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 Forum index » Off-Topic Area » Security
Which is more dangerous, collusion or incompetence?
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1688

PostPosted: Tue 20 Jun 2017, 19:12    Post subject:  Which is more dangerous, collusion or incompetence?  

In the U.S.A. we have had an ongoing controversy about foreign interference in U.S. elections, and possible collusion with hostile nations. It turns out attackers would not have had to depend on explicit advice from U.S. politicians about how to conduct a sophisticated attack targeting specific voters in particular districts of swing states, they could have used the same data politicians in this country used for this purpose, because this was left available to anyone on the Internet. And make no mistake, we are talking about massive data mining affecting virtually every voter in the country.

Here's the recent discovery. We are still left in doubt about security during the campaign itself, but this kind of lapse could have placed sensitive personal information in the hands of the last people you would trust.

At this point it is not clear that those collecting this data have any liability for consequences of exposure of private information. Beyond use in elections this information would be of great use for those conducting spearphishing attacks on individuals to perpetrate fraud across the Internet. If you are a U.S. voter I would urge you to demand the opportunity to audit the information collected about you.

We have previously seen that two Secretaries of State (Clinton and Powell) had their private email exchanges spread across front pages, as did a campaign chairman (Podesta) and vice chairman (Huma Abedin). The DNC and DCCC computer systems were pretty well turned inside out. We have now learned of attempts to access voter registration data bases in 39 states, and compromise of some information at a company making voting machines which provided information for spearphishing emails to those precincts using those particular machines.

I am less concerned about proving that specific outcomes were due to this activity than with the poor practices which make this possible. No political party or politician comes out of this looking good. None of these people or organizations exhibit the necessary competence to run a government which requires secure computer systems to function.

Legally, there is a serious problem proving deliberate collusion in court when this level of incompetence is tolerated.

Next question: is anyone responsible for such a massive screw up?
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 12699
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Tue 20 Jun 2017, 20:37    Post subject: Re: Which is more dangerous, collusion or incompetence?  

prehistoric wrote:
...At this point it is not clear that those collecting this data have any liability for consequences of exposure of private information.
It is clear that they don't. It would be nearly impossible to prove in court that anyone in particular is responsible for a given leak. The login information for your savings account can appear online and how could you prove that your bank was the source? Especially since you'd no longer have any money to hire a lawyer.

prehistoric wrote:
...Legally, there is a serious problem proving deliberate collusion in court when this level of incompetence is tolerated.
In U.S. courts, incompetence is an accepted defense for any amount of damage. The bankers who paid themselves hundreds of millions of dollars to cause the Great Recession would have plead incompetence had any of them actually been charged with a crime, and they'd have walked.

prehistoric wrote:
Next question: is anyone responsible for such a massive screw up?
See the above.
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1688

PostPosted: Tue 20 Jun 2017, 22:19    Post subject:  

Ah, but that raises questions about either political perquisites or financial compensation. The two basic reasons people at the top give for their perquisites or compensation are special skills or unusually heavy responsibilities. When these are shown to be lacking we need to consider other factors like know who rather than know how, and possible fraud. It is also hard to find evidence of responsibility when lapses carry no penalty.

Until those who compile huge mountains of detailed personal information face some downside from criminal misuse of that data, by people allegedly never intended to have it, the problem will not get better. It will also be easy to run rackets in which those who create the vulnerability cannot be linked to those exploiting it without an inside informant. Any organization with a solid policy of Omerta will have a distinct advantage. Is that what we want?
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musher0


Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 11170
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Tue 20 Jun 2017, 22:32    Post subject:  

The world laughed when this news came out:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/10173645/Kremlin-returns-to-typewriters-to-avoid-computer-leaks.html

But Putin was right. Some things were never meant to be computerized.
Ballots and voters' lists, for example.

I'd say that the ultimate culprit is this age's adoration of computers.

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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 9525
Location: Charleston S.C. USA

PostPosted: Wed 21 Jun 2017, 05:33    Post subject:  

In the US a lot of personal info is public record.
County, state, federal public records.
Public records anyone can access.

Go do a Google search of your name. Shocked

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anikin

Joined: 10 May 2012
Posts: 963

PostPosted: Wed 21 Jun 2017, 08:47    Post subject:  

musher0 wrote:
The world laughed when this news came out:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/10173645/Kremlin-returns-to-typewriters-to-avoid-computer-leaks.html

But Putin was right. Some things were never meant to be computerized.
Ballots and voters' lists, for example.

I'd say that the ultimate culprit is this age's adoration of computers.

Do you have any links/proof, that the world laughed?

This isn't the first time you are floating this particular anti Russian fake news bit. Mind you, it is not anti Putin, it is anti Russian.
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Moose On The Loose


Joined: 24 Feb 2011
Posts: 773

PostPosted: Wed 21 Jun 2017, 09:46    Post subject:  

musher0 wrote:
The world laughed when this news came out:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/10173645/Kremlin-returns-to-typewriters-to-avoid-computer-leaks.html

But Putin was right. Some things were never meant to be computerized.
Ballots and voters' lists, for example.

I'd say that the ultimate culprit is this age's adoration of computers.


There is also:
https://youtu.be/w3_0x6oaDmI

That (as currently done) the computer ballot is a system based entirely on a fatal flaw is well known.

The server systems involved are often running a legacy OS from Washington state. The votes are sent over the internet. The process of gathering votes and counting them can't be watched by mere mortals. The whole thing is just leaving the door open to the hacker. We know that there are both foreign and domestic folks with a strong motive to change the outcome.

The news has been full of "no votes were changed" but how can anyone really be sure. The cases that were detected didn't show any evidence of changed votes. What of the cases that were not detected?

As I have pointed out before, good intentions combined with incompetence looks just like evil. There is one big difference. With evil there is logic to the attack. They are thus predictable and can be out smarted. With good intentions plus stupidity, there is no way to out think them. The attack is a random exploration of all system weaknesses.

I am not sure if at this point it matters if collusion is proven. There is what appears to be a coverup. With Nixon, the coverup was his undoing. I am old enough to remember that era. I think that if Nixon had said "yes we did it", he would have continued in office. The public would have thought "you sneaky bastard" rather than "you crook". The coverup was an admission of wrong doing when exposed. With Trump himself, I doubt collusion strongly. With his aids, I expect there was some. In Watergate, Nixon didn't direct the "plumbers" but did attempt a coverup.
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musher0


Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 11170
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Wed 21 Jun 2017, 12:22    Post subject:  

anikin wrote:
musher0 wrote:
The world laughed when this news came out:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/10173645/Kremlin-returns-to-typewriters-to-avoid-computer-leaks.html

But Putin was right. Some things were never meant to be computerized.
Ballots and voters' lists, for example.

I'd say that the ultimate culprit is this age's adoration of computers.

Do you have any links/proof, that the world laughed?

This isn't the first time you are floating this particular anti Russian fake news bit. Mind you, it is not anti Putin, it is anti Russian.

Oh. Anikin is on the prowl again. Lock your doors, everyone. Twisted Evil

Fine. I'll correct that to "I laughed". Since obviously you didn't find it funny.
I'm sure I am right in assuming that if you didn't find it funny, then nobody
in the world found it funny either. Except me.

As to the news itself, here's another account of it, just to make you jump
on your high horse again:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-23282308

Do you want the link to the procurement order? Or will that destroy your
fake news theory?

As to me being anti-Russian, I should be considered such (NOT!) because I
love Scriabine, Tchaikovsky, Anna Karenine, Mendeleyev and of course,
the very beautiful and very courageous Laika.

Putin? I can't say that I like him. However he is a man of keen intelligence
of the geo-politics of country. He certainly had foresight when he
equipped the Kremlin with typewriters.

BFN.

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musher0
~~~~~~~~~~
"Logical entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity." | |
« Il ne faut pas multiplier les entités logiques sans nécessité. » (Ockham)
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anikin

Joined: 10 May 2012
Posts: 963

PostPosted: Wed 21 Jun 2017, 14:49    Post subject:  

Oh my, anikin posts two lines and musher0 hits back with a page length of BS. Let me try again:
1. Do you have any links/proof, that the world laughed?
No, you don't.
2. This isn't the first time you are floating this particular anti Russian fake news bit. Mind you, it is not anti Putin, it is anti Russian.
Your response: "He certainly had foresight when he equipped the Kremlin with typewriters."
That's BS. Show me the proof, or shut up if you can't and stop spreading lies and fake news.
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musher0


Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 11170
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Wed 21 Jun 2017, 15:41    Post subject:  

anikin wrote:
Oh my, anikin posts two lines and musher0 hits back with a page length of BS. Let me try again:
1. Do you have any links/proof, that the world laughed?
No, you don't.
2. This isn't the first time you are floating this particular anti Russian fake news bit. Mind you, it is not anti Putin, it is anti Russian.
Your response: "He certainly had foresight when he equipped the Kremlin with typewriters."
That's BS. Show me the proof, or shut up if you can't and stop spreading lies and fake news.

I gave you two respected sources for that news.
If you believe they are lies, that's on you.

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musher0
~~~~~~~~~~
"Logical entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity." | |
« Il ne faut pas multiplier les entités logiques sans nécessité. » (Ockham)
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musher0


Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 11170
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Wed 21 Jun 2017, 15:56    Post subject:  

Back to prehistoric's argumentation.

IMO, if the voter data and voting process were poorly protected in the 1st
place, and anybody with some know-how could have accessed them or
tampered with them, the initial responsibility of this problem lies with the
people in charge of keeping the data safe.

They should be punished at the same level as the technical people who
exploited this leak, and the person(s) or group who ultimately benefited.

My 2¢. BFN.

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musher0
~~~~~~~~~~
"Logical entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity." | |
« Il ne faut pas multiplier les entités logiques sans nécessité. » (Ockham)
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Terry H

Joined: 29 Mar 2009
Posts: 305
Location: The Heart of Muskoka, ON Canada

PostPosted: Wed 21 Jun 2017, 16:34    Post subject:  

anikin wrote:
Oh my, anikin posts two lines and musher0 hits back with a page length of BS. Let me try again:
1. Do you have any links/proof, that the world laughed?
No, you don't.
2. This isn't the first time you are floating this particular anti Russian fake news bit. Mind you, it is not anti Putin, it is anti Russian.
Your response: "He certainly had foresight when he equipped the Kremlin with typewriters."
That's BS. Show me the proof, or shut up if you can't and stop spreading lies and fake news.


Troll!
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anikin

Joined: 10 May 2012
Posts: 963

PostPosted: Wed 21 Jun 2017, 18:49    Post subject:  

Terry H wrote:
anikin wrote:
Oh my, anikin posts two lines and musher0 hits back with a page length of BS. Let me try again:
1. Do you have any links/proof, that the world laughed?
No, you don't.
2. This isn't the first time you are floating this particular anti Russian fake news bit. Mind you, it is not anti Putin, it is anti Russian.
Your response: "He certainly had foresight when he equipped the Kremlin with typewriters."
That's BS. Show me the proof, or shut up if you can't and stop spreading lies and fake news.


Troll!

Cuck!
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musher0


Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 11170
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Wed 21 Jun 2017, 21:41    Post subject:  

Thanks, Terry H.

You stole the word right out of my mouth !!! Laughing

BFN.

_________________
musher0
~~~~~~~~~~
"Logical entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity." | |
« Il ne faut pas multiplier les entités logiques sans nécessité. » (Ockham)
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