The server problem is getting worse for Hillary, not better.
Hillary Clinton supporters understandably are happy after last night’s debate. The motley crew of challengers on stage were incapable of stringing sentences together, much less taking on Clinton directly. Bernie Sanders’ demand that the media leave Hillary alone on her server also was a boost to her narrative of “nothing to see here, move along.”
But that good night masked the fact that in the real world, the server is a serious problem legally and politically.
When Obama was interviewed on 60 Minutes last Sunday, he seemed to be signaling there was nothing to Hillary’s server problem, Obama pretty much signaled Justice to lay off Hillary:
Steve Kroft: Did you know about Hillary Clinton’s use of private email server–
President Barack Obama: No.
Steve Kroft: –while she was Secretary of State?
President Barack Obama: No.
Steve Kroft: Do you think it posed a national security problem?
President Barack Obama: I don’t think it posed a national security problem….
That was a fairly outrageous statement to make considering the FBI is still investigating, and could be seen as an interference in DOJ evaluation of the case. Did Obama know something the rest of us don’t know? Were the FBI and DOJ sharing information about the investigation with Obama?
Now Obama is walking it back:
The White House on Tuesday backtracked on President Barack Obama’s blanket assertion earlier this week that Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state didn’t pose a national security threat.
Asked outright in an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Obama said, “I don’t think it posed a national security problem.”
But asked how the President was able to make such a definitive statement even as the FBI is looking into the server’s security, White House press secretary Josh Earnest clarified that Obama’s statement was made “based on what we publicly know now.”
“The President was making an observation about what we know so far, which is that Secretary Clinton herself has turned over a bunch of email to the State Department, and the review of that email has garnered some differing assessments about what’s included in there,” Earnest said.
The President’s comment was “certainly was not an attempt, in any way, to undermine the importance or independence of the ongoing FBI investigation,” Earnest said, stressing that Obama “has a healthy respect for the kinds of independent investigations that are conducted by inspectors general and, where necessary, by the FBI.”
The walk-back could be because the security issues are getting worse, not better, as AP reports, Clinton email server setup risked intrusions:
The private email server running in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s home basement when she was secretary of state was connected to the Internet in ways that made it more vulnerable to hackers while using software that could have been exploited, according to data and documents reviewed by The Associated Press.
Clinton’s server, which handled her personal and State Department correspondence, appeared to allow users to connect openly over the Internet to control it remotely, according to detailed records compiled in 2012. Experts said the Microsoft remote desktop service wasn’t intended for such use without additional protective measures, and was the subject of U.S. government and industry warnings at the time over attacks from even low-skilled intruders.
It was, according to experts consulted by AP, complete amateur hour for security:
The AP exclusively reviewed numerous records from an Internet “census” by an anonymous hacker-researcher, who three years ago used unsecured devices to scan hundreds of millions of Internet Protocol addresses for accessible doors, called “ports.” Using a computer in Serbia, the hacker scanned Clinton’s basement server in Chappaqua at least twice, in August and December 2012. It was unclear whether the hacker was aware the server belonged to Clinton, although it identified itself as providing email services for clintonemail.com. The results are widely available online.
Remote-access software allows users to control another computer from afar. The programs are usually operated through an encrypted connection — called a virtual private network, or VPN. But Clinton’s system appeared to accept commands directly from the Internet without such protections.
“That’s total amateur hour,” said Marc Maiffret, who has founded two cybersecurity companies. He said permitting remote-access connections directly over the Internet would be the result of someone choosing convenience over security or failing to understand the risks. “Real enterprise-class security, with teams dedicated to these things, would not do this,” he said.
Hillary seemed oblivious, at least on stage, to the irony of her taking a hard line on Edward Snowden when she may have given the Russians, Chinese and others a direct line to her email account:
Clinton says @Snowden should "face the music." Didn't mention her private server, with open RDP ports, contained emails with classified info
— Jack Gillum (@jackgillum) October 14, 2015
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