Reports circulating in recent days indicate that the computers of 3 Democratic Party institutions have been hacked: the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and the campaign files of Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
The said cyber-attacks relate to the unprecedented political scandal in which Hillary has been embroiled throughout her primary campaign; that being, the violation of federal law through the use of an unsecured private server that contained classified information.
Hillary’s use of an unprotected home server essentially opened wide a portal for digital thieves to surreptitiously cart away massive amounts of data, which were housed in various computers that existed to service Democratic Party institutions and affiliated individuals.
Hackers around the globe presumably knew full well that Hillary’s home-based server was an extremely rich target, one that with determined effort could be majorly accessed.
The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee found evidence of attempted hacks into Hillary’s server that date back to 2013 and 2014; this according to a letter that Chairman Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin had sent to a Florida-based security firm, SECNAP Network Security, which was ostensibly tasked with the job of protecting Hillary’s computer system.
According to the letter sent by Sen. Johnson, Hillary’s representatives obtained from SECNAP in June of 2013 a threat-monitoring device; however, the device somehow seemingly failed to be activated until October 2013. There is a high probability that Hillary’s server was minus a threat-detection program for at least 3 long months, possibly even for a substantially longer period of time.
Additionally, SECNAP had sent notice that there had been attempted cyber-attacks that emanated from China, Korea, and Germany, according to footnotes in contained in Sen. Johnson’s letter.
Back in 2015, the Associated Press reported that Hillary’s private home-based email server was potentially hacked by individuals or groups with Russian connections; this purportedly happened on multiple occasions while Hillary was serving as secretary of state.
Some of Hillary’s emails, which have been released by the State Department under a court order in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, indicate that she received at least 5 emails from hackers with ties to Russia.
When asked during a CNN interview whether cyber-attackers from Russia or China had hacked into her private account, Hillary replied, “There’s no evidence of that.”
When FBI Director James Comey stated that his investigators had no “direct evidence” that Hillary’s email account had been “successfully hacked,” computer experts understood that Hillary’s server had most likely been breached, but by hackers much too sophisticated to leave behind traces of evidence.
Comey also confirmed that Hillary had used her private email while she was in the territory of what the director referred to as “sophisticated adversaries.”
The New York Times provided a quote from former government cyber-security expert James Lewis, which read, “If she [Hillary] used it [mobile device] in Russia or China, they almost certainly picked it up.”
Other cyber-intrusions about which the Associated Press reported indicate that hackers had attempted to gain unauthorized access to Hillary’s server, and they did so without relying on email messages.
Romanian computer hacker Marcel Lazăr Lehel, a.k.a., Guccifer, told Fox News that he hacked Hillary’s server, as did at least 10 others.
A hack of Hillary’s private server could potentially yield a harvest of email addresses of individuals with whom the former secretary of state had corresponded. The said hackers could then send “spear phishing” emails to any or all of the individuals on the procured list, emails that could contain embedded programs with the capacity to infiltrate recipients’ computers, systems, networks, and the like.
Average everyday people may have had the similar unnerving experience of having been the recipient of an attempted “phishing” hack, one in which a deceptively designed email appears to have been sent from a large well-known Internet company such as Amazon, eBay, or PayPal. Clicking on the attached link may prove disastrous, as countless numbers of people who have suffered identity theft can confirm.
Delving a bit deeper, there is phishing, and then there is something called spear phishing.
Spear phishing utilizes fraudulent emails to target specific organizations with the intention of seeking unauthorized access to confidential data.
Spear phishing attempts are not typically initiated by random hackers but are more likely to be conducted by those who are seeking money or trade secrets, or those who are engaging in such activity for the purposes of espionage.
The fake e-mail messages used in spear phishing are designed to have the visual sleight of hand of having been sent by a familiar, trusted source. The hackers will typically use names and email addresses that give the impression they have been sent by an individual who has authority within a recipient’s own organization, and would therefore be drafted to include information not privy to those outside the organization.
As a result, emails of this kind will, on their faces, appear to the unsuspecting recipient to be wholly legitimate.
According to Yahoo News, long before the current cyber-intrusion of the 3 Democratic institutions, senior officials of the Clinton campaign had been warned by the FBI of hackers that were using spear phishing emails to obtain illicit entry into the campaign's computer systems.
The Clinton campaign reportedly refused to turn over personal email addresses of senior campaign officials. It additionally refused to provide to the FBI internal computer logs; all this despite having been specifically asked to do so by agents of the agency.
Imagine now what this could mean for the national security of a nation whose government official allowed such a thing to happen.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.
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