Archive for July 2016

Was the DNC Breach the Work of Russian Hackers?

The recent breach of sensitive data stored on the DNC server has been making waves since the stolen information was published on WikiLeaks just a few days ago. As the information is sifted through (exposing problematic behavior on the part of handfuls of DNC higher-ups), questions have gone unanswered regarding the expertly-planned cyber espionage attack that was so successfully carried out against the national committee.

dnc leak2Cyber experts have noted that the scale, timeliness, and sensitivity of the data released imply a level of sophistication that would be difficult to find outside of state-sponsored activity. WikiLeaks’ decision to publish the documents into a search engine has indexed that data, making it that much easier for those looking for damning data to locate it. Email conversations between democratic party leaders revealing a collusion to give the nomination to Hillary Clinton, remarks regarding Bernie Sanders’ lack of religious emphasis, and many other sensitive topics have been sentenced to the public eye, with largely embarrassing results.

It’s worth mentioning that the documents were well-timed; all confidential information was exposed strategically; their surfacing just before the Democratic National Convention allowed for the highest possible level of chaos upon the convention’s onset.

As for who actually carried out the hacking? American authorities seem to be unanimously pinning the blame on Russian hackers, an allegation that gains evidence daily. For example, in mid-June when the DNC called in the the cyber threat analysis firm Crowdstrike to examine the committee’s servers, the company found “two separate Russian intelligence-affiliated adversaries present in the DNC network.” Crowdstrike then released a comprehensive report of its findings, which were released on June 14. Among its many discoveries, Crowdstrike found that one of the hacking groups had been snooping in the DNC’s servers for almost a year. The next week, two different cybersecurity firms independently confirmed Crowdstrike’s reports. The additional firms also found that the two hackers used malware and methods identical to those used in other attacks attributed to the suspected Russian hacking groups.

dnc leakThe day after Crowdstrike’s report was published, a hacker calling themselves “Guccifer 2.0” took credit for the hack and claimed that he or she was not affiliated with the Russian government and was instead a stand-alone hacker. Guccifer 2.o went on to claim that he had handed off much of what he had found to Wikileaks.

More compelling evidence linking the DNC breach to Russian state-sponsored hacking was found by King’s College in London professor Thomas Rid. Rid found that there was an identical command-and-control address hardcoded into the DNC malware that was also on the malware that was used to hack the German Parliament back in 2015. German officials had stated that the malware originated from Russian military intelligence.

Additional evidence includes that documents were translated into Cyrillic and that Guccifer, who claimed to be Romanian, did not speak coherent Romanian.

“It doesn’t strain credulitiy to look at the Russians,” said malware expert with CitizenLab Morgan Marquis-Boire. “This is not the first time that Russian hackers have been behind intrusions in US government, and it seems unlikely that it will be the last.”

The Kremlin has denied any Russian involvement in the leak.

 

City Scapes of Tomorrow

 

The world of technology has always had ebbs and flows that result in the each changing leaps forward that fundamentally change the look of our cities and vital infrastructures. In the history of man kind there have been several in only a hand full that fulfill this classification to the necessary condition I am after for the sake of this article. They started out with the first hyper leap that made all hyper leaps there after possible in the first place. What I am referring to is of coarse the advent of agriculture. This changed cities by allowing them To form in the first place and enabled the rise of collective living. The next hyper leap was the rise of electricity and the integration of power for every home and citizen on a grid. This allowed the world to stay up later, work longer and because of this addition and ease to productivity. This fundamentally changed the city and its outlook more than anything prior in so far as it made it so every home had to be retro fitted, just a few years after that we were able to develop the first wave of personal auto mobility. What was significant about this was that it fundamentally altered the landscape of of our country and city centers more so than any other individual leap in human history. Today there has been a general mi laze in this regard but we stand on the pressies of what could shape the landscape of the way we live. Without much though we can imagine that it is going to be the tech integration on a large scale and the inter connectivity of everything. Now you may be wondering that this has already taken place. However we are are only beginning to scratch the surface of this phenomena what is going to happen when we take the innovations of the tech industry and move them away from just our computers and apply them to every system of our infrastructure. What we are likely to see is going take all the other previous quantum leaps and make them fundamentally different. For instance the way we think of cars and car ownership in on the brink of a new jumping off point in so far as it is going to be much more centered around the notion of personal transportation rather than primarily the notion of being the sole owner of a car you drive yourself. Rather there is going to be a system where in you hail a car upon your need and it takes you where you are needing to go and there you are. No need for personal insurance, no need to lengthy loans. This is because there is going to be a safer easier alternative that is going to take off all over the place. There is also going to be an integration that fundamentally rethinks or food systems and infrastructure. Think efficiency and actuality control on steroids. There will also be the means to maintain and control the gardens via drone based technology thus saving much on the costs.