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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Jeh Johnson hearing: House Russia probe digs into DNC cyberfailings, voter roll hacks

    Jeh Johnson hearing: House Russia probe digs into DNC cyberfailings, voter roll hacks

    By Tom LoBianco, CNN
    Updated 11:23 AM ET, Wed June 21, 2017

    Story highlights


    • Jeh Johnson was the Homeland Security secretary under President Obama
    • He says he warned of election interference last year but that he faced backlash



    (CNN)The House Russia investigation hearing Wednesday into Russia's efforts to hack state voting systems quickly turned into a grueling examination of the Democratic Party's extensive failings during the election, as Republicans and Democrats grilled former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

    Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, pressed Johnson on why the Democratic National Committee rejected the Department of Homeland Security's efforts to help after Russians hacked them.
    "It's not even like it was a Republican administration trying to hack in the DNC," King said.

    "I recall clearly that I was not pleased that we were not in there helping patch this vulnerability," Johnson said. But he added, "The Department of Homeland Security does not have the power to issue a search warrant to go in over their objections."

    The House intelligence committee hearing was slated to focus Russia's attempts to hack into state elections systems, happening simultaneously as a Senate intelligence panel of DHS and FBI officials were testifying on Russian cyberinterference with last year's elections.


    "In 2016 the Russian government, at the direction of (Russian President) Vladimir Putin himself, orchestrated cyberattacks on our nation for the purpose of influencing our election -- plain and simple. Now, the key question for the president and Congress is: What are we going to do to protect the American people and their democracy from this kind of thing in the future?" Johnson said in his opening remarks.



    Former DHS secretary's Russia hearing: Live updates

    The coordinated hacking effort from Russian-aligned hackers has received minimal attention in the congressional probes into Russia's interference in the election. President Donald Trump and his supporters have regularly noted that no votes were ever changed by Russian hackers -- something Obama and Trump administration intelligence officials have regularly stated in their testimony.

    Johnson took heat from Democrats, angry that former President Barack Obama did not more forcefully announce Russia's meddling in the election in the midst of the election itself.


    "Why wasn't that done? Was there thought given to that? Why was that course rejected?" asked Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee.


    Johnson said that Obama clearly wanted that message out there, but did not want to make it look like he was putting his thumb on the scale for (Democratic presidential nominee) Hillary Clinton.


    "We considered all those things and the decision was made that the Director of National Intelligence (James Clapper) and Department of Homeland Security together should make this statement," Johnson said.


    Concerns about the security of voters' information were raised anew this week after a Republican voter data firm, Deep Root, accidentally left the data of 198 million voters exposed online earlier this month.

    And questions of what the Russian government was attempting resurfaced recently after a National Security Agency contractor allegedly leaked a report detailing those hacking attempts to a news outlet.


    The recent NSA report -- written May 5 -- detailed extensively a Russian intelligence-directed operation that targeted a company that provides voter registration software and, using information from that hack, later evolved into a "spearfishing" campaign against multiple state and local election officials.



    Senate Russia investigators promised access to key Treasury data


    The Justice Department alleges a 25-year-old woman, Reality Winner, leaked the document to The Intercept and has charged her under the federal Espionage Act.

    Johnson, in his written testimony, details numerous public statements he made through last year's election after he learned of hacking attempts, as he tried to draw attention to the issue. He also details a largely failed effort to get elections system designated as critical government infrastructure -- which would have given greater priority to states seeking help in possible cyberattacks.


    But, as Johnson notes in his testimony, the proposal faced a severe backlash, with some state officials alleging that Johnson was attempting a federal takeover of state-based elections systems.

    Johnson eventually backed off the idea, he notes.


    The hearing itself marks another small victory for House Russia investigators, who have been attempting to right their investigation ever since House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes' clandestine trip to the White House in March almost derailed the House probe.


    But the separate Senate probe is still widely viewed as more likely to produce results and uncover major findings. Johnson met privately with the leaders of the Senate intelligence committee last week.

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/21/politi...ing/index.html

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    It's all phoney baloney. Republicans in the House and Senate are already figuring this out and when they get it all figured out, they're going to be mad as hell.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    We just learned the government knows Russia will sabotage the next election. Now what?
    By Sarah Posner June 21 at 4:07 PM


    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


    The Senate Intelligence Committee held a hearing this morning on Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, and on what the government knows about Russian intentions to meddle in future contests. The Committee heard from three federal officials, two from the Department of Homeland Security, and one from the FBI.


    Together, those officials made clear that not only did Russians peddle in propaganda and fake news in an effort boost the fortunes of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016; they also penetrated election systems via cyber warfare.


    But they also hinted at another important truth, which a forward looking one. Here it is: The very core of our democracy is at extraordinary risk if we are not prepared to prevent Russian interference in our next election, which is less than 18 months away


    Not only did today’s hearing make clear that election systems remain vulnerable to cyberattack; it also laid bare significant uncertainty in how the government is going about addressing those vulnerabilities. If the public knows that the vulnerabilities exist, but has doubts about how the government plans to fix them, that, in turn, will only damage our democracy further, by reinforcing public doubts about the integrity of the systems and therefore weakening public confidence in our election outcomes.


    All of this is just as the Russians want.


    In today’s hearing, it emerged that the Department of Homeland Security knows of Russian attempts to hack into election systems in 21 states during the 2016 cycle. This came courtesy of Samuel Liles, the DHS’s acting director of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis Cyber Division — though he was quick to add that the hack didn’t have any impact on voting tallies or outcomes. The efforts amounted to a “scan of vulnerabilities,” Liles said, likening it to casing the neighborhood to collect information to aid possible future efforts to infiltrate these computer systems. Election results were not altered. This time, at least.


    But that was the only bit of good news, if it could even be characterized as good, to emerge from the hearing.


    One official starkly laid out not just how brazen the Russians’ 2016 efforts were — but also that there’s little doubt that they will continue to pursue these efforts in 2018 and beyond.


    Bill Priestap, Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Division at the FBI, noted that, while the Kremlin has engaged in influence operations since the Cold War era, its 2016 efforts were “its boldest to date in the United States,” and included “a multi-faceted approach intended to undermine confidence in our democratic process.” This approach included discrediting Hillary Clinton, the “weaponization of stolen cyber information” (such as that stolen from the Democratic National Committee); and the use of trolls and social media to further spread propaganda and misinformation. According to Priestap, the Russians could use data obtained this cycle to “determine whether it can be manipulated going forward,” in order to influence future elections.


    This was further commented on by ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA), who said, “the bad news is this will not be their [the Russians’] last attempt,” adding that he was “deeply concerned” about future Russian “efforts to undermine confidence in our whole electoral system.” Indeed erosion of Americans’ confidence in the integrity of our election system is a a central goal of Russian active measures — which is why the hearing’s exposure of what appears to be a disjointed, opaque approach to combating the hacks was so alarming.


    Unfortunately, however, DHS was in many cases unwilling to communicate basic information. Senators of both parties expressed frustration with the refusal to specify things such as which states, beyond Arizona and Illinois, were among the 21 whose systems were infiltrated by Russian actors — and about how DHS is working with state and local officials to prevent future cyber attacks.


    This could have far reaching implications — if voters know that the cyber warfare has taken place, but remain unclear about its scope and effect, or about how it might be used again, that can fuel suspicion and distrust. As Marco Rubio (R-FL) put it, “Even the news that a hacker from a foreign government could have gotten into a computer system” could “create the specter of a losing candidate arguing the election was rigged.” In other words, without clear and accurate information about the nature of the attacks — and, crucially, how the government is preventing future ones — there is an open door for trolling, fake news, and conspiracy theories that further undermine voters’ confidence in the integrity of democratic processes.


    Lawmakers were not alone in their frustration. Secretaries of state, who oversee the election process in 40 states, complained in their testimony that DHS has failed to share vital information with them about their own cyber vulnerabilities. What’s more, the extent of Russian penetration remains unknown. These secretaries of state, it emerged, themselves do not know which states are among the 21 whose systems were infiltrated by Russian cyber warfare, an information gap Warner described as “stunning.” And in an ominous moment, the FBI’s Priestap declined to answer a question about whether Russians had installed malware in penetrated systems, because of the pending special counsel investigation into Russian interference.


    “The key lesson from 2016 is that hacking threats are real,” summed up J. Alex Halderman, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan and a cybersecurity expert.

    “There is no doubt that Russia has the technical ability to commit widescale attacks against our voting system, as do other hostile nations.”


    This is not a partisan issue, or an occasion for finger-pointing.

    Urgent solutions are needed — and ensuring Congressional oversight of that could well be the most vital work on the Committee’s agenda in the coming months. This will require not only well-coordinated efforts by officials within DHS who are working with state and local elections officials, but will also demand that Republicans abandon President Trump’s efforts to discredit the entire Russia investigation as a “witch hunt.” Our democracy depends on it.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...tion-now-what/

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    It's all fake.
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