How the DNC Hack Might Have Happened

This past week, the subject of hacking and the fallout from released DNC e-mails is hot on the lips of the media. Being the media, very few people understand how this hack might have happened, or the resources required to do it. This is a purely speculative look on how the DNC hack might have happened. I have no special knowledge that would lead this to being particularly accurate. I’m computer-savvy and have heard my share of horror stories and stories of unsuccessful attempts, so I have some idea of what kinds of attacks might have occurred.

The important thing in this, is that people within the DNC did not seem to take security very seriously. People shared simple passwords, and personal information like social security numbers over unencrypted e-mail. These kinds of dumb mistakes are things that even the most secure servers cannot protect against. These egregious lapses in basic security measures uncovered in the e-mails lead me to believe that the DNC was the victim of a social engineering attack.

The person attacking the DNC might have crafted a simple e-mail that caused DNC personnel to reveal passwords to the hacker. They would find the e-mail address of a DNC employee, let’s say Jane Doe, and send a message like this to her:

Jane,

We are doing maintenance on our e-mail server right now, could you send us your password so that we can update your settings?

IT

If this was sent from an e-mail address that looked legitimate, and it made it past their mail server spam filters, Jane might reply with her password in the e-mail. Once that happens, all the hacker needs to do is figure out where to login, and he’s got access to her e-mails. This is a relatively simple spear-phishing attempt.

This won’t work on many people, but in an organization as lax about security as the DNC was, this very well might have worked on a few people at the DNC.

As I mentioned, people at the DNC were e-mailing passwords back and forth. Anyone whose password was in a compromised account would then be compromised themselves, and so on and so forth.

Now, if the DNC had been forcing people to change passwords regularly, the leak would not have been able to spread very far. Considering the short, simple, passwords allowed, I doubt this was the case.

At this point, how this might have created a large leak is readily apparent. A few people falling for a simple spear-phishing attempt, combined with poor organizational security measures could have wreaked havoc, all without performing an actual attack on their mail server.

That’s my best guess for what happened: a few people gave out their password to a hacker and compromised their accounts. Meanwhile, the information in the accounts compromised more accounts.

If this was the case, some simple IT measures could have been taken to help prevent this type of attack:

  1. More aggressive e-mail filtering to detect fraudulent e-mail
  2. Employee training to recognize threats
  3. Password complexity and time limits

 

Monday Links 7/25/2016

Last week was the RNC, and this was the big topic of conversation. However, most articles I read were reporting on speeches and not much else. For that reason it took me a little longer to come up with enough links for a post.

Whither the Fanatic? covers the steady decline of conservatism following the end of the Cold War.

Life in A Theocracy parallels the experience of arbitrary punishment in Saudi Arabia with the modern American experience.

Meaning, Globalism and Death explores the emptiness of the globalist culture, commonly called “McWorld” or “Generica”. It also reflects on the responses to that culture.

The End of the Revivial marks the decline in progressive energy and sets in among other Northern moralist movements which have cropped up nearly every generation since the founding of the nation.

A World Without Western Civilization is a reaction to the controversy surrounding Rep. King’s response to Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce celebrating the decline of white influence in America.

Early Week Links 07/20/2016

Here are the things I’ve found thought provoking over the past few days:

The Death Knell of Secularism looks at the fading embers of the secular forces in Dar Al-Islam in the wake of the failed Turkish coup.

Why Do Progressives Get Religion? examines the contributing factors in the dominance of the current Western state religion, antiracism.

When is a Movie Not a Movie? calls on us to stop supporting media companies that hate us.

How To Stage A Successful Coup details the coup against the Iraqi monarchy by the military in 1958.

Rep. Steve King Exposes the Emperor’s New Clothes highlights the general establishment reaction to King’s recent comments, as well as discusses Charles Murray’s Human Accomplishment.

Why the Libertarian Moment is Over and the Nationalist Moment is Upon Us examines the reasons why libertarianism failed to become the ideology to upend conservatism, and why nationalism is the one that has done so.

Three Generations of Culture War

Culture is a fundamental element of societies. As culture changes, society changes. Inevitably, people realized their actions could influence culture, allowing people to work to change society. When attempts to change culture met resistance or a contrary attempt to change culture, culture war was the result.

Culture war is the struggle between ideas for acceptance by the population. Over the past 100 years, culture wars have become a huge part of Western political life which effect everyone, no matter if you wish to engage in them or not. As this has gone on, technology has evolved and tactics have gotten better. Surveying the evolution and utilization of various tactics in the culture wars, I’ve found there are three distinct phases, each loosely corresponding to the first three of Lind’s generations of modern war. 

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Late Week Links 7/13-7/15/2016

Here are some of the stories I found interesting in the second half of this week.

The President’s Prejudices takes a look at Obama’s reaction to recent shootings and our society’s collective refusal to fit black criminality into a coherent narrative.

The Wuss Right explains how the right-wing personalities you’re presented with as acceptable, by and large only differ from the left on means, not ends.

Three More Important Lessons I Learned About Civilization from Living in a Hippie Commune discusses the author’s observations on human society based on his experience living with 15,000 hippies in the woods for a couple of weeks. The original article is worth a read as well.

NYT: Implicit Whiteness of Seattle / Portland Europhile Soccer Hipsters Is Triggeringly Problematic discusses the culture surrounding soccer and the nationalism in breeds. 

Scientific Education as a Cause of Political Stupidity looks at the reasons scientists make lousy politicians and pundits. (See: Tyson, ND)

Last night, the West once again suffered an attack by Islamists killing dozens of people. Here are two reactions I found interesting.

The Year Rudyard Kipling Was Proved Right About Everything quotes a very relevant Kipling poem and discusses the attacks.
France Needs A New Revolution looks at the stunning comments by the French Prime Minister this morning. It’s also worth reading the lyrics to La Marseillaise in today’s context.

Early Week Links 7/11-7/12/2016

Here are some things I read and found interesting so far this week.

Conservative Zugzwang is an article about how conservatives paint themselves into what chess players call a Zugzwang. This is a position in which your best move is to do nothing, but you are forced to act instead.

Barak X compares our current president to former Baltimore mayor Kurt Schmoke and their similar career progressions.

The crucial question is what happens as the demand for labor decreases in an increasingly automated society?
The Sucker of The Summer goes to the Stephen Douglas’s of today. The people described are those who hope they can ignore the larger issues at hand and keep doing things the way they’ve always been done.

In the Cloud, You Never Have to Say You’re Sorry points out how loser politicians don’t go away anymore and electorally losing ideologies stock around well past their sell-by date.

Will Hillary Clinton Ditch Black Lives Matter? Asks Pat Buchanan. Betteridge’s Law of Headlines notwithstanding, as more of BLM’s anti-whiteness rhetoric falls upon the ears of the public, people will be forced to reckon with whether or not they can vote for someone who supports hate against them.

Harpy Tries to Create an Internet Mob, Fails Miserably

You’re getting ready for a flight, and it comes time for those same old boring safety instructions. Except this time, something horrible happens, the pilot introduces the flight crew, and refers to them as “the pretty young ladies in the aisle”. When faced with a horrible situation like this, there’s only one thing to do: try and create an online mob to get the pilot fired.

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