Monday, July 25, 2016

Just Because You're Paranoid Doesn't Mean Somebunny Isn't Out To Get You

Now, Eli has been tweeting a bit trying to put some sense into the Bernie Bots who are in the process of screwing the pooch.  Rather than subjecting his loyal readers to what Russell would not approve of, the sense of it is well captured by a tweet from Leah McElrath

And indeed, as Ralph Nader showed in 2000, pure snowflakes can wreak any chance of getting what they want by demanding it all.  That and screwing the rest of us.

However, that is not the point of this post, rather when looking over the Google statistics for the blog Eli saw this rather odd pattern.  AFAEK he really does not have a lot of Russian speaking fans, indeed this is the first time such a pattern has appeared.

What he asks is going on.  Is Mr. Putin looking for another web site to hack after the DNC job?  That, of course raises even more interesting questions.

These questions include why the US Congress is not mounting a full bore investigation into why the Russians are "helping" Mr. Trump out.  There is a good argument that without Russian money Trump is flat broke and two of the advisors closest to him, Paul Manafort and Carter Page, are mobbed up with Putin.  Eli uses the term mobbed up with intent.  Russia is not an autocracy, it is a kleptocracy. 

Ms Rabett, who has some experience in such matters on the compliance side of the fence, points out that money laundering violations define the expensive real estate market in places like NY and SF, as brokers have accept money from peculiar sources.  It is certain that the Trump Organization has accepted the money.  What is not certain until law enforcement serves papers, is whether they did their due diligence and reporting.  Eli suspects not, and if systematically done, which Eli suspects so, that is a RICO violation.

Eli must also ask whether Wikileaks is a front for Russian intelligence. Julian Assange more or less admitted that with the usual, you can't prove it.  That puts a different twist on a whole bunch of things they have done in the last five years.  Or perhaps they are just stooges for the Russians, sort of like the dead end Bernie Bros.

This story is moving fast and the reaction of the Benghazi crazed Republicans in the US Congress will provide some interesting tales.  For example, Trump has conceded that his Russian "friends" were behind the hack.

Dear Lord.

ADDED: For those interested in the nitty gritty details that point to Russian intelligence being behind this effort to support Donald Trump, Eli recommends this article in Motherboard
The forensic evidence linking the DNC breach to known Russian operations is very strong. On June 20, two competing cybersecurity companies, Mandiant (part of FireEye) and Fidelis, confirmed CrowdStrike’s initial findings that Russian intelligence indeed hacked Clinton’s campaign. The forensic evidence that links network breaches to known groups is solid: used and reused tools, methods, infrastructure, even unique encryption keys. For example: in late March the attackers registered a domain with a typo—misdepatrment[.]com—to look suspiciously like the company hired by the DNC to manage its network, MIS Department. They then linked this deceptive domain to a long-known APT 28 so-called X-Tunnel command-and-control IP address, 45.32.129[.]185.
and CrowdStrike has even more 


barry said...

"For example, Trump has conceded that his Russian "friends" were behind the hack."

Seems to me he was being ironic.

Thomas Palm said...

"Julian Assange more or less admitted"

No, he didn't. It's standard practice when you have an anonymous source that you never confirm or deny a claim that it was a certain person or group. Otherwise people can just go on naming potential sources and the one he doesn't deny has to be the real one.

Fernando Leanme said...

I have lots of Russian readers (my next to last post is pro Russian) and your blog is listed in my blog roll...this means you may be getting a bit of business spilling over. Try a blog post with the title "Vladimir are my hero" and you will see how your hits go way up.

My Russian sources say the hack was from Ukrainians working for "The King of Chocolate", a Mafia kingpin (look him up). These guys want to pin the hack on Russians working for Zyuganov, but they forgot Zyuganov is powerless because communism isn't very popular in Russia nowadays.

8c7793aa-15b2-11e5-898a-67ca934bd1df said...

Amurka is the land of the free, Eli, and you have ALREADY screwed the pooch. What us Bernie Bot are doing is just helping you speed it up, since it's all going to crash quite quickly a lot sooner than you think. You started it. I;m finishing it. For you. And your kids.

Haha, fuck you bunny. It's your ponzi scheme. What did you expect?

That I help you?

Victor Venema said...

On my Blogger blog most visitors last week also come from Russia. I wish Blogger would make a bit more effort to clean up the statistics.

Lars Karlsson said...

The statistics for our blog (Uppsalainitiativet, in Swedish) shows the same pattern.

Susan Anderson said...

Good. I see the NYT has been on it.

Collections of Russian hacks involve European governments as well, and the timing of this is suspicious.

I'd like to add, I never got the detail, but I understand the "climategate" hack was done with Russian assistance. Does that connect?

Meanwhile, for those commenting, it is also worth noting that the emails reveal petulance and personality, but not the grand theft the Berniebusters are promoting.

However, I take a more cheerful view. Having talked with some Bernie friends, it appears most of the dead enders weren't Democrats to begin with. They've been infiltrated. Public boards don't make a distinction, but I don't think this is nearly as big a problem as is hooted about.

Give them time, they're grieving. And if the convention comes close to being as good as last night, things will change rapidly.

The Putin connection is worth broadcasting, and his vendetta with Hillary, as it gives the lie - but there are so many lies - to the painters of the portrait.

EliRabett said...

Fernando, you are certainly full of digested chocolate sauce on this one. See the ADDED information in the post.

EliRabett said...

Lars and Victor, do you have anyway of actually seeing where the hits are coming from. Blogger and Google Stats/Analytics do not at least as far as Eli can see.

Russell Seitz said...

Someone should ask Putin / lukhoil climate pundit and Heartland climate conference regular Yuri Izrael what he's been up to lately.

Russell Seitz said...

Cue loud Libertarian laughter:

The Dems have suffered a polemic breakdown in their segue from denying that the Ruski's coul d have hacked Hillary's unencrypted private server during her trips to China and Russia to insisting that the DNC server was hacked by the Russians.

luminous beauty said...


There is a steep logical difference between saying the servers could not possibly have been hacked (your invention) and saying to the best of one's knowledge there is no evidence of them being hacked ( the assertion by Hillary's IT people and the conclusion of the FBI. Then again, logic is not a Republican strong suit.

Russell Seitz said...

There is a steeper logical divide between candor and lawyerly rhodomontade

JohnMashey said...

Computer security is very tough, and humans are always the weak link.

See Tweet about Ken Thompson's famous backdoor trick.
Ken wasn't being malicious, but was exploring security issues.

I'm not sure anyone else actually detected this, but we (PWB/UNIX) did because one of my colleagues noticed a function name in the binary that wasn't anywhere in the source, and I went to Ken's machine and looked, and found what he's done (he wasn't really trying to hide it.)

A bit later, I was sitting in their terminal room (talking to somebody else), and Ken and Robert Morris Sr (his son, famed for a wild worm later, was just a school kid who came in now and then), were chortling about the cleverness of this approach.

As it happens, the National Security Agency was already using UNIX internally (at some point the PWB group got letter from Bell Labs president: 2 guys would visit for a month from NSA, given them what they ask for and don't ask questions).

Ken and Bob started talking about how cool it would be to try this on NSA and see if they caught it... but eventually one of them (must have been Bob, who consulted for the NSA) said: uhh, the NSA really doesn't have a sense of humor...

Since we're run the first real (and for years the largest) multi-group UNIX computer center, we had to fill holes in UNIX security that didn't really bother anyone when a small team had one in a lab.

As many others started doing this, we sometimes got grabbed to do audits.
I still remember one at Holmdel, where a lab was very produ of an improved password scheme. After the audit, we said:
1) Scheme is good, but you have 2 problems... WHAT!
2) The superuser password is on the (recently-developed) Post-It notes on many terminals.
3) Your computer room is hot, so they often leave the door open.

NSA knew hoe to do it: they had Electomagnetic-shield rooms, each with a PDP-11/45 and PWB/UNIX, used only by one team, able to send jobs to mainframes, but with no outside access. It is *ALWAYS* easier to secure a machine like that with a minimal connection to the outside world, than a network of systems. There is always a tension between usefulness and level of trust, and networks tend to (necessarily) incorporate more trust.

I used to visit (NSA, CIA, DSD (AU), Scotland Yard. I never went to GCHQ, but helped host them once at SGI (the monitors that said who was visiting that day said only "Her Majesty's Government", although that was clearer than meetings where I was told people would not identify their agencies.)

Even after laptops got common, I used to carry a *big* heavy collection of overhead foils for customer visits.

People would laugh at that and ask why.
I'd say:
a) It makes it easier to change order and pull random slides to answer Q's.
b) I don't think you talk all the places I do. What do think happens if you walk into Fort Meade with a laptop?
Do you think they'll let you and will it come back out?

Chris G said...

1. The mob analogy w.r.t. Trump and Putin is appropriate.

2. I supported Sanders in the primary.

3. I care not one bit for Clinton.

4. Make a list of all Clinton's negatives. Now make up a bunch of truly awful things about her and add them to the list. (For example, "She murdered Vince Foster and Chris Stevens with her bare hands!") Compared to Trump, she's still a prize.

5. Sanders backers who do not acknowledge the last sentence in #4 have shit for brains.

6. Yes, the Clinton administration will likely flip us the bird once in office. Politics is about who gets to do what to whom. Losing an election has consequences. Suck it up and quit whining.

7. I don't fear Trump so much as I do what would happen to institutions of government under a Trump regime. What do you suppose a Trump Justice Dept. would look like? Or a Trump Labor Dept.? Or the NSF?

8. Along the lines, my contempt for people who would vote for Trump probably runs deeper than my concept for Trump himself. (Stalin couldn't have done what he did without Stalinists.)

9. 2016 is what it is. To those in the Warren/Sanders wing of the Democratic party, don't forget that there are elections scheduled for 2018 and 2020 too. (Provided Trump and his minions don't cancel them or Clinton doesn't engage in a strategic nuclear exchange with the Russians, I figure they'll proceed as scheduled.) We would do well to cultivate a more agreeable House and Senate - not to mention more agreeable state legislatures - when those roll around. Keep your powder dry. (See Item #6.)

Russell Seitz said...

Julian Assange, not exactly a Trump fan, makes what's still in the Wikileaks pipeline sound more like Watergate than Climategate :

Kevin O'Neill said...

Russell, "more like Watergate than Climategate" -- Watergate? Really? You do realize there's a difference between 'politically embarrassing' and 'criminal felonious conspiracy' - don't you?

Victor Venema said...

Eli: "Lars and Victor, do you have anyway of actually seeing where the hits are coming from. Blogger and Google Stats/Analytics do not at least as far as Eli can see."

I just look at the same map where the page views come from as the one you display above in your post. Since I got so many Russian page views, the views also come in strong peaks. No person can read that fast. Although some people may download an entire site to read later without internet connection, it would be suspicious when I our three blogs suddenly all got so much of that type of fans from Russia. More likely someone scanning the web looking for security holes.

John Farley said...

For a long time, the DNC claimed that it was impartial between Bernie and Hillary. Bernie claimed that the DNC was biased in favor of Hillary and against him.
The pundits scoffed.

Now the leaked DNC cables show that the DNC was working hard for HIlllary, despite denials. Debbie Wasserman Schultz,, chair of the DNC (and friend of payday lenders) had to resign her post as chair.

More from the good folks at FAIR.

By the way, I find the alleged Russian connection pretty hard to believe. It's in a league with the lie about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.

Russell Seitz said...

What part of Saturday Night Massacre doesn't Kevin understand?

The salient difference is between the teaparty trying to summon a tempest in a teapot , and the exposure of hard evidence of political thuggery- witness Wasserman's resignation .

One wonders what might befall Trump if Russian hackers took an interest in his tax returns ?

Kevin O'Neill said...

C'mon Russell, the Saturday Night Massacre vs Wasserman-Schultz resigning??

I think that might be a textbook example of 'false equivalence.'

Russell Seitz said...

Don't be obtuse, Kevin. Present candidates Hillary Rodham C. and William Weld were among the Saturday Night Massacrees

Kevin O'Neill said...

Russell, comparing Nixon and the SNM to the DNC and the resignation Wasserman Schultz is pure Fox News and (ahem) just silly.

1) Who is the high ranking equivalent of a sitting President that directed a criminal conspiracy for political gain?

2) Who did this person in #1 attempt to have fired?

3) Did Wasserman-Schultz resign rather than carry out the orders in #2? Which character from 40 years ago is she playing?

4) What is the equivalent criminal conspiracy to the Watergate break-in?

5) Nixon directed a criminal conspiracy against his political opponents. Rewrite that sentence for the 'current events' edition.

When every comparison to the SNM in a Google search takes you to the looniest of looney tunes sites on the web, one needs to reflect.

Susan Anderson said...

Will somebody puleeaze spell out the financial background with Trump and Russia? We kind of know about Manafort. But the gossip is that Trump would be broke without Russian support. Is there any possibility that's true?

As for Assange, he seems to be on a mission to destroy Hillary. Not sure he'd win that one. He's a bit unsavory himself.

Putin would eat Trump for lunch, so let's not gift him the Prez. of the US of A.

JohnMashey said...

Susan: I'm sure serious journalists are looking hard ...
but I'll bet that Trump Org's murkiness of finances is right up there with Kochtopus, and without the 501(c)(3) pipes that have helped us there.

But it won't be in his personal tax forms, which we won't see either.

As has been discussed earlier:
1) Global warming has mostly negative effects on US, which hares with China possession of long, low-lying coasts with large population and infrastructure.

2) While AGW causes some trouble for Russia (fires, permafrost, SLR in St. Petersburg (although not so bad for while, given post-glacial rebound), melting of Arctic and warmer temps generally not so bad. After all, most of Russia's population lives further North than most of Canada's.
And selling gas and oil is dandy.

Putin can easily accept AGW science ...and be quite happy about it.


Russell Seitz said...

Kevin O'Neill said...
"Russell, comparing Nixon and the SNM to the DNC and the resignation Wasserman Schultz is pure Fox News and (ahem) just silly."

The why are you doing it ?

All I said was , vide supra: "Julian Assange, not exactly a Trump fan, makes what's still in the Wikileaks pipeline sound more like Watergate than Climategate "

Susan Anderson said...

John Mashey, I assume you've seen this:

I found it a couple of days back, but haven't followed the links within the article, which may provide further detail.

My queries were more generalist. But hats off to you for not feeding the gossip mill without concrete facts.

Russia has problems with heat, wildfires, and toxic smoke. There's a lot of permafrost.

JohnMashey said...


The map in Eli's post is relevant, as is population density map. and Russia demographics.
"Russia's population density is 8.4 people per square kilometre (22 per square mile), making it one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. The population is most dense in the European part of the country, with milder climate, centering on Moscow and Saint Petersburg. 74% of the population is urban, making Russia a highly urbanized country"

Despite the ( (fires, permafrost, SLR) that I mentioned), try to think like Putin, admittedly not so easy.
Enumerate the plusses for Russia with a warmer climate, in geopolitics.
Enumerate the minuses for the US, even just SLR.

Susan Anderson said...

My final paragraph was an afterthought, not connected with my intended point. Too bad, I'll be sure to make that clear in future, or resist the temptation (I knew someone in Moscow during that heatwave). I cry uncle on Putin's lack of interest in long-term dangers, and calculations on short-term 'benefits' with regard to climate.
Trying again ...

I'm more interested that we know nothing about Trump's current financial condition, except that it appears that he is indebted to the Russians for hundreds of millions. It's clear from his financial history - to some extent a matter of public record - that he skates over reality on these "deals" which look like very fancy dances. Meanwhile, he is about to be initiated into US security briefings.

JohnMashey said...

Again, for all:
Trump's personal tax returns are unlikely to tell us much about Trump Organization's financials.
However, if Trump Org owes Russians $100Ms, which seems likely, the infamous "Trump Discount" seems an unwise move to try with ex-KGBers.

Susan Anderson said...

OK JM, advice heard, I'll try to stay out of trouble there. I went back and read my source more carefully, and it did *not* say what Trump owes the Russkis (and "investment" is not "debt" but it sure is prejudicial), it was talking about his total debt. My bad. I think it likely he's obligated, but the argument is getting overworked I can see.

I'm just so frustrated at the failure of truth to get a foothold in arguments with "ordinary people". Thanks for your great work.

jrkrideau said...

@John Farley

By the way, I find the alleged Russian connection pretty hard to believe. It's in a league with the lie about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.

Yes indeed it has that same surreal and totally idiotic feeling. I mean, the entire world except the USA and Tony Blair knew that WMD claims were nuts.

Trump as a Russian agent is even crazier.

I have no problem believing that Putin or some of his associates have had business dealings with Trump if they were moving money out of Russia. Trump was a property developer—people invest money in property.

On the other hand, Putin appears to be smart, seems to have a good grasp of world affairs (well, much, much, than the Washington foreign affairs establish anyway) and a grasp of realpolitik.

I find it unlikely that he wants a narcissistic loose cannon in the White House. Hilary is bad but …

jrkrideau said...

@ John Mashey

While AGW causes some trouble for Russia (fires, permafrost, SLR in St. Petersburg (although not so bad for while, given post-glacial rebound), melting of Arctic and warmer temps generally not so bad.

As a Canadian who follows the climate issues, at least casually, I'd say this is really not true. My first point would be “Fort McMurry”.

Secondly, drastic changes in ecology.

Thirdly, look at where Russia is in relation to the Middle East. It seems pretty clear that the reason Russia is involved in Syria is that the Russians are horrified with what the USA and its allies have done in the area. And it's pretty easy to walk from a lot of Middle Eastern or Indian sub-continent to Russia.

Fourthly, as a more general point, my guess is that Putin does not want to see the entire world go into a melt-down. This would NOT be good for Russia.

Enumerate the plusses for Russia with a warmer climate, in geopolitics.

Access to open sea—something Russia has wanted since Peter the Great.

Otherwise I see essentially none.

Enumerate the minuses for the US,

Sorry I don't have a week, and, besides you really didn't need Florida anyway did you?

Just coastal flooding is likely to be disastrous, far to many major US cities are on the coast.