There’s been lots of claims that “Russian Hackers” were at work in the hacking of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta. While I can’t verify this one way or the other, I do know this – Google sends you an email alert if Gmail has been logged into from a different location and or device than what was normally being used. The process is described here (bold mine):
Google Sends Email Notifications for New Sign-ins
Google now sends email notification when you sign in to a Google account from a new device. Here’s an excerpt from Google’s notification:
“Your Google Account was just used to sign in from Chrome on Mac. Why are we sending this? We take security very seriously and we want to keep you in the loop on important actions in your account. We were unable to determine whether you have used this browser or device with your account before. This can happen when you sign in for the first time on a new computer, phone or browser, when you use your browser’s incognito or private browsing mode or clear your cookies, or when somebody else is accessing your account.”
So when hackers gained access to Podesta’s Gmail account, there should have been an email immediately generated that looked like this (my rendition based on an example Google sign-in alert):
That Google alert would include the IP address of where it was logged in from, which may or may not have been useful, as hackers likely would have been using an obfuscated IP on a proxy server or something similar to hide their identity. For those who don’t know, the IP address in the example above is the standard LAN base IP, so there’s no rabbit hole to go down there.
Even though Google allows you to turn off such alerts, at least one would have been generated before hackers could turn it off, unless of course Podesta had disabled alerts himself, which would have been an incredibly stupid move given his high-profile. Searching the Podesta emails at Wikileaks reveals no such email in the tranche (so far) that I can find, but hackers likely would have deleted it or not included it in their bulk download. Since it is known that Podesta gets emails on his cellphone, surely he would have seen it? We may never know, he may be too embarrassed to admit it if he did see it.
In an article published earlier today, Motherboard claims to have traced it all back to the Ukraine:
On March 19 of this year, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta received an alarming email that appeared to come from Google.
The email, however, didn’t come from the internet giant. It was actually an attempt to hack into his personal account. In fact, the message came from a group of hackers that security researchers, as well as the US government, believe are spies working for the Russian government. At the time, however, Podesta didn’t know any of this, and he clicked on the malicious link contained in the email, giving hackers access to his account.
Months later, on October 9, WikiLeaks began publishing thousands of Podesta’s hacked emails. Almost everyone immediately pointed the finger at Russia, who is suspected of being behind a long and sophisticated hacking campaign that has the apparent goal of influencing the upcoming US elections. But there was no public evidence proving the same group thattargeted the Democratic National Committeewas behind the hack on Podesta—until now.
The data linking a group of Russian hackers—known as Fancy Bear, APT28, or Sofacy—to the hack on Podesta is also yet another piece in a growing heap of evidence pointing toward the Kremlin.
But then they have this disclaimer near the end of the story:
None of this new data constitutes a smoking gun that can clearly frame Russia as the culprit behind the almost unprecedented hacking campaign that has hit the DNC and several other targets somewhat connected to the US presidential election.
No smoking gun? Hmmpf.
Wikileaks mentioned today that Hillary Clinton’s claim from the third debate about this Russian connection claim being “verified by 17 intelligence agencies” is a load of bollocks:
One has to wonder who is telling the bigger lie these days. Lately, truth seems to have become one with entropy while on a 24/7 spin cycle.
Meanwhile, some read the emails and weep, others read the emails and rejoice, some just get hopping mad.
We live in interesting times.