Compiled by Lisa Phillips of OpDeepState.com
Ohio Election Day cyber attack attempt traced to Panama
by Rick Rouan
November 26, 2019
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said that the “SQL injection” attack was detected by the state’s internal systems. He called the attack “relatively unsophisticated.”
The Ohio secretary of state’s office was the subject of a thwarted foreign cyberattack on Election Day.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said Tuesday that the so-called SQL injection attack was detected by the state’s internal systems. The attack was attempting to insert malicious code into his office’s website.
The attempted hack originated in Panama but was traced to a Russian-owned company, LaRose said, although he called the effort “relatively unsophisticated.”
“Some of these unsophisticated attacks are ways that they probe for vulnerabilities. They are poking around for soft spots,” LaRose said, noting that the cyberattack was looking for vulnerabilities in his office’s website.
Similar attacks are designed to disrupt and undermine the credibility of elections, but LaRose said they cannot affect Ohio’s election results. Neither the elections machines used around Ohio nor the ballot counters are ever connected to the internet.
LaRose credited the state’s “Albert” intrusion system, a sort of digital burglar alarm, for alerting his office to the attempted attack.
The good guys won that day and the bad guys lost,” he said.
Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections must adopt similar software provided by the state as part of a 34-point election-security checklist that LaRose required under a directive issued this year.
A new bill recently signed into law also will allow him to hire a chief information security officer to oversee the protection of information services and create the Ohio Cyber Reserve, a volunteer force of technology professionals who will respond to incidents with a goal of restoring systems as quickly as possible.
The cyber reserve will operate under the Ohio National Guard and is recruiting members.
Microsoft’s ElectionGuard a Trojan Horse for a Military-Industrial Takeover of US Elections
“The fact that we are handing over the keys of American democracy to the military-industrial complex — it’s like giving the keys to the henhouse to a fox and saying, ‘here come in and take whatever you want.’ It’s obviously dangerous.” — Investigative journalist Yasha Levine
Earlier this month, tech giant Microsoft announced its solution to “protect” American elections from interference, which it has named “ElectionGuard.” The election technology is already set to be adopted by half of voting machine manufacturers and some state governments for the 2020 general election. Though it has been heavily promoted by the mainstream media in recent weeks, none of those reports have disclosed that ElectionGuard has several glaring conflicts of interest that greatly undermine its claim aimed at protecting U.S. democracy.
After months of speculation, intrigue, lawsuits, and presidential leaning-in, Microsoft has won the Pentagon’s $10 billion JEDI cloud storage contract, upsetting the presumed front runner Amazon Web Services.
Microsoft is Israeli-Russian: Microsoft, Israeli Mossad cyber terrorists, Russian KGB and Communist China’s AI God
CrowdStrike is Russian & Trump Also Asked Ukraine to Revive a Hillary Conspiracy Theory
Connections to Chattanooga, Tennessee Dmitri Alperovitch
Russia hacked voting systems in 39 states before the 2016 presidential election
June 13, 2017
by Alex Ward
Russia’s efforts to hack the 2016 presidential election were much more widespread than originally thought. The Russian campaign hit 39 states — twice as many as originally reported — and in one case hackers tried to delete and alter voter data.
That’s the startling revelation from a Bloomberg report this morning. The extent of the cyber intrusion was so widespread that Obama administration officials used the infamous “red phone” — which is really a digital communications channel that allows the countries to send information back and forth — to show Kremlin leaders what they had discovered. It remains unclear, though, if these intrusions had any direct effect on the election’s outcome.
Still, this is another example of Russia taking advantage of the many online vulnerabilities in America’s voting network, which is comprised of software companies, online registration sites, and vital information that election officials willingly send to each other over email.
All of them play an important part in obtaining and safeguarding sensitive voter information, but it appears the Russians have figured out how to get that data.
“If you got 10 people working to try and figure out what the US election system is for 18 months, of course they’re going to figure it out,” said Beau Woods, a cybersecurity expert at the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank.
Russia, of course, denies having anything to do with the hackers that pulled this off. Either way, the news comes at an inauspicious time for President Donald Trump, who has had to deal with congressional hearings featuring former FBI Director James Comey last week and Attorney General Jeff Sessions today, each digging deep into his campaign’s possible collusion with Russia.
So, despite assurances from the Obama administration that the election’s integrity was not compromised, there was still a very large-scale Russian effort to mess with it. That means future elections, including ones next year, run the risk of being tainted.
Russia hacked into the voting systems of 39 states
The hack into Illinois’s election system is the one we know the most about. Ken Menzel, who serves as general counsel for the Illinois state board of elections, told Bloomberg that a part-time contractor for the state board of elections noticed unauthorized data leaving the network.
That data contained the personal information of around 15 million people, including names, birthdays, genders, and partial Social Security numbers. It was a huge coup for the Russians, as around half of those 15 million were active voters. Apparently, the cyber intruders aimed to delete or alter voter data they got a hold of.
But even if they did that, that still wouldn’t necessarily have affected the election. It’s the counties that upload voter information to the state, not vice versa. So even if all the rolls were deleted at the state level, there was a backup plan in place to restore all the names.
Voter data wasn’t all the information the hackers were after, though. In a different, unidentified US state, the Russians were able to get information from a campaign finance database, which would give them insight into the financial connections between certain voters and candidates.
America’s elections system is vulnerable to attacks
The intrusions scared these states so much that they ended up asking the Department of Homeland Security for special teams to help keep hackers out. Others hired private companies for the same mission.
The Obama administration was worried about these developments, too. Using the secure “red phone” backchannel, it showed the extent of the hacking campaign to its Russian counterparts.
If Kremlin officials were upset about it, they didn’t seem to show it. Russian leaders kept requesting more information. And throughout that whole process, the hackers proceeded with their work.
Some inside the Obama administration wanted to go public with the information. But the White House decided against it, claiming it wasn’t worth risking people’s faith in the election’s integrity.
So, it seems despite efforts to stop Russia’s actions and sanctions related to Moscow’s meddling, it effectively got away with it. But because vital elections information is online for the taking, the Russians didn’t need to try too hard.
“Most states these days have online voter registration tools or online absentee-ballot request tools. That means that the voter registration data base is online,” Douglas W. Jones, an elections expert at the University of Iowa, said in an interview.
In effect, Russia didn’t need an “inside man” for this — Americans make this information obtainable for elite hackers by putting all of this critical information on the internet. That leaves the US very vulnerable to these kinds of attacks.
So while it’s unclear still if Russia’s hacking efforts actually influenced the outcome of the election, the fact that it is able to access such important information is already troublesome in itself.
And that bodes poorly for the 2018 elections and others beyond that, as their integrity becomes more and more suspect with each new revelation of the extent of Russia’s election-hacking campaign.
Surely Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the congressional investigations into Russia’s possible ties to the Trump campaign will look into all of this. There may even be questions about it asked of Sessions this afternoon.
But in the meantime, collusion with Trump or not, we now know that Russia has struck deeper into the heart of America’s democracy: its elections.
New Court Filing Reveals How the 2004 Ohio Presidential Election Was Hacked
July 25, 2011
A new filing in the King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell case includes a copy of the Ohio Secretary of State election production system configuration that was in use in Ohio’s 2004 presidential election when there was a sudden and unexpected shift in votes for George W. Bush.
The filing also includes the revealing deposition of the late Michael Connell. Connell served as the IT guru for the Bush family and Karl Rove. Connell ran the private IT firm GovTech that created the controversial system that transferred Ohio’s vote count late on election night 2004 to a partisan Republican server site in Chattanooga, Tennessee owned by SmarTech. That is when the vote shift happened, not predicted by the exit polls, that led to Bush’s unexpected victory. Connell died a month and a half after giving this deposition in a suspicious small plane crash.
Additionally, the filing contains the contract signed between then-Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell and Connell’s company, GovTech Solutions. Also included that contract a graphic architectural map of the Secretary of State’s election night server layout system.
Cliff Arnebeck, lead attorney in the King Lincoln case, exchanged emails with IT security expert Stephen Spoonamore. Arnebeck asked Spoonamore whether or not SmarTech had the capability to “input data” and thus alter the results of Ohio’s 2004 election. Spoonamore responded: “Yes. They would have had data input capacities. The system might have been set up to log which source generated the data but probably did not.”
Spoonamore explained that “they [SmarTech] have full access and could change things when and if they want.”
Arnebeck specifically asked “Could this be done using whatever bypass techniques Connell developed for the web hosting function.” Spoonamore replied “Yes.”
Spoonamore concluded from the architectural maps of the Ohio 2004 election reporting system that, “SmarTech was a man in the middle. In my opinion they were not designed as a mirror, they were designed specifically to be a man in the middle.”
A “man in the middle” is a deliberate computer hacking setup, which allows a third party to sit in between computer transmissions and illegally alter the data. A mirror site, by contrast, is designed as a backup site in case the main computer configuration fails.
Spoonamore claims that he confronted then-Secretary of State Blackwell at a secretary of state IT conference in Boston where he was giving a seminar in data security. “Blackwell freaked and refused to speak to me when I confronted him about it long before I met you,” he wrote to Arnebeck.
On December 14, 2007, then-Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, who replaced Blackwell, released her evaluation and validation of election-related equipment, standards and testing (Everest study) which found that touchscreen voting machines were vulnerable to hacking with relative ease.
Until now, the architectural maps and contracts from the Ohio 2004 election were never made public, which may indicate that the entire system was designed for fraud. In a previous sworn affidavit to the court, Spoonamore declared: “The SmarTech system was set up precisely as a King Pin computer used in criminal acts against banking or credit card processes and had the needed level of access to both county tabulators and Secretary of State computers to allow whoever was running SmarTech computers to decide the output of the county tabulators under its control.”
Spoonamore also swore that “…the architecture further confirms how this election was stolen. The computer system and SmarTech had the correct placement, connectivity, and computer experts necessary to change the election in any manner desired by the controllers of the SmarTech computers.”
Project Censored named the outsourcing of Ohio’s 2004 election votes to SmarTech in Chattanooga, Tennessee to a company owned by Republican partisans as one of the most censored stories in the world.
In the Connell deposition, plaintiffs’ attorneys questioned Connell regarding gwb43, a website that was live on election night operating out of the White House and tied directly into SmarTech’s server stacks in Chattanooga, Tennessee which contained Ohio’s 2004 presidential election results.
The transfer of the vote count to SmarTech in Chattanooga, Tennessee remains a mystery. This would have only happened if there was a complete failure of the Ohio computer election system. Connell swore under oath that, “To the best of my knowledge, it was not a fail-over case scenario – or it was not a failover situation.”
Bob Magnan, a state IT specialist for the secretary of state during the 2004 election, agreed that there was no failover scenario. Magnan said he was unexpectedly sent home at 9 p.m. on election night and private contractors ran the system for Blackwell.
The architectural maps, contracts, and Spoonamore emails, along with the history of Connell’s partisan activities, shed new light on how easy it was to hack the 2004 Ohio presidential election.
Bob Fitrakis is co-counsel in the King Lincoln case.
Convicted Trumputin Consigliere Paul Manafort Linked to Ohio’s Stolen 2004 Election
September 6, 2018
by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
The infamous Trumputin consigliere Paul Manafort worked with the GOP operatives who stole Ohio’s 2004 presidential election at the same time they teamed up to install the Kremlin’s chosen mafia don in Ukraine.
Manafort is Donald Trump’s former campaign manager. He’s been convicted of a wide range of high-profile crimes by a jury evaluating charges brought by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.
Manafort also worked in Ukraine following the 2004 popular Orange Revolution with Ohio-based IT specialist Michael Connell and Tennessean Jeff Averbeck to install the Putin-backed Viktor Yanukovych as president of Ukraine. Connell and Averbeck have been deeply implicated as being among the chief architects of the stolen Ohio 2004 vote flip that gave George W. Bush a second term in the White House.
Craig Unger, in his essential book House of Trump, House of Putin, places Manafort in Ukraine in “late 2004.” Manafort worked out of a small six-to-eight-person office at 4 Sofievskaya Street in Kiev. Over the next decade, Manafort made 138 trips to Ukraine, according to Unger.
Yanukovych’s alleged 2004 “victory” was so riddled with fraud that the US State Department officially condemned it. A popular uprising called the Orange Revolution forced the election results to be reversed.
Connell died under mysterious circumstances in December 2008. But in 2010, Averbeck and Manafort conspired to put the Kremlin-sponsored Yanukovych in office again. Despite widespread charges of election rigging, Yanukovych this time held power … for a while. He was later overthrown by a US-sponsored coup involving a far-right phalanx that included many outspoken fascists.
In 2004, Averbeck and Connell were key to flipping Ohio’s electoral votes – and thus the presidency – from John Kerry to the incumbent, George W. Bush. Connell was a long-time Bush family information technology specialist. Based in Akron, he co-founded the New Media Communications and GovTech IT companies. Along with Averback’s SmarTech, they were deeply embedded in the Buckeye State’s rigged 2004 election process by Bush advisor Karl Rove and Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell.
From 2004 to 2014, Yanukovych’s campaign team centered around Manafort, co-owner with Rick Davis of a Washington DC lobbying PR firm, 3EDC. The company advertised on its website that it had five “strategic partners.” Connell’s New Media Communications was listed as one of them. Another was Averbeck’s Airnet Group, the parent company of SmarTech.
Both Averbeck and Connell were far-right anti-abortion fundamentalists. Averbeck co-founded a Christian publishing house.
In 2004, Blackwell gave Connell a no-bid contract to handle the backup vote-count system for the state’s 2004 presidential contest. Blackwell simultaneously ran the election and served as co-chair for the Ohio committee to re-elect Bush and Cheney.
Connell subcontracted the job with Averbeck’s Smartech. After Ohio’s official supercomputers went down on election night, SmarTech compiled the final tally on servers in a basement of a bank building in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Those same servers handled the e-mail accounts for the Republican National Committee and Bush consigliere Karl Rove.
At 11:14 p.m. on election night, as John Kerry led by 4.2 percent, the Ohio vote count flow went mysteriously dark. When it came back up after midnight, Kerry’s lead had flipped into a 2.5 percent Bush victory. This virtual statistical impossibility, involving the flip of some 300,000 alleged ballots, gave Bush the 20 electoral votes he needed for re-election.
In January 2005, the Ohio Electoral College delegation was officially challenged in the US Congress, the first such certified challenge in more than a century. Connell was subpoenaed and deposed in the King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell federal case charging voter discrimination. In December 2008, while facing possible testimony before Congress, Connell died in a mysterious private plane crash near his home in Akron. Foul play is suspected by Connell’s family, among many others.
In 2010, Averbeck again conspired with Manafort to help swing Yanukovych into power in Ukraine. Again the “election” was bitterly contested for apparent rigging.
The exact natures of the 2004 Manafort/Averbeck/Connell conspiracy in Ukraine, alongside the Averbeck/Connell flipping of Ohio 2004 and the Manafort/Averbeck rigging in Ukraine 2010, are all still under investigation.
But the links between Trump, Putin, the Kremlin, the Connell/Averbeck/Manafort triad, and the rigged elections in Ohio 2004, Ukraine 2004, and Ukraine 2010 should come as no surprise to anyone following the rapid disintegration of America’s current unelected Idiocracy.
Special Prosecutor Mueller might want to take a deeper look at this piece of the web.
Stay tuned to OpDeepState.com. More information will be added to this report.