Donald Trump made a New Year promise to Americans, saying he will take care of cyber attacks from Russia when he takes office. He advised everyone to consider using a courier until the computers are confirmed safe.
Trump’s claim that computers are no longer safe comes a few days after experts argued that the White House has no proof of an alleged cyber intrusion from Russia.
Late in December, two expert analyses criticized Obama’s administration after the FBI and DHS released a Joint Analysis Report (JAR) titled “Grizzly Steppe”.
The unreliable report was expected to prove, or somehow provide any evidence which confirms that Putin’s government was responsible for the hacks.
However, the intelligence community believe the allegations were false and “has nothing meaningful to add.”
Jeffrey Carr, an author, cybersecurity expert, and founder of Suits and Spooks conference, wrote an analytical report which showed a comprehensive list of all dangerous groups identified by a private cybersecurity company as having close ties to Russia.
He said those blacklisted companies, often referred to as “Russian Intelligent Services”, are in no way connected to the government, and there’s no proof to counter this argument.
In his words, as per Sputnik: “Unlike Crowdstrike, ESET doesn’t assign APT28/Fancy Bear/Sednit to a Russian Intelligence Service or anyone else for a very simple reason.
“Once malware is deployed, it is no longer under the control of the hacker who deployed it or the developer who created it,” Carr noted, adding that, “it can be reverse-engineered, copied, modified, shared and redeployed again and again by anyone.
“In other words — malware deployed is malware enjoyed!”
Carr argued that Obama’s administration would have made its facts public, if they were true. He said there’s no unclassified evidence linking Putin’s government to the DNC hack which would have amounted to a violation of international laws.
Other intelligence experts also agreed with Carr that “it is either classified, if any, or simply does not exist.”
“If it’s classified, an independent commission should review it because this entire assignment of blame against the Russian government is looking more and more like a domestic political operation run by the White House that relied heavily on questionable intelligence generated by a for-profit cybersecurity firm with a vested interest in selling ‘attribution-as-a-service,'” Carr argued.
Another technology guru, Robert M. Lee, who is the owner of a cybersecurity company Dragos and CEO at New America, also criticized the JAR for making baseless allegations.
In his words: “[The White House report] reads like a poorly done vendor intelligence report stringing together various aspects of attribution without evidence.”
He continued: “The list of reported RIS [Russian intelligence services] names includes relevant and specific names such as campaign names, more general and often unrelated malware family names, and extremely broad and non-descriptive classification of capabilities.
“It was a mixing of data types that didn’t meet any objective in the report and only added confusion as to whether the DHS/FBI knows what they are doing or if they are instead just telling teams in the government ‘contribute anything you have that has been affiliated with Russian activity.'”
Meanwhile, America’s President-elect told his audience at a New Year Eve’s party held in Florida that it’s now advisable to find other reliable means of communication.
He said: “You know, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way. Because I’ll tell you what: No computer is safe.”
Talking about the widely speculated hacking of America’s Democratic National Convention computers which many people believe was responsible for his victory at the polls, Mr Trump said he knows more about what’s going on than the press think he does.
The Republican representative said it is a huge error and a “pretty serious charge” to accuse Russia of the crime.
“I know a lot about hacking. And hacking is a very hard thing to prove, so it could be somebody else,” Mr Trump warned, according to a CNET report
Mr Lee had this to add in his arguments regarding the allegations against Russia.
“It is useful to know what is government data from previously classified sources and what is data from the private sector and more importantly who in the private sector,” he said.
“Organizations will have different trust or confidence levels of the different types of data and where it came from,” Lee stated. “Unfortunately, this is entirely missing. The report does not source its data at all. It’s a random collection of information and in that way, is mostly useless.”