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Whistleblowers => Edward Snowden => NSA => Topic started by: UltraTime on August 08, 2016, 05:32:39 AM

Title: Snowden said the NSA could 'certainly' trace the DNC hack — here's what experts
Post by: UltraTime on August 08, 2016, 05:32:39 AM
Edward Snowden said the NSA could 'certainly' trace the DNC hack — here's what experts think

Business INsider

National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden took to Twitter on Monday to comment on the recent hack into Democratic National Committee email inboxes, which resulted in WikiLeaks publishing 20,000 emails last week.

Snowden said Russia, which is widely suspected to be behind the hack, "should be condemned" if it is indeed responsible. He suggested that evidence of such an attack "certainly exists" at the NSA but has been kept under wraps out of fear of divulging too much information about its surveillance techniques and capabilities.
The hack exposed emails from top DNC staffers that appeared to undermine Bernie Sanders' candidacy in favor of Hillary Clinton's.

The leaks have raised fears of possible Russian interference in a US presidential election, or even collaboration with Donald Trump's campaign — particularly since Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have publicly exchanged admiration ( for one another.

The Kremlin on Tuesday denied accusations ( that it hacked the DNC and called the allegations "absurd," Reuters reported.

Cybersecurity experts generally agree with Snowden's assessment of the NSA — they say the agency likely does possess evidence of any Russian involvement, but there are numerous reasons for the government to keep that knowledge secret.

"It is actually very reasonable to conclude that the NSA does know the answer to this question without any real ambiguity," Alex McGeorge, head of threat intelligence at the Miami-based cybersecurity firm Immunity Inc., told Business Insider.
The NSA data analysis program XKeyscore, which Snowden revealed in 2013, is capable of intercepting communications at a variety of points and correlating sources, and would probably be capable of determining the attacker, McGeorge said.

"It's not easy, but that's part of why they're so good at their job," he said.
Greg Martin — who founded the cybersecurity startup Jask and is a former adviser to the FBI, Secret Service, and NASA — agreed that the US intelligence community has substantial technical capabilities that it hasn't shared with the public.

"More than likely, it is able to trace back the DNC breach to the true actor behind it," he told Business Insider in an email.

But where the experts diverge from Snowden is with the government's response to the hack — Snowden argued that since XKeyscore is now public, there's little reason to keep evidence of a Russian cyberattack secret.

That would be a mistake, McGeorge said. The public knows that programs like XKeyscore exist and what types of data they collect, but not precisely how they work. The NSA likely wouldn't be able to reveal evidence of Russian involvement without also disclosing the specifics of its surveillance capabilities.

"The NSA could say, 'Yes we know the Russians did it.' Would that be enough to satisfy the public? Or would they have to somehow say how they made that determination?" McGeorge said. "That is the key point that would give the Russians more than we perhaps want."

But the significance of the breach may warrant a more forceful response than the government has displayed so far, Martin said. Interfering in a US presidential election was a bold move that "crossed the line" and could embolden the Russians in the future.

"At a minimum, the US government should have 'named and shamed' Russia and issued a strong diplomatic rebuke," Martin said. "By not doing so, we're setting a dangerous precedent for both us and our allies."

[quote( author=(.*) link=(.*) date=[0-9]+)?]25 Jul (
( Edward Snowden  (
@Snowden  (
If Russia hacked the #DNC (, they should be condemned for it. But during the #Sony ( hack, the FBI presented evidence. … ([/quote]
[quote( author=(.*) link=(.*) date=[0-9]+)?] (
 Follow (   (
( Edward Snowden  (
@Snowden  (
Even if the attackers try to obfuscate origin, #XKEYSCORE ( makes following exfiltrated data easy. I did this personally against Chinese ops.
8:58 AM - 25 Jul 2016 (
Title: Re: Snowden said the NSA could 'certainly' trace the DNC hack — here's what experts
Post by: UltraTime on August 08, 2016, 05:40:56 AM

If Russian Intelligence Did Hack the DNC, the NSA Would Know, Snowden Says (

Robert Mackey
( (
Robert Mackey (

July 26 2016, 11:43 a.m.

EXCERPTED from original article by Robert Mackey of the INTERCEPT...
As my colleague Glenn Greenwald told WNYC ( on Monday, while there may never be conclusive evidence that the Democratic National Committee was hacked by Russian intelligence operatives to extract the trove of embarrassing emails ( published by WikiLeaks, it would hardly be shocking if that was what happened.

“Governments do spy on each other and do try to influence events in other countries,” Glenn noted. “Certainly the U.S. government has a very long and successful history ( of doing exactly that.”

Even so, he added, given the ease with which we were misled into war in Iraq by false claims about weapons of mass destruction — and the long history of Russophobia ( in American politics — it is vital to cast a skeptical eye over whatever evidence is presented to support the claim, made by Hillary Clinton’s aide Robby Mook, that this is all part of a Russian plot to sabotage the Democrats and help Donald Trump win the election.


The NSA Is Likely 'Hacking Back' Russia's Cyber Squads


ASPEN, Colorado — Jul 30, 2016, 2:30 PM ET

U.S. government hackers at the National Security Agency ( are likely targeting Russian government-linked hacking teams to see once and for all if they're responsible for the massive breach at the Democratic National Committee, according to three former senior intelligence officials. It's a job that the current head of the NSA's elite hacking unit said they've been called on to do many times before.

Robert Joyce, chief of the NSA's shadowy Tailored Access Operations, declined to comment on the DNC hack specifically, but said in general that the NSA has technical capabilities and legal authorities that allow the agency to "hack back" suspected hacking groups, infiltrating their systems to gather intelligence about their operations in the wake of a cyber attack.

"In terms of the foreign intelligence mission, one of the things we have to do is try to understand who did a breach, who is responsible for a breach," Joyce told ABC News in a rare interview this week. "So we will use the NSA's authorities to pursue foreign intelligence to try to get back into that collection, to understand who did it and get the attribution. That's hard work, but that's one of the responsibilities we have."

Predators Exploiting Personal Info in DNC Hack (

'Beyond a Reasonable Doubt,' Russians Hacked DNC, Analyst Says (