Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Russian Targets

 There has never been a political campaign like the 2016 election campaign, because Democratic House candidates especially in Florida were targeted by Russian agents, who made thousands of pages of documents, that were stolen by hackers from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee available to reporters and bloggers.

Annette Taddeo lost her primary race after secret campaign documents were made public.  She explained: “Our entire internal strategy plan was made public, and suddenly all this material was out there and could be used against me.”

The impact of the information released by hackers on dozens of Democratic candidates in House races across America didn’t get nearly the attention that the hacking attacks by Russian agents against the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign did.  Nevertheless, it demonstrates the disturbing influence that Russian agents had on our electoral system.

Intrusions into House races by Russian agents also occurred in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Ohio, Illinois, New Mexico and North Carolina.  These cyber attacks can be traced to tens of thousands of pages of documents taken from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which shares an office building with the Democratic National Committee.

Cybersecurity consultants believe the hacking of the D.C.C.C. took place around March or April of 2016 after a staffer clicked on a so-called phishing email.  The D.C.C.C. immediately shut down its computer system for a week, after it learned of the attack, but it was too late.  The consequences become clear in August when the hackers released the home addresses, cellphone numbers and personal email addresses of Democratic House members.

Russian agents worked under the name of Guccifer 2.0.  They used social media to invite individual reporters to request specific caches of documents, handing them out the way political operatives distribute scoops.  Many news outlets found the arrangement irresistible.


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