Russian Hacking

As I described in an audio podcast last week (click here if you would like to listen to the interview), Russian hacking is not the most important story for the press to be spending so much time on. The Russians have been using propaganda and information related techniques to meddle for decades. That is nothing new. The real news is the incompetency of both the Democrat and Republican political organizations and their information technology vendors. That is what we should be outraged about.

According to an Internet infrastructure newsletter I follow, databases containing information on approximately 200 million potential U.S. Republican voters were found to be completely unsecured for two weeks. A researcher browsing around the Internet found the huge store of data on Amazon Web Services, a cloud services provider with storage similar to Dropbox.

The database did not even have a password. Anyone, Russian or Chinese or American, could easily download the data. The data was being managed by what sounds like a sophisticated company, Deep Root Analytics. They said “We do not believe that our systems have been hacked”. Of course not. They did not have to be hacked. The key to the front door was not under the welcome mat, like with the DNC case earlier, the door was unlocked.

Clever people who may have downloaded the data could find home addresses of people who voted for particular candidates, voting preferences and history, and much more. People are being led to believe anything connected to the Internet can be hacked. Not true. It is possible to make security work. What occurred at the RNC and DNC is inexcusable incompetence. Likewise with Sony, Anthem Blue Cross, Target, and many others who have stored private data without proper protection.

Not to say we should ignore Russia’s intentions, but the real problem is not Russia and the problem is not the Internet. The problem is the incompetence of Americans who operate Internet servers without the proper security precautions. They should be held accountable. Read more about voting security and Internet voting in Election Attitude — How Internet Voting Leads to a Stronger Democracylection Attitude.

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Originally published at www.attitudellc.org on June 20, 2017.

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