Wednesday, 21 December 2016

For Want of a Nail . . .

Where is a Decent Spam Filter When It is Needed

OK.  We confess.  We find ourselves chortling with amusement over the public discomfort of the Democratic Party in the United States.  With each news cycle, the discomfort seems to get worse.  

Eventually it will pass.  One can only mourn for so long.  Eventually emotional exhaustion sets in, the stages of grief are worked through, and things begin again.  But at the moment, the cognoscenti and nobility of the Democratic Party are in the "Grinch has Stolen Christmas" phase.  [We note, in passing, that Hillary Clinton is publicly framing and pushing the mourning, eeerr, complaining--which is a sure sign that she and Bill have not given up her aspirations to the presidency.  2020-21 beckons.]

We are surprised that the public discombobulation and mourning has continued this long, but there you go.  There have been a number of scapegoats offered up by Democratic opinionistas as to why the election and the presidency was stolen from she-to-whom-it belonged-by-divine-right.  First vote counting machines were alleged to be at fault.  Then, it was the Director of the FBI.  Then it was the alt-Right.  Now, it is the Russians and Machiavellian, Vlad the Impaler Putin who allegedly hacked into the US electoral process to defame Hillary.

Now, we have no doubt that Vlad the Impaler is not to be trusted.
 We would not at all surprised to find out that he (or his underlings) were busy trying to hack into the US governments databases.  After all, foreign interests have managed to do so with impunity for some time, it seems.

So the present Democratic-clutched straw has Putin as the Machiavellian puppet master applying electronic force majeure to IT systems connected to the US election, thereby preventing Clinton's election, on the one hand, and ensuring Trump's election, on the other.  They say that the truth is stranger than fiction.  A corollary is that the truth can be funnier than a Monty Python comedy.

This from the New York magazine:

Russia’s Attempt to Hack the RNC Was Thwarted by a Spam Filter

By Adam K. Raymond

Russian hackers tried and failed to infiltrate the Republican National Committee earlier this year by sending a series of phishing emails to a single employee, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The hacking attempt failed, in part, because the employee was no longer with the RNC and the emails were caught by a spam filter. The RNC wasn’t even aware of the attempted hacking until after Democratic National Committee leaders announced in June that their information had been compromised. Nervous, the RNC hired a private computer-security company that worked with the FBI and found that the phishing attempt had been blocked.

The revelation that Russian hackers attempted to get their paws on Republican emails has some in the intelligence community believing that Russia’s espionage “started as an information-gathering campaign aimed at both parties.” It only turned into an assault on Hillary Clinton, they believe, when the leaked DNC emails provided more ammunition.
So, the Russians started to focus upon the Democrats when they found them more vulnerable to electronic snooping and capture.

As one commentator put it:
 By all means, let’s have full Congressional investigations of the Russian attempts to influence our elections, but only if Republicans demand that John Podesta and DNC employees testify how they were caught up by a low-level phishing scheme that could have originated from any suburban basement by the most novice of hackers.

Let the country know that the Hillary Clinton campaign, the most technologically sophisticated campaign anyone had ever seen, came undone because nobody installed a spam filter on the organization’s email client.

The smartest people in the room indeed.  [JVW, posting at Patterico]
How long will this comedy of errors continue?  Not sure.  But one thing is certain.  It is an entertaining sideshow.  

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