Interference China’s covert political influence campaign

in Australia Four Corners(日本語字幕)

CI Research & Studies

Uploaded on Apr 9, 2019

A joint investigation by Four Corners, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald reveals fresh and compelling evidence of covert Beijing-backed political activity taking place in Australia.

Four CornersThe AgeSydney Morning Herald




News & Politics

A few words about Wikipediaexposed.org

Welcome to WikipediaExposed.org


WikipediaExposed.org take great pleasure in bringing to public spotlight important information, facts and opinions that would be of benefit to people on planet earth to know about and openly discuss that other non independent and controlled mainstream media outlets and websites will not provide to the world. We understand that everyone has an independent expression of who they are and what is important to them. Our goal is to give an international public forum for the unique personality of every individual who feel the need to have their important information, facts and opinions publicly exposed to the world.


A Tool Of The Ruling Elite


Helen writes for RT

And is on Twitter @Bellocirapture23


RT America: Published on Oct 20, 2018

On the latest episode of On Contact, investigative journalist Helen Buyniski exposes Jimmy Wales' egalitarian Wikipedia as yet another tool of the ruling elite. More from Helen here: http://helenofdestroy.com/index.php/4...

Find RT America in your area: http://rt.com/where-to-watch/ 

Or watch us online: http://rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air/ 

Like us on Facebook //www.facebook.com/RTAmerica Follow us on Twitter //twitter.com/RT_America

Category: News & Politics

ON CONTACT: Wikipedia – A Tool Of The Ruling Elite

Two Clintons -41 years - $3 Billion


A Washington Post investigation reveals how Bill and Hillary Clinton have methodically cultivated donors over 40 years,

from Little Rock to Washington and then across the globe. Their fundraising methods have created a new blueprint for politicians and their donors.
The Clintons have raised $3 billion in support of their political and philanthropic efforts over four decades.

Nearly all the funds went to support six federal campaigns and their family foundation.

By Matea Gold, Tom Hamburger and Anu Narayanswamy - Published on Nov. 19, 2015

LITTLE ROCK — Over four decades of public life, Bill and Hillary Clinton have built an unrivaled global network of donors

while pioneering fundraising techniques that have transformed modern politics and paved the way

for them to potentially become the first husband and wife to win the White House.
The grand total raised for all of their political campaigns and their family’s charitable foundation reaches at least $3 billion,

according to a Washington Post investigation.
Their fundraising haul, which began with $178,000 that Bill Clinton raised for his long-shot 1974 congressional bid,

is on track to expand substantially with Hillary Clinton’s 2016 White House run, which has already drawn $110 million in support.

#WesternTruthTV #WTTV #TVNovosti

Edward Snowden Israel Interview - Mossad & NSA - November 2018


Published on Nov 13, 2018

Western Truth TV Subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/westerntruthtv Edward Snowden, the American intelligence officer who broke into world awareness after being responsible for leaking the largest and most sensitive information in history, spoke to an Israeli audience on November 6, 18, as part of an event sponsored by the media consulting firm "Oh! Orenstein Choshen". "Said former deputy head of the Mossad Ram Ben-Barak. Snoden said this through visual meetings (VC), as part of a closed event. The conversation was led by technology journalist Dror Globerman.

The military censor was informed of the details of the incident. Sponsored by SYNC – Secure Cloud Storage –

Free with an extra 1GB when you Use the Link Below http://www.sync.com/get-started?_sync... 

Main Site: TV-Novosti.com Western Truth TV Subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/westerntruthtv 

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/westerntruthtv Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SeanDavisWTTV #WesternTruthTV #WTTV #TVNovosti #WTR #Novosti #RT #Sputnik #WesternTruthRadio 

LIKE, COMMENT, SUBSCRIBE! Western Truth TV & Western Truth Radio Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WesternTruth... 

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News & Politics

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters:

WHOLE WORLD Must Focus on Julian Assange Arrest! 


Published on Apr 17, 2019 

 We speak to Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters on the arrest of Julian Assange.

He calls on the UK to rise up to oppose Assange’s extradition, labels the UK a satellite state of US empire for arresting Assange and attacks the government of Lenin Moreno for revoking his asylum LIKE Going Underground http://fb.me/GoingUndergroundRT

 FOLLOW Going Underground //twitter.com/Underground_RT

 FOLLOW Afshin Rattansi //twitter.com/AfshinRattansi 

FOLLOW on Instagram http://instagram.com/officialgoingund...  

Hit by 40 million cyber attacks since Julian Assange's arrest: Ecuador


Filed on April 16, 2019


Hit by 40 million cyber attacks since Julian Assange's arrest: Ecuador


Filed on April 16, 2019



Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was stripped of political asylum.

Ecuador said on Monday it has suffered 40 million cyber attacks on the webpages of public institutions since stripping Wikileaks founder Julian Assange of political asylum.

Patricio Real, Ecuador's deputy minister for information and communication technologies, said the attacks, which began on Thursday, had "principally come from the United States, Brazil, Holland, Germany, Romania, France, Austria and the United Kingdom," as well as from the South American country itself.

Assange was arrested and carried out of Ecuador's embassy in London on Thursday after President Lenin Moreno removed his diplomatic protection following seven years of self-imposed exile in the building.

Moreno accused Assange of interfering in the "processes of other states" and "spying." As well as overturning Assange's asylum status, Ecuador stripped him of the nationality he was given in 2017 under the government of Moreno's predecessor Rafael Correa. 

Javier Jara, undersecretary of the electronic government department of the telecommunications ministry, said the country had suffered "volumetric attacks" that blocked access to the internet following "threats from those groups linked to Julian Assange."

Hardest-hit were the foreign ministry, the central bank, the president's office, the internal revenue service, and several ministries and universities.

However none of those institutions reported either the theft of information or the elimination of data.

Julian Assange in 2013 outside the Ecuador Embassy standing up for free and open speech and a world where exposing the truth is of most importance

A poster promoting Free Speech " except for exposing war crimes
in support of freeing Chealsea Manning and Julian Paul Assange

Money, happiness and eternal life

Greed (director's cut)

DW Documentary

DW Documentary

Published on Jun 23, 2017

Can money and power ever make us happy? How much is enough? Our constant desire for more is part of our human nature. ]

Some call it a useful dowry of evolution, others a fault in the human genetic make-up: The old mortal sin Greed seems to be more ubiquitous than ever.

Why can't people ever get enough, where is this self-indulgence leading - and are there any ways out of this vicious circle of gratification?

 "People like to have a lot of stuff because it makes them the feeling of living forever,"

 says American social psychologist Sheldon Solomon, who believes today's materialism and consumerism will have disastrous consequences.

Anyone who fails to satisfy his or her desires in this age of the Ego is deemed a loser. But with more than 7 billion people on the Earth, the ramifications of this excessive consumption of resources are already clear.

Isn’t the deplorable state of our planet proof enough that "The Greed Program,"

which has made us crave possessions, status and power, is coming to an end?

Or is the frenzied search for more and more still an indispensable part of our nature? We set off to look for the essence of greed.

And we tell the stories of people who - whether as perpetrators or victims or even just as willing consumers - have become accomplices in a sea change in values.

Check out our web special: http://www.dw.com/en/tv/greed/s-32898 _______

Exciting, powerful and informative – DW Documentary is always lose to current affairs and international events.

Our eclectic mix of award-winning films and reports take you straight to the heart of the story.

Dive into different cultures, journey across distant lands, and discover the inner workings of modern-day life.

Subscribe and explore the world around you – every day, one DW Documentary at a time.

 Subscribe to DW Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW39... 

For more information visit: https://www.dw.com/documentarie

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dw.stories



Clowns Making It Up as They Go

Tuesday, 16 April 2019
Albert Park, Melbourne
By Greg Canavan

Dear John,

Ed Note: There is no video update from me today. I’m currently interstate. I’ll be back on board next week.

Wow. The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is burning down. What a tragedy. Some of the building may be saved, but it’s looking grim.

The cause of the blaze is unknown at this stage. But the timing, just before Easter, certainly smells a little fishy. What is going on in Paris? It seems to be the centre of a lot of violence these days.

I’m sure more will come to light in the days ahead. And I’m sure someone, somewhere, will blame it all on Trump…

Thanks for your responses on the Julian Assange question yesterday. You can read some of them below. I’ll publish more tomorrow.

The latest news is that Ecuadorian President Moreno now claims he handed Assange over to authorities because Assange used the embassy for spying on other countries.

I thought it was due to his poor hygiene and disrespectful attitude towards staff!

It just goes to show you how these clowns make up a narrative on the run, and the media compliantly disseminates it, and expects you to swallow it.

I maintain that the timing should give this away. Assange has been holed up for years. Why did Ecuador release him now? Just after the Mueller Report found no collusion between team Trump and Russia, and around the same time that Attorney General Barr said he is going to investigate how the spying on team Trump came about.

As I’ve said previously, Assange holds the key to all this.


History shows us that some kind of crash is coming.

And we may have just seen the first murmuring.

But how big and brutal could it be?

This survival guide by Vern Gowdie makes the case for a correction of over 65%. He believes investors are going to see decades of gains blown away in a very short period.

If you cannot afford to see your wealth shrink, possibly by two-thirds in value, you need to prepare for that potential snap NOW.

You can’t wait.

The five protection steps Vern outlines in his book will be of no use to you when this potential avalanche begins to cascade. You need to initiate these steps now.

To download your copy, click here.

Anyway, enough from me. Here’s what you had to say on the issue. As expected, most responses were in favour of Assange as a hero. But there were a few against him too. I’ll publish more responses tomorrow.

Hero, it would be great if these evil elitists are brought down. It is really sad these people only care about themselves. 


I think that people/organizations like WikiLeaks are essential today, since the world’s governments have to much power over us through various electronic media and we need someone who can tell us what is really happening.

But I’m against revelation of data that will identify people whose lives are then put in peril, as happened several years ago when an American in Greece (I think) was identified as a spy and was assassinated.

I have my doubts about the various charges brought against Assange at a civil level and don’t see how someone who is not American and was not in America when the data release happened, could be charged with a crime under American law. A capital crime like murder or physical theft through an agent -yes, but data? -The data is copied, not physically removed.


I unreservedly believe Assange, Snowden, Manning to be remarkable individuals who chose to reveal the truth.

Hopefully Trump will act on the assumption that it is in his interests to protect Assange.


Well Julian Assange is just a pawn for the elites to look after the elites and prosecute him for exposing them (elites)

If they can make an example out of him as they do not want more people doing the same. For me the charges are very flimsy manufactured charges to get him out of the way so they can keep everyone in the dark.

This system that has been created over the last century is about to blow up and they are looking for scape goats

Free speech is under threat worldwide!


Apparently there is a suggestion that Podesta's e-mails were hacked as a result of himself inadvertently logging on to a fake website. There is also a question related to the time needed to transfer the information over the internet versus the information being provided to Wikileaks through a USB. The feeling is the latter was the source of the data supplied to Wikileaks.

On the DNC server hack Assange has consistently denied this was done by Russia or any "other State" organization. In other words it was provided by a single person - most likely Seth Rich, as he was upset with the DNC for fouling Bernie Sander's chances in the 2016 primaries. Interestingly John Solomon and Sara Carter were onto this early on but apparently were asked to back off by Rich’s parents following his suspicious death. Nothing more on this has subsequently been followed up to my knowledge.


1. When, and why has "Truth" telling become a crime?

2. If the white hats have custody of Assange, great! He shall live and become a future icon of "Truth and Justice", but not in the current American way.

3. If the black hats have custody of Assange, shoot! He shall surely die under mysterious circumstances while in prison, before he can testify.

His death will be ruled a suicide.


As far as I can see his only crime was exposing the crimes of the Deep State.  Hero for me.


I think Assange is a hero – someone who bravely published knowing the likely personal cost.  I admit that at the beginning, I was in the other camp.... I was not aware back then of just how screwed up we are from the very top.

Transparency in most things is to be sought and encouraged... but not everything.   The public at large cannot handle the raw truth.  It would cause widespread chaos.   So how does a society deal with cold hard realities and remain sane?

I am concerned that Assange will suffer an “accident” or assault by a “lunatic” or some such before he can testify.

I am not a follower of mainstream media and like that I can filter material from many sources before forming an opinion.. one that is not fixed.  Rather it is shaped continually on the new material.   So, I await further developments and hope the truth is revealed.

As for Equador getting a huge loan at the same time as Assange arrest... I don’t believe in coincidence.   Every government has a price.


In response to your request for Reader’s views on how they perceive the issue of Julian Assange, I present the following:

When Wikileaks can only obtain classified information from western countries and go ahead and publish that I DO have an issue.

If Wikileaks had published classified information from Russia, China, Middle Easter countries etc. it would have presented to the world a more balanced and fair understanding of how ALL countries behave.

But, to ONLY present ONE viewpoint and NOT the complete picture is totally unacceptable.

How would Russia, China and other non-democratic countries have reacted to the people who ‘stole’ this info and then passed it to Wikileaks? I bet Wikileaks would:

Never have been able to obtain it in the first place.

Struggled to find people willing to get the info due to these people knowing what would happen to them if they got caught.

This has just been a ONE sided affair that has helped no-one but our potential enemies.

I hope Julian Assange gets what is coming to him. He’s put the US in a difficult position and while the info might be damning and unacceptable it needs to be taken into context with the intelligence war that wages across the world. I suggest we would be more horrified by what Russia, China and other non-democratic countries are up to. I learnt a long time ago to listen to BOTH sides of a story BEFORE making a judgement. When you are only presented with ONE side of a story we should be wary to rush in with our condemning response.


Greg Canavan,

Editor, The Rum Rebellion

2019 Forecast Report
‘This man sees the future…’

Phil Anderson’s long awaited report is one of the most controversial pieces of research we have ever published.

It concerns Phil’s beliefs about the direction of both the Australian share AND property markets in 2019 and beyond.

If you have money invested in stocks and/or property you need to read this immediately.

It will put a startling spin on what the mainstream media is saying about the markets and global financial system right now. You can access it here.



Masters of Money

Karl Marx HD


Published on Jan 30, 2016

Stephanie Flanders examines one of the most revolutionary and controversial thinkers of all.

Karl Marx's ideas left an indelible stamp on the lives of billions of people and the world we live in today.

 As the global financial crisis continues on its destructive path, some are starting to wonder if he was right.

Marx argued that capitalism is inherently unfair and therefore doomed to collapse, so it should be got rid of altogether.

Today as the gap between rich and poor continues to cause tension, his ideas are once again being taken seriously at the heart of global business.

Stephanie travels from Marx's birthplace to a former communist regime detention centre in Berlin and separates his economic analysis from what was carried out in his name.

She asks what answers does Marx provide to the mess we are all in today.



Julian Assange Arrested, Faces U.S. Charges Related To 2010 WikiLeaks Releases


April 11, 2019




WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives in a police vehicle at Westminster Magistrates court on Thursday in London. He was arrested by Scotland Yard police officers inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in Central London.

Julian Paul Assange arrested at the Ecuador Embassy on the 11th April, 2019

 demands that the Julian Assange and Chealea Manning are freed

Pamela Anderson a big supporter of Julian Paul Assange seen visiting Julian Assange at the Ecuador Embassy before be was arrested

The Justice Department announced Thursday that it is charging Julian Assange, setting the stage for a historic legal showdown with the controversial founder of WikiLeaks.

The unsealing of an indictment dated more than a year ago followed a whirlwind reversal of fortune for Assange, who was ejected from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he confined himself for years, and then hauled into custody by officers of the Metropolitan Police.

Not only did Ecuador withdraw protection for Assange, according to wire service reports, the government has arrested a person who is allegedly close to WikiLeaks. Reuters quotes Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo as saying the person was picked up in Ecuador while trying to travel to Japan.

British authorities have received a request to extradite Assange, they said. He is expected to appear at a hearing on May 2.

Justice Department investigators have described the key role that they say Assange and WikiLeaks played in the Russian attack on the 2016 election, but the charges announced on Thursday allude to an earlier chapter in his long-running drama.

The indictment unsealed on Thursday alleged:

in March 2010, Assange engaged in a conspiracy with Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, to assist Manning in cracking a password stored on U.S. Department of Defense computers connected to ... a U.S. government network used for classified documents and communications.

Manning was tried and convicted for the role she played in releasing U.S. government secrets to WikiLeaks; she served more than six years in prison before her sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama.

More recently, Manning was ordered into custody again after a judge found her in contempt of court. Manning reportedly refused to give evidence to a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia in a case also connected to Assange.

It wasn't clear whether the revelations about the existence of that grand jury proceeding could mean there is another indictment in store for Assange. The one unsealed against him was dated March 6, 2018.

Manning's attorneys said on Thursday that the Justice Department's ability to file the charges showed it didn't need her to provide evidence and demanded that she be released.

"Grand juries may not be used for the sole and dominant purpose of preparing for trial, including questioning potential trial witnesses. Since her testimony can no longer contribute to a grand jury investigation, Chelsea's ongoing detention can no longer be seriously alleged to constitute an attempt to coerce her testimony," said lawyers Moira Meltzer-Cohen, Vincent Ward, Chris Leibig and Sandra Freeman.

There had been suggestions in the past that a case against Assange was in the works. The Justice Department said it did not plan to release any additional information about Assange on Thursday.

Trump: Not my thing

President Trump, who professed his love for WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign when it revealed material that embarrassed Democrats, said at the White House on Thursday that he didn't have any knowledge about the charges against Assange.

"It's not my thing," the president said.

What happens next is up to Attorney General William Barr, Trump said.

The Ecuadorian

Assange had been holed up at the embassy in London since 2012, after Ecuador granted him asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden in connection with sexual misconduct allegations.

One of the Swedish cases against Assange expired, but another may still pose a legal threat to him.

Elisabeth Massi Fritz, the lawyer representing the unnamed woman who accused Assange of rape, told NPR by email that she and her client would do everything they can to get the Swedish police to reopen the investigation.

That case — and fear by Assange that Stockholm might extradite him to the United States if he went to Sweden to address it — prompted him to confine himself in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

British authorities respected the customs associated with the privileges each nation affords to another's diplomatic facilities and did not venture inside to arrest him.

That changed on Thursday when Ecuador's ambassador said that Quito had revoked its asylum for Assange. Metropolitan Police officers could go in to serve their warrant. When they came back out, video footage appeared to show them carrying a bearded Assange to a police vehicle.

Protest, support, criticism, controversy

Last week, people gathered outside the embassy after WikiLeaks announced that Assange might be "expelled" from the building within "hours to days."

On the day of Assange's arrest, WikiLeaks pleaded for his protection, tweeting that "Powerful actors, including CIA, are engaged in a sophisticated effort to dehumanise, delegitimize and imprison him."

Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno described the government's decision to withdraw his asylum, describing his "aggressive behavior."

Moreno accused Assange of installing prohibited electronic and distortion equipment, blocking security cameras, mistreating guards, accessing embassy files and threatening the Ecuadorian government.

He also said Assange had intervened in international affairs by working with WikiLeaks to publish leaked Vatican documents.

In Moscow, Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, expressed hopes that "all his rights will be respected."

Russia's military intelligence agency, the GRU, gave Assange data it stole in cyberattacks in 2016 so that he could release it as part of Russia's interference in the presidential election, prosecutors say.

Assange also once hosted a talk show on Russia's state-backed media network RT.

The war logs and the State cables

WikiLeaks first gained notoriety in 2010 when it began to release troves of U.S. government secrets about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Washington's conduct of diplomacy around the world.

The files also revealed the identities of people who had worked with Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, leading officials to warn their lives may have been put in danger.

ssange and his supporters have long maintained that he is a journalist and that WikiLeaks is a news organization like those protected by the First Amendment and other free-press laws around the world.

Assange's revelations about the conduct of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the internal discussions within the State Department and other such matters amount to journalism and accordingly he has never committed any crime, boosters argue.

Said Assange's attorney, Barry Pollack:

While the indictment against Julian Assange disclosed today charges a conspiracy to commit computer crimes, the factual allegations against Mr. Assange boil down to encouraging a source to provide him information and taking efforts to protect the identity of that source. Journalists around the world should be deeply troubled by these unprecedented criminal charges.

Prosecutors' choice to focus their case on the alleged cyberattack suggests the Justice Department's case against Assange may depend less on questions about journalism or reportage and more on the technical aspects of what happened.

Critics argue that any claim Assange could make to being a journalist has been voided by the work he did serving as an arm of Russia's "active measures."

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, said Assange is overdue for a reckoning in an American court.

Said Warner:

Julian Assange has long professed high ideals and moral superiority. Unfortunately, whatever his intentions when he started WikiLeaks, what he's really become is a direct participant in Russian efforts to undermine the West and a dedicated accomplice in efforts to undermine American security. It is my hope that the British courts will quickly transfer him to U.S. custody so he can finally get the justice he deserves.

The election interference

Assange's trial may answer many other questions about the other chapters in his story.

For example, in January 2019 the Justice Department announced charges against GOP political consultant Roger Stone connected with what authorities called work by him and others as alleged intermediaries between WikiLeaks and Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

Stone has pleaded not guilty to the charges, including lying to Congress and obstructing its investigation. Stone says he hasn't done anything wrong.

Stone's trial and Assange's eventual trial may reveal more about the nature of the contacts they and others carried on in 2016

ll the same, Attorney General Barr has said that special counsel Robert Mueller has not established there was a conspiracy between Trump's campaign and the Russians who interfered in the election.

Washington and the world are waiting to learn more from a redacted copy of Mueller's full report, which is expected next week.

NPR reporter James Doubek contributed to this report.

What Does Julian Assange's Arrest Mean For WikiLeaks And U.S. Elections?


What Does Julian Assange's Arrest Mean For WikiLeaks And U.S. Elections?
April 16, 20195:00 AM ET
Heard on Morning Edition


WikiLeaks, by its account, is bigger than Assange, claiming more than 100 staffers around the world. But he is its best-known staffer and public face, and he has been taken out of the loop for now.  

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes his way into the Westminster Magistrates' Court after being arrested April 11 in London.

What does the arrest of Julian Assange mean for the role that WikiLeaks might play in future election interference targeting the United States?
National security officials say they're confident that foreign activity will continue through 2020, but no one knows how familiar it may look, how much it may evolve — or whether a WikiLeaks without Assange could play a similar role.
The answer, cyber-observers say, is probably yes ... but.
"WikiLeaks does have a reputation for credibility," said Jake Williams, founder of the cybersecurity firm Rendition Infosec. "They also have a reputation for being a mouthpiece of the Russian government."
WikiLeaks, by its account, is bigger than Assange, claiming more than 100 staffers around the world. But he is its best-known staffer and public face, and he has been taken out of the loop for now.
Assange has been charged with helping a then-U.S. Army intelligence soldier, Chelsea Manning, access U.S. government systems to download secret material. WikiLeaks then published huge numbers of those documents.
Assange would need to be extradited from the United Kingdom to the U.S. to face the charges. That process, and then his eventual trial, could mean months or years during which he would be absent from the workings of the site he launched.
The Streisand effect
Even so, the degree to which the arrest of Assange renews attention on the legacy organization, rather than on just him, may increase its profile, Williams said. He likened it to the way Barbra Streisand wound up drawing more attention to her beachfront mansion by trying to suppress photos of it.
"Taking him out of play may actually have the Streisand effect, where more people are now aware of [WikiLeaks] than would have been before," said Williams.
Even so, more people than ever also may become aware that WikiLeaks served in 2016 as a fence for the Russian military intelligence agency GRU. The agency used cyberattacks to steal data from Americans, which it then gave to WikiLeaks to release based on its reputation as an independent arbiter of secrets.

The operatives used WikiLeaks to release troves of embarrassing emails: a data dump that led to the resignation of Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and a dramatic shift of media focus for much of the 2016 presidential race.
American intelligence officials have been clear that efforts to affect elections in the U.S. have not stopped.
"We assess that foreign actors will view the 2020 U.S. elections as an opportunity to advance their interests," Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told a Senate committee this year. "We expect them to refine their capabilities and add new tactics as they learn from each other's experiences and efforts."
The kind of phishing attacks that led to those data breaches remain among the most popular forms of cybertactics, and there were attempts to use them in 2018 too.
Then-Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said Russia sent her staff fake emails last summer in an effort to gain access to passwords.
WikiLeaks has long been seen as the gold standard for releasing secret information. The site has built a broad reach, worked with many legacy media organizations and generally made a strong effort to protect sources, Williams said.
The organization may even use Assange's arrest as a way to raise money, said David Fidler, a cybersecurity expert at the Council on Foreign Relations.
"Those who support what WikiLeaks has done in the past will take [this] as a call to arms, as a rallying cry, that it ought to double down on the mission that Assange and the other founders of WikiLeaks originally created," Fidler said. "I could see them using Assange as a sort of whistleblower or martyr figure to increase the scale of what they're trying to do."
WikiLeaks still retains a lot of goodwill around the world, based on the revelations that came from those documents, which may motivate fellow travelers into those same kinds of disclosures in the future.
But because of WikiLeaks' real or perceived ties to the Russia government, both Fidler and Williams said that if an adversary wanted to push information into American discourse — and have it taken seriously leading up to the next election — it might use a different route from WikiLeaks.
That could mean creating a new avenue, like Russian operatives tried to do with the website DCLeaks, or using established social media or other websites.
"I probably would avoid WikiLeaks and likely use another distribution method," Williams said. "What that is, is still yet to be determined."

Russian Hackers Targeted The Most Vulnerable Part Of U.S. Elections. Again


Russian Hackers Targeted The Most Vulnerable Part Of U.S. Elections. Again

 July 28, 20187:00 AM ET

Heard on Weekend Edition Saturday


Cyberattackers, traced back to the Vladimir Putin-backed GRU Russian intelligence agency, attempted to hack into the emails of Sen. Claire McCaskill last year.

When Russian hackers targeted the staff of Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., they took aim at maybe the most vulnerable sector of U.S. elections: campaigns.

McCaskill's Senate staff received fake emails, as first reported by The Daily Beast, in an apparent attempt by Russia's GRU intelligence agency to gain access to passwords. McCaskill released a statement confirming the attack but said there is no indication the attack was successful.

"Russia continues to engage in cyber warfare against our democracy. I will continue to speak out and press to hold them accountable," McCaskill said. "I will not be intimidated. I've said it before and I will say it again, Putin is a thug and a bully."

The Missouri Democrat is running for re-election in November, in a state President Trump won by almost 20 percentage points; she is widely considered among the most vulnerable Democrats running for re-election in the Senate this year.

Although the attack on her staff is the first known instance of a Russian attempt at the kind of cyber-intrusion used on the Clinton campaign with great success in 2016, there is reason to believe it won't be the last.

Tom Burt, Microsoft's vice president of customer security and trust, said last week that three candidates standing for election in the 2018 midterms were the target of phishing attempts that Microsoft detected. The Daily Beast concluded based on other evidence that McCaskill was among those three. It remains unclear who the others were.

"They were all people who because of their positions, might have been interesting people from an espionage standpoint, as well as an election disruption standpoint," Burt said.

Eric Rosenbach, who served as the chief of staff for the Department of Defense from 2015 to 2017 and also previously oversaw the Pentagon's cyberactivities, said based on his experience in national security, there's no reason to believe those will be or have been the only campaign hack attempts.

"The fact that you find one part of a Russian cyber-intrusion or attack, usually means that you've only found a very small part of it," Rosenbach said. "It probably means that [attacks] like this are much more widespread, that they may be, in fact, in the campaigns of many close Senate races ... You just always have to operate as if you've only found the beginning of what is probably a much more complex problem and situation."

Rosenbach now leads the Defending Digital Democracy project at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a project aimed at helping state and local election officials, as well as campaigns, grapple with the new reality: Much of their work is now digital, and they have a target on their backs.

Campaigns are "the most vulnerable" aspect of U.S. elections, Rosenbach said, because they often don't have the time or money to develop long-term cybersecurity plans and because they're bringing on new staff and volunteers all the time — often without adequate training.

Rosenbach worked with Republican Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign manager, Matt Rhodes, and Democrat Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign manager, Robby Mook, on creating a cybersecurity playbook for campaign managers.

"People have this perception of campaigns that comes from movies and TV shows, like House of Cards, where they're very sophisticated operations," said Rhodes, when he spoke to NPR in the spring. "The only thing that is actually consistent with the movies when it comes to campaigns is people eat a lot of pizza. They're not that sophisticated."

Mook added, "The irony of campaigns is they are the grittiest and least valuable startups out there, but they're incredibly valuable targets."

Much of the risk of the sort of phishing attack that was successfully executed in 2016 on John Podesta, chairman of the Clinton campaign, and the Democratic National Committee and attempted this year on McCaskill's staff could be mitigated with two-factor authentication, said Mark Nunnikhoven, a vice president of the cybersecurity firm Trend Micro.

Two-factor authentication makes it so anyone wishing to access an email account must not only have a username and password, but also another form of verification, like a code that can be texted to a cellphone number. It's a cybersecurity measure offered by all major email providers at no cost, but, Nunnikhoven said, "the challenge is getting people to use it."

The added step is inconvenient, but it renders most phishing attempts useless.

"This is a constant challenge of cybersecurity, getting people to understand tradeoffs," Nunnikhoven said. "It's a minor bump in the user experience, but it's a huge security win."

But campaigns need to begin taking steps like that, Rosenbach said, because until the United States can implement a foreign policy that effectively deters foreign nations from interfering digitally in elections, they will continue. If it's not Russia, he also said, it will be someone else.

"It's hard for me to believe," said Rosenbach, "that campaign infrastructure won't be under attack for decades, maybe centuries to come."



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