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I was on board with the Russian Hacking story until the MSM got sloppy.

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posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 01:28 AM
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First, so no one misunderstands what my "motives" are, I'll just say that I am not a Trump supporter. Far from it. I think that man is an unrepentant Fascist and will end up being a disaster, not just for America but for the whole world. So I have no intention of defending him, his policies, his ideas, or those of his supporters who ally themselves with the likes of the KKK or neo-Nazis. At least half of the population of ATS will consider me a hopeless liberal "cuck". That's fine, I expect it.

I also generally scoff at conspiracy theories. Not because they are impossible, or because I think the government (or whoever is in charge) has anything like my best interest at heart, but because most of the big-ticket "conspiracy theories" are just flat-out preposterous, have no real evidence, and are espoused by people who couldn't make an internally consistent argument for anything at all. I'd really love to find out that there really are lizard people or something, but there just is no reason to believe in any of that.

That said, I no longer believe the Russians were up to nearly as much "election hacking" as the general consensus now says they were. I do think there was a certain amount of social engineering going on, but not nearly as much as the counter-intelligence operation being shoved down our throats entails.

I am a computer networking and security professional with over a decade's experience, so while I am not the world's foremost expert, I know how to spot a whopper when I see one. And this story is full of them. I guess I'll just start with a brief recap of what we supposedly "know".

Fact: "Someone" leaked email to WikiLeaks originating from the Democratic National Committee showing a clear preference for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary season. WikiLeaks then released that material over the course of the election, apparently timed in a way to have the most impact as they could on the outcome of the Primary, and then on the general election.

That's really all there is. That's all we know for sure. Every other piece of information out there is either media conjecture, insider assumptions, or intelligence community claims that have not been backed up by evidence. There are hints that email was also stolen from the Republican National Committee, which was either not released to WikiLeaks or that WikiLeaks chose not to release publicly, but again, that information is not known to be true - it is based on conversations and statements by people who did not produce any further evidence.

Now, the case for Russian involvement in or leadership in these events hinges on only a couple of things:

  • Certain unspecified "malware" was (apparently) written with a Cyrillic keyboard. This may or may not be true but is hardly an ironclad case for any "hacking" being carried out by Russians specifically, let alone state-sponsored Russians.
  • Russian politicians preferred Trump to Hillary. Okay... but everyone's bound to have a preference one way or another, regardless of any other thing. So again, this is circumstantial at best. When dealing with a "hack", you shouldn't even have to involve people's opinions, because there ought to be forensic evidence that make that a moot point. Bringing Russian politicians' political preferences into it really seems like grasping.


This "case" is really, really thin, as if you need me to tell you that. Still, this is good enough for a sort of "eh, somebody did it, so why not Russians?" argument. Up to this point, I (being one of those awful Statists you hear about on Facebook) was more or less in the "let the professionals figure it out" camp. Call me slow, or dim, or whatever, but that's where I was.

But then one day last week all the news stations, in unison as usual, broke the "OMG RUSSIANS HAVE INFILTRATED THE POWER GRID" four-alarm emergency breaking news story because some utility company in New England claimed to have found Russian malware on one of its systems.

Oh god! Call in the Cavalry! We're doomed! Right?

Well, no. As it turns out, the "infiltrated system" was some office admin's laptop that had caught a case of "you went to the wrong porn site"-itis, and out popped some Russian malware. Being that you're all relatively modern Internetizens you don't need me to tell you how utterly common that is. It means nothing except that the employee in question was probably wanking at work. Big deal. But the news picked up on it and plastered it all over the place for 24 hours as if Vladimir Putin had just shot your neighbor's dog or something, all the talking heads and anchors and pundits were calling up "experts" and yammering on and on about what this means and how the Russian hackers have really pulled one over on us.

So, that was it for me. If an absolute non-event like some dude getting his laptop infected with a Russian virus can be turned into BREAKING NEWS OMGBBQ! on CNN, that completely undermines the legitimacy of the news cycle. I am not an expert in many things, but seeing them take a topic where I really do know my ass from my elbow and twisting it into a plot with such thin writing and extraordinary leaps of logic, and not just one or two but basically all of the networks, really showed me that they can make anything seem like anything they want.

As a reasonable, logical person, I have no choice but to assume every other piece of so-called "evidence" the media and the intelligence community have is at least as blown out of proportion as that one laptop in Vermont. And if that's true, then I have to question not only whether Russia "hacked" the DNC, but whether anyone did at all. Maybe it was really was just a disgruntled employee. And let's not forget that at most, it was one (maybe two) political parties that were hacked, but the media is more than content to allow the whole country to use irresponsible terms like "election hacking".

So while I continue to be disappointed with the results of this election, I can also appreciate that there are sociological and economic reasons more than sufficient to explain it. There is no need to raise the specter of direct foreign interference.




posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 01:48 AM
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I am the opposite. I was once a sceptic about this but now I believe.

I legitimately think Russia and Putin had plenty of reason to want to block Hillary, while promoting a man who has
large business ties with Russia.

Hillary represented a continuation of the current middle east policy, which has been extremely adversarial and contrary to Russian interests. This is especially true considering that US sanctions on Russia have been crippling and terrible for the Russian economy and Putin's economic interests. The rubble has crashed in value over the last 5 years and a Trump presidency could help further Russian interests. I mean just a few months ago Putin was talking like he was gearing to fight WWIII -





Also, Eric Trump said that the Trump organization has sizable assets and investments in Russia.

I found these articles which tell another side of the story.

www.slate.com...
time.com...


Anyways I would be surprised if Putin and the Russian are funding alternate news sites. I just see how accepting people are of this, I go to the alt sites and it all sounds so manipulative to me.



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 01:50 AM
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So you are questioning things you can read for yourself in reports not tainted by the media?

You can read the report of Russian influence form the intelligence community Here

And you can read straight from CrowdStrike the info they found linking the DNC hacks to russia here when they posted this information in Jun 2016



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 01:56 AM
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a reply to: vexati0n

Good on you mate! It's interesting to watch my facebook feed shutup about it today. It looks like a lot of people are seeing the report as propaganda. I hope we all use this lens looking forward. Dont use it looking back tho. You just might come to see dt in another light. Enemy of my enemy and all.



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 02:00 AM
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I understand the intelligence report. They state their conclusions, but because it is classified they leave out the actual evidence. There is no discussion of the technical mechanisms used, the surveillance methods employed, or their human sources. They do a fine job of detailing their case (admittedly in much greater detail than this post of mine has bothered to do), but the ultimate conclusion is the same. They believe Russia was behind it, based on specific evidence they are unable to publish at this time.

I don't believe Russia is blameless entirely -- as I said I think it's plainly evident there was quite a bit of social engineering going on in terms of the false news stories that can be traced back to Russian actors, and even in terms of WikiLeaks, where it's actually likely that there was some amount of cooperation between Assange (or his source) and someone in Russia.

But the overall narrative that says "Russia hacked our election" is just patently untrue. They did no such thing. Even if they did "hack" the DNC (a specific accusation that the IC's report fails to elaborate on or provide any actual evidence for), that is not equivalent to the oversimplified, popular understanding that Russia somehow directly causes the election (and by extension, its results) to be illegitimate. No one in the media is spending much time arguing against that point, even though the IC's report specifically declines to weigh in on it.

Here, I argue against this popularized misconception that our election was somehow "stolen". That is the understanding millions of Americans have -- that somehow, because of Russia, Trump is going to be President when he would not have been without their help. There is no real evidence for that position, while there are plenty of explanations for his election that have nothing whatsoever to do with Russia or with WikiLeaks.


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posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 02:30 AM
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so your starting to wake up, I have this question for u though. now that u know the media is completely willing to lie to u and create false narratives why would u believe any of the information you've heard from them in the past? once the veil is lifted u have to wipe the slate clean and forget everything u thought u knew and start over cause the source was tainted
edit on 8-1-2017 by TheScale because: (no reason given)


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posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 02:45 AM
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originally posted by: Pyle
So you are questioning things you can read for yourself in reports not tainted by the media?

You can read the report of Russian influence form the intelligence community Here

And you can read straight from CrowdStrike the info they found linking the DNC hacks to russia here when they posted this information in Jun 2016


a hack by itself does nothing to influence an election though. what there claiming is that the material wikileaks released, which has so far been determined to be 100% real without any alterations is what caused the influence. wikileaks themselves refute it being the Russians but lets just assume it was. in that case the information released was 100% true information that exposed the corruption within the DNC. so 100% true information on their dirty laundry is what would be the influencing factor not Russian propaganda or lies or hacking voting machines etc
edit on 8-1-2017 by TheScale because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 03:07 AM
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originally posted by: TheScale

originally posted by: Pyle
So you are questioning things you can read for yourself in reports not tainted by the media?

You can read the report of Russian influence form the intelligence community Here

And you can read straight from CrowdStrike the info they found linking the DNC hacks to russia here when they posted this information in Jun 2016


a hack by itself does nothing to influence an election though. what there claiming is that the material wikileaks released, which has so far been determined to be 100% real without any alterations is what caused the influence. wikileaks themselves refute it being the Russians but lets just assume it was. in that case the information released was 100% true information that exposed the corruption within the DNC. so 100% true information on their dirty laundry is what would be the influencing factor not Russian propaganda or lies or hacking voting machines etc


It wasnt that the leaks were fake it was the manner of their release and the contents there in. The slow drip over weeks where most people only heard "New Clinton related emails came out today" when they were not Clinton related at all but from the DNC or Podesta(by the way the DNC in no way exposed corruption in the DNC other then the staff didnt like that Bernie was still in the race after the point he couldn't win). When wikileaks is doing its own editorial and completely misinforming people with highlighted out of context sections or small snippets of longer chains it throws into question why they are doing it. Remember the "Clinton hates everyday Americans" BS that they pushed? Well the left out that rest of it where the campaign people were discussing using the phase in a speech and they went with a different phrase instead.


+12 more 
posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 03:25 AM
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It's propaganda meant to smear Trump and sway public opinion, just like comparing his supporters to the KKK and neo-Nazi's.


+1 more 
posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 03:37 AM
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a reply to: vexati0n

such a rare rational liberal thought.

If there were more of you I would have never defected to the right




+1 more 
posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 03:40 AM
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a reply to: banjobrain




Hillary represented a continuation of the current middle east policy, which has been extremely adversarial and contrary to Russian interests.


No...it has been extremely adversarial to common sense. Arming extremist rebels and investing in prolongation of the conflict to everyone's harm but to it's selfish interests.

That's what it was if we want to be factual.



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 03:43 AM
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originally posted by: Pyle

originally posted by: TheScale

originally posted by: Pyle
So you are questioning things you can read for yourself in reports not tainted by the media?

You can read the report of Russian influence form the intelligence community Here

And you can read straight from CrowdStrike the info they found linking the DNC hacks to russia here when they posted this information in Jun 2016


a hack by itself does nothing to influence an election though. what there claiming is that the material wikileaks released, which has so far been determined to be 100% real without any alterations is what caused the influence. wikileaks themselves refute it being the Russians but lets just assume it was. in that case the information released was 100% true information that exposed the corruption within the DNC. so 100% true information on their dirty laundry is what would be the influencing factor not Russian propaganda or lies or hacking voting machines etc


It wasnt that the leaks were fake it was the manner of their release and the contents there in. The slow drip over weeks where most people only heard "New Clinton related emails came out today" when they were not Clinton related at all but from the DNC or Podesta(by the way the DNC in no way exposed corruption in the DNC other then the staff didnt like that Bernie was still in the race after the point he couldn't win). When wikileaks is doing its own editorial and completely misinforming people with highlighted out of context sections or small snippets of longer chains it throws into question why they are doing it. Remember the "Clinton hates everyday Americans" BS that they pushed? Well the left out that rest of it where the campaign people were discussing using the phase in a speech and they went with a different phrase instead.


im sorry but whether its a slow drip or not they were factual and when Hillary is outright mentioned in the emails then they do pertain to her considering shes part of the democratic party and podesta was her choice. btw I read many of the emails in full on wikileaks, 1 by 1 and there is plenty of dirty stuff that was going on behind the scenes. 1 example, creating false accomplishments for Hillary just because they had a picture of her at an event. isn't that influencing the election? the only difference between that and wikileaks materials is that wikileaks is 100% factual and untampered with according to our own govt agencies. so again it was their own dirty laundry being aired that was making the impact and that has nothing to do with Russia by your own admission since they werent the ones leaking the info to the US drip by drip. in regards to the "Clinton hates everyday americans" well I remember that and if u read news on both sides of the aisle it was pretty clear that they were talking about what to use in a speech. its always good to read both sides cause usually half of the info is left out on the left and right to help prove whatever bias they are pushing for
edit on 8-1-2017 by TheScale because: (no reason given)

edit on 8-1-2017 by TheScale because: (no reason given)

edit on 8-1-2017 by TheScale because: (no reason given)


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posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 04:02 AM
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We have the same degree and it took you this long to figure it out? Hillary was hacked by a romanian named guciffer. Podesta email password was password. And the dnc didnt update its security flaws for a year or longer because the virus was a year old and patches had been out for the vulnerability already. This is just sloppy!

There was election fraud and cheating which was exposed by wikileaks and it was the dnc who did it. We all got to see that they paid protestors to become violent and attack people at trump rallies. Hillary's server was accessed by other foriegn nations while in office. Then once they started a recount on votes after the election hillary had to have obama stop it because it would exposed that they cheated.

Wtf is wrong with people!You think its russia f-ing with your election when you have the proof it was the dnc hillary, brazil, lynch and soros actively manipulating the public and you have the emails to prove it. Getting questions handed to you before a debate is cheating, paying violent people to attack your political opponents supporters is illegal, rigging the democratic nomination is cheating, having your husband meet the ag on a private plane while your under investigation is illegal and cheating.
Then in Detroit they votes for hillary dont add up humm i wonder was that cheating?

Everyone has all the evidence they need to see she was cheating, lying and backstabbing the american people and honestly people are questioning the legitimacy of trumps win? Its f-ing pathetic!



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 04:09 AM
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I hate the phrase "Russia hacked the election". They did no such thing as expressed by the intelligence agencies. Yet somehow this phrase continues to be pushed which clearly is bull$hit. I do think Russia and Assange were some of the biggest benefactors of the election outcome, however correlation is not causation and this position will only take you so far in proving the case.

The biggest issue that should be considered is that the release of information was partisan. If we're getting the DNC emails I'd like to see the RNC emails as well. If the roles were reversed, and only the RNC emails were hacked and leaked, the people on the right would be screaming bloody murder and rightly so. Since it was their political opposition who was affected it's ok. This not only shows the disregard for their own national security, but also their naivety towards how critical information and communication technology (ICT) security is. This is the reason a lot of the information the intelligence agencies have cannot be released. It's called OPSEC for a reason. It's really a damned if you do damned if you don't scenario. Coupled with the poor track record the intel agencies have, Iraq most specifically, they have a real mess on their hands.

With our increasing dependence on ICT's Russia is only one of the concerns and may not be the biggest concern overall. As ICT sophistication spreads the fear is that smaller and smaller entities will gain the capability to easily sabotage the critical infrastructure, governmental, military, and financial elements of our society.

What could've been a prime moment to educate the public on the importance of ICT security has seemingly been lost to partisan politics. You have the democrats wanting to just blame Russia for the Clinton loss, and the republicans who just don't care because it worked out in their favor.

Me thinks this will be a watershed moment we look back on with sad eyes.



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 04:47 AM
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ive reduced the entire question down to one point: Hillary called Donald a russian puppet at the last debate and 62 million americans voted for him anyway, effectively saying they didnt believe it or didnt care if he was.

The fact is those who voted trump hate the establishment SO MUCH they might have even voted for Putin himself if given the chance.

chew on that for a while.



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 04:53 AM
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a reply to: tribal

well going by the polls on if people thought Hillary was trustworthy id say it was the former of the 2.



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 06:27 AM
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If it takes the Russians to do the American medias job for them, by informing the public that there are some serious shenanigans going on inside the DNC and that the people of America are being shafted by the very people who are supposed to represent them.... then let me be the first to tell the Russians Thank you very much.

There are a lot of useless human beings on this site. They seem to like being lied to, deceived and are all to eager to care less about the truth within the emails and fixated only on how the truth became known.

Both democrats and republicans have been put on notice by this whole fiasco that someone is watching and that their dirty laundry can be made public at any time..... The next lesson they need to learn is that any attempt to just get better at hiding their dirt...will fail. When they accept this as fact.... transparency and integrity will be the only option available to them.

Only fools accept authority as the truth and not truth as the authority......... sadly about half the people on this website are foolish



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 06:36 AM
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I had that same experience back in 2003 during the onset of the Iraq war fiasco. You hear the drums in unison all pushing the same narrative. You try to process it and fit it into your preconceived understanding of reality, but try as you might, "cannot compute, critical error, terminal shut down, system reboot needed"
edit on 8-1-2017 by Rosinitiate because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 07:07 AM
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a reply to: vexati0n

You might want to consider this as well... This is from Sputnik news, so take it for what it's worth, but:


A highly-anticipated declassified US intelligence report, aimed to prove that Russia supported Donald Trump, has turned out to be a huge embarrassment. The annex that contained factual material that was thought to provide evidence of RT influencing the American public was compiled in December 2012, right after the reelection of Barack Obama.


Shocker: 'Proof' of Russia's Trump Support Was Compiled During Obama's Election

A link to the report is here for anyone who wants to check the article against the report.



posted on Jan, 8 2017 @ 08:06 AM
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I'm amazed at how many people bought this from the start.

The agenda needs a big war with a big country. The world economy can't survive without it, debt currency is just too broken. Hillary was to start that war.
Now she can't, so they need to do it another way.
About half the population was really mad that she lost (funny how easily they've cut us in half eh) so the lie that it was cheated from her was a good place to start- instant support from half the population.

Why aren't we standing around the white house with torches and pitchforks demanding a ban on propaganda yet? Government is openly lying to us and we don't even care...



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