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Obama Sanctions Russia Over Alleged “Hacking”

Obama Sanctions Russia Over Alleged “Hacking”

PHISHING. Not hacking.

President Barack Obama has placed more sanctions against Russia and expelled intelligence operatives from America for allegedly interfering with our 2016 election. The sanctions include expelling 35 Russian intelligence officers and closing two Russian compounds.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security found some information that Russians may have phished into the Democratic National Committee over the summer. (Before I go on, I need to correct the media. NO ONE hacked the election. Saying Russia hacked the election implies Russians invaded our voting booths and physically changed votes. That did NOT happen.)

Fact is the Democrats cannot handle the fact that President-elect Donald Trump crushed and embarrassed them on Election Day. Don’t forget that the Democrats also lost a lot of seats in the House, Senate, and state legislatives.

So Obama slammed down the hammer to show those Russians he means business….or something:

In addition to the sanctions, the State Department has declared 35 Russian intelligence operatives “persona non grata” in the U.S., giving them 72 hours to leave, and is shutting down two Russian compounds in Maryland and New York.

The Maryland property is a 45-acre property at Pioneer Point, and was purchased by the Soviet government in 1972.

The New York property is on Long Island and is 14 acres and was purchased by the Soviet government in 1954.

The Treasury Secretary meanwhile has named two individuals — Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev and Aleksey Alekseyevich Belan — it says were involved in “malicious cyber-enabled activities.”

“These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior,” Obama said in a statement.

Of course the Russian government are sitting back and laughing at all of this:

Officials in Russia lashed out against the sanctions and have promised retaliation:

“We think that such steps by a U.S. administration that has three weeks left to work are aimed at two things: to further harm Russian-American ties, which are at a low point as it is, as well as, obviously, to deal a blow to the foreign policy plans of the incoming administration of the president-elect,” Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow.

Yeah, well, we’ve seen this act from Russia before. America has been sanctioning Russia since the Kremlin annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014. After each action, Russia has promised retaliation and so far…nothing.

But you know what is really scary? The fact that this all happened without any concrete proof the phishing schemes came from Russia.

Mollie is correct. I spoke with Michelle Ray, an editor at IJR and founder of ClearVoter, who knows the insides out of technology. She told me this:

Hacking an election would involve gaining access to our voting system and altering votes. That never happened. What did happen was a cluster of poor security and effective phishing schemes that exposed, through human stupidity, information that made Clinton look even worse as a candidate than before its release. Who knew that was even possible?

Here are a few definitions you need to know:

HACKING: to circumvent security and break into (a network, computer, file, etc.), usually with malicious intent

PHISHING: to try to obtain financial or other confidential information from Internet users, typically by sending an email that looks as if it is from a legitimate organization, usually a financial institution, but contains a link to a fake website that replicates the real one.

Phishing. PHISHING. Michelle also told me that this could have been a Chinese hacker bouncing off a Russian server. Think about it. Everyone knows the sour relationship between America and Russia. This is a perfect situation to manipulate the system and make it appear that Russia tried to influence the election.

There is no absolute concrete proof that anyone in Russia performed these phishing schemes. Another thing, the DHS and FBI identified those behind these schemes as Russian civilian and military intelligence Services (RIS). Sooooooo…grouping Russian civilians and government officials? That’s a big difference. How can you group them together?

The phishing scheme offers no proof that these attacks came from Russia, Russian civilians, or the Russian government. But let’s go ahead and blame another superpower over it, thus giving Moscow more of an excuse to attack us.

I have covered Russia since Ukraine broke out in protest in November 2013. I have grown to hate and despise Russia and President Vladimir Putin. You know what I hate even more? Jumping to conclusions. Immediately blaming anyone, especially Russia, without absolute positive proof also ticks me off, especially when said country has the ability to inflict actual damage on us.

People have asked me my thoughts on this. Do I think Russians phished the DNC and possibly John Podesta? Yes. But considering how easy it is to phish and bounce off other servers, I cannot say with complete confidence Russia did this and it sickens me that our government has done this.

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Comments

The DNC isn’t an official government org. It’s a private political party. Now we have Obama retaliating against Russia because his private club was hacked (probably by everyone in the world).

I really don’t see a government response as being necessary. Perhaps instead, the DNC should have better cyber security.

    Anonamom in reply to Sanddog. | December 29, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    I agree with you, Sanddog, but these goofballs were in power. If they were so careless with their DNC accounts, one wonders what else was left wide open for whoever to invade.

    What a bunch of incompetent boobs. THAT should be the story, not what the Russians did – or did not – do.

      Jackie in reply to Anonamom. | December 30, 2016 at 6:25 am

      Hillary’s server had all our secrets and was probably hacked by half the countries in the world. This is infinitely worse than the idiot Podesta’s emails.

        dmi60ex in reply to Jackie. | December 30, 2016 at 9:09 am

        Yeah and think of the Cricketts that accompanied all the cyber hacks of millions of Americans vital info . you can steal that , but by God you better not show my party up.

        userpen in reply to Jackie. | December 30, 2016 at 5:19 pm

        The good news is the people of China are learning Yoga.

    MarkSmith in reply to Sanddog. | December 29, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    Sanddog, I thought the same thing. Why will the government engage with the DNC breach, but not the everyday breach against the common Joe, though hacking, phishing and plan out calling scammers like ones I have traced to India trying to get access to my parents computer by telling them they have a problem with their computer.

    How about going after the Ramsonware groups? No instead, they support the DNC which made terrible decisions about cyber security. Isn’t it funny that the same group that had so much support by the tech smart people, can’t keep basic security policies in place.

    dmi60ex in reply to Sanddog. | December 30, 2016 at 9:07 am

    It’s good to know that these Russian cybersecurity spies will be back in Russia where they have no access to computers, and the internet(s) and can no longer hack us /sarc, meanwhile the jihadi cells under surveillance are allowed to stay a stones/bomb throw away from our schools , churches and malls.

I hate being a grammar Nazi, but the Russians misspelled a word. It should read …hapless ass.

“People have asked me my thoughts on this. Do I think Russians phished the DNC and possibly John Podesta? Yes. But considering how easy it is to phish and bounce off other servers, I cannot say with complete confidence Russia did this and it sickens me that our government has done this.”

Just a correction. There is concrete evidence that John Podesta was the victim of a phishing attack of unknown origin. There has still been no evidence presented that the DNC was the victim of a phishing attack. There have been claims made by wikileaks that the DNC emails were leaked by an insider.

DieJustAsHappy | December 29, 2016 at 9:03 pm

BHO, aka the Devil’s Disciple in the Oval Office, further accents the extent of his maliciousness with the actions with regards to Israel and Russia. He ought to give thanks daily that he’s a lame duck instead of a cooked goose!

“US punishes Russia for Election Hacks” is a great headline. Not great, in that it’s any way accurate, but great in that you’re watching the Democrats do what they do best, take a complex issue and dumb it down in such a way that they can sell it to the party faithful and the useful idiots. If you needed a reminder not to underestimate the left, you just got one.

Anyone can tear apart that headline given a few minutes. No, the election wasn’t hacked, just some campaign HQ emails. Yes, the emails were real, as far as we know. (i.e. no fake news here.) No, they had no real impact on the election. Yes, Russians hack stuff like this all the time. No, there’s no proof that Putin / FSB / Trump / etc ordered anything. Etc etc. But the headline reaches millions while the common sense refutation is read and understood by a fraction.

WaterCloset and PhishingReel continue to overflow and bate Democrat leaders.

Trump isn’t legitimate because John Podesta is stupid, does not a good argument make.

Obama retaliates. Putin must be pissing his pants in fear.

This action has only one purpose, to cause trump problems following his inauguration. Nothing else.

The lack of ANY evidence that the DNC and Podesta emails were obtained by any state sponsored action makes the actions of President Obama totally ridiculous and highly provocative. It almost forces Trump to walk the sanctions back and normalize the diplomatic relations with Russia. And, that is the set-up. If he doesn’t do this, then his administration will end jup in a battle with Russia, which was started by his predecessor. And, if he does, he will find himself being opposed by the liberal/progressive lobby as well as all the politicians who are beholding to it and the Establishment, in this country. Considering which Congressman are supporting a diplomatic confrontation with Russia, many of whom are Republicans, would suggest that this is not some rogue action of President Obama, and his administration, but, rather, an calculated attack upon the President-elect, by the Progressive Establishment.

Unfortunately, this action also needlessly increases international friction with an country which is not our friend. And, just as with the Israeli action, it increases the potential for armed conflict. Coincidence?

Just read the FBI/DHS report on Russian cyber activity.

Bottom line: it says the Russians got stuff from Democrats

Nothing about Trump, WikiLeaks, voting machines

Talk about “weak tea”

    MSO in reply to Neo. | December 29, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    The FBI/DHS report says that the DNC/Podesta suffered two ‘persistent’ attacks; one phishing attack and one malware attack. The report does not define ‘persistent’ nor does the report offer any evidence of who initiated the attacks.

    We know, for some unexplained reason, that Podesta fell for a phishing attack and we can surmise that once his account had been compromised, the attack became persistent until he changed his login/password.

    There was no description of what might have been pilfered from either the phishing or malware attacks. We do know that many DNC/Podesta emails were leaked to the public, but there was no evidence provided in the report that the leak was a result of either of the two known attacks.

    We are left to surmise the source of the attacks and the effects of the attacks. Obama is creating an international incident without offering any evidence of Russian malfeasance.

    ‘If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor’ is not water under the bridge; it speaks to Obama’s veracity. From my perspective, he has none.

    Walter in reply to Neo. | December 29, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    Agree. Thirteen pages to say Podesta’s email was hacked because of a Phishing attack. They really do think we are stupid. I guess the report is targeted at the major media and the average citizen. Very weak!!

    Bob00 in reply to Neo. | December 29, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    I’m pretty sure the Russian have hacked my Fitbit, but you don’t see me whining about not getting credit for all my steps.

In other news, the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi was in response to an anti-Islam video.

The report issued today by the NCIIC is a laughable piece of work designed to give the hapless media something to chew on, and for the Administration to be able to claim they have issued a report. The report is here for those who want to read it: https://www.us-cert.gov/sites/default/files/publications/JAR_16-20296.pdf

In summary the last 8 pages of this 13 page report contain boilerplate material lifted from other Govt publications on how to prevent hacking. I found it’s use via CopyScape on over 100 locations on the Internet. The first 5 pages of the report contain graphics and some techie language to show how a Phishing attack occurs and lists exploits, which have been known to exist, some for many years. One example I checked, the “Duke” family of exploits has been known and information in the public domain for 8 years as an example described here: https://www.grahamcluley.com/russia-using-duke-family-malware-spy-countries-2008-says-secure/

In summary all of this is material which will be used by the “kool aid” media and Obama to continue to stoke this “Election Hacking” mantra. The only comfort we can have is that Trump is surrounding himself with Professionals who are “dry behind the ears” and will deal with this as adults.

The delicious karma in all this is that it was little barry himself who sowed the seeds of the destruction of his malicious ‘legacy’ – and the rescue of America – by allowing himself to be bamboozled by the lamest of bamboozlers, Hillary Clinton and putting the last impression of barry as a ‘president’ in the hands of the lamest of narcissists, gigolo John Kerry.

Without the corrupt democrat media to wipe his bottom when he craps himself, little barry is exposed for the hoax he is. The next shoe to drop is Michelle pulling off her wig and exposing her male genitals.

BTW, we’ve known for years that the Russian compounds in NY and MD were used for espionage. Suddenly, it’s important.

Yeah, uh-huh.

The last time in my lifetime that a U.S. president created a major international incident with a superpower was the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.

And I distinctly recall the president at that time (JFK) RELEASING SPY PHOTOS of the actual Soviet missiles and missile silos in Cuba, so that the American people could TRUST his claim that this was really happening, was the Soviets’ doing, was serious, and justified confrontation.

In contrast, President Pajama Boy shows us NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER of Russian involvement in anything, or of any seriousness justifying confrontation, and expects us to simply trust him for no reason whatsoever.

Sorry, Pajama Boy, but your credibility is ZERO, because, in the immortal words of an unnamed foreign relations expert who was quoted in the press today, you’re just a “lying sack of sh*t”.

    gospace in reply to JPL17. | December 30, 2016 at 1:29 am

    Had a HS friend whose Air Force father was stationed in FL during the Cuban missile crisis. He remembers it clearly. Because when his father came home that day the news was on and his mother said, “Honey, you’ve got to come these photos on the television.” He took one glance and exploded, “Jesus Christ! I just took those pictures this morning! What the hell are they doing on TV?” Said his mom turned off the TV, looked at him and asked, “Just what is it you do down here?” He never said when his parents got divocred, but I think it was shortly after that.

I wonder what they are really trying to cover up since this is an obvious distraction.

Why am I picturing G. Gordon Liddy knocking on the door of the DNC’s Watergate office and saying “Land Shark”?

There are scores of teenagers in Moscow who can do better than what’s in this report.

My wife forces me to watch ABC nightly news once in a while to see what they are talking about. Tonight they started off with the claim that the Russians had hacked our election! They didn’t bother to say how. I told my wife that they didn’t hack any such thing. They hacked the DNC and Podesta’s e-mail. That’s all. And we are not sure if it was the
Russians or someone else. The biggie here is what was in the sordid e-mails, not who got them. That is the last thing they want us to focus on.

Remember when Bush was president and Putin was the American leftists’ darling?

    Not just Bush; this is the first time in 80 years that the Left has finally decided to call Russia our enemy. Stopped clocks and all that.

    Obama’s responses:

    Russia shoots down an airliner, killing hundreds: “Oh well, accidents happen.

    Russia invades and seizes Crimea: “Regrettable, but what can we do?”

    Russian operatives embarrass the Democrats: “OH MY GOD RESTART THE COLD WAR! RIGHT NOW!!!!”

legacyrepublican | December 30, 2016 at 1:54 am

Stop the presses! I have proof.

I have secret photos that show that Putin infiltrated the North Pole and used Santa’s high tech equipment to find out who had been naughty at the DNC.

Then, Putin flew around in Santa’s sleigh using the cloak of invisibility from Harry Potter and gave Assange the USB drive with all of the DNC’s naughty deeds.

Hang on. I thought it was Trump that was supposed to be the one risking armed conflict with Russia because of his undisciplined twitter posts?

Given the level of political influence in the intelligence community over the past few years (and I won’t limit this to just the Obama years), can we really be certain that the actual analysis done by the intelligence professionals is really what gets reported? Can we be certain that the analyses have not been ‘massaged’ by officials more interested in putting political lipstick on that particular pig and putting a spin on it favorable to one side to the detriment of another than in actually reporting the truth? (Remember when CENTCOM intelligence analysts alleged that their work was spun to reflect the Administration’s efforts against ISIS were more successful than was actually the case?)

At the company where I work, if there is a sever security breach of our systems, including our email system, that is reportable to the Department of Justice and they will carry out any needed investigation, not any intelligence agency. The FBI has very capable cyber forensic analysts who specialize in just that. As has been pointed out elsewhere, the DNC, like the RNC, is not a government agency or organization. Why was the Central Intelligence Agency called in to investigate in the first place?

Any hacking, phishing attacks or accessing computer systems or accounts by unauthorized persons are serious violations of law and should definitely be investigated as such and I am certainly not defending or condoning those actions. I do wonder, though, why the nation’s premier intelligence organization, or any other intelligence organization for that matter, was tasked with investigating a security breach at a civilian political organization, supposedly with no ties to the national security apparatus.

One answer might be to put a stamp of credibility and impartiality to a politically-spun assessment that a foreign country somehow influenced the outcome of the election and cast a shadow of illegitimacy over a Trump presidency.

Another might be that this is meant to distract from the level of corruption revealed by the contents of the emails. Sexist, racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian sentiments were expressed by some of the highest-level people in the DNC. Evidence of collusion by and among the DNC, the Clinton campaign and media outlets goes unreported.

Just speculating…..

So Obama is creating sanctions against Russia for releasing truthful information. What could better describe this administration where truth tellers are disciplined and honesty is a crime?

I was thinking this morning that if Putin was really, really, clever and that if he truly understood American politics, then he would scoff at Obama’s actions and refuse to do anything at all in response.

Lo and behold, that is exactly what he did! Suddenly Putin is the Man, and Obama is the whining petulant little boy shooting spitballs.

This is what a diplomatic nut-punch looks like.

Dear media, please ask the Whitehouse or State Dept. the following;

A). “was there a hack into the DNC server or the email of Mr. Podesta or was access gained by a posing email?”

B). “was any of the information published by Wikileaks manipulated or untrue?”

C). “are the DNC and or Mr. Podesta agents of the government and if so, in what role, if not under what justification does the US Government take action against a sovereign state on behalf of private groups / citicens?”

D). “Pres. Obama has said he told Pres. Putin, in Oct ’16 to “knock it off” and that this order occured. Why then take public action now?”

E). “in ’12 when Pres. Obama informed the Russians he would have more latitude after the election, what did he mean?”

F). “what is the status of the report from the state of GA that alleged they were the subject of an attack by DHS on the voter registration data base?”

G). “why does the 13 page report issued not mention motive for these attacks (phishing or otherwise) when the administration and Clinton team have said they were motivated to help Mr. Trump. What is the offering of proof to support such accusations?”

H). “is there any truth to the stories that this phishing behavior was know by the administration as early as June ’15 and what actions were taken at the time if this is true?”

Obama is probably accustomed to getting wedgies from the big boys. Putin and Trump have probably already talked and laughed at the little putz’s tantrums.

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