How does American move forward now?
President elect Trump…
Its now been a few days and it seems as if many people are going nuts about the fact that Trump won the US Election based on our current and still valid voting system. There are many questions that are still open about what happened, how it could happen and why it happened the way nobody expected. There are a few answers that we can already say without thinking a lot or doing more research than was already done.
Angry Voters and Citizens
People throughout the world are just fed up with all the political BS, the US election is no different than any other election that has currently been done or is in the process. We have the old elite and the people, we have rich and poor, we have managers and workers, we have east and west. We have different religions that are nervous about each other and people looking for causes and scapegoats (my opinion). In the end though we are all responsible for the elections results, whether they are in the US or in UK, Europe or anywhere else for that matter. The questions still remain what does a protest vote really do about the things that matter to us all and how (if at all) do these protest election results actually create solutions to problems that we are all responsible for in the first place? Those are good, tough and uncomfortable questions to ask. We need to answer our questions honestly, without blaming others because of $random reasons. Us, we need to answer them…
Social Media’s impact on Democracy and Freedom
People today that are the primary target of Trump were often on “Social Media”, if you can find a way to influence Twitter and Co. you have it made. This is very clearly a contributing factor to why Trump won! Hillary barely had any interaction on Twitter and Co until just a few months ago, not good. On another note (one which is still a point of contention) is that we are assuming that another nation-state built extensive SocioBots to push people in a specific candidate’s favor (in this case Trump). Whether that is good or bad (using SocioBots to influence an election) is not the point. What IS the point is that if any nation-state can use those bots to push and influence another nation, what is the actual reality of it being used to influence ALL opinions? The hard truth is, there is NO Limitation to what Social Media bots can’t do, and this is where I have a lot of issues. I really don’t care if we are smart or stupid enough to vote for one or the other candidate, I do however care a lot about other nation-states tampering with the democratic process and starting hateful, disrespectful attacks on either side that has differing opinions and causing massive riots and disruptions because of an artificial bubble of aggression that shouldn’t and normally doesn’t exist between Americans. This does not bode well for anyone, its the start of a new cyber weapon the likes of which are at least as dangerous as nukes.
Sociobots as Cyber Weapons
An interesting aspect of the last election cycle is that I have been posted about how wikileaks is compromised and also co-hosted in Moscow. This fact (Moscow) connection has been attacked by many (proTrump) supporters every time I posted it. New followers that alerted others timelines made this attack possible. SocioBots are a dangerous precedent because many people literally believe everything they read on twitter and herein lies the problems and challenges of national security. In my mind this type of tampering should be construed as an attack on a nations sovereignty. This seems in my mind to coincide with a working definition of cyber war and war itself which is also referred to an “act of war”.
Hacking Voting Machines
During the days before elections in the United States, we saw how easy it is to hack into voting machines using a 30$ card. We also know that the systems and operating Systems these devices use are in some cases poorly managed in regards to updates and locked down security measures. An additional “hack” is what everyone was forgetting. Personal Information or PI, I stated and posted images of data from all states being sold on the “Dark Web” months before the elections. False IDs based on stolen information are not science fiction but reality, when we look we can see that data breaches have increases year on year. In an election year any data breaches should and must be considered a security and national security risk because these are used to identify voters. If you don’t use two-factor or multi-factor authentication, then it becomes very hard to detect voter fraud. In addition any data breaches that also steal biometric data are even worse (see OPM breach). Fingerprints, retina and other biometric samples that are stolen can easily be injected into databases to be used to falsely identify someone positively when in fact its someone else.
Lastly we have telecommunications, telephone lines, DSL, broadband and also mobile cellular networks are used to communicate throughout the country. On election day Nov8 I saw widespread Botnet activities that were methodical, strategic and also “coincidentally” in some of the important battle states. Was this all a paranoid coincidence? One thing we learn in forensics is that nothing that could be connected or fits together is a coincidence. We also learn that data has a lot to say when its verified to be legit or not been tampered with. This “chain of evidence” is a pillar in forensics science that aims to protect us against wrong decisions or tampered or changed data that may have been changed with malicious intent to distract or mislead. This is what I am concerned with when multiple “leaks” were released from Wikileaks, etc. When data about voter numbers and “tallies” can be changed, you can also change an elections outcome. If you can do that by disrupting networks and “injecting” false data, then you are guaranteed to win. Is this what happened in the last election? The truth is I don’t know without a doubt…. yet. But I do find it very suspicious that at one point networks were being heavily attacked when data was needed or maybe even sent back to a central server for counting. An analysis of the logs on those servers could provide proof if they are not tampered with. Verifying logs are on the other hand only possible when they are built with security in mind and anti-tampering technology which always includes encryption.
We are now faced with more challenges than ever before with SocialBotNets, communications interception and tampering, the dangerous precedent of election hacking and lastly IoT BotNets. These items alone could easily keep us busy for years to come, the only issue is we don’t have that much time anymore. Global politics and policy is now being influenced by cyber weapons that most people are totally oblivious to. What we need are the righ defenses and groups to help people understand threats and risks, protect themselves with verified solutions that work and by analyzing attacks and defenses to make things better.
HDN or Hacker Defense Network has this as its main focus and task. We welcome anyone from the three groups to help us help others in a neutral, defensive and positive way.
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