HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » blueseas » Journal
Page: 1


Profile Information

Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 11,575

About Me

I have been here from the start.

Journal Archives

We have the first documented case of Russian hacking in the 2018 election

What the Daily Beast found — and why it matters
To understand how the Daily Beast figured out what was going on here, you need to understand a few technical details.

Fancy Bear, a subgroup of Russia’s GRU intelligence service, is the same group that went after Clinton campaign staffers in 2016. The strategy was to put a link in an email saying a password had expired, and then redirect the reader to a website where they would click another link that would grant the hackers access to the email accounts.

To get people to click the second link, the hackers plastered their fake website with Microsoft logos — so it looked like a site you’d legitimately visit to change your Outlook password. Microsoft didn’t like this and actually sued the Russian hackers in US court, demanding the power to be able to shut down any websites hosted on servers identified as belonging to Fancy Bear that used Microsoft logos in them. In August 2017, the company won the case, and it’s been shutting down Fancy Bear sites ever since.

The Beast reporters looked through evidence related to that case and found something interesting in a September 26 snapshot of one of the now-closed Russian sites: a “fake password-change page with the Senate email address of a McCaskill policy aide on display.”

What that shows, in short, is that a website that Microsoft had determined to be hosted on a Fancy Bear server was demonstrably trying to trick a McCaskill staffer into giving up access to their account. That is fairly strong evidence that Russia’s intelligence services were, in fact, trying to hack McCaskill.

This is an extremely big deal. Microsoft had already announced that Russian hackers had gone after “three candidates” in the 2018 election, but hadn’t revealed who they were. Identifying McCaskill specifically as a target is incredibly revealing: She’s only up on her Republican opponent by one point in the RealClearPolitics average. If Democrats lose her seat, they face a very tough road to win back the Senate in November. Helping Republicans defeat McCaskill (or another Democratic senator in a Trump-voting state) would be perhaps the single biggest boost that Russia could give to the GOP — and, by extension, to President Trump.

All in all, this Trump tweet, from Tuesday, has aged remarkably poorly:

Donald J. Trump

I’m very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don’t want Trump!



The depiction of police in the Seattle Police Department’s lip-sync video didn’t feel right to Seattle music producer Spekulation (aka Matt “Spek” Watson), so he created a parody of it, using footage of the city’s police force responding to downtown protests.

“This one just seemed like very low-hanging fruit,” Watson said. “I’ve been to so many protests downtown and have seen how Seattle police interact with protesters down there.”

Seattle Police Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said Watson’s video was clever, but stands by the lip-sync video as a community policing effort that he said many residents, visitors and businesses were excited to be a part of. He added that Macklemore signed off on the use of his song.

Whitcomb said satire and police accountability are important, but that neither should take away from the project’s authenticity.

“The project is commonly known as the lip-sync video, but for us it’s so much more than that,” Whitcomb said. “It was a sincere way for us to connect with the people who live here.”

Watson disagreed, calling the video “over the top.” He’s critical of the department’s claim that the video is a community-policing effort, which he said should entail an effort by police to be deeply involved in and accountable to the communities they serve.

“I understand the reaction to people having fun and that’s all fine and good,” he said. “But that doesn’t solve any of the systemic problems.”

Watson, a former rapper, now spends his time producing music for local artists, editing video and raising his child. Watson also produced a parody of an Amazon recruitment video in 2015.

More at link:

A tale of two stories: Seattle's brushes with hate

By Danny Westneat

Seattle Times staff columnist

In a certain world, one populated by a surprisingly large subset of the nation, Seattle now is a city of intolerant and violent leftists hellbent on stomping Trump supporters. Oh and we have green hair.

This is the view you got if you went down the rabbit hole of the right-wing Wurlitzer media machine this past week.

If you missed it — and that depends almost entirely on your Facebook algorithm — a 17-year-old from Illinois made national and international news here this past week when he walked around Capitol Hill wearing a Make America Great Again hat.


A few years ago, I would have chalked all this up to fringe silliness. But times have changed. The main conservative sites that featured the story — the Daily Mail, Breitbart, Western Journal, The Epoch Times, Daily Caller and Infowars — now have among them more than 35 million followers on Facebook alone (a hundredfold more than The Seattle Times).

The MAGA-hat-wearing teen then used the incident to indict entire belief systems: “I want to expose the left for what they do,” he said. By Monday he was on Fox News national radio, concluding: “If someone wears an Obama hat … I don’t think they have to be scared of people giving them bad looks or assaulting them.”


A New Talking Point From the Pro-Trump Fringe

On Wednesday morning, in the midst of yet another contentious news cycle dominated by coverage of Russian election meddling, I tweeted a kind of thought experiment: “If Trump & co. just pivoted to ‘Aren’t you glad Russia helped us defeat Hillary Clinton?’ would there be any serious blowback from his base?”

The question was rhetorical. The answers that began trickling in were not.

“No,” said Cassandra Fairbanks, a writer at the right-wing news and conspiracy website Gateway Pundit (and a former Sputnik employee). “I mean, I would be cool with it. Im already there. If russia was involved we should thank them.”

“No,” responded another self-identified Trump voter. “Hillary is a greater threat to our Republic.”

Several people pointed me to Jacob Wohl, a Trump booster with a large Twitter following, who had mused just hours earlier, “If Russia assists MAGA Candidates on the internet in this year’s midterms, that’s not the end of the world.”




Riffing on his nickname for Senator Elizabeth Warren, whose Native American heritage he has repeatedly questioned, Trump—who made no mention of the hasty same-day resignation of E.P.A. chief Scott Pruitt—told the crowd, “I want to apologize. Pocahontas, I apologize to you . . . to you I apologize. To the fake Pocahontas, I won’t apologize.”

He went on to suggest that if Warren won the 2020 Democratic primary, he would dare her to take an ancestry test during a televised debate. “We’ll take that little kit and say, we have to do it gently because we are in the #MeToo generation, so we have to be very gentle. And we will very gently take that kit, and we will slowly toss it” to Warren, “hoping it doesn’t hit her and injure her arm.” Trump added that he’d give $1 million to charity if the test “shows [Warren is....

Nor did Trump confine himself to insulting a potential Democratic opponent—during the same speech, he also claimed that Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters had an I.Q. in the “mid-60s,” lobbed derogatory criticisms at journalists, and vouched for Russian President Vladimir Putin. After the rally, Warren fired back with a tweet, writing, “Hey, @realDonaldTrump: While you obsess over my genes, your Admin is conducting DNA tests on little kids because you ripped them from their mamas & you are too incompetent to reunite them in time to meet a court order. Maybe you should focus on fixing the lives you’re destroying.”

Go to Page: 1