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On Oct. 7, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper announced what many cyber experts had long suspected...
High-level officials in Moscow had authorized Russian hackers to breach the Democratic National Committee and other campaign-related websites, including voter registration databases.
"The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts," Clapper's announcement read. "These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process."
If Russian hackers are indeed making an effort to disrupt the U.S. election, then mission accomplished -- they've certainly done some damage the past few months:
- On July 25, an email leak revealed that DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz called Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) campaign manager Jeff Weaver a profane name and a "liar." She stepped down from her position voluntarily after the revelation was made public.
- Also from the July 25 leak, several DNC staffers were outed for having conspired to damage Sanders' Democratic primary campaign.
- On Oct. 4, a Guccifer 2.0 dump revealed the Committee had a long history of "pay to play" politics with Wall Street.
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With all these leaks thus far, it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine another will come as we approach Election Day.
And Russian cyber hackers would only need to access this one widespread vulnerability to enormously impact the outcome of the 2016 presidential election...
Russian Hackers Would Hone in on This Technical Weakness in Our Voting System
In such a tight race, it wouldn't take much for Russian cyber hackers to throw the election either way if they wanted to.
As of today (Oct. 25), Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has a 12-point lead over GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump (Clinton 50, Trump 38) - according to the latest ABC News Tracking poll.
And they'd only have to attack a few counties in Pennsylvania or Florida to succeed...
That's because Pennsylvania and Florida are two big battleground states that use electronic voting machines but, in some areas, do not use verifiable paper audit trails as well.
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Specifically, hackers would have to manipulate these voting machines' software to make it read like more voters opted in favor of Trump than Clinton. Without paper records, there'd be no way for auditors to prove a machine was hacked because they wouldn't be able to compare the machines' data against the paper results.
Because there would not be any paper results.
There are other states without a verifiable paper audit system besides the Keystone and the Sunshine States...
In fact, 13 other states lack paper audit trails in either all or some of their voting precincts:
- New Jersey
- South Carolina
Speaking of devastating cyberattacks, the recent DDoS attack (distributed denial of service) unleashed on the United States last week had web users flummoxed and afraid.
How had hackers managed to temporarily wipe out several websites at once?
Money Morning's Director of Defense & Venture Capital Research Michael A. Robinson explains how it all happened, why it will continue to occur, and where the profit potential lies in these "cyber war" tactics...
- Dhs,gov: Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security
- Money Morning: How George Soros Funded the Western Plot to Topple Putin
- Money Morning: Are Russian Hackers Selling U.S. Cyber Weapons Online?
- Money Morning: Leaked Memo Exposes Wall Street's "Pay to Play" Demands to the Democratic Party