CrowdStrike, MIS Department, and the DNC

Hillary presidential campaign chairwoman Donna Brazile’s book Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House can be retold in one sentence:

The Russians have hacked the elections and poisoned my dog Chip.

Nevertheless, the book reveals some information concealed by Hillary and the DNC loyalists in FBI.

  • In August, seeing CrowdStrike’s helplessness, the DNC invited real cyber security people to form a competent network security team that the book calls the Hacker House, or HH. This contradicts the DNC official story that CrowdStrike was doing a fabulous job
  • HH found out that the DNC network was unprotected, and that anybody could have hacked into it 
  • HH informed DNC and Hillary’s campaign leadership of this fact and spent most of its time training DNC networking administrators
  • HH was asked, but refused to support allegations that the DNC network had been penetrated by “Russians.” HH also had run-ins with CrowdStrike.
  • The DNC, Hillary, and the Obama administration disregarded and suppressed this information. They continued their electoral campaign strategy: worsening relations with Russia, accusing Trump of collusion with Putin, and using the FBI, CIA, DHS, and ODNI to sabotage Trump’s campaign.  During the transition period, John Brennan and other Obama/Clinton loyalists used false allegations of the “Russian hacking” to attempt something like a coup d’état. The coup was not a complete failure – the angry Democrats have nearly wrestled control of the DOJ away from the elected president.

Donna Brazile became Hillary’s campaign chairwoman in the aftermath of the scandalous Democratic National Convention of July 25-28 of 2016, so she didn’t know all  dirty secrets of the Hillary campaign and has innocently shed light on some of them. In the following quotes, emphasis is added.

“What they were describing was a hot mess and an embarrassment, and to me it was frustrating. By the time they arrived we had spent nearly $ 2 million remediating the hack, and there were still significant problems.” (p. 188)

“Heather said she never thinks about who the adversary is. She likes to focus on the intellectual stimulation of picking the problem apart, as did the rest of the team. To them it did not matter if the intruders were Russian or someone else, and besides, figuring out who was the intruder was not their specialty. They believed the FBI experts, but never verified whether the hackers were Russians or not.” (p. 194)

“My primary teacher in my hacking crash course was Shawn Henry, the man from CrowdStrike.” (p. 121) – CrowdStrike everything.

“Someone who was not really paying attention might believe that the Democrats were so incompetent that they just kept getting hacked.” (p. 118) – Somebody who was paying attention would conclude correctly that the Democrats were morons.

“After they [HH] cordoned off the The MIS Department system from ours, the team’s next effort was what they called tabletop exercises. Since the Hacker House team knew they were going home at the end of the month, they needed to teach the in-house technology staff how to analyze the telemetry so that they could respond to an attack. … The first tabletop exercise, during the second week they were in DC, was a disaster. The staff even had trouble signing on to the system because of the new ways it had been configured by Hacker House. The steps the staff needed to take to investigate the breach of the system were not intuitive to our IT staff. The [HH] team had to coach them almost every step of the way, asking them leading questions and giving them broad hints. There was also an emotional issue underneath the incompetence, Heather recognized. There was some mistrust among the staff. People had made mistakes. They felt bad about those and about themselves, but they also had been traumatized by the results of those errors, as had the people they worked with. ” (pp. 191-192)

The DNC ignored all FBI warnings about its network breaches since September 2015, rejected help offered by the FBI during a face-to-face meeting in January 2016, and refused to let the FBI access the network when it already knew it had been penetrated by whom they believed was Russia. The DOJ knew that.  But when the Democratic Party pointed a finger at Trump, Obama’s FBI, CIA, and other government agencies went after Trump like a pack of rabid dogs!

“After first becoming aware of a possible hacking when they detected computers in the DNC communicating with known Russian hacking command centers, the FBI called the DNC in September 2015 and asked for the IT department. The FBI agent was transferred to the DNC’s help desk — you know, the people who answer your calls if you’re having trouble logging onto the network or your mouse stopped working right. The help desk employee was a contractor hired by The MIS Department, a Chicago – based technology company. The technician thought the FBI call — made by Special Agent Adrian Hawkins — might be a prank call, not an unusual occurrence at the DNC. Agent Hawkins said he was trying to alert the party to the presence of Russian hackers in our computer network. Think about that for a minute. If the FBI — or even someone who claimed to be the FBI — called you, wouldn’t you panic, just a little? Everyone I know would have an elevated blood pressure, if not a mild heart attack, when they heard a voice from the bureau on the phone. The contractor alerted his superior that the FBI was investigating some security breaches and had asked the DNC to look for intruders in our firewall. The technician’s scan of the system didn’t turn up anything, so he told the FBI and his DNC superior that he didn’t have anything to report. In December, Agent Hawkins gave the technician a URL for the machine that was sending out the signal to Russia, hoping having that address would help the tech office find it inside the system. He searched but again did not find anything. Nonetheless, the idea that something significant could be wrong in our system began to sink in. They met with Agent Hawkins in January in an FBI office in Virginia. Agent Hawkins showed them logs of Internet traffic between the DNC and the Russian entity known in hacking circles as Cozy Bear. Cozy Bear was well – known to the FBI, having hacked the State Department and the White House. Still our IT department could not find the evidence the FBI was pointing to. This went on until April, when the DNC tech department observed intruders logging onto our servers. The hacker, the DNC would later come to discover, was a different hacker popularly known as Fancy Bear. That was when Andrew brought the problem to Amy Dacey, the DNC Chief Executive Officer, who alerted Debbie. Debbie called Michael Sussmann, who recommended that the party hire Crowdstrike to help us with this problem. Seven months!”  — These Bears have been made up by CrowdStrike to scare customers.

“By the time Debbie [Wasserman Shultz] finally found out about the hack, the Russians had been in the system for almost a year without anyone noticing.”

With Hillary’s campaign chair, John Podesta, it was an email that looked as though it was sent by Google demanding that he change his password. When he did change it through the link the hacker provided, they got into the system on his credentials.” — The self-described party of science!

“… the Russian rats accessed all the information the DNC held in trust in whatever way they chose.” (pp. 118-121) – RAT stands for remote access tool.

“When then FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress in January 2017 about our hacking, he said that the DNC had denied the FBI access to our servers when they wanted to investigate. I was not sure what he was talking about.” (p. 139)

It seems that Obama’s entire cabinet knew that the DNC didn’t care about network security and exploited security breaches and data leaks as a pretext to blame Trump. The following quotes refer to Obama’s birthday party on August 4, 2016. 

Despite the swinging party, [National Security Advisor] Susan [Rice] had a tight grip on me and she was staring at me sternly … “What do you know about the hacking?” she asked. “I don’t know much of anything about the hacking,” I told her. … She told me I had to take this very seriously. “I do,” I said. “It took a long time for the FBI to get any response from the party,” she said. “I wanted you to know that you need to stay on top of this.” I said that I knew I had to stay on top of it. I couldn’t understand why no one had taken it seriously before.

“Who stopped me on my way to the dance floor but Eric Holder, the former attorney general. … “I want to ask you if you’ve had a chance to get up to speed on the hacking of the DNC,” Eric said. Not again! And here I was thinking that he was asking me to dance. Yes, I said, I was moving as fast as I could to get there, but I had a lot to learn. Good, he said. The DNC was not very responsive to the FBI. I’m glad you are taking this seriously.” (pp. 50-51)

The FBI and the DHS accepted the DNC’s claims of “Russian hacking” because of the “future president Hillary.” Consequently, they had to accept CrowdStrike’s data and attribution methodology. They applied them to the real world and obtained a frightening outcome.

“When the people who were giving us the briefing warned about more dire attacks, like a Russian attempt to take down the power grid on Election Day, I felt as though I had reached my saturation point.” (p. 179)

According to the book, some Democrats developed paranoia:

Maybe I shouldn’t have my desk in front of this window, I thought. The space from here across the tracks was open. What if there was a sniper hiding in those trees across the way? For the first time since I moved in, I closed the blinds.” (p. 122)

“At the DNC we looked at our computers warily, not knowing if they could be trusted. … Tom McMahon said he kept finding himself in places where the people around him were speaking Russian. He did not recall that had ever happened before. My assistant, Anne Friedman, was very conscious of her phone. She had been sitting out with friends on the deck enjoying a summer evening when she started to wonder if the Russians had turned on the microphone in it. it. Both Tom and Anne tried to talk themselves out of this paranoia. That was ridiculous, they agreed, and called it lunacy. But was it? … This is what the Russians were doing to us, too.” (p. 123) — Unless she had in mind Dmitri Alperovitch of CrowdStrike, no Russians were involved. The DNC used incompetent contractor MIS Department, which left their network unprotected; then hired cyber-security fraud CrowdStrike; then invented and propagated a false theory of Russian hacking and a Trump-Putin connection; then believed their own lies. The Democrats have repeated this behavior pattern many times over the last decade.

I got daily reports from Andrew Brown, our CTO, and often the news was that the Russians were attacking the system, trying different routes to get in. I put a big calendar on my office wall and placed a yellow or green X on the days when the Russians were active.” (p. 128)

At this point, even the worst idiot would start doubting the Democratic Party narrative. Are the attackers really the Russian government? They already have a copy of all information that the DNC servers stored, including top secret lists of big donors. They obtained it stealthily. Why do they come back now? Why do they “attack” openly? Are we mistaken? Are we chasing a product of our imagination? Even if the Democrats had such thoughts, they did not voice them.

The DNC started cooperating with the FBI only after it had got ridden of all the evidence. The following looks more like destruction of evidence than security measure:

“Still, I couldn’t be sure that my home computer held the answer. In June 2016, the IT team at the DNC technicians wiped all emails connected with any device they did not consider to be secure.” (p. 159)

In the crucial weeks before the convention, right before the party announced the hacking, the DNC confiscated the staff’s computers for the weekend without any warning or explanation. … on Monday they [the staff] found out that the cybersecurity firm the party hired had wiped their computers clean, eliminating all their files, including their files about the convention.” (p. 24)

And for the sweetener: Donna Brazile was campaign chairwoman for Al Gore in 2000, and really believes Al Gore is the inventor of the internet:

“I came in thinking I knew more than the average person might about the world of the Internet. Hell, I’d run a presidential campaign for the guy who invented it.”

Hillary advocated for a global electrical grid – and damned the oceans.

Chris Wallace asked her a question about one of the speeches she allegedly had made that was published by our old enemy WikiLeaks. In it she talked about open borders for trade and advocated for a global electrical grid.” (p. 182)