from social contracts that are representative of all of us to the systems that facilitate those social contracts to the Natural Language AI.Huge opportunities ahead for innovation.

          2. ZekeV

            This is very interesting! I have been influenced by an article Gary Kasparov wrote for NYRB. He has the honor of having been the first chess grandmaster defeated by a computer, or rather a team of humans programming a computer. He later got into freestyle chess with human/machine teams. His spin on this question is that the most important element is the way humans use the machine. A team of modest chess players and cheap computers can beat a team fielding grandmasters running code on Deep Blue, if the first team has a better algorithm for human/machine interaction.http://www.nybooks.com/arti

          3. Twain Twain

            Thanks for sharing, great article by Kasparov.A couple of days ago, there was a piece ‘The Great Awakening of AI’:* http://www.nytimes.com/2016…Given Kasparov’s comments about people mistakenly believing: “Excelling at chess has long been considered a symbol of more general intelligence,” I highlight something in that NYT piece.https://uploads.disquscdn.c…I started to play chess when I was 5, but have never had any interest in programming AI that can do maths things like chess or Go.My focus is on getting the machines to understand our language and our values, and to be representative of all of us.

          4. ZekeV

            Cool stuff. Do you think that general AI will happen as a matter of degree, like current AI will just gradually get better and better at simulating us? Or will this be more of a tipping point, like when machine learning + robotics + input data / training + ? pass a certain point, it will just suddenly wake up like Frankenstein?There are some persuasive skeptics, like Nathan Myhrvold, Jaron Lanier (hmm, seemingly a Microsoft crowd). But personally though I am nowhere near as smart as these guys, it seems to me that AgI must be possible eventually. I have no basis to say that machines are theoretically limited anywhere short of general intelligence. If machine intelligence becomes capable of closely simulating human intelligence, why wouldn’t it strive to do better, to improve itself beyond where we as humans have achieved? And why wouldn’t humanity develop at the same time, co-evolve with AgI?

          5. Twain Twain

            No, general AI can’t happen by current AI just getting better and better.Even AI professors at Stanford have finally conceded that natural language is of a “different nature” to mathematical language.It’s the difference between the box (Matrix) and the sphere in Da Vinci’s sketch.I’ve known this — long before the AI professors and current articles pointing out that existing frameworks can’t get the machines to understand our natural language — because Da Vinci has informed how I see and solve problems for years.To get the machines to General Intelligence and language understanding needs 1st principles invention of new tools.https://uploads.disquscdn.c

      2. SubstrateUndertow

        The actors on “Mr. Robot” by virtue of their exposure to cyber-security in the making of the show might have done a better job that the DNC’s contract security “I wasn’t sure he was a real FBI agent so I did not return his call” guy 🙂

    4. pwrserge

      Might also teach people not to make their password [email protected] or store classified materials on a server in their bathroom.

  6. Pointsandfigures

    Let’s assume all of this is true. Did the Russians also hack what was in the emails? Did they hack the actions of people? Cybersecurity is a huge issue. Agree living by the sword you die by it too. But all the hacking doesn’t explain the actions

    1. Tom Labus

      or lack of when it comes to taxes and debt

    2. Joe Cardillo

      I know we have different political bents, and I like the sentiment, but if you unpack it there are some problems.Information is the ground floor, and the ground floor requires clarity and transparency. IMHO, the biggest result of information warfare isn’t action, it’s inaction. It’s to get people to be anxious, unable to know where they stand, to increase the perception of ambiguity, of instability. Regardless of political position, it seems pretty clear that the Russians were successful in that. And, obviously, defining the world as unstable was a lot more helpful for Trump’s messaging than Clinton’s.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Saw some data today, 43% of all Americans want to dismantle government. 21% want it bigger, 27% want it more efficient. Clinton didn’t play to most Americans. Trump did.Americans got to see behind the curtain. They didn’t like what they saw for the most part.Agree with some other sentiments echoed by people I know are politically different than me-gerrymandering has got to go away. Competition is good. The Democratic Party selection process was a different form of gerrymandering. It cost them. Without it, maybe other candidates come forward, like Joe Biden (who probably wins in a walk).

        1. Jess Bachman

          You will forgive me if I zero faith in the accuracy of polling “data”.

          1. Twain Twain

            Got space in your “zero faith in the accuracy of polling data” tent?Lots of people are going to join you.

          2. Joe Cardillo

            Samesies.

          3. Jess Bachman

            There is room for 71% of Americans.

          4. Twain Twain

            Ok … wait … which ones are they in the bell?LOL, see how silly pollsters’ tools are!https://uploads.disquscdn.c

        2. SubstrateUndertow

          “43% of all Americans want to dismantle government”Now that is a well considered foundation for democratic governance!Now if one does not like the effectiveness of a given OS one could replace the offending OS kernel components but dismantling its OS will not make your mobile phone work better :-(Mindless memes are afoot and stalking our collective survival. Once again !”History is fundamentally a race between rational/educated memes and collective disaster”Add in ubiquitous new social network-effects and that historical race is now reaching a critical disintegration velocity.We need to teach basic logical frameworks in high school so as to underpin social debate with a wide spread foundation of logical social memes.For example:All day long on CNN we hear, in the name of supposed balanced reporting, a slug-fest of “equal-time” he-said she-said partisan nonsense.The so called professional journalists refuse to take receipt of their professionally educated responsibility to police even the most basic epistemological concept in fear that they might be accused of unfair bias. I’m being generous here because it often appears that said professional journalists do not seem to have any serious mastery of the epistemological concepts foundational to a professional journalist education.The outcome is that childish drivel is allowed, often unchallenged, to pass as equally valid counterpoint to well sourced facts all in the name of fair and balance reporting.Journalist have a professional responsibility to be unilaterally biased toward the mechanics of epistemological truth seeking !Profession journalists owe it to the public to police educated epistemological rule enfacement over informational terrorists attempting to create perceptual chaos. That is their educational specially and they need to stand up and defence that ground on behave of the public good.If that brings charges of biased reporting so be it. They can make their ongoing case for epistemologically grounded media professionalism while simultaneously educating the public to the basic foundational rules/memes required to preserve a modicum of rational, “what do we now and how do we know we know it”, social debate in the midst of our new unprecedented information age challenges.Just one ongoing example of this unprofessional journalistic behaviour on display all day long on CNN can be seen when journalists repeatedly fail to challenge even the most basic/egregious of all logical fallacies. That being the often used claim by pundits that their opponent is wrong because he/she is unable to prove a negative. That is a baseline journalistic failure not only to give the debate meaningful policing/framing but even more importantly a missed opportunity to educate the citizenry to basic logical/linguistic memes that would contribute universally reusable journalistic value added to society at large.A good journalist should be able to spot all forms of logical fallacies on the fly and bring that professional social debate framing/policing to the audience’s attention. A great journalist should be able to do so by reducing such logical fallacies to clearly accessible metaphors that make them obvious and simultaneously make them available for reuse by mere mortals via ongoing repeated osmotic absorption.Decades of 24 hour news and still on sign that professional journalists are ready, willing or able to take responsibly for bing their specialized value added expertise to bare on elevating public debate by osmotically disseminating more effective logical/linguistic social debate memes.Sadly I don’t even think that framing of professional journalistic responsibility is widely understood let alone widely accepted.Thank God my dentist is more focused on accepting his responsibility to bring his specialized knowledge base to bare on improving my life :-)end of rant – move on – nothing to see heremy wife thank you for being the alternate victims of my rant 🙂

          1. Pete Griffiths

            “We need to teach basic logical frameworks in high school so as to underpin social debate with a wide spread foundation of logical social memes.”Good luck with that.

          2. SubstrateUndertow

            Is that to say that you disagree about the importance of such a formalized set of educational priorities or that you are pessimistic about the possibility of implementing such ?

          3. Pete Griffiths

            I am pessimistic about the prospects. For 2 reasons:a) getting such a rational set of educational priorities implemented has proven to be murderously difficultb) even if we were to have fantastic implementation at school the effectiveness of such a program is at risk if the home/community environment hosts values which are completely incompatible with such rational values.

          4. SubstrateUndertow

            Both very good points !Thanks for raining realism on my hope parade 🙂

          5. Pete Griffiths

            “Pessimism of the intellect. Optimism of the will.Antonio Gramsci.:)

        3. Pete Griffiths

          I very strongly suspect this kind of polling is almost worthless. The problem is that people can and do get absolutely opposite responses depending upon how they frame the question.

      2. SubstrateUndertow

        Trump could be characterized as running an informational-Moeist strategy.Create informational chaos by any means necessary then play the other stakeholder’s informational vacuum/chaos to your own advantage.I’m looking at you CNN !

        1. Joe Cardillo

          Indeed, Jay Rosen had a great breakdown of how that works from the media-side – https://storify.com/jayrose

    3. rob_lh

      This is one of the more disturbing elements of the story and why the breach was so effective. The DNC and the Clinton campaign had made the truth their enemy. While this was a blatant attempt to disrupt the election, Russian intelligence wasn’t the one casting the votes in battleground states. They showed Americans a view of the DNC and Clinton in their own words, and Americans agreed with them.

      1. Jess Bachman

        And if the RNC was also hacked (it was) and those emails released (they weren’t) would Americans have agreed with them as well?

        1. rob_lh

          How can I say without knowing the content? Imagine a converse situation. If British intelligence leaked emails establishing high level Trump employees communicating directly with Russian intelligence during the campaign, it would have run non-stop in the media. Trump didn’t have the support of the RNC, so collusion there like the DNC and Clinton wasn’t viable.Edit to add more clarity. Part of the dynamic here is how the leaked information ties into people’s pre-conceived notions of an event or, in this case, a person. Does it confirm something? Change your opinion? In this case, it confirmed suspicions of deceptive behavior by HRC over her tenure in politics. If the RNC campaign leaked, what if the emails were just monotonous political coordination and the occasional disbelief at Trump’s? It would only confirm what many already believed.

    4. creative group

      Pointsandfigures:—————————————–Why are people so often in denial?Asked by Ron James of Manchester, UKIn the psychological sense, denial is a defense mechanism in which a person, faced with a painful fact, rejects the reality of that fact. They will insist that the fact is not true despite what may be overwhelming and irrefutable evidence.There are three forms of denial. Simple denial is when the painful fact is denied altogether. Minimisational denial is when the painful fact is admitted but its seriousness is downplayed. Transference denial is when the painful fact is admitted, the seriousness also admitted, but one’s moral responsibility in the situation involving the painful fact is downplayed.When a person is in denial, they engage in distractive or escapist strategies to reduce stress and help them cope. The effect upon psychological well-being in doing this is unclear.The concept of denial was formulated by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and greatly elaborated upon by his daughter, Anna Freud (1895-1982), in the second volume (1936) of her eight volume Writings of Anna Freud. The concept has been around for many decades. Denial is an important factor in public health.The American Heart Association cites denial as a principal reason why treatment for heart disease is often delayed. The same is true for cancer. Drs MS Vos and JC de Haes from the Department of Psychiatry at the Bronovo Hospital in The Hague, The Netherlands, recently point out that, based upon their study of cancer patients published in Psychooncology in July 2006, up to 47 per cent of patients deny the fact that they have been diagnosed with cancer, up to 70 per cent deny the impact of the diagnosis upon their lives, and up to 42 per cent deny that it has any effect upon their feelings.They add: “From a psychoanalytical viewpoint, denial is a pathological, ineffective defense mechanism..On the other hand, according to the stress and coping model, denial can be seen as an adaptive strategy to protect against overwhelming events and feelings.”Therein is the appeal of denial to humans. Denial allows someone to keep going unchanged despite reality. Denial is the path of psychological and moral least resistance.Five years after the 9/11 attack on New York and Washington DC, 40 per cent of New Yorkers are still to varying degrees “fearful”, “traumatised” or otherwise “unable to face reality”, according to NY public mental health experts. In such a psychological state, people are not at their reasoning best – easily confused, manipulated, and fooled.While in denial about global warming, people don’t have to think about anything, inform themselves, change their consumption patterns, becoming actively involved in reforms, or alter their behaviour in any way. Politicians with transference denial can absolve themselves of any moral imperative to take the necessary policy initiatives that that scientists say are mandatory for our species to survive.Stephen Juan, Ph.D. is an anthropologist at the University of Sydney. [email protected].edu.au

  7. andyswan

    To be fair, Hillary did just as much campaigning in Russia as she did in Wisconsin.

    1. fredwilson

      I would prefer we talk about what this means and not go back over old stuff that doesn’t matter anymore

      1. andyswan

        It means that cybersecurity is a big big deal and if you’re planning to run for office you better either LOCK YO SHIT UP or only write what you want read.

        1. andyswan

          Two years ago we went to an after-Derby party. It was a house party in the hood. 95% of the people there, including myself, would never be near this place on any other day.As we walk in, the DJ comes on …. “if anyone has seen a white purse, it belongs to this lady…please bring it up here. The rest of you… LOCK YO SHIT UP you know where you is!”Sage advice for all of us…..

  8. phoneranger

    “If I am comforted, and I am not sure that I am, it is with the knowledge that we are doing the same things to them that they are doing to us.”The trouble with this is that on Jan. 20, the definition of “we” changes to include those who directly benefited from Russian election tampering. The new “we” seems be more inclined to use those tools against the old “we” here in the US.

    1. pointsnfigures

      not to split hairs, but government agencies attacked political opponents over the last 8 years. I don’t think turnabout is fair play, and share your concern over a weaponized govt using cyber to “monitor” it’s citizens. I think the debate Rand Paul and Ted Cruz were itching for and never got in the Senate was over cyber privacy. What information should they collect, and how should they collect it? It’s one we should have openly.

  9. LIAD

    Overtly at least, Russian bad behaviour hasn’t been punished. And whether you’re dealing with a puppy, toddler or nuclear armed megalomaniac – not punishing bad behaviour encourages it. And that’s what worries me most.

    1. markslater

      totally agree.

  10. markslater

    incredible read. We’ve declared war over far less.

    1. jason wright

      but not against a country that can fight back.

  11. Thierry Ascarez

    It took me more than 20 minutes to read the whole thing 🙂 but terrifying indeed. Even more when you think about the elections coming in Europe (Netherlands in March and France in May) after what happened in the UK.

  12. johnmccarthy

    Love the picture of the Watergate filing cabinet next to the hacked server.

    1. fredwilson

      yeah, that’s a great photo

  13. William Mougayar

    I am getting that there was hacking, but still not getting the linkage to the Russian government, nor the effect on influencing the elections. The article seems to be well researched, but it’s not mentioning the alleged attacks on the RNC as well, although they weren’t as effective nor as sensationalized as the ones on the DNC. The readers comments in that article are also interesting. It seems to me that Google needs to offer a higher level of security beyond just 2FA because I’m hearing now that hackers can also steal your cell #, and they start texting your friends asking for money.

    1. Joe Cardillo

      I’d argue the effect was instability, the more of it you breed the faster people have to act and the more mistakes they’re likely to make. It’s one of the hallmarks of state sponsored information wars, as opposed to phishing for financial info to exploit.

    1. fredwilson

      yupp. payback.

      1. Jess Bachman

        The KGB doesn’t forget.

      2. Twain Twain

        Sir Richard Branson on Trump’s payback mindset:* https://www.virgin.com/rich…Kara Swisher: “Welcome to the brave new world, which is neither brave nor new. But it’s now the world we live in, in which it’s Trump who is the disrupter and tech the disrupted.Yeah, you can say it: Fuckfuckfuck.”* http://www.recode.net/2016/

      3. JamesHRH

        I took the time to read the article tonight. Two thoughts come to mind:1) Aide who emailed Podesta is clearly lying. The wording / structure of the email naturally fits its current meaning. The aide got phished.2) People are so willing to see what they want to see at this point in American history, its nearly a mass hysteria. Clearly, the Russians did it on purpose. But, no one knows why.> “There shouldn’t be any doubt in anybody’s mind,” Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency and commander of United States Cyber Command, said at a postelection conference. “This was not something that was done casually, this was not something that was done by chance, this was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily,” he said. “This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.”The Dems should be REALLY embarrassed, but that’s about the end of it I don’t get the usefulness of anything else.

    2. TeddyBeingTeddy

      Touche

      1. Chimpwithcans

        Hmm, maybe Robert Mugabe has a point after all.

    3. JimHirshfield

      Well played Jess, well played.

    4. jason wright

      NYT, CIA, BBC, MI6, ARD, BND, AVC and POV.if it keeps the neo cons and the neo liberals out of the WH then Russia is doing the world a service.

      1. Guillaume

        That’s why I have issues with US people requesting countries like China to open themselves to free press: this is often just a way to say “please let our advisers control your politics”. I’m all for real free press, but also for self determination.

        1. jason wright

          Absolutely. The Freedomination Party.

    5. Chrmngblly

      I read this at the time. Why do you bring it up now? It really wasn’t very secret.Regardless, what American finds it acceptable to have the Russians decide/influence our election? The Russians were in disarray at the time all this Yeltsin business came about. Paul Manafort continues to be a consultant over there to this day. That’s a different subject.We need to find out what was done. How was Comey involved? How is Trump connected to the Russians? None of this is OK by me.I would rather that the election was kicked back to the House to decide. We would still end up with a republican President but maybe a normal one—AND it would be an American decision. This is NOT business as usual.

  14. TeddyBeingTeddy

    Putin took down our queen, now he’s moving in for checkmate. Working us like an overconfident punching bag.

  15. Seine

    Major US companies, federal administrations, etc. have all been under huge cyber attacks in the last 2 years. How come they are still today unprepared to face or even respond to such endeavors. Is it a question of appropriate manpower in those different organizations, a lack of appropriate technology to answer such attacks or is it something else?

  16. Rob Larson

    Fred, I tried to access avc from home computer and got an “access denied” message saying my IP address is blacklisted. (Am typing this on my mobile right now.) I have to assume this was in error, since I can’t think of anything that may have led to it. What is the process for requesting to be un-blacklisted?

    1. fredwilson

      it has to be a cloudflare issue. i don’t blacklist IPs

      1. David Semeria

        I kept getting asked to prove I’m not a robot.

        1. Jess Bachman

          Freeze all motor functions.

          1. baba12

            freeze motors and put some WD40 in all joints before restarting,will prove you are not Robot…

      2. Rob Larson

        Hmm, searching through cloudflare’s support section didn’t yield anything helpful. Will keep trying… Please let me know if anything else comes to mind that might be helpful in fixing this. Thanks.

  17. Mark McPartland

    Thanks for the pointer to this Fred, an interesting read. (I’ve been reading your posts for a few months now)The issue is how easily information was obtained due to actions or in-actions by those being ‘attacked’.- The FBI could have done more to warn – indeed- Those at DNC that took initial calls could have done more to be concerned and follow up – yes- The education to everyone on how phishing works is obviously flawed. It is the simplest of attacks and to click on a link in an email….- The warning ‘typo’ that the email was legitimate was poorly worded at best ( though I don’t buy that it was a typo to start with)Focusing on punishing Russia is missing the point that anyone could have done this to any organisation or individual, and more needs to be done on home soils to close the loop holes not only in technology but more so in peoples education.Also It is easy to use the Western Worlds free press against itself, once information is released then the press does the rest. Those wanting to return the favour to Russia, China or similar don’t have the same simple option, as we know getting information to the population to invoke action is controlled by the governments.Information indeed is power and we all can be more aware.

  18. David Semeria

    For me, the real surprise is how easy it was. A fake email form Google was all it took to gain complete access to Podesta’s 60,000 emails and attachments.

    1. andyswan

      We spent all of 2016 hearing from them that cybersecurity and “the emails” were no big deal….nothing to see! All of a sudden now their carelessness put the entire Republic at risk. Crazy.

      1. David Semeria

        True, but as Fred said, let’s try and keep this non-partisan.

        1. andyswan

          That’s fine…but the timing of this concern is partisan in and of itself, and that’s important to point out.

          1. David Semeria

            That’s also possibly true. But calls for more information on the subject are coming from Republican senators as well. This is a bipartisan issue.

          2. andyswan

            Agree. I’m all for investigating it and retaliation is warranted. Just not going to ignore the “delegitimize him” efforts at play

          3. LE

            Actually it’s a smart political move by the Republicans for the following reasons at the very least:a) They control the process and as such the outcomeb) Get out in front of the story and control it (like an attorney brings out bad facts about their client instead of the prosecutionc) Appear to be non-partisan (see ‘a’ as insurance)d) Little to lose, and good PR for some members (see ‘a’) get to blow hard in all sorts of hearings and point fingers and appear to be doing their job ‘shocked that there is gambling going on here’.Remember as in Watergate the coverup only causes people to dig deeper better to get out in front of it now and shape the outcome.

          4. Steve_Dodd

            Maybe “The Donald” actually has the right answer since he has stated clearly he doesn’t use email at all (just Twitter).

  19. Steve_Dodd

    Fred, I love this post as it clearly outlines the real issues. Not that it happened but how and why. This is an issue we’ve been facing for years across all governments and business. “The failure to grasp the scope of the attacks undercut efforts to minimize their impact.” There will always be “bad people doing bad things”. Many years ago we learned to lock our doors and windows. Unfortunately, when it comes to cybersecurity, we forgot that principle. And, the damage caused is just surfacing with the worst yet to come. We’re surrounded by a $megabillion security industry that has totally failed. Why? Because it chases and “fixes” occurrences rather than getting ahead of them. And, what’s worse is the first “reaction” to an occurrence is to hide or defend our own failure, blame someone else and then eventually slap a Band-Aid on it and expect it will not happen again.Charlie Crystle said it best in these comments. “The bad news is it’s going to have to get a lot worse before anyone does anything about it. The good news is it’s going to get a lot worse.”The question in my mind is “will we ever admit it”.Years ago, Identity Theft was hidden and buried by the financial institutions until the issue became so big is directly impacted their financials and reputations. Then it became vogue and addressed. Privacy is reaching a similar state today. When will effective security reach that same level?It’s easy to play the victim and blame the “bad guys”. When are we going to step up and accept the fact that being the victim is actually equally as bad when our ability to cure the problem is readily available, if we’d just do it.

    1. LE

      There will always be “bad people doing bad things”. Many years ago we learned to lock our doors and windows. Unfortunately, when it comes to cybersecurity, we forgot that principle.There is also an active, supported (and applauded) group of both those in industry [1] and kids in the basement whose job appears to be to teach and disclose how to hack. If the same thing happened with legacy physical security it wouldn’t be enough to just ‘lock our doors and windows’ which actually as anyone knows is not enough to keep out a determined thief.[1] Security industrial complex, conferences, blog posts, video how to’s and so on.

      1. Steve_Dodd

        Understand LE. And of course you are correct. I apologize for the misguided and simplistic example. However, that security industrial complex is still failing (and miserably). Why? Because those who need it aren’t yet paying sufficient attention and only doing the “minimum” to get by (aka – head in the sand).Let’s try another analogy like the brakes on your car. When they begin to fail or become dangerous, your car warns you of impending issues so you don’t find out when you finally hit something due to failure. Unlike the response to the “Security Complex”, we all know to fix the dam brakes when warned.We’ve been warned about these occurrences for many, many years. We’ve seen the evidence and felt the impact. Yet why does it continue to happen? Because as Charlie Crystle said (and history has proven), the damage is not big enough to financially justify the solution. Unfortunately, in these cases, once damaged, there is no “fix” for the impact.Again, “The failure to grasp the scope of the attacks undercut efforts to minimize their impact.”As far as the “kids in the basement” or as the President -Elect referred to them as some 400 lb guy locked in a room, we catch them and throw them in jail in an attempt to address the symptom, not address the root cause.Again, “The failure to grasp the scope of the attacks undercut efforts to minimize their impact.”

        1. LE

          Well I work with this a bit and I can tell you that it’s wack a mole. And in particular whack a mole because of the security industrial complex keeps putting out additional info on exploits (by finding them proactively, it’s a game) even super arcane things that nobody would ever discover on their own. But if there are literally thousands of people trying to discover vulnerabilities and others that are willing to publish those vulnerabilities and make them easy for someone to use then we have problems.Would it be appropriate for me to post on the internet when you are at your house and the security that you have so to make it more likely that someone could break into your house when you are away? Of course not. However the same thing happens all the time on the Internet (in a way). That knowledge is power to an adversary (the thief). Sure you can have an alarm system but most likely I could publish info on how to get by that alarm system and even figure out if you had a cellular backup as well.

          1. Steve_Dodd

            Wholeheartedly agree, LE! And I love the “wack-a-mole” example. It’s so true. We could discuss this endlessly but getting back to Fred’s initial point and the others raised here, how many times do we need to “wack the same mole”. How long before people realize, as in the case of the DMC / FBI conversations, to pay attention. How long before people realize that after numerous warnings, they need to pay attention. How long before those issuing the warnings realize that they’re not working and another course of action is required? We have the information (power) but when are we going to really do anything with it?

  20. zmre

    The U.S. Presidential race is getting all of the attention, but The Times also reported on the impacts of Russian hacking on the congressional races. That’s the largely untold story that is equally interesting and maybe more so.http://www.nytimes.com/2016

  21. Vijay V

    Hi, I am a long time avid reader and I am tempted to ask for a clarification.Is “hacking” really applicable in this context?The Russians clearly attempted to “influence” the election by leaking information potentially damaging to one candidate. The information leaked was not more damaging than late leaks on on Trump or constant false propaganda that multiple candidates have under taken in last few decades (Bush on Kerry for example). This new information didn’t decisively tip the perception in Trump’s favor.Unless there is evidence of tempering with the electronic vote count, “hacking the elections” sounds like crying wolf.

    1. someone

      Agreed, also self inflicted because podesta clicked on the phishing email. Not as if someone broke into his server. He gave his password away.

  22. David C. Baker

    I wonder if our national response to hacking would be different if the makeup of our lawmakers was different. Average age in the house is 57; in the senate it’s 61. Average ages at the local level are lower, but you just wonder how we’d treat this if we had more technically savvy political leaders in the roles that could impact this.

    1. LE

      While it is certainly easier to social engineer an older person (as a very very general rule) if an adversary is determined (which we would have to believe they are in this particular case) the age of the target honestly doesn’t matter that much.As only one example there are plenty of startups that are hacked by less capable foes.

      1. David C. Baker

        I didn’t mean as the target of hacking efforts, but as the folks who will lead a charge to shape the nation’s laws and direct how they are enforced. I’m not even sure some of them understand the issues.

        1. LE

          Agree that lack of ‘seat of the pants’ feel is important. Age could be a factor as a stereotype as much as people try to avoid that type of thing.Was thinking about this actually just last night with respect to Rex Tillerson [1] having that with respect to foreign governments. Actually making deals in 50 unstable and somewhat dangerous places where his and his companies ass are on the line. Consequently they need to have a direct feel for what is going on with the people in order to assess that risk. vs., say, a politician or academic who lacks the same direct input and accountability and doesn’t have the seat of the pants feel for things.For me a strong seat of the pants in something you know about is a very big advantage in decision making.[1] What a great guy name by the way. “Rex” like a big dinosaur or prehistoric object. “Tillerson” like the young guy on a boat with an old mariner sailing the seas.

  23. kevando

    Very good article (and dramatic opening image) but I’ll save my feedback until we find out if this is all an effort to influence the electoral vote on the 19th.

  24. baba12

    Not sure why people are surprised and acting like “how could this happen to us”..The U.S. has been involved in affecting elections in a plethora of countries, they have hacked into allies like Germany. When the U.S. does such acts nobody in the U.S. feels it is wrong and or act surprised, it is all ok as the U.S. is the greater power and therefore by default they get to do what they wish when they wish and if they say it is ok then it must be ok. As Charlie Crystle points out in his comment, it is ok to be flummoxed by all this while things are crooked and or unfair in the way we conduct elections in the U.S. and we dont seem to do anything about it and as he states we wont do anything until it really gets bad and possibly we are going to get to the nadir of this soon enough and hopefully we shall rectify it then.This election shouldn’t have been a surprise nor should it shock anyone what unfolds hereafter. If the Democrats are smart they will abstain from all voting in Congress, they can’t win any future elections if they block or vote for any initiatives and it is better to protest silently by abstaining starting with the confirmation hearings and going through all new legislations brought. In the meantime Mr.Wilson (Fred) shall continue to share his thoughts and some of us will comment/debate/discuss and hopefully not have any arguments…..

    1. LE

      This is the nature of people though. I am reminded of a relative of mine who owned a chain of supermarkets who was shocked, surprised and very hurt to find out that one of his head cashiers was stealing food or money or both don’t remember. [1] Suffice to say that over the years I had heard stories of things he had done to both people and companies that were far worse than that. It didn’t surprise me that it shocked him to find out someone he trusted did that to him. But it did surprise me how he felt that everyone should be honest with him while he was not honest with others, clearly.[1] I do remember though that whatever it was relative to the business was minor.

    2. Donna Brewington White

      Good to “see” you here. Hope you are well!

      1. baba12

        yes I am well or some would say “i am in the well”… I am still recovering from a broken wrist and dislocated elbow from 20 weeks ago but small bones take long to heal I am told…

  25. LE

    By his own account, he did not look too hard even after Special Agent Hawkins called back repeatedly over the next several weeks — in part because he wasn’t certain the caller was a real F.B.I. agent and not an impostor. “I had no way of differentiating the call I just received from a prank call,” Mr. Tamene wrote in an internal memo, obtained by The New York Times, that detailed his contact with the F.B.I.Well per my other comment (regarding accuracy of reporting below) what type of lame ass person takes multiple calls from the FBI and isn’t intelligent enough to determine whether the calls are true or not? No suspicion, just thinking that some guy on the phone who claims to be part of the FBI is just doing a prank call? What kind of bullshit is that? No call to the FBI office to authenticate or “can I have a phone number and email address @fbi.gov where I can get in touch with you” (recognizing the phone number doesn’t mean much and for that matter the @fbi.gov could be hacked potentially but it’s a start in addition to calling the local FBI office obviously).

  26. Chris

    Only the CIA has come to that conclusion. That conclusion is not embraced by the FBI or the U.S. intelligence community and Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). ODNI concluded “ODNI is not arguing that the agency (CIA) is wrong, only that they can’t prove intent,” and “thin reed upon which to base an analytical judgment.”.While Dems seem to be the main targets of the hacks, they still hacked into Colin Powells account. The hacks were also detected on other Repubs and RNC, however they weren’t released.http://www.reuters.com/arti

  27. Jason Hirschhorn

    Yeah, but look who they got us.

  28. RobM1981

    The primary reason that Hillary was painted as incompetent is that she didn’t follow the email security protocols that SecState was required to do. By intentionally bypassing these protocols, regulations, systems, etc., she violated federal law. The whole point of this was “you will be hacked. SecState email will be hacked.”Her supporters ignored this. They poo-poo’d it. They openly attacked anyone who dared mention the gravity of this kind of thing.Now? Now they want her to win the election, by default, basically because her detractors were right.Here’s the story that *should* be reported: if people, Russians or otherwise, were indeed reading her emails – and, of course, they were – the Wikileaks activities are child’s play compared to what they actually learned. SecState is generally considered the most important cabinet post. She was privy to basically *everything.*Whatever she leaked, it was a lot worse than just being on Anthony Weiner’s PC.To now support her as a victim is the height of absurdity.

    1. The_Repentant_Curmudgeon

      Exactly right.I’ll add as a side note that in the 2012 election (or was it 2008?) there was scant reporting about the fact that the Obama team specifically requested Visa to dismantle the security on their donation site, which allowed anyone from any country to make donations to Obama. I remember watching a CNN interview where an expert was asked if this could have happened inadvertently and the expert said no. There was work involved in turning off these security functions.Who knows how many millions in illegal foreign money made its way to the Obama campaign to buy that election (I made a $5 donation from an Ireland account I had just to verify that it was true)? Well at least we had crack reporters following up finding out who on the Obama team gave the go-ahead to do this…yeah, right.

  29. Salt Shaker

    Does anyone here truly have faith in the system, and more importantly, its people? Hacking doesn’t eliminate or justify the content and actions of politicians, although I presume at some level in the future they may think twice about putting too many thoughts and ideas on paper. Look at how the DNC emasculated Bernie. Look at how Carly, Romney, etc., came groveling to Trump post-election for a role in his admin, irrespective of what he said about them (and vice-versa). They’re all there to be bought and sold, convictions and dignity be damned. Watching yesterday in WI our Pres elect engage in a junior high school pep rally 4+ weeks after the election recalling state-by-state results ad nausea, while claiming to be too busy for weekly intelligence briefings. Is there any moral fiber left in politics today, or has it all just become about spin, or perhaps even worse a “Game of Thrones?” Is this truly the best of what we have? Sign me far, far more disgusted w/ the people than the hacking.

    1. LE

      They’re all there to be bought and sold, convictions and dignity be damned.Perhaps the saying from the Godfather ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ is relevant.It’s easier to get what you want out of someone by playing along in the game than it is by being an obstinate asshole. And it is a game. Just like business and sports are games.I remember when I first found out that Apple in the 80’s or 90’s was using IBM drives in their computers. And it is quite typical that a large corporation suing another large corp will also (through a division) do business with them. This is all part of the game.

  30. Parker Gilbert Jr.

    truth be told. Evidence of Russia being behind the hacking is still nebulous and this article does not offer anything new or concrete. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were, but Clinton camp is awfully quick to try and find another scapegoat for their failure.

  31. Dave Pinsen

    As a commenter on Scott Adams’ blog put it:”If having a little daylight shine on you causes you to lose an election, don’t blame the sun.” — 0maha disq.us/p/1ef3d0b

    1. RichardF

      Amen Dave, first bit of common sense I’ve read

    2. Sam

      That’s a clever argument wrapped in a cute metaphor. I mean, how can you possibly argue with the natural goodness of the sun or “a little daylight”?Let’s start with the middle part, where we apparently agree: The election was close enough that [the little daylight thing] caused Clinton to lose the election.So what caused her to lose, again? Was it simply “having” (passive) “a little daylight” (something natural and wholesome) shine on her?No. It was an active campaign perpetrated by a country that is openly hostile to US interests.And no. It was anything but natural and wholesome. It was a phishing campaign using deceit to steal private information, filter it to separate the information most damaging to Clinton, and then publish it over weeks for its most devastating impact during the later stages of the campaign while simultaneously sparing the Trump from equal treatment.So should we blame “the sun,” the source of the “daylight”? You mean Putin, right? Should we blame Putin? Whether you want to blame him or give him credit, he’s the person we need to be talking about here, not the sun.That is one deceptive little metaphor.

      1. JamesHRH

        No, you blame the Dems for being the type of people who would suffer is their emails were made public.

  32. RichardF

    Personally I think the big picture from the news in the UK (bombing in Aleppo) and the US being “hacked” is that Putin is getting too big for his boots and that the big stick is about to come out and the propaganda (sorry I mean news) is preparing the minions for it.At the end of the day Clinton by the fact that she went off piste with the emails was unelectable and should never have stood, its common sense, which doesn’t prevail in politics. (The hacking thing is a side show) Now the world has to deal with a clusterfuck. Don’t remember a more dangerous or unstable time since the cold war

  33. Justin Randolph

    What if the net result is actually an overall more transparent (and competitive) system, which over the long run (remember history and progress is a very slow march), actually results in more ‘progress’. By no means am I justifying the hacking, nor do I live in a belief that ‘secrets’ or ‘IP” should at all times be in the public domain, but it does raise an interesting thought experiment. I see the net response to this being either (a) ‘secrets’ become more entrenched and buried in the deepest of darkest of places, or (b) we operate in a way that’s radically and publicly ‘honest’ (if everything’s out there, nothing can be ‘hacked’ to cause any surprise or disruption), where we fully direct and signal our intentions to others. I know… pie in the sky thinking, right? But consider it in the context of startups. Don’t monopolies and ‘IP’ create hindrances to innovation (unless you as the innovator believe you can disrupt the monopoly and be the incumbent…hmm, Putin?). So if there were fewer protections to monopolies and less security of IP, wouldn’t conventional thinking result in us believing there would be more competition (and likely more innovation)? Or does this actually create less competition (and less innovation) because the profit incentive and the ability to extract economic (or political?) rents are diminished? And if the latter, what if this ultimately resulted in a more ‘stable’ system. What if Putin is playing the long game and is actually trying to encourage democracy to support the long-term status quo? Food for thought…

  34. george

    Hackings just another form of espionage and the value of information still remains the prize. I don’t think much has truly changed from that perspective. What has changed are the access points and the creation of large communication platforms (plumbing and wiring) and how information can now be channeled efficiently and exponentially.Nonetheless, we’ll always be susceptible to the motives of practitioners of information, whether we speak past, present or future tense.

  35. Sierra Choi

    For hackers to access your account, they don’t need your password. Passwords are for average citizens not to be able to have access to each others’ accounts.Most hackers launch a reconnaissance of your network, look for vulnerabilities, and then enter without a password, downloading all your data, or use a man-in-the-middle-attack or launch a programme in your network to copy all your files to automatically send when you are connected to the internet.This is all done without a password. I think the NYTimes article makes it seem like a strong password is going to solve all your hacking problems. It really doesn’t.

  36. ZekeV

    Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, Lebanon, Kyrgistan, Egypt, Lybia… those were all revolutions that we helped push along and that occurred outside the constitutional framework of their respective countries. One of the great things about the US electoral system is that revolution can occur within the system. This is also its weakness.

  37. dave

    Wait till the battleground is the world’s banking systems.

  38. LE

    More about what the block captains are doing?

  39. pwrserge

    Ok… There is zero evidence that any voting systems were ever hacked. Releasing embarrassing information is hardly an “act of war”.But I’m assume you support a biometric based voter registration system with photo ID then? One that prevents people from voting in multiple jurisdictions by keeping a master voter registration list?No?

  40. pwrserge

    Yes. Voter ID is a good start. Especially given the fraud uncovered in Detroit by the Michigan recount.

  41. pwrserge

    Though I do love how whenever a conservative brought up the point that our voting system was less secure than Mexico’s over the past few decades, he was shouted down as a racist. Well, now we have evidence that the DNC stuffs ballot boxes and a GOP Congress and White House to deal with it.