The Joint Analysis Report (JAR) prepared by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released on December 29, 2016 is being held up by mainstream as some sort of proof that “The elections were hacked”. What ever that means. Almost no one believes this fairy tale but it is still propagated for political reasons. Having looked at a lot of government documents for research this one stands out as almost being purposely written to confirm nothing.
This document starts with an odd disclaimer saying it may not even be accurate and is for informational purposes only. It comes “as is” like a used car.
DISCLAIMER: This report is provided “as is” for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within. DHS does not endorse any commercial product or service referenced in this advisory or otherwise. This document is distributed as TLP:WHITE: Subject to standard copyright rules, TLP:WHITE information may be distributed without restriction. For more information on the Traffic Light Protocol, see https://www.us-cert.gov/tlp.
Not even sourced, lacking any evidence what so ever and it doesn’t even say that Russian intelligence hacked the election computer system. All it states is that someone in the public domain attributes the hacking to Russians and that they have the technical capability to distribute malware. Totally putting the responsibility of the charge on to some nebulous entity. OK. Someone said the Russians did it, they have the capability, so let’s start WW3. A geek in a basement can distribute malware and make it look like it’s coming from anywhere.
Previous JARs have not attributed malicious cyber activity to specific countries or threat actors. However, public attribution of these activities to RIS is supported by technical indicators from the U.S. Intelligence Community, DHS, FBI, the private sector, and other entities
The paper cites only two incidents of intrusion at the Democratic National committee in the summer of 2015 and spring of 2016 by hackers Apt28 and Apt29 in a operation code named GRIZZLY STEPPE. This information was purportedly used by WikiLeaks even though they deny getting it from the Russians. Many agree the information came from within the DNC itself.
Going on in cut and paste fashion it details the technical jargon of the malware, intrusion methods and indicators. Advising to look for it on all critical infrastructure. That’s all the report says. No effect on the election computers at all. No effect on election results. This report was the reason that some malware was found on an employee’s laptop at a Vermont power station not connected to the grid. Printed by the fake news outlet Washington Post that the U.S. power grid was hacked all in an attempt to push more hysteria.
The Washington Post had to print this retraction: How’s that for fake news.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Russian hackers had penetrated the U.S. electric grid. Authorities say there is no indication of that so far. The computer at Burlington Electric that was hacked was not attached to the grid.
In fact the original “smoking gun” on electoral hacking put forth by mainstream media before the election was the Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security released October 7 2016 by James Clapper. Widely reported as a fact that all 17 intelligence agreed the Russians were going to hack the election systems. News reports were the exact opposite of what was written in the statement. Actually saying that if anything were to happen it might be some minor intrusions for intelligence gathering. Not saying that’s alright but it would have little to no effect on the actual election results.
Some states have also recently seen scanning and probing of their election-related systems, which in most cases originated from servers operated by a Russian company. However, we are not now in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian Government. The USIC and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) assess that it would be extremely difficult for someone, including a nation-state actor, to alter actual ballot counts or election results by cyber attack or intrusion. This assessment is based on the decentralized nature of our election system in this country and the number of protections state and local election officials have in place. States ensure that voting machines are not connected to the Internet, and there are numerous checks and balances as well as extensive oversight at multiple levels built into our election process.
No one hacked into the minds of millions of voters ready for a much overdue change in management. There is nothing fake about that.
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