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Fri Jan 10, 2020, 01:05 PM

'Chaos Is the Point': Russian Hackers and Trolls Grow Stealthier in 2020 (NYT)

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/us/politics/russia-hacking-disinformation-election.html

‘Chaos Is the Point’: Russian Hackers and Trolls Grow Stealthier in 2020
By Matthew Rosenberg, Nicole Perlroth and David E. Sanger
Jan. 10, 2020, 3:00 a.m. ET

...

One of the two Russian intelligence units that hacked the Democrats in 2016, known as “Fancy Bear,” has shifted some of its work to servers based in the United States in an apparent attempt to thwart the N.S.A. and other American spy agencies, which are limited by law to operating abroad, according to federal officials tracking the moves. The other unit, known as “Cozy Bear,” abandoned its hacking infrastructure six months ago and has dropped off the radar, security analysts said.

The trolls at the Internet Research Agency — the now-indicted outfit behind much of the Russian disinformation spread in 2016 — have ditched email accounts that were being tracked by Western intelligence agencies and moved to encrypted communication tools, like ProtonMail, that are much harder to trace. They are also trying to exploit a hole in Facebook’s ban on foreigners buying political ads, paying American users to hand over personal pages and setting up offshore bank accounts to cover their financial tracks, said an official and a security expert at a prominent tech company.

At the Department of Homeland Security, there is renewed anxiety about a spate of ransomware attacks on American towns and cities over the last year. The attacks, officials say, revealed gaping security holes that could be exploited by those looking to disrupt voting by locking up and ransoming voter rolls or simply cutting power at critical polling centers on Election Day. And while large-scale hacking of voting machines is difficult, it is by no means impossible.

There are also weak points up and down the long chain of websites and databases used to tally and report votes, officials said. Run by states or counties, the systems that stitch together reports from thousands of polling centers are a hodgepodge of new and old technologies, many with spotty security.

With the first primaries just weeks away, officials are keeping a watchful eye for hints about what to expect come November. The widespread expectation is that hackers, who may have only a single shot at exploiting a particular bug or vulnerability, will wait until the general election rather than risk wasting it on a primary.


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Reply 'Chaos Is the Point': Russian Hackers and Trolls Grow Stealthier in 2020 (NYT) (Original post)
dalton99a Jan 10 OP
TheRealNorth Jan 10 #1
Wellstone ruled Jan 10 #2
mopinko Jan 10 #3
CaptYossarian Jan 10 #4
bucolic_frolic Jan 10 #5
pangaia Jan 10 #6
Hekate Jan 10 #7
Mike 03 Jan 10 #8
totodeinhere Jan 10 #9
tandem5 Jan 10 #10

Response to dalton99a (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 01:29 PM

1. We're in trouble

Because we got Republicans in the government that are willingly co-opted.

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Response to dalton99a (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 01:35 PM

2. Exploided Loop Holes

In of course,Friggin Facebook. And we know Zuckerberg is all in with reelecting the Orange Anus.

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Response to dalton99a (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 01:40 PM

3. what if we set up a separate fed election data platform?

this has been on my mind for a while as a former election judge.
we really, really, really need a plan to watch the numbers, and audit the numbers.

in chicago, results are tabulated and transmitted from each polling place, then materials are dropped off at collection points. there is some auditing that goes on afterward, w random precincts recounted by hand and machine.

what if those results went to 2 places, instead of just one?
at least a state data port, but preferably fed.
right now, precinct level numbers are hard to come by on election night, tho they do come out by the end of the next day, usually.
seems like comparing these 2 sets of data would turn up diddling above the precinct level. and real time looks might keep shady numbers from being accepted.

and ftr, i will throw out my oft made suggestion that citizens could audit their own precincts if they wanted. poll tapes are posted at the end of the night. poll watchers can get a copy of the tape if they wait around.
but anyone can go and copy the numbers, and check them against official results.

if your party org collects them, do you check them against the official tally?
you should.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 02:02 PM

4. If the accuracy takes even one week, it's better than what happened in 2000.

We should also put reins on the networks who want to "scoop" their rivals. Let's get it done right.

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Response to dalton99a (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 02:19 PM

5. We don't have hackers to take them down?

Hard to believe. Gub'mint under Trump's not going to do it.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 02:32 PM

6. Hire Lisbeth Salander. THAT will stop them cold.

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Response to dalton99a (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 02:40 PM

7. KnR

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Response to dalton99a (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 02:55 PM

8. They ARE getting more sophisticated.

I follow Bill Browder on Twitter. A month or so ago he outed a Russian troll that had done hundreds of tweets trying to establish his credibility. (He mostly posted about stock tips, for MONTHS, before making even one post about politics). Browder was able to spot it. Some of us who thought we were fairly capable of spotting Russian trolls were completely fooled by this account. It wasn't remotely like the crude trolls of 2016. And the next day that troll's account was gone.

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Response to dalton99a (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 03:21 PM

9. And most Republicans are fine with it because if it takes Russian interference for them to stay in

power they will take it.

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Response to dalton99a (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 04:05 PM

10. If you want to foil a Russian troll just start making fun of Russia...

Whatever a suspected troll is talking about just start randomly bringing up how Russia is weak. Make fun of their junky warships or the fact that their power grid is run by a bear in a giant hamster wheel. If the person is genuinely an American Trump supporter the worst that happens is you just confuse them, but I can tell you from personal experience nothing breaks a Russian troll's persona faster than taunting their national inferiority.

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