How NOT to hack an election: Russian Hack EXPOSED as Hoax
For those who missed it among the deluge of propaganda, the Russian ‘hack’ of the election has been exposed as a huge hoax:
A Wikileaks envoy today claims he personally received Clinton campaign emails in Washington D.C. after they were leaked by ‘disgusted’ whisteblowers – and not hacked by Russia.
Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and a close associate of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, told Dailymail.com that he flew to Washington, D.C. for a clandestine hand-off with one of the email sources in September.
‘Neither of [the leaks] came from the Russians,’ said Murray in an interview with Dailymail.com on Tuesday. ‘The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks.’
His account contradicts directly the version of how thousands of Democratic emails were published before the election being advanced by U.S. intelligence.
For those who have read our book Splitting Pennies – this comes as no surprise. As we explain in the book, the world is manipulated by several large global “Banks” which are also owners of big news outlets that control the flow of information around the world (i.e. Thompson Reuters). The surprise here is that the disinformation campaign goes so deep, it has even fooled senators into voting for a bill to stop Russian propaganda; which – on the surface, every flag waving US senator should agree with. No one wants foreign spies or foreign propaganda influencing the domestic population. But how big is the ‘threat’ of ‘Russian’ propaganda and how has it been overplayed, in a final ‘hail mary’ attempt to disrupt the legitimate political process. The motto, the modus operandi of the Illuminati controlled CIA “Order from Chaos” is explained on their ‘think tank’ website here.
Americans steeped in a culture of ‘politics’ are again being fooled, this election wasn’t about party or state lines, “Republicans” didn’t win over “Democrats” – this election was about a wild card, a non-politician, non-Establishment candidate winning by a landslide if going by the polls (Trump was given 5% chance of winning up until the night of election).
How to Hack an Election
Interestingly, Bloomberg (although biased Bloomberg is still one of the only mainstream news sources that still produces real, investigative journalism globally) in April published an extremely well researched composition “How to Hack an Election” detailing the life of a real election hacker, Andres Sepulveda and his US political ‘analyst’ partner, Juan Jose Rendon. To understand how foolish the claim about Russians hacking the election, readers can study the story of Sepulveda who successfully hacked multiple elections in Latin America and was paid millions for his efforts:
When Peña Nieto won, Sepúlveda began destroying evidence. He drilled holes in flash drives, hard drives, and cell phones, fried their circuits in a microwave, then broke them to shards with a hammer. He shredded documents and flushed them down the toilet and erased servers in Russia and Ukraine rented anonymously with Bitcoins. He was dismantling what he says was a secret history of one of the dirtiest Latin American campaigns in recent memory.
For eight years, Sepúlveda, now 31, says he traveled the continent rigging major political campaigns. With a budget of $600,000, the Peña Nieto job was by far his most complex. He led a team of hackers that stole campaign strategies, manipulated social media to create false waves of enthusiasm and derision, and installed spyware in opposition offices, all to help Peña Nieto, a right-of-center candidate, eke out a victory. On that July night, he cracked bottle after bottle of Colón Negra beer in celebration. As usual on election night, he was alone.
Sepúlveda’s career began in 2005, and his first jobs were small—mostly defacing campaign websites and breaking into opponents’ donor databases. Within a few years he was assembling teams that spied, stole, and smeared on behalf of presidential campaigns across Latin America. He wasn’t cheap, but his services were extensive. For $12,000 a month, a customer hired a crew that could hack smartphones, spoof and clone Web pages, and send mass e-mails and texts. The premium package, at $20,000 a month, also included a full range of digital interception, attack, decryption, and defense. The jobs were carefully laundered through layers of middlemen and consultants. Sepúlveda says many of the candidates he helped might not even have known about his role; he says he met only a few.
His teams worked on presidential elections in Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Venezuela. Campaigns mentioned in this story were contacted through former and current spokespeople; none but Mexico’s PRI and the campaign of Guatemala’s National Advancement Party would comment.
The point here, well there are several points. One, Sepulveda is not the only guy in the world doing this. The CIA even has a team of social media trolls and the NSA has a department that only develops robots to do the same thing Sepulveda was doing and better. The age of ‘spies’ has transformed into an electronic, digital, online version – much like the internet has transformed life and business it has also changed the way the intelligence establishment deals with controlling the population. Oh how the FBI has evolved since the days of Hoffman and Cointelpro!
Many of Sepúlveda’s efforts were unsuccessful, but he has enough wins that he might be able to claim as much influence over the political direction of modern Latin America as anyone in the 21st century. “My job was to do actions of dirty war and psychological operations, black propaganda, rumors—the whole dark side of politics that nobody knows exists but everyone can see,” he says in Spanish, while sitting at a small plastic table in an outdoor courtyard deep within the heavily fortified offices of Colombia’s attorney general’s office. He’s serving 10 years in prison for charges including use of malicious software, conspiracy to commit crime, violation of personal data, and espionage, related to hacking during Colombia’s 2014 presidential election. He has agreed to tell his full story for the first time, hoping to convince the public that he’s rehabilitated—and gather support for a reduced sentence.
Usually, he says, he was on the payroll of Juan José Rendón, a Miami-based political consultant who’s been called the Karl Rove of Latin America. Rendón denies using Sepúlveda for anything illegal, and categorically disputes the account Sepúlveda gave Bloomberg Businessweek of their relationship, but admits knowing him and using him to do website design. “If I talked to him maybe once or twice, it was in a group session about that, about the Web,” he says. “I don’t do illegal stuff at all. There is negative campaigning. They don’t like it—OK. But if it’s legal, I’m gonna do it. I’m not a saint, but I’m not a criminal.” While Sepúlveda’s policy was to destroy all data at the completion of a job, he left some documents with members of his hacking teams and other trusted third parties as a secret “insurance policy.”
We don’t need a degree in cybersecurity to see how this was going on against Trump all throughout the campaign. Not only did they hire thugs to start riots at Trump rallies and protest, a massive online campaign was staged against Trump.
Rendón, says Sepúlveda, saw that hackers could be completely integrated into a modern political operation, running attack ads, researching the opposition, and finding ways to suppress a foe’s turnout. As for Sepúlveda, his insight was to understand that voters trusted what they thought were spontaneous expressions of real people on social media more than they did experts on television and in newspapers. He knew that accounts could be faked and social media trends fabricated, all relatively cheaply. He wrote a software program, now called Social Media Predator, to manage and direct a virtual army of fake Twitter accounts. The software let him quickly change names, profile pictures, and biographies to fit any need. Eventually, he discovered, he could manipulate the public debate as easily as moving pieces on a chessboard—or, as he puts it, “When I realized that people believe what the Internet says more than reality, I discovered that I had the power to make people believe almost anything.”
Sepúlveda managed thousands of such fake profiles and used the accounts to shape discussion around topics such as Peña Nieto’s plan to end drug violence, priming the social media pump with views that real users would mimic. For less nuanced work, he had a larger army of 30,000 Twitter bots, automatic posters that could create trends. One conversation he started stoked fear that the more López Obrador rose in the polls, the lower the peso would sink. Sepúlveda knew the currency issue was a major vulnerability; he’d read it in the candidate’s own internal staff memos.
While there’s no evidence that Rendon or Sepulveda were involved in the 2016 election, there is also no evidence that Russian hackers were involved in the 2016 election. There’s not even false evidence. There isn’t a hint of it. There isn’t a witness, there isn’t a document, there’s nothing – it’s a conspiracy theory! And a very poor one.
By the way, if you want to disguise your IP address as if you are living in Russia, there’s a service that will do this for about $10/month – millions of people use this service. You can sign up for it too, and choose what country you want to be ‘from’ – Canada, Brazil, Russia – take your pick.
Russian hackers would have had the same or better (probably much better) tools, strategies, and resources than Sepulveda. But none of this shows up anywhere. If anything, this is an example of how NOT to hack an election.