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United States Security Politics

Former FBI Director Predicts Russian Hackers Will Interfere With More Elections (nytimes.com) 506

An anonymous reader quotes the New York Times: James B. Comey, the former director of the F.B.I., testified that the Russians had not only intervened in last year's election, but would try to do it again... Russian hackers did not just breach Democratic email accounts; according to Mr. Comey, they orchestrated a "massive effort" targeting hundreds of -- and possibly more than 1,000 -- American government and private organizations since 2015... As F.B.I. director, he supervised counterintelligence investigations into computer break-ins that harvested emails from the State Department and the White House, and that penetrated deep into the computer systems of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Yet President Barack Obama's administration did not want to publicize those intrusions, choosing to handle them diplomatically -- perhaps because at the time they looked more like classic espionage than an effort to manipulate American politics...

Graham Allison, a longtime Russia scholar at Harvard, said, "Russia's cyberintrusion into the recent presidential election signals the beginning of what is almost sure to be an intensified cyberwar in which both they -- and we -- seek to participate in picking the leaders of an adversary." The difference, he added, is that American elections are generally fair, so "we are much more vulnerable to such manipulation than is Russia," where results are often preordained... Similar warnings have been issued by others in the intelligence community, led by James R. Clapper Jr., who has sounded the alarm since retiring in January as director of national intelligence. "I don't think people have their head around the scope of what the Russians are doing," he said recently.

Daniel Fried, a career diplomat who oversaw sanctions imposed on Russia before retiring this year, told the Times that Comey "was spot-on right that Russia is coming after us, but not just the U.S., but the free world in general. And we need to take this seriously."
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Former FBI Director Predicts Russian Hackers Will Interfere With More Elections

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  • No shit? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 11, 2017 @07:41PM (#54598399)

    Of course they will. Did anyone think otherwise?
    I guess if you really bought into the "Trump works with Russia" DNC story, then you would expect it to end.
    But any rational person would realize that Russia, like the USA, will attempt to interfere in any election where they think they can get away with it and get an advantage.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sarcasmooo! ( 267601 )

      Roger Stone, Trump's best friend, literally tweeted advanced notice of the Guccifer 2.0 (Russian Intelligence) hack. I'm shocked at the absence of knowledge on this site nowadays. Yes Russia just wants influence, Russia just wants chaos. But They also co-opted the Trump campaign.

  • News from 1920 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 11, 2017 @07:48PM (#54598429)

    The Soviet Union used propaganda and dirty tricks to try to interfere with EVERY US election they existed, and Russia just continues the tradition. They didn't call it fake news back then, it was just journalism with an agenda. Walter Duranty wasn't an accident, ya' know.

    The only difference is that instead of stealing letters and publishing them, they're hacking email accounts and publishing them. Still no hacking of voting machines, still no manipulation of vote counts. In other words, still no 'hacking the election'.

    • We have no reason to think voting computers aren't getting hacked. We know they aren't secure so it's possible, and they clearly have motive.
    • "Still no hacking of voting machines"

      Given the lack of audit trails in Diebold's systems, how would you ever know?

  • by misnohmer ( 1636461 ) on Sunday June 11, 2017 @07:56PM (#54598471)

    So the free world will fall apart if everyone in it knows the truth about their government? I find it interesting how US government justifies spying on their own citizens with "if you're doing nothing wrong you have nothing to hide" and yet calls anyone who informs the people they serve with what the government does an enemy of the state. It's not like they hacked the personal sex videos of the Clinton, or some embarrassing comments made off-the-record; what they allegedly exposed were facts that have to do with her profession and potential corruption. I get that exposing those possibly affected the outcome of the election, but shouldn't the voters be entitled to know what the politicians they vote for actually do?

    • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Sunday June 11, 2017 @09:19PM (#54598883) Homepage Journal

      You evidently believe that facts can do no harm to your understanding.

      Except they can. Only a fool treats carefully selected facts the same as if they were impartially selected, but there are quite evidently a lot of fools out there.

      If you can't understand the importance of considering the selection and arrangement of information, you are utterly helpless in the face of a simple product testimonial. Even if the testimonial is completely factual, it gives you no useful information.

      • Only a fool treats carefully selected facts the same as if they were impartially selected,

        That isn't what happened here. The DNC looked bad on their own merits. The emails just corroborated things we already knew. Also they were entertaining.

  • Put up or STFU (Score:5, Insightful)

    by harvey the nerd ( 582806 ) on Sunday June 11, 2017 @07:57PM (#54598475)
    Dear Globalist elite, I expect Russia, China, Israel, UK, etc to snoop just like we do. If "interference" is their exposing your crimes, so be it. If you can't do the time (or handle the slime), don't do the crime. I do think all the noise today is to ignore the Seth Rich murder case, to marginalize or overthrow a legitimately elected president, and to avoid accountability for many crimes including treason.

    If you are alleging vote frauds, very simple. Liberals, Democrats and Rinos have pushed insecure voting and counting methods for years. I would welcome traceable, simple paper based systems with voter ID.

    Given any honest efforts, the Russians don't worry me. But you do.

    With the massive surveillance in place, if you can't immediately produce hard evidence, SHUT THE F*** UP and go away!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There's a reason why hard evidence will not be in the public domain - it's a matter of national intelligence. Voting systems/people are not the only thing they're trying to influence afterall. There's a reason why Comey's public hearing didn't tell much - because what really mattered was almost certainly found in the closed hearing afterwards.

      Voter fraud is not really a problem - it's so small as to be meaningless. That is the only reason to have voter ID. The real problem is the lack of verifiability i

      • There's a reason why hard evidence will not be in the public domain - it's a matter of national intelligence.

        So you expect the rest of us to take their claims on blind faith? Because they've proven so honest and trustworthy in the past? Yes our intelligence agencies have never lied. Of course we can trust them! Fuck your blind faith. No evidence or it never happened. Period. That's what is right and just.

    • by skam240 ( 789197 )

      Yeah, red state voter systems are air tight.

      Give me a fucking break you over partisan jackass.

  • by AlanObject ( 3603453 ) on Sunday June 11, 2017 @08:03PM (#54598513)

    As usual the media noise machine has managed to deflect everyone from the real issue. Of course the Russians will interfere if they can. This last time around they probably didn't think when they started that it would work out so well but it did. It was a low cost, low risk enterprise probably intended to a) test the weapons and b) trim Hillary's wings rather than win Trump the White House.

    Had Comey not done his political stunt with the Weiner's e-mails it wouldn't have flipped the election and I doubt they expected it to. Yet Nate Silver's numbers are pretty clear: Hillary had 6%+ lead until Comey did that and down 3%+ points after, close enough for the EC to do its thing. Had it not been for Comey the election would not have even been close.

    As it turned out if Trump can manage it he will end the Russian sanctions which have been crippling to the Russian economy. Hillary would not have. She would have continued Obama policies. That is not a bad payoff for what this cyber op probably cost.

    Back to the point at hand is Trump is most likely innocent in the part about the election. What has him worried is that he knows that if they keep digging on the investigation what will come to light is his deep financial dependents on Russian money interests, all of whom are either pals of Putin if not outright operatives of his office.

    A month or so ago Trump had one of his lawyers write up a letter that declared that "nobody in Russia owes Trump money." While the Trump supporters view that (as intended) as some sort of vindication/valdiation the reality-based world realizes nobody ever thought he did. What the real problem is that Trump owes Russians (i.e. Putin money big time.)

    For the last two decades no American based bank would loan Trump money due to his shady business practices and so the money he has been using comes from either Russia. Or China (a whole new issue.) So I would bet that a lot of Trump businesses are heavily leveraged in Russian debt and possibly in default. In other words Putin probably has the power to ruin Trump -- the U.S. President! -- and family financially with just a phone call.

    That is what Trump doesn't want you to know and why he has been so eager to stop any investigation regarding Russia. It will come up eventually and the only real question is how far Trump will hang on and how far the Republicans in the house will go to protect him. Based on what has gone on so far is pretty damn far.

    • This. The reason that Trump is so condescending with Russia in general is not that he's in bed with the Kremlin but that it is in his best financial interests.

      The problem arises when he ends up doing retarded stuff like asking Comey to drop an investigation on Flynn just because it might reflect poorly on him.

    • So if no banks will loan Trump money, why would Russia or China take those loans? Surely they know its bad business.

    • by Tom ( 822 )

      As it turned out if Trump can manage it he will end the Russian sanctions which have been crippling to the Russian economy.

      Temporary. The Rubel is pretty much back to the same exchange rate it was before the sanctions, and chinese goods have largely replaced european and american goods. The first year or two were difficult, then the russian economy adapted.

      The sanctions have been crippling to the european economy, for which Russia had been a large trade partner, and unlike Russia which was mostly a consumer and could switch to another supplier, due to the ongoing financial crisis, there were few other consumers to find. Industr

  • In other news, Nigeria will continue to pull 419 scams. The thing that people don't understand is that Russian and Chinese hackers, both state sponsored and independent, try to hack/phish everything on the internet.
  • that Comey is saying what people already know well, a recent poll shows folks believe him over the predisent (sic) 5 to 1.
  • See the email leak smear attempt just two days before the French presidential election for a more recent example.

    • See the email leak smear attempt just two days before the French presidential election for a more recent example.

      It did not change the outcome, smeared Macron is president.

      • Never said it did; that doesn't mean that the attempt wasn't made. This is interference, not hacking.

  • I have to say, I used to be all for civil liberties; but now that I'm told that these devious Russians are trying to influence our elections, well then obviously what we need is strict controls in place to shutdown all that FAKE NEWS and ensure that our news sources publish only Real News! Why isn't anybody talking about this!!!!!

  • I like the Russian method of regime change more than the American way. I think the population of most of the countries that the US bombed agrees with me.

  • In Soviet Russia, government chooses YOU!!!

  • Politics..Again (Score:3, Interesting)

    by oakgrove ( 845019 ) on Sunday June 11, 2017 @09:09PM (#54598811)

    I like this site and I really liked it when the byline used to be "News for nerds Stuff that matter". Is there an extension or bookmarklet or something that I can use to filter out stories based on keywords? Keywords like Comey, Trump, Government, Clinton, Democrat, Republican, Brexit, and on and on? I sure would like that. I really would.

  • ... always face forward.

    There's no news value here.

  • This... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JWW ( 79176 )

    My God, this is getting more tedious than the McCarthy hearings.

    I'm still waiting for someone who has the guts to ask the Democrats "Have you no shame!!"

    Unfortunately the answer to that question in this case is yes, the Democrats have no shame...

  • Maybe if the US didn't have to make things so overly complicated on voting day by having electronic voting booths then you wouldn't have to worry about hacking. Hand the voter a couple of ballots, one for each thing they are voting for, and they put an X on each one. It's simple and it works. Secure and easy to (re)count.

    But then there's this fascination of voting for so many positions. Like clerks. Why do you need to vote for clerks? They are part of the civil service. And some states elect judges. WTF? T

    • by Teancum ( 67324 )

      Cut down on the number of elected positions

      I would say that the number of elected positions is something that is beneficial and relevant. The reason why so many positions are up for election is precisely because we live, in American, in a representative democracy. All of those positions, including clerks (you really don't know what those clerks do, don't you) are very important and powerful positions if you really get into it. A clerk in this case is actually the head figure for a whole office and is a significant executive office. Think of it m

  • by nehumanuscrede ( 624750 ) on Sunday June 11, 2017 @11:58PM (#54599599)

    It's a simple choice really.

    Either open source the E-voting systems so exploits and generally bad things can be found, fixed and secured . . .

    or

    Go with the Russia* solution and revert back to old school methods by dropping E-Voting completely.

    *Recall the story where they quit utilizing computers and switched back to typewriters for sensitive documents when spying revelations became apparent.

    Paper methods are a PITA for sure, but also impossible to manipulate with a simple keystroke.

  • give me a break! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by swell ( 195815 ) <jabberwock@@@poetic...com> on Monday June 12, 2017 @12:31AM (#54599711)

    Russian interference in the affairs of a sovereign nation? Really? Let's compare that to the king of manipulators- the USA. Ask any insider in Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East or Germany or Russia ... The USA is there, with the carrot and the stick, arranging weapons contracts, CIA connections, generous bribes, commercial alliances, and assuring that the 'right' people win elections. Maybe the US has achieved a level of subtlety and control over the press that makes these activities seem less significant, but you can bet that they are well supported with our tax dollars.

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