Note: I am only leaving this up as a reminder of how far I’ve grown.
As with Part 1 of this series, my main goal is provide the background story to what ultimately led to what is now known as SpyGate.
Picking up from where we left off with part 1, I believe that a lot of the events that we are witnessing transpire today has to do with the discovery of Hillary Clinton’s Private Email Server. After losing the Democratic Primary to future President Barrack Obama, Hillary was then nominated for Secretary of State by the Obama Administration. Problems first came about immediately when the State Department tried to warn Hillary Clinton and her associates about the dangers of using Blackberry as their technology can be vulnerable to hacking. These concerns fell on deaf ears as not only were the Blackberries still in use, Clinton had set up a private email server in her Chappaqua, New York, from January 2009 until 2013.
I have been looking to find any obvious vulnerabilities that have been reported via the press as I do not have a technical background, but I have not been able to find any solid connections. If anything, with the disclosure of hacking tools such as Pegasus and Karma, the Blackberry has been excluded from devices that were compromised. Even Blackberry’s former parent company Research In Motion (RIM) yielded no results. If we want to delve further into the irony basket, it has been noted that Clinton’s private email server was more secure than the government’s email servers. This was shown in 2014 when Russians had breached the State Department Email Server and the NSA described it as “hand to hand combat.” China and Iran were two other countries who had also upped their effort in cyber espionage against the United States.
While initial awareness of the server was in 2009, hacking attempts have been dated back to 2011. The Benghazi Attack in 2012 wound up being the fuel that launched this story into the households of the American people. Threader @RoscoeBDavis1 wrote a massive thread that goes into the Benghazi attack and Clinton’s involvement. While I don’t plan on going into massive detail, the reason I brought up Benghazi was because in 2013, a Romanian “hacker” named Marcel Lazar Lehel aka Guccifer had breached the AOL email account of Clinton associate and fixer Sidney Blumenthal. Guccifer relied on googling information about a target in order to answer security questions. Guccifer’s email dumps relied information about the 2012 Benghazi attack and also revealed the clintonemail.com domain for the first time. Blumenthal did not have a security clearance to view these emails which furthered the inquisition as to why this private server was created. To finalize the ties back to the Benghazi attack, in summer 2014 while reviewing the request from the HPSCI for her emails, the State Department noticed a number of emails stemming from her personal email account. Boxes of emails were then brought in except for 33,000 that were deemed personal in nature. The story fully broke in 2015 when the New York Times reported that she had used her private email account to conduct State Department business. In all, after an FBI examination of Clinton’s server found over 100 emails containing classified information, including 65 emails deemed “Secret” and 22 deemed “Top Secret”. An additional 2,093 emails not marked classified were retroactively classified by the State Department.
While details of what exactly happened with the email server are still not clear, holes in the story are still being revealed. For example in 2012, a nonprofit group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, filed an FOIA for her emails and they were told that no emails with a .gov address exist. This was proven to be false when Judicial Watch received a new batch of emails revealing a state.gov domain. I had even jumped into the fray when I randomly discovered that the computer chip company Super Micro’s server was one used by Clinton. This is interesting because Bloomberg had reported that Super Micro had been compromised by the Chinese. This plays into the anomaly that Inspector General Charles McCullough first brought to the attention of the FBI in 2015. A copy of Hillary’s emails were being forwarded to a foreign third party. The Super Micro discovery was later featured an Epoch Times article which gave me credit. Even Guccifer pleading guilty to hacking Clinton’s server was later said to be false by FBI Director James Comey during congressional testimony.
The time frame surrounding the Benghazi Attack seemed to be an inflection point in history because what seemed to follow was a hacking spree. You can see the uptick in hacks starting in 2011 and continuing that upward trend into 2012 and beyond. While I do think as the internet is used for more things, I do think China has a large role to play in all of this. The Super Micro story shows that our hardware can be compromised and when they are manufacturing the hardware, it presents a threat to US National Security. In addition to hacks surrounding private companies, the US Gov was seemingly left in the dust as most agencies including the State Department, NSA, and CIA were subject to a hack or a compromising leak at some point.
Clinton had been accused of quid pro quo when it came to the Uranium One deal. The Clinton Foundation had received a charitable donation from Russia State Owned Nuclear Company Rosatom after the deal. What is interesting is Rosatom will be a company that surrounds the saga that involves General Flynn which I plan to cover later in the series. I had wondered if Clinton had been selling hacking equipment from her server which left the US open to be compromised by foreign powers.
The only reason why I bring up this theory is because from the Chinese perspective, it would make no sense for them to reveal their hand when it comes to all the back door access they have implanted in US technology over the years. While being able to spy on everything at will is a handy feature to have, the cover was blown with the anomaly in Clinton’s server. In the meantime, President Trump has been on a full scale attack against Chinese company Huawei who were recently served 10 indictments which include the theft of trade secrets conspiracy, attempted theft of trade secrets, seven counts of wire fraud, and one count of obstruction of justice. Coincidentally Huawei was slated to build the 5G Network across America, something Trump is warning the United State’s foreign allies to not let happen. If China was able to install the 5G network, not only would they have access to our tech, but also our network. While Clinton’s server had caused short term problems, long term it may be seen as a blessing in disguise. America was able to dodge a massive bullet as some recent events show the extent America was compromised. The US was forced to ground all 737 planes which will now be receiving a software update and there was an NSA style backdoor recently found on Huewai laptops.
From a deduction standpoint, it would make more sense for someone that was not China to obtain and release the information from the server which alerted US authorities. Russia and Iran are two of the higher probabilities, but other countries like Pakistan are plausible based on the possible Awan Scandal. There is also no reason to discount that non-foreign entities were able to breach the server as emails were rumored to be found on the dark web as well. As for this series, in the next part I plan to cover the Russian cyber attacks and Wikileaks.
Update: Turns out the server anomaly mentioned by the ICIG was a forwarding request that was set up by Paul Combetta. He set his own email up to forward all the emails to him. This was originally thought to be the Chinese because the name Carter Heavy Industrial is the name of a company in China. The account was proven to be Combetta’s via IP matches.