[LINK] Obama/McCain computers compromised in northern hemi summer

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Thu Nov 6 12:11:56 AEDT 2008

Don't you just love the way the US LEAs and national security 
agencies automatically vilify foreigners, and can't face up to the 
possibility that the break-in could have been performed by Americans?

(So the device from which the traffic came was outside the US.  But 
would anyone in the US with the skill to do this be stupid enough to 
use even a US proxy-server, let alone their 'real' IP-address??).

Aside:  If the report is correct, then it appears that the Obama 
campaign let the Secret Service into their machines.  As I understand 
it, the Secret Service works specifically for the White House, with 
not even Chinese Walls, let alone a pretence of being arms-length. 
(So maybe the reason Dubya was so quiet for the last couple of months 
wasn't to given McCain a chance, but because he was avidly reading 
the Obama campaign's documents?).

At 11:44 AM +1100 6/11/08, Jan Whitaker wrote:
>  From Newsweek's press release:
>New York--The computer systems of both the Obama and McCain campaigns
>were victims of a sophisticated cyber attack by an unknown "foreign
>entity," prompting a federal investigation, Newsweek reports in its
>exclusive special election issue, "President Obama" on newsstands
>Thursday, Nov. 6.
>At the Obama headquarters in midsummer, technology experts detected
>what they initially thought was a computer virus, a case of
>"phishing"--a form of hacking often employed to steal passwords or
>credit card numbers. But by the next day, both the FBI and the Secret
>Service came to the campaign with an ominous warning: "You have a
>problem way bigger than what you understand," an agent told them.
>"You have been compromised, and a serious amount of files have been
>loaded off your system." The following day, Obama campaign chief
>David Plouffe heard from White House chief of staff Josh Bolten, to
>the same effect: "You have a real problem... and you have to deal
>with it." The Feds told the Obama campaign in late August that the
>McCain campaign's computer system had been similarly compromised (a
>top McCain official confirmed to Newsweek that the campaign's
>computer system had been hacked and the FBI was had become involved).
>As Editor-at-Large Evan Thomas writes, FBI and White House officials
>told the Obama campaign that they believed that a foreign entity or
>organization sought to gather information on the evolution of both
>camps' policy issues--information that might be useful in
>negotiations with a future administration. The Feds assured the Obama
>team that it had not been hacked by its political opponents (Obama
>technical experts later speculated that the hackers were Russian or
>Chinese). A security firm retained by the Obama campaign took steps
>to secure its computer system and end the intrusion. White House and
>FBI officials had no comment earlier this week.
>Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
>jwhit at janwhitaker.com
>business: http://www.janwhitaker.com
>personal: http://www.janwhitaker.com/personal/
>blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
>Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or
>sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
>~Madeline L'Engle, writer
>Writing Lesson #54:
>Learn to love revision. Think of it as polishing the silver for
>guests. - JW, May, 2007
>_ __________________ _
>Checked by AVG.
>Version: 7.5.549 / Virus Database: 270.9.0/1770 - Release Date: 
>5/11/2008 5:36 PM
>Link mailing list
>Link at mailman.anu.edu.au

Roger Clarke                  http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng  Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program      University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW

More information about the Link mailing list