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Mon Oct 8, 2018, 09:34 AM

New Article about communications between Alfa Bank, Spectrum Health, The Trump Organization

Was There a Connection Between a Russian Bank and the Trump Campaign?

A team of computer scientists sifted through records of unusual Web traffic in search of answers.


Examining records for the Trump domain, Max’s group discovered D.N.S. lookups from a pair of servers owned by Alfa Bank, one of the largest banks in Russia. Alfa Bank’s computers were looking up the address of the Trump server nearly every day. There were dozens of lookups on some days and far fewer on others, but the total number was notable: between May and September, Alfa Bank looked up the Trump Organization’s domain more than two thousand times. “We were watching this happen in real time—it was like watching an airplane fly by,” Max said. “And we thought, Why the hell is a Russian bank communicating with a server that belongs to the Trump Organization, and at such a rate?”

Only one other entity seemed to be reaching out to the Trump Organization’s domain with any frequency: Spectrum Health, of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Spectrum Health is closely linked to the DeVos family; Richard DeVos, Jr., is the chairman of the board, and one of its hospitals is named after his mother. His wife, Betsy DeVos, was appointed Secretary of Education by Donald Trump. Her brother, Erik Prince, is a Trump associate who has attracted the scrutiny of Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Trump’s ties to Russia. Mueller has been looking into Prince’s meeting, following the election, with a Russian official in the Seychelles, at which he reportedly discussed setting up a back channel between Trump and the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. (Prince maintains that the meeting was “incidental.”) In the summer of 2016, Max and the others weren’t aware of any of this. “We didn’t know who DeVos was,” Max said.

The D.N.S. records raised vexing questions. Why was the Trump Organization’s domain, set up to send mass-marketing e-mails, conducting such meagre activity? And why were computers at Alfa Bank and Spectrum Health trying to reach a server that didn’t seem to be doing anything? After analyzing the data, Max said, “We decided this was a covert communication channel.”

The Trump Organization, Alfa Bank, and Spectrum Health have repeatedly denied any contact. But the question of whether Max’s conclusion was correct remains enormously consequential. Was this evidence of an illicit connection between Russia and the Trump campaign? Or was it merely a coincidence, cyber trash, that fed suspicions in a dark time?

More: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/10/15/was-there-a-connection-between-a-russian-bank-and-the-trump-campaign


A few quotes:

"To our knowledge there are no senior intelligence officials at senior levels at Alfa Bank.”

"Given the limitations of D.N.S. data, none of the independent experts I spoke to could be certain of what Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization were doing."

"The enigma, for now, remains an enigma. The only people likely to finally resolve the question of Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization are federal investigators. Max told me that no one in his group had been contacted [by the FBI]."

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Response to MelissaB (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2018, 10:07 AM

1. Another quote: "The Trump domain vanished from the Web on 9/23, 2 days after @nytimes presented its

“The Trump domain vanished from the Web on 9/23, 2 days after @nytimes presented its data to BGR, Alfa Bank’s lobbyists in DC, but before it called Trump or Cendyn."

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Response to Qutzupalotl (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 8, 2018, 11:36 AM

3. Yes! I BIG hat tip to Tea Pain

Thanks so much!

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Response to Qutzupalotl (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 8, 2018, 06:42 PM

7. Best part of the analysis of apparent SQL Server DB Replication

Conspiritor0 noted that when Spectrum connected to Trump Tower, Trump Tower’s next connect time was significantly longer, indicating Spectrum had modified a large chunk of records that had to be synced to Trump Tower, then pushed on to Alfa Bank. This detail was important in identifying that replication was in use. In this scenario, Trump Tower was functioning as a center-point, a data distribution center if you will.

We don’t know what was in these data packets; that info is beyond our purview at this time, but ask yourself a simple question and you find your answer: “What do Trump Tower, the Devos Family and the Russians all have in common? A desire for Donald Trump to be President of the United States.

Tea Pain’s working theory is that Russia created a voter targeting database with information gleaned from hacked DNC data rolls and other data rolls “acquired” from other states to feed this growing contact database. That database originated at Russian Intelligence which was in turn replicated to Russia’s Alfa Bank. This is where the “data laundering” takes place, Alfa Bank is the pivot point where the FSB’s data fingerprints are wiped clean. Ironically Russia launders its data at the same place it launders its money.

At Trump Tower, more data could merged into this system using various legal sources as well. Spectrum Health could also add value to the data by matching names and addresses in their extensive healthcare databases to harvest email addresses and phone numbers to flesh out this list. All these changes would be promptly replicated back to Russia in a matter of hours.

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Response to Qutzupalotl (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 8, 2018, 07:46 PM

9. And re the traffic going to St Petersburg

CNN: Inside a Russian Troll Farm in St. Petersburg

Inside look at a Russian troll farm

..........

The Russian oligarch indicted by Mueller as the financier of the massive Russian election disruption and Trump support operation is known as "Putin's Chef" for his ability to cook up and finance propaganda.
3


https://www.democraticunderground.com/100210260153

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Response to MelissaB (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2018, 11:37 AM

4. From the Steele Dossier

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Response to MelissaB (Reply #4)

Mon Oct 8, 2018, 07:51 PM

10. +1000 I'm sure Mueller is already on this!

But it's a great reminder for us because we're running from one WTF to another all day long.




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Response to MelissaB (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2018, 04:27 PM

5. Kick for fascinating subject nt

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Response to MelissaB (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2018, 04:42 PM

6. Some threads I've posted in the past

Nov 2017
Twitter thread on Trump org subdomains routing to Russia. Sharing servers with Wikileaks??
https://www.democraticunderground.com/10029782683

July 2018
Putin's daughter, Trump Tower internet traffic, Spectrum Health, Betsy DeVos
https://www.democraticunderground.com/100210915778


And then this one too:

Feb 2018
CNN: Inside a Russian Troll Farm in St. Petersburg
https://www.democraticunderground.com/100210260153

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 8, 2018, 07:59 PM

12. Consider adding your post reponding to my original post today.

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Response to triron (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 8, 2018, 09:36 PM

13. What's on the 15th floor at Trump Tower??

Linked to Russian companies indicted by Mueller??
https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=11256396

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Response to MelissaB (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2018, 06:49 PM

8. The crooked NYT/FBI October 31, 2016 story is part of this!

The NYT at the behest of the FBI rewrote the story to hide the truth about this specific connection, as well as the FBI's widening investigation of Trump-Russia, just over a week before the election.

Dirty as hell.

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Response to MelissaB (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2018, 07:58 PM

11. Louise Mensch was onto this along with Tea Pain back in 2016 I believe.

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