May 13, 2020
CrowdStrike, the cyber-security firm that first accused Russia of hacking Democratic Party emails and served as a critical source for U.S. intelligence officials in the years-long Trump-Russia probe, privately acknowledged more than two years ago that it had no evidence that Russian hackers stole emails from the Democratic National Committee’s server.
https://www.realclearpolitics.com/2020/ ... 10974.html
Huge: Crowdstrike CEO Has NO Direct Evidence Russia Stole/Exfiltrated DNC Emails
May 8, 2020
One of the Russia investigation transcripts (reluctantly) released by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) on Thursday was the testimony of CrowdStrike’s CEO Shaun Henry. CrowdStrike is the American computer security company that performed a forensic examination on the DNC’s server after they claimed they’d been hacked in 2016. CrowdStrike determined that the server had been hacked by the Russians and issued a report stating their conclusions.
Oddly, the DNC had refused to allow the FBI or the Department of Homeland Security to conduct their own analysis of the server. The FBI was forced to accept the report from CrowdStrike.
Whenever this issue is raised, Democrats assert that this issue has been settled. The Russians hacked the DNC’s servers to help Trump win the election. Case closed. Anyone who questions this conclusion is labeled as a conspiracy theorist.
Both FBI Director James Comey and Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson testified before Congress about the DNC’s refusal to allow their forensic teams anywhere near their server.
At that time, a senior FBI official told The Hill: “The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise . . . This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information.”
Because the entire Trump/Russia hoax begins with the hacking of the DNC server, we cannot afford to take their word for it.
Here is a brief summary of the story.
1. The DNC’s server was hacked.
2. WikiLeaks announced they had obtained and planned to release emails that were damaging to Clinton.
3. The DNC hired a private contractor, CrowdStrike, to examine their server. They concluded that the Russians were responsible.
4. The DNC refused to allow the FBI or Homeland Security anywhere near their server. The FBI accepted CrowdStrike’s unverified and redacted report, even passing it on to the Mueller team.
5. The New York Times wrote an article supporting the DNC’s version of the story. The FBI leaked information to bolster this narrative and the Times ran a second story.
6. The DNC version of events was repeated so frequently and with such conviction that ultimately, it became accepted as the truth.
7. The DNC not only deflected criticism of the content of the emails, but they managed to put out the narrative that the Russians were trying to help Trump win the election. This planted the first seeds of the Trump/Russian collusion narrative. The DNC had turned a negative into a positive.
Podcast Host and political writer Aaron Maté has followed this story closely. He read Henry’s transcript and discovered some interesting information. Here’s what he found (Scroll down for actual tweets.):
Interesting admission in Crowdstrike CEO Shaun Henry’s testimony. Henry is asked when “the Russians” exfiltrated the data from DNC. Henry: “We did not have concrete evidence that the data was exfiltrated from the DNC, but we have indicators that it was exfiltrated.”
More from Crowdstrike’s Shaun Henry: “There are times when we can see data exfiltrated, and we can say conclusively. But in this case it appears it was set up to be exfiltrated, but we just don’t have the evidence that says it actually left.”
This takes me back to the qualified, ambiguous Mueller language I highlighted in my @RCInvestigates report “Crowdstrikeout.” The attribution of DNC hacking to Russia is tentative & appears at least partly based on inference, not hard evidence.
Recall that the Mueller report, in recounting the alleged Russian theft of emails, added the qualifier that the GRU “officers *appear* to have stolen thousands of emails and attachments.” Perhaps they weren’t sure, because Crowdstrike wasn’t either.
Henry: “Sir, I was just trying to be factually accurate, that we didn’t see the data leave, but we believe it left, based on what we saw.”
There’s a quote from Assange — maybe someone can find it, I can’t rn — saying that it’s possible that many different actors, including state actors, got inside the DNC system, but that doesn’t mean they actually stole (aka exfiltrated) the emails Wikileaks later released.
To be clear, Crowdstrike says it believes Russians hacked into DNC. But it admits to not having direct evidence that Russians actually exfiltrated the emails from DNC. This would track w/ what Assange has said: Russia may have hacked DNC, but they didn’t provide stolen emails.
I want to stress what a pretty big revelation this is. Crowdstrike, the firm behind the accusation that Russia hacked & stole DNC emails, admitted to Congress that it has no direct evidence Russia actually stole/exfiltrated the emails.
https://www.redstate.com/elizabeth-vaug ... ssia-stole
New House Documents Sow Further Doubt That Russia Hacked the DNC
May 11, 2020
House Intelligence Committee documents released Thursday reveal that the committee was told two and half years ago that the FBI had no concrete evidence that Russia hacked Democratic National Committee computers to filch the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks in July 2016.
The until-now-buried, closed-door testimony came on Dec. 5, 2017 from Shawn Henry, a protege of former FBI Director Robert Mueller (from 2001 to 2012), for whom Henry served as head of the Bureau’s cyber crime investigations unit.
Henry retired in 2012 and took a senior position at CrowdStrike, the cyber security firm hired by the DNC and the Clinton campaign to investigate the cyber intrusions that occurred before the 2016 presidential election.
The following excerpts from Henry’s testimony speak for themselves. The dialogue is not a paragon of clarity; but if read carefully, even cyber neophytes can understand:
Ranking Member Mr. [Adam] Schiff: Do you know the date on which the Russians exfiltrated the data from the DNC? … when would that have been?
Mr. Henry: Counsel just reminded me that, as it relates to the DNC, we have indicators that data was exfiltrated from the DNC, but we have no indicators that it was exfiltrated (sic). … There are times when we can see data exfiltrated, and we can say conclusively. But in this case, it appears it was set up to be exfiltrated, but we just don’t have the evidence that says it actually left.
Mr. [Chris] Stewart of Utah: Okay. What about the emails that everyone is so, you know, knowledgeable of? Were there also indicators that they were prepared but not evidence that they actually were exfiltrated?
Mr. Henry: There’s not evidence that they were actually exfiltrated. There’s circumstantial evidence … but no evidence that they were actually exfiltrated. …
Mr. Stewart: But you have a much lower degree of confidence that this data actually left than you do, for example, that the Russians were the ones who breached the security?
Mr. Henry: There is circumstantial evidence that that data was exfiltrated off the network.
Mr. Stewart: And circumstantial is less sure than the other evidence you’ve indicated. …
Mr. Henry: “We didn’t have a sensor in place that saw data leave. We said that the data left based on the circumstantial evidence. That was the conclusion that we made.
In answer to a follow-up query on this line of questioning, Henry delivered this classic: “Sir, I was just trying to be factually accurate, that we didn’t see the data leave, but we believe it left, based on what we saw.”
Inadvertently highlighting the tenuous underpinning for CrowdStrike’s “belief” that Russia hacked the DNC emails, Henry added: “There are other nation-states that collect this type of intelligence for sure, but the — what we would call the tactics and techniques were consistent with what we’d seen associated with the Russian state.”
Try as one may, some of the testimony remains opaque. Part of the problem is ambiguity in the word “exfiltration.”
The word can denote (1) transferring data from a computer via the Internet (hacking) or (2) copying data physically to an external storage device with intent to leak it.
As the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity has been reporting for more than three years, metadata and other hard forensic evidence indicate that the DNC emails were not hacked — by Russia or anyone else.
Rather, they were copied onto an external storage device (probably a thumb drive) by someone with access to DNC computers. Besides, any hack over the Internet would almost certainly have been discovered by the dragnet coverage of the National Security Agency and its cooperating foreign intelligence services.
Henry testifies that “it appears it [the theft of DNC emails] was set up to be exfiltrated, but we just don’t have the evidence that says it actually left.”
This, in VIPS view, suggests that someone with access to DNC computers “set up” selected emails for transfer to an external storage device — a thumb drive, for example. The Internet is not needed for such a transfer. Use of the Internet would have been detected, enabling Henry to pinpoint any “exfiltration” over that network.
Bill Binney, a former NSA technical director and a VIPS member, filed a sworn affidavit in the Roger Stone case. Binney said: “WikiLeaks did not receive stolen data from the Russian government. Intrinsic metadata in the publicly available files on WikiLeaks demonstrates that the files acquired by WikiLeaks were delivered in a medium such as a thumb drive.”
Obama saw fit to use lawyerly language on the key issue of how the DNC emails got to WikiLeaks, in an apparent effort to cover his own derriere.
Obama: “The conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit through which we heard about the DNC e-mails that were leaked.”
So we ended up with “inconclusive conclusions” on that admittedly crucial point. What Obama was saying is that U.S. intelligence did not know—or professed not to know—exactly how the alleged Russian transfer to WikiLeaks was supposedly made, whether through a third party, or cutout, and he muddied the waters by first saying it was a hack, and then a leak.
CrowdStrike already had a tarnished reputation for credibility when the DNC and Clinton campaign chose it to do work the FBI should have been doing to investigate how the DNC emails got to WikiLeaks. It had asserted that Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app, resulting in heavy losses of howitzers in Ukraine’s struggle with separatists supported by Russia. A Voice of America report explained why CrowdStrike was forced to retract that claim.
Why did FBI Director James Comey not simply insist on access to the DNC computers? Surely he could have gotten the appropriate authorization. In early January 2017, reacting to media reports that the FBI never asked for access, Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee there were “multiple requests at different levels” for access to the DNC servers.
“Ultimately what was agreed to is the private company would share with us what they saw,” he said. Comey described CrowdStrike as a “highly respected” cybersecurity company.
In June last year it was revealed that CrowdStrike never produced an un-redacted or final forensic report for the government because the FBI never required it to, according to the Justice Department.
By any normal standard, former FBI Director Comey would now be in serious legal trouble, as should Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan, et al. Additional evidence of FBI misconduct under Comey seems to surface every week — whether the abuses of FISA, misconduct in the case against Gen. Michael Flynn, or misleading everyone about Russian hacking of the DNC.
Thursday’s disclosure of testimony before the House Intelligence Committee shows Chairman Adam Schiff lied not only about Trump-Putin “collusion,” [which the Mueller report failed to prove and whose allegations were based on DNC and Clinton-financed opposition research] but also about the even more basic issue of “Russian hacking” of the DNC.
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/ ... acked-dnc/
- Albert Einstein