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Hillary Clinton Used BleachBit To Wipe Emails (neowin.net) 569

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Neowin: The open-source disk cleaning application, BleachBit, got quite a decent ad pitch from the world of politics after it was revealed lawyers of the presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton, used the software to wipe her email servers. Clinton is currently in hot water, being accused of using private servers for storing sensitive emails. "[South Carolina Representative, Trey Gowdy, spoke to Fox News about Hillary Clinton's lawyers using BleachBit to wipe the private servers. He said:] 'She and her lawyers had those emails deleted. And they didn't just push the delete button; they had them deleted where even God can't read them. They were using something called BleachBit. You don't use BleachBit for yoga emails or bridesmaids emails. When you're using BleachBit, it is something you really do not want the world to see.'" Two of the main features that are listed on the BleachBit website include "Shred files to hide their contents and prevent data recovery," and "Overwrite free disk space to hide previously deleted files." These two features would make it pretty difficult for anyone trying to recover the deleted emails. Slashdot reader ahziem adds: The IT team for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used the open source cleaning software BleachBit to wipe systems "so even God couldn't read them," according to South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy on Fox News. His comments on the "drastic cyber-measure" were in response to the question of whether emails on her private Microsoft Exchange Server were simply about "yoga and wedding plans." Perhaps Clinton's team used an open-source application because, unlike proprietary applications, it can be audited, like for backdoors. In response to the Edward Snowden leaks in 2013, privacy expert Bruce Schneier advised in an article in which he stated he also uses BleachBit, "Closed-source software is easier for the NSA to backdoor than open-source software." Ironically, Schneier was writing to a non-governmental audience. Have any Slashdotters had any experience with BleachBit? Specifically, have you used it for erasing "yoga emails" or "bridesmaids emails?"
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Hillary Clinton Used BleachBit To Wipe Emails

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  • by dirk ( 87083 ) <dirk@one.net> on Friday August 26, 2016 @05:25PM (#52777625) Homepage

    I really can't find something to bitch about here. Sure, Clinton sucks, but the big knock against her and her email server was that she wasn't secure enough with it. Then, when she does do something secure, the knock is "See, she is so secure she must be hiding something!" Sorry, you can't bitch when she isn't secure and then bitch when she is. Was she hiding stuff? Most probably, since all politicians are. Do I trust her? Not a chance. But you can't set up a now in scenario as your reason for not liking her. You can't bitch about insecurity and then bitch about too much security at the same time.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 26, 2016 @05:30PM (#52777655)

      All indications are she wasn't very careful while actively using the server. However, once she started getting requests to produce data from it, then she suddenly got very careful. Even if she did do nothing wrong, that is a very stark change in behavior that just happened to coincide with legal requests to hand over data.

      • by laing ( 303349 ) on Friday August 26, 2016 @05:50PM (#52777833)
        In the eyes of the law (courts), spoliation of evidence is equivalent to guilt, but perhaps to a lessor degree.
        • by tsotha ( 720379 ) on Friday August 26, 2016 @06:42PM (#52778187)

          Destruction of evidence is itself a crime. The difficulty is always in proving that's what happened - by definition you're missing a key piece of evidence.

          • by kenai_alpenglow ( 2709587 ) on Friday August 26, 2016 @07:33PM (#52778465)
            The FBI found the "key piece(s)". Comey then said "No prosecutor would pursue this case" and dropped it. He was probably right--but only because of her last name. If I did that, I might get out after 5 years or so. Heck, one of my counterparts got in trouble for a single line in a controlled document which had the same info in the public domain. I'm sick of these "Nothing to see here" claims--just look at any security briefing and it's spelled out. We just had another one, and according to it I would be required to report her if she was in my office.
          • by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Saturday August 27, 2016 @12:29PM (#52781231) Journal

            Destruction of evidence is itself a crime. The difficulty is always in proving that's what happened - by definition you're missing a key piece of evidence.

            I'm less concerned about the destruction of evidence and more concerned that even though we know she's committing criminal acts, people are still supporting her for President. What does that say about them? We see criminals get away with things all the time, but usually they don't have a cheering section, and even if they do they're not trying to vote for them as President of the United States. Trump may be all the things they say about him, but Hillary is a criminal NOW, so what is she going to be like as President? If something does happen, it would be a giant SHE TOLD YOU SO.

          • by flargleblarg ( 685368 ) on Saturday August 27, 2016 @04:04PM (#52782009)

            Destruction of evidence is itself a crime.

            Destruction of evidence of a crime is a crime.
            If you destroy evidence that you took a poop yesterday morning, that is not a crime.

    • by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Friday August 26, 2016 @05:30PM (#52777659)

      The wiping just means that she is very secure from her own state interfering with her. But it doesn't say anything about how easy it was for third party states to gain information from her email server before it was wiped. So her servers might be secure from the justice system, but not secure from third parties. Both these aspects are how it shouldn't be.

      • The "justice system" is a third party.

        If it was easy for third party states to gain information from her e-mail server then the "justice system" could have gained it just as easily. Maybe foreign states did hack her server. It's just as likely that the NSA or some other US government entity hacked her server.

        Or is the claim that she wiped the server in such a way that it is no longer readable by the US government or even "God", but somehow can still be read by foreign governments?

        • The "justice system" is a third party.

          No. Members of a government need to be auditable. Thats why there are so strict laws and regulations about government communication preservation. Both for historians, and more importantly, the press. Just look at brazil how well it works there (compared to the US), only possible because the press has hard proof about the corruption.

          This auditability is ensured on infrastructure that is given to government officials. Although it can be manipulated inside the government, that's much harder as if it were on a

      • Secure from third party access vs secure from justice. The original poster knows the difference but chooses to use Orwellian BS to try to conflate and confuse the issue.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 26, 2016 @05:31PM (#52777663)

      What about the Freedom of Information Act? Don't secretary of state emails have to be archived?

      The big knock against her email server is that any other state employee that ran such a thing would be locked up in jail.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PopeRatzo ( 965947 )

        The big knock against her email server is that any other state employee that ran such a thing would be locked up in jail.

        You might want to think about this a minute. The Bush Administration wiped 22 million emails.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        • by khallow ( 566160 ) on Friday August 26, 2016 @07:56PM (#52778563)
          I like how the argument has devolved here to "If Bush did it, then it's ok". PopeRatzo, is Dubya really your moral compass? Your guiding light?
        • by bongey ( 974911 ) on Saturday August 27, 2016 @12:01AM (#52779455)
          Except ALL 22 MILLION Bush administrative emails were recovered from tape backups. Clinton wiped the data AFTER the FOIA request. I don't know of a single person that has decided one day to delete ALL their personal emails, except Clinton. https://www.wired.com/2009/12/... [wired.com] another source http://www.npr.org/templates/s... [npr.org] , another http://www.npr.org/templates/s... [npr.org] . Yep you're idiot.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The big knock against her email server is that any other state employee that ran such a thing would be locked up in jail.

        This is a very common misconception.

        Comey spent hours in front of Congress explaining, very patiently, over and over, that the reason he could not recommend prosecution against Clinton is because all of the suspected crimes required proof of intent, which the FBI did not have.

        In fact, Comey talked in detail about the FBI's treatment of Clinton versus the treatment of a "John Doe" suspect. Comey specifically said that a "John Doe" would in fact not be charged in this case -- again, because the relevant stat

        • by RoccamOccam ( 953524 ) on Friday August 26, 2016 @10:16PM (#52779171)

          Comey spent hours in front of Congress explaining, very patiently, over and over, that the reason he could not recommend prosecution against Clinton is because all of the suspected crimes required proof of intent, which the FBI did not have.

          Transcript of Gowdy questioning Comey. Lots of context, but note the bolded section:

          Gowdy: Secretary Clinton said "I did not e-mail any classified information to anyone on my e-mail there was no classified material." That is true?

          Comey: There was classified information emailed.

          Gowdy: Secretary Clinton used one device, was that true?

          Comey: She used multiple devices during the four years of her term as Secretary of State.

          Gowdy: Secretary Clinton said all work related emails were returned to the State Department. Was that true?

          Comey: No. We found work related email, thousands, that were not returned.

          Gowdy: Secretary Clinton said neither she or anyone else deleted work related emails from her personal account.

          Comey: That's a harder one to answer. We found traces of work related emails in — on devices or in space. Whether they were deleted or when a server was changed out something happened to them, there's no doubt that the work related emails that were removed electronically from the email system.

          Gowdy: Secretary Clinton said her lawyers read every one of the emails and were overly inclusive. Did her lawyers read the email content individually?

          Comey: No.

          Gowdy: Well, in the interest of time and because I have a plane to catch tomorrow afternoon, I'm not going to go through any more of the false statements but I am going to ask you to put on your old hat. False exculpatory statements are used for what?

          Comey: Well, either for a substantive prosecution or evidence of intent in a criminal prosecution.

          Gowdy: Exactly. Intent and consciousness of guilt, right?

          Comey: That is right?

          Gowdy: Consciousness of guilt and intent? In your old job you would prove intent as you referenced by showing the jury evidence of a complex scheme that was designed for the very purpose of concealing the public record and you would be arguing in addition to concealment the destruction that you and i just talked about or certainly the failure to preserve. You would argue all of that under the heading of content. You would also — intent. You would also be arguing the pervasiveness of the scheme when it started, when it ended and the number of emails whether They were originally classified or of classified under the heading of intent. You would also, probably, under common scheme or plan, argue the burn bags of daily calendar entries or the missing daily calendar entries as a common scheme or plan to conceal.
          Two days ago, Director, you said a reasonable person in her position should have known a private email was no place to send and receive classified information. You're right. An average person does know not to do that.
          This is no average person. This is a former First Lady, a former United States senator, and a former Secretary of State that the president now contends is the most competent, qualified person to be president since Jefferson. He didn't say that in '08 but says it now.
          She affirmatively rejected efforts to give her a state.gov account, kept the private emails for almost two years and only turned them over to Congress because we found out she had a private email account.
          So you have a rogue email system set up before she took the oath of office, thousands of what we now know to be classified emails, some of which were classified at the time. One of her more frequent email comrades was hacked and you don't know whether or not she was.
          And this scheme took place over a long period of time and resulted in the destruction of public reco

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Triklyn ( 2455072 )

      ... the knock against her is that they were shredding documents that a federal prosecutor might see. she's not being secure now, secure doesn't mean destroy the files so that the people that can check or look for corruption cannot now.

    • Because of who the 'security' was against and when it was applied.

      The server was insecure to the Russians, Iranians, and any 16 year old that figured out how to get in.

      The server's data was secure against being used against her.

      Had she had a secure server but never wiped it but just kept the hard drives in her basement I doubt that the Russians or Iranians would have been able to get to it.

      It's like wearing a condom while tight rope walking. You're protected against *one* thing that may happen during the ti

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CaptnCrud ( 938493 )

      Two wrongs don't make a right. If I install an application to protect the data I "ILLEGALLY" stored, that doesn't automatically make things all right.

      I think you're missing the angle here....when was this software installed/used? Because I have a hunch it was when the FBI first began probing.....

      This has been an entertaining election, i'll give it that.

    • by cahuenga ( 3493791 ) on Friday August 26, 2016 @05:51PM (#52777843)

      Sure, Clinton sucks, but the big knock against her and her email server was that she wasn't secure enough with it.

      My quibble was the blatant arrogance of the act. That private server was clearly a move to preserve final editing rights of her tenure at the State Department and evade any future FOIA requests that may crop up during her next run for the presidency; and was there ever any doubt that she would run again? The fact that she thought she could get away with it after experiencing the fallout from the exact same move by members of the Bush administration while she was a sitting Senator in Washington reinforces the feeling that her arrogance knows no bounds. She took a page out of the neocon playbook and figured she would show them how it's done.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 26, 2016 @08:13PM (#52778643)

      1. She put classified info on a private unsecured server where it was vulnerable, contrary to the law which she was fully advised of upon taking office.
      2. She did all her work through that server, hiding it from all 3 government branches (congressional oversight, executive oversight, and the courts) and public FOIA requests.
      3. When the material was sought by the courts and congress, she and the state department people lied under oath claiming the material did not exist (perhaps Nixon cronies should have all lied about tapes existing).
      4. After her people knew the material was being sought, the server's files were transferred (by private IT people w/o clearances) to her lawyers (no clearances).
      5. She and her lawyers deleted over 30000 e-mails, claiming they were only about yoga and her daughter's wedding dress (Nixon cut a few minutes of tape).
      6. They then wiped the files with bit bleach (a step not needed for yoga or wedding dress e-mails). (Nixon did not degauss all his tapes)
      7. They handed the wiped server to the FBI, and hillary publicly played ignorant with her "with a CLOTH?" comment (absolute iin-you-face arrogance against the rule of law) (Nixon did not hand tape recorders with erased tapes to the FBI)
      Prove you are sincere, and not a total unprincipled partisan hack:
      Are you a Nixon supporter?
      Would you accept this behavior from Donald Trump or Dick Cheney?

  • Former DoD sysad (Score:5, Informative)

    by OffTheLip ( 636691 ) on Friday August 26, 2016 @05:26PM (#52777631)
    I used DBAN routinely in 7 wipe mode. I'd be surprised had she not chosen something like that in spite of the cloth remark.
  • by ArtemaOne ( 1300025 ) on Friday August 26, 2016 @05:26PM (#52777633)
    But any time you stop using a hard drive you should clean it. I have probably 6 hard drives on a shelf in my house because I've replaced them with larger or faster drives. Each one has had the free space randomized twice and then set to all zeros afterward. Bank info, taxes, official (unclassified) work files, all of those have been on them in some variety at some points, and if they are ever disposed, I don't want any of that to be easily recoverable. I have never used it to destroy evidence when it was requested by investigators, as I am not a wealthy and powerful person, I would end up incriminating myself by doing so.
  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Friday August 26, 2016 @05:29PM (#52777653) Journal

    But I can say that something like this isn't too surprising, assuming you hired a lawyer with a brain in his/her head. They really like the idea of deleting evidence that could be used against you in a court of law, if they're hired to work FOR you.

    This is why businesses are being pushed to start purging all of their employee's email on a regular basis. They want to preserve that plausible deniability and ensure some former employee didn't say something in a company email you weren't aware of that winds up costing you $'s in a lawsuit.

    If this is an attempt to discuss if Clinton is guilty of anything or not with running her own private mail server? I think the answer to that is really pretty obvious.... Yes, of course she is. If any of us worked for an employer who provided us with a company email system for use with company-related things and we just decided to conduct business via our personal Gmail accounts, or some home-brew Linux server? How long do you think we'd stay employed there once that was realized? In a case like hers, it's only magnified as a problem because we KNOW she was allowed to handle classified content in her mail. So the hunt is on to prove she actually possessed some of that on this unofficial server. And if her lawyers did their jobs properly, there won't be much concrete proof that she did so, or at least that she ever accessed it once it was sent out. That doesn't make her less guilty though .... just smart enough to dodge some legal repercussions for her behavior.

    • In a case like hers, it's only magnified as a problem because we KNOW she was allowed to handle classified content in her mail. So the hunt is on to prove she actually possessed some of that on this unofficial server.

      It was already determined that there was. What was lacking was provability of intent per the FBI.

      I tried using that excuse when I missed a speed limit sign. I was pretty shocked when intent didn't matter there.

      • There is a difference in how the laws are written. The speed limit law simply says you can't go over the posted speed. Whether you intended to or not is beside the point. The espionage act, on the other hand, specifically says in the text of the law that you may not intentionally disseminate classified information to anybody not cleared to see it.

        FYI, the other half of the relevant law states that you can't negligibly allow classified information to fall into the wrong hands. But the FBI's investigation fou

    • by CCW ( 125740 )

      >>it's only magnified as a problem because we KNOW she was allowed to handle classified content in her mail.

      This is incorrect. Neither Clinton nor anybody else in the department was allowed to handle classified content in unsecured email. Every case of classified information leaking into email on an unsecured network is a violation, @state.gov email addresses are not for classified material either. That material is sequestered on a completely separate network. Anybody who sent Clinton classified

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If the server used an SSD, the trim or SSD internal cleanup routines would have scrubbed the empty blocks too. Would that also be news?

    This is fantastically low quality shit for a Slashdot post. Really. It's an SC Republican talking to Fox news about Hillary, hoping to stir up a Benghazi 2.0.

    This isn't tech news. It's to bait.

    • by OhPlz ( 168413 ) on Friday August 26, 2016 @05:53PM (#52777857)

      They intentionally destroyed data while an investigation was underway. If it was a Republican that got caught doing it, you'd probably go nuts about it. As it is, it's disgraceful for Slashdot to post this in the late afternoon on a Friday when people are going to be less likely to see it.

  • It's nice to see our next President turning over a new leaf and following DOD standards for data destruction.
  • If we have a story about a politician talking reasonably correctly about a technical topic, I have to question the source. I'm fairly sure that Trey Gowdy is not a BleachBit contributor. Who told him all this information and where's the supporting evidence?
    • Here is what we know for a fact, 30k emails WERE deleted after the subpoena, If they used such a program to make sure they never could be recovered well that does show sign of something to hide cause in case like this if they weren't anything bad then let investigators see them to prove you didn't have anything to hide. You destroy them if they are very damning and could put you in prison for a LONG time. Conspiracy theory that all you want but its fact and truth of what person will do, like Tom Brady did w
  • by daveywest ( 937112 ) on Friday August 26, 2016 @05:40PM (#52777745)
    ... cleaning up after themselves. If it had been a man, he'd have just fsk'd the drive and used it for a minecraft server.
  • If they used BleachBit, then where did they FBI get its last batch of emails from?

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Friday August 26, 2016 @07:28PM (#52778441)

    Just how blatantly obviously criminal does Hi-liar-y have to get before enough of the brainwashed American masses finally start to figure it out and she becomes unelectable?
    I mean at some point even her levels of dirty money can't pay off the obviously corrupt US legal system to keep her out of jail any longer right?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 26, 2016 @08:24PM (#52778703)

    Hillary Clinton's IT guy purchased an MS Exchange hosting contract from Platte River. The standard package came with a periodic backup to a Datto appliance, which takes snapshots of the Windows disk image several times a day. The appliance copies the snapshot to Datto's data center in real time. You can erase or even destroy the Windows machine drives and still use the snapshots to restore the disks to the snapshot of the time and date of your chosing.

    The FBI confiscated the appliance from Platte River and seized the server from Datto. They have all the emails she sent and received since the start of her State Department tenure.

All seems condemned in the long run to approximate a state akin to Gaussian noise. -- James Martin