The House Speaker and many other Dems talk about winning a presidential and congressional election. But they don’t seem to consider the critical fact that the Russians invaded the last presidential election with hacking software and have had years since to refine their electoral attacks. Worse, the Senate Majority leader and the Republican Caucus refuse to put safeguards in place – like a paper trail. Impeaching Mr. Trump, the beneficiary of Russia’s manipulations, is a big step in the right direction to avoid this electoral disaster – if it happens sooner rather than later.
Special Counsel Bob Mueller said that the Russians didn’t just target individuals in the Clinton Campaign. They also targeted persons and entities involved in the elections themselves.
Their victims were targeted. They were the persons and entities involved in the administration of the elections, that is, state boards of election, secretaries of state, county governments and those who worked for these entities.
Nor was that the end of it, the Russians also went after the private tech firms that made the hardware and wrote the software for voter registration and electronic polling stations. The Russians did this right through the election.
That said, why didn’t the Special Counsel obtain or examine servers or other relevant items belonging to these victims? They told us they didn’t take these steps in their “final” report. Mueller testified (reluctantly) but unmistakably that this tampering with elections was a truly dangerous aspect of what the Russians did when seeking to manipulate our elections in 2016, and it would happen again. But Mueller stopped at the water’s edge in his investigation, and didn’t dig down by examining servers and figuring this out for themselves. This abandonment was just like how the investigation stopped at the water’s edge of an investigation that would have charged Trump or family or looked at Trump’s holding.
While the investigation identified evidence that Russia targeted these individuals and entities, the Special Counsel’s Office did not investigate further.
They said that the FBI, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the states have separately investigated that activity. The question is to what effect if any?
The Russians were seeking access to state and local computer networks by the summer of 2016. According to the Special Counsel, the Russians exploited “known software vulnerabilities on websites of state and local governmental entities.”
One technique the Russians used was a “SQL Injection;” that’s the search query language (SQL) with more than a touch of mischief. This hacking code was sent off “to the state or local website in order to run commands (such as exfiltrating the database contents).”
They used SQL Injection to add, modify, and delete records in the database.
A SQL Injection may affect any website or web application that uses an SQL database such as MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, or others.
Criminals use this device to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data. This is one of the top ten hacking methods according to the OWASP organization (Open Web Application Security Project)
The Russians scored in June 2016 when they compromised the computer network of the Illinois State Board of Elections by exploiting a vulnerability in their website. The Russians gained access to millions of registered voters and collected data on thousands before anyone knew what they were doing.
In July, the Russians were able to scan more than two dozen other states.
The Russians also went spear fishing, appearing legit, but, well, not at all, to get after the public officials involved in voting, and a voting technology company. In August, they targeted these employees and forwarded a word document with malicious software. The software company they attacked, that was used by numerous counties across the country to manage voter rolls, they installed malware on the company network.
In November 2016, the Russians spent spearfishing emails to more than 120 email accounts used by Florida County officials.
Mueller warned that 2016 “wasn’t a single attempt.”
FBI director Chris Wray said that protecting the 2018 midterm elections from foreign interference was just a “dress rehearsal for the big show” in 2020.
The director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, said, “Despite growing awareness of cyber threats and improving cyber defenses, nearly all information, communication networks, and systems will be at risk for years to come.”
Congress has not taken any action. Is it because not just Trump but Republicans generally expect upgraded software election manipulations will favor them?
Those Dems that are so certain they can skip impeachment and win the election really should consider if that’s possible if the election is already being fixed.
Remedies to cure attempts to manipulate the elections were proposed in the House but Senate Majority Leaders wants nothing to do with any measures about political ads, paper ballots and voting machine security.
What other explanation is there but that the White House (Trump) and the Senate (McConnell) see the advantage for their re-election if they can manipulate the results.
The players who would protect our election fiddle.
We are moving head long into an election that may be entirely fixed.
Is this Venezuela? Or worse?
Time to call, write, publish an oped, demonstrate for the impeachment of Mr. Trump.