back to article Just so we're all clear on this: Russia hacked the French elections, US Republicans and Dems

It's been a busy week already on Capitol Hill. We've heard yet again revelations of Russian hackers breaking into US Republican and Democrat campaign computers – and interfering with France's presidential election. In a Senate judiciary committee meeting on Monday, former Director of National Security James Clapper was asked …

  1. DrXym Silver badge

    Yup

    And people paying attention know there are at least 2, possibly 3 grand juries already convening prior to making some arrests. And a State of New York RICO charge that could drag in Trump or some of his confederates on the grounds of racketeering, money laundering on behalf of the Russian mafia.

    Trump has a busy few weeks of reality denial ahead of him. #fakenews

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yup

      I am no Trump fan, but his links to Russian money so far have proven to be extremely elusive. In fact there is little or no proof of them publicly released so far. Chinese money - maybe. Middle Eastern money - definitely. Russian - no documents so far.

      Now, Clinton connections to Ukrainian money is a completely different story. There is an official record of Ukrainian oligarchs paying for her appearance at junkets and speeches as well as donating to her foundation. Ditto for Blair (payments for both). It is in their RELEASED accounts and in their foundations RELEASED accounts. Just go and read them. That's how we do it in the 21st century - everything is above board and we even invoice you for that. No bribes under the table - that is so medieval 3rd world you know...

      I am leaving the question of "would paying me 2M make me such a Russo-phobic c*nt" as an "exercise to the reader".

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: Yup

        If you want to sense which way the wind is blowing subscribe to John Schindler @20committee on Twitter. He's an ex-intelligence community & columnist and has a pretty sharp eye on things which are happening.

        The likes of Flynn, Manafort and Page *are* going to get prosecuted and it's not hard to see others dragged in too, especially if its seen they were acting in cahoots. They might even turn states evidence for cushier sentences.

        Second to this Trump *does* have Russian mob ties. His casinos were fined for money laundering. His business partner Felix Sater is a convicted mobster. Dutch TV did an interesting documentary about Sater this recently which is on YouTube. The BBC interviewed Trump about Sater and Trump's entire response was to call the interviewer thick and run out of the room. Trump is vulnerable to compromise and it's not a stretch to imagine that he *has* been compromised. And even if he hasn't, there's that whole RICO investigation.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yup

          Section 40 needs to be implemented forthwith!

        2. BillG Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: Yup

          From the linked Clinton News Network website:

          Flynn served as his National Security Adviser, but resigned after one month amid questions about his links to Russia.

          As I recall all Flynn did was not declare a visit to Russia. That's hardly as dark as the deliberately vague statement "links to Russia".

          The Clinton Foundation, OTOH, has pretty strong ties to Russia and I'll bet Hillary has some emails on that.

          Oh, wait...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Yup

            The Clinton Foundation, OTOH, has pretty strong ties to Russia

            Your knowledge of Geography is probably not your strongest point. The Russian sounding names in the Clinton foundation donor list are from Ukraine and more specifically they have significant vested interests _AGAINST_ the other part of the Ukrainian mob - the one which gets along with the Russians.

          2. james 68

            Re: Yup

            @BillG

            "As I recall all Flynn did was not declare a visit to Russia. That's hardly as dark as the deliberately vague statement "links to Russia"."

            That's some very selective memory you got there.

            Phone calls to the Russian ambassador, emails to the Russian ambassador (specifically talking about sanctions), denying and deliberately obfuscating receiving payments from Russian interests and lobbying on their behalf, same as previous for Turkey. That "visit to Russia" you mentioned? He tried to deny that too until the proof against him was overwhelming and he tried to spin it as just a typical RT event. So happens he was photographed in the presence of the Russian ambassador (again) and Putin himself at said event, funny how he didn't mention that when quizzed by congress about meeting Russian individuals dontcha think?

            Oh and the final gasp of an "innocent" man, he has promised to spill the beans if he is provided with immunity from prosecution. I'm sure that's something every innocent man asks for.

            And that's only the dirt on Flynn....

    2. YARR

      Zero evidence presented + unfounded claims by a politician = it must be true (!)

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Yup

      As if to emphasize the shitstorm coming, just look what happened. Comey fired on a weak pretext, as if that will make the investigations and indictments disappear. Nixon had his own "Saturday Night Massacre" with as much success as Trump will have.

    4. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Yup

      "that could drag in Trump or some of his confederates on the grounds of racketeering, money laundering on behalf of the Russian mafia."

      Could it? How far does Presidential immunity from prosecution go?

      1. Chemical Bob

        Re: Yup

        Presidential immunity from prosecution goes way, way too far, unfortunately.

        1. Fred Goldstein

          Re: Yup

          The President has no immunity against state charges, even if he has some immunity against some federal ones. The NY State AG is investigating Trump.

  2. NonSSL-Login
    Meh

    There were 3 in the server and the little one said...roll over

    So were the NSA and GCHQ just watching the traffic flows at various internet backbones or had they also penetrated the same servers as part of infowars strategy and noticed other parties malware?

    The only difference between Russia and the west when it comes to hacking EVERYONE, is how they use the information. The UK and US will use the information from hacking the French candidates one way and maybe some sly leak if they think it will benefit them, compared to Russia that dumps the whole lot of the candidate they are not keen on and let the journalists rummage through and find the dirt.

    Yet, Russia is bad mmmkay. UK and US are squeeky clean so get to shout to the world how bad Russian hacking is. Very hypocritical but the sheeple and media like a bad Russia and Putin story...

    1. beep54

      Re: There were 3 in the server and the little one said...roll over

      Sorry, but you lose any shred of credibility by using the word 'sheeple'. Grow up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There were 3 in the server and the little one said...roll over

        I think that 'sheeple' is appropriate here - most folk immediately focus on the details of what the various countries secret services are alleged to have done, in this case, what the Russians are alleged to have done. Instead, what people should be focussing on is who is saying the 'what' and, most importantly of all, why are they saying it.

        In this case then, what is important is: why are the West's security services are telling us this stuff and what do they hope to achieve by doing so?

        What is clear is that when the public can do nothing about what they are told, the only point in telling them is to make them believe something that they would not have thought otherwise.

        In summary, when government tells you something about someone else the target they're shooting at is not that someone else - the target is you; the someone else is just the bullet.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There were 3 in the server and the little one said...roll over

        Just be glad they didn't use the word "salty" 4 times in a 3 sentence paragraph.

      3. NonSSL-Login

        Re: There were 3 in the server and the little one said...roll over

        "Sorry, but you lose any shred of credibility by using the word 'sheeple'. Grow up."

        If that is the strongest argument against my post you could make, maybe you are just a butthurt iPhone user still upset from that new dictionary entry? ;)

        Sheeple is in the dictionary peeples! https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/04/28/apple_fanbois_officially_sheeple/

  3. JLV Silver badge

    just getting started

    Seems to me we are still living in amateurish times.

    What would it take for a nation state to completely cover its tracks?

    - no "native language stuff" in code or comments

    - offshore teams - base your dudes in, say, Malta or Cyprus, not Moscow. No IP geo tracks that way.

    - encrypt comms to team and "need-to-know". Just like mushrooms goes the saying. Heck, don't comm via digital means at all.

    - start from clean OS downloads from open source. Add malware from crims as needed

    - use criminals rather than your cyber soldiers

    - muddle up the money trail to your team.

    If you add this, and other operational security I didn't think of, how could anyone truly know who's pulling the strings? Could say, Russia "frame" China vis a vis the West? How would we trust our own govs?

    I don't see any great reason to doubt Russian involvement in this instance, but the scope for misdirection and possibly even false flag ops is getting bigger all the time.

    1. Roo
      Windows

      Re: just getting started

      - don't use x86 hardware, especially in routers. :)

      1. Roo

        Re: just getting started

        Aww was that too soon after the AMT zero length password remotely exploitable vuln for you downvoters ?

    2. Bob Rocket

      Re: just getting started

      What difference, at this point, does it make ?

      1. PhilipN Silver badge

        What difference does it make?

        I just had a brilliant idea. The US President should be elected by voting by the whole World excluding the USA.

        After all, the US electorate seem only to make a complete hash of it.

    3. deathOfRats

      Re: just getting started

      And there was me thinking that was SOP in the so called "intelligence agencies".

      Have the standards gone to hell or is this just a wheels within wheels within wheels kind of thing?

    4. Meph
      Black Helicopters

      Re: just getting started

      There may be a much simpler explanation, which is that the most effective use of any weapon is the publicity surrounding it.

      For those of us old enough, remember the nervous commentary surrounding the existence of the exocet missile, right up until the deployment of the phalanx system on US warships. In a similar vein, think on why the North Koreans continually brag about their capabilities and tests.

      Perhaps the Ruski's want the world to know that they've found ways to successfully manipulate the masses, because what good is having a new toy if you can't brag about it to everyone else.

    5. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: just getting started

      - offshore teams - base your dudes in, say, Malta or Cyprus, not Moscow. No IP geo tracks that way.

      I bet GCHQ would love it if a Russian team set themselves up in Cyprus. They wouldn't have to bother with the sophistication necessary to get a close look at ops based in Moscow or St Petersburg -- they could just wander down the hill with a pair of binoculars.

  4. Bob Rocket

    Landslide ?

    Just to be clear on the 66/34 Macron win.

    25% of the electorate didn't turn up or turned up and spoiled their ballot

    12% of the electorate turned up and wrote a version of NOTA on the paper

    42% of the electorate voted Macron

    21% of the electorate voted Le Pen

    37% didn't care for either of them

    An overwhelming majority of the electorate in a two horse race did not back the winner.

    Mandate, pas tant

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Landslide ?

      He still got more than UK BrExit votes which are roughly equivalent to the French number of "Both of you are merde"

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Landslide ?

      "An overwhelming majority of the electorate in a two horse race did not back the winner."

      A point of clarification. French elections are ALWAYS a two horse race. The primary round features all the candidates and then the second is between the top two from the first round.

      Second, claiming the majority didn't vote for them could be said for many elections. UK MPs frequently don't enjoy the majority of votes in their constituency unless they're in a very safe seat.

      1. Bob Rocket

        Re: Landslide ?

        I don't have a problem with Macron winning, they have their mad election method, we have ours. A wise person might be wary of the silent majority (our bunch can hide in collective responsibility, Le President is on his own)

        Horses for courses.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Landslide ?

          A wise person might be wary of the silent majority

          If they stay silent and don't vote then they're not doing anything that the political world needs to be wary of.

    3. Schultz
      WTF?

      Re: Landslide? ... 42% of the electorate voted Macron

      42% of all eligible voters is quite a mandate. Let's compare:

      Trump is president with some 26% of eligible voters voting for him.

      Brexit won with some 28% of eligible voters voting for it.

      ... could continue the list, but you get the picture. Macron did quite well I'd say.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Landslide? ... 42% of the electorate voted Macron

        Macron did quite well I'd say.

        He did, but you're still counting the "don't cares" as "voted against", which is false logic.

        Of the 75% of the electorate who turned up to vote, 58% voted for Macron. With Brexit, of the 72% who turned up to vote, 52% voted to leave (which is 38% of the electorate, not 28% as you claimed). The results aren't all that dissimilar.

        1. deive

          Re: Landslide? ... 42% of the electorate voted Macron

          @Phil, don't think you can directly compare a 50/50 vote vs a 2 round vote...

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Landslide? ... 42% of the electorate voted Macron

            don't think you can directly compare a 50/50 vote vs a 2 round vote...

            I'd say they were more comparable than many others. Brexit was a single-issue binary choice, not directly related to party politics. Having elected a government who promised a referendum (among other policies) the actual referendum was designed just to address that one issue.

            The 2nd round of the French election was the same, after the first round to pick two candidates from a large field, the second round is designed as a head-to-head binary choice, specifically so that the winning candidate is seen to have a clear majority of those who voted.

            1. Adam 52 Silver badge

              Re: Landslide? ... 42% of the electorate voted Macron

              "Brexit was a single-issue binary choice, not directly related to party politics. "

              It wasn't though. It was a vote for independence if you ask Farage, for the NHS if you ask the Leave campaign, for democracy if you ask one of my friends, to send the blacks home according to the man in my local, against Turkey joining the EU if you ask Boris Johnson or just for a return to the good old days according to the landlord of the Dog and Muffler.

              That was David Cameron's big mistake and Theresa May's Enabling Act. If the question had been one binary question it would not have gained anywhere near as much support.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Landslide? ... 42% of the electorate voted Macron

                The Brexit choice was binary, Stay or Go. The reasons behind why people chose one or the other option were very different, of course. The same is true of the French presidential election, many people who ticked the "Macron" box did so because they were voting against Le Pen, or against protectionism, or for the EU, or even some, I suppose, because they wanted Macron as President.

    4. Potemkine Silver badge

      Re: Landslide ?

      An overwhelming majority of the electorate in a two horse race did not back the winner.

      Nonetheless, Macron got more votes than the two previous presidents got in their time....

      :

    5. JCitizen
      IT Angle

      Re: Landslide ?

      Pretty much same with the US election. When you see the pie chart of who voted for who and who didn't, Hillary's popular vote doesn't count for much. Wake me up when a US candidate actually gleans the MAJORITY of the registered voter population.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I confess ...

    The butler did it!

  6. Roo
    Windows

    What next ?

    The Democrats and Republicans can now reasonably expect Russia to have some actionable blackmail material available, it'll be interesting to see whether they fight or co-operate to quash the investigations.

    I suspect the latter because the establishment like to pretend that they have a "Mandate" whatever that actually may be. I haven't seen any Mandate Police or Mandates in the shops so far, so not entirely sure where they could come by such a thing as a result of an election won on the back of blackmail.

    1. Roo
      Windows

      Re: What next ?

      Sigh... Didn't have to wait long for an answer, James Comey fired already. :)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We're watching the Russians penetrate your infrastructure"

    It's what the internet was invented for.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBDCq6Q8k2E

  8. SW10
    Black Helicopters

    There's a May mystery

    US Democrats hacked, Macron hacked; scary times for those whose aims and policies are not aligned with Russia's.

    Strange that nothing's happened to May. Oh, wait...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's a May mystery

      For the Russians to bother they'd have to deem there to be a viable alternative. Let's face it, Corbyn ain't that person.

  9. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Devil

    Well.... the jury is still out....

    We're missing a few commentards input on this.

    Seriously, if the allegations are true of what the candidates/elected officials did are true, there should be justice. As for those who hacked and released.. they need to shot at sunrise. Politics has to be the messiest thing in the world.

    And yes, I'm well aware that dirty tricks, etc. in politics/elections have been going on in almost all if not all countries since the first election was held.. It still doesn't justify it or make it right.

  10. uncommon_sense
    Terminator

    >choosing Macron over the revolting Le Pen<

    So, EL RAG has now given up the last pretence of objectivity, just like Le Inq?

    1. veti Silver badge

      In the first place, El Reg has never pretended to be objective. About anything.

      In the second place, "objective" doesn't mean you can't tell the truth just because some politician somewhere doesn't like it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      revolt: to renounce allegiance or subjection (as to a government) : rebel

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ uncommon_sense

      The objectivity you seek has already been overwritten by the beliefs that the media has instilled in you.

      Do not set yourself on fire in order to keep others warm.

  11. Bob Rocket

    Revolt

    to renounce subjection to a government

    I'll go with that

    #Je Suis Revolting

    1. JustWondering
      Happy

      Re: Revolt

      "Sire! The peasants are revolting!"

      "You can say that again!"

      1. 's water music Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Revolt

        "You can say that again!"

        "Sire! The peasants are revolting!"

        I'm here all week folks

        1. Andytug

          Re: Revolt

          IIRC the quote is "Sire! The peasants are revolting!!"

          "Well don't look at them, then!".

          Think it was "Round The Horne" but may possibly have been "The Goon Show"

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Re: Revolt

            Think it was "Round The Horne" but may possibly have been "The Goon Show"

            A quick Google shows it's from "History of the World: Part I".

  12. Palpy

    Mmm. Yes, well.

    Business Insider:

    "Moscow's push for chaos in the West can be seen, he said, in its 'desperate effort to shore up Syria' as well as in its hacks on the US election system. 'It's important to them to tear us down to prove that we're just as bad and corrupt as they are,' [Dr. Jeffery] Lewis said."

    "Unfortunately for the US, much of Russia's campaign to discredit Western institutions works. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump often touts information exposed by WikiLeaks, an organization with ties to Russia, and has attacked the legitimacy of US democracy and threatened to ignore the results of the election."

    Larry Diamond, in The Atlantic, puts it in similar terms:

    "And so Putin’s regime has been embarked for some years now on an opportunistic but sophisticated campaign to sabotage democracy and bend it toward his interests, not just in some marginal, fragile places but at the very core of the liberal democratic order, Europe and the United States. As The Telegraph reported in January, Western intelligence agencies have been monitoring a Russian campaign on a Cold War scale to support a wide range of European parties and actors—illiberal parties and politicians of both the far left and far right—that are sympathetic to Russia and Putin."

    Take note of historical and global political analyses, fellow commentards. Or should I address you now as gospodin commentard?

  13. Kev99 Bronze badge

    One more instance showing the stupidity of having confidential or private data connected to the web. And the idiot coders and marketers want even more exposed. Sheesh.

  14. Someone Else Silver badge
    FAIL

    Also spracht Der Lügenführer

    From his twat...er...tweet:

    Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows- there is "no evidence" of collusion w/ Russia and Trump.

    Donnie, there is a world of difference between Mr. Clapper having "no information to share", and there being "no evidence". But you already knew that, since you "know words", and "have all the best words". So I guess you're just lying to us. Again. As usual.

    Maybe that's why "no evidence" was in quotes?

  15. Palpy

    And Trump just fired James Comey --

    -- thus delaying the FBI investigation of Trump's associates' ties to Russia a bit. Until an acting director and then a new director come up to speed, anyway. What we need now is a new Deep Throat.

    1. james 68

      Re: And Trump just fired James Comey --

      Trump has a deep throat, the very best deep throat, just ask Putin. Everyone is talking about it.

      ....or at least they are since Colbert rather aptly called him Putin's cock holster.

    2. Someone Else Silver badge
      Devil

      @Palpy -- Re: And Trump just fired James Comey --

      What we need now is a new Deep Throat.

      How do you know we don't already have one? Or more?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    comments so far missed the point

    If there was nothing embaressing to leak then having your mails released would be of zero benefit to your enemy.

    That politians have something to hide is why they are compromised, they are the weak link and a liability to our security.

    Either make all polititian's electronic data public domain to discourage them from leaving themselves open to attack or block all internet traffic from counties that wish to cyber attack you.

    The former would discourage electronic forms of communication for parties with somethign to hide but at least they would not be acting for external bodies.

    The later would force their agents to work within your allies' domain and give you a better chance of arresting them.

    We already block to benefit the movie distributors why not the rest of us?

    Lastly, I thought it was common practice for politians to be vetted to make certain that they cannot be compromised by their past. Seems to me that the security services dropped the ball on each occasion.

    1. Palpy

      Re: comments so far missed the point

      Quite a bit wrong there, AC.

      1. "...block all internet traffic from count[r]ies that wish to cyber attack you."

      Trivially defeated. Script kiddies can co-opt a server in Switzerland, and use it to mount an attack. On Switzerland, if they choose.

      2. "...politicians have something to hide..."

      Ever seen an (American-style) football coach on the sidelines of a game? Why is he hiding his mouth as he speaks? Is it because he is describing shameful secrets to his quarterback?

      Why did the Germans use the Enigma machine?

      It's called strategy.

      But wider, everyone has something to hide. Everyone makes mistakes in their emails or other comms. Every discussion can go somewhere you wish it hadn't. Everybody has done something they regret, and would prefer others don't learn about.

      But even wider: what Russia is doing is attacking Western democracy. If one side's private information is revealed but not the other side's, then what you've got is a rugby match where one team's legs are tied together. What you've got is patently unfair.

      And when you make the democratic process patently unfair, you destroy democracy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: comments so far missed the point

        @palpy so you are saying everyone has something to hide, if that is the case then why are the same people always insisting that only the guilty have something to fear. Ironic

        As to "everyone makes mistakes" when you are talking about the power over peoples lives then perhaps people who make mistakes should not be allowed to be in control. Who would you prefer driving a bus you must ride, someone you know makes mistakes or the guy who has driven for years without an accident?

        "what Russia is doing is attacking Western democracy", if this is true then surely the best way to avoid damage is to not make it easy.

        If all potential polititians are aware that their digital life will be under scrutiny then only the liabilies to security are going to leave themselves and their country open. The ones who have something damaging to hide should not become candidates, asumming they put their ideals before their ego.

        This whole issue is based upon the selective released of embaressing information, I am not under the belief that only one side had something to hide however if the parties exposed had avoided the embaressing acts or just not talked about them in a forum so easily compromised then there would be little value in leaking the information.

        I would suggest that this shows a general trend in politicians that they believe the rules do not apply to them. Everyone else has to be careful not to click the wrong link or post anything that might bring the police to the door. Here IMHO is the real problem and the solution is for them to get a grip and act like they are worthy of the posts they put themselves forward for, rather than believing that control of the security services makes them immune to exposure.

        As to your US football analogy then covering you mouth whilst you give out strategy is not going to stop anyone willing to the break the rules, however using players who have the brains and experience to not need easily intercepted strategic prompting would be a more wholistic solution.

        1. 's water music Silver badge

          Re: comments so far missed the point

          Who would you prefer driving a bus you must ride, someone you know makes mistakes or the guy who has driven for years without an accident?

          Conversely, would you prefer that people who either never do anything or are very good at covering up their mistakes or people who are open and honest about their performance, push boundaries sometimes and reflect on and learn from their mistakes?

        2. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: comments so far missed the point

          so you are saying everyone has something to hide, if that is the case then why are the same people always insisting that only the guilty have something to fear. Ironic

          'Same people'? That has to be a reference to the 'everyone' in your first clause, so you think that everyone is saying that only the guilty have something to fear?

          Strange. I thought it was only authoritarian politicians and their unthinking ideological fellow-travellers who were saying 'If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear', and everyone else saying 'Fuck off, I value my privacy'.

      2. james 68

        Re: comments so far missed the point

        @Palpy

        "Ever seen an (American-style) football coach on the sidelines of a game? Why is he hiding his mouth as he speaks? Is it because he is describing shameful secrets to his quarterback?"

        According to the many news stories I've seen concerning various coaches that is sadly very, very possible.

    2. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

      Re: comments so far missed the point

      "Either make all polititian's electronic data public domain to discourage them from leaving themselves open to attack or block all internet traffic from counties that wish to cyber attack you."

      we sort of did that but when someone deliberately creates a "secret" email server explicitly to avoid such public scrutiny, and partisans go blue *defending* the practice due to the "content' and rather the reasoning behind an unauditable and undeclared machine, then there's no way we can even find all the politicians data to make public domain.

  17. Gordon 11

    Kettles and pots?

    Of course, this is a US report.

    So it says nothing about whether the NSA hacks other countries elections. I take it that it's their job to do so, and if they do it they can't really complain about others doing it.

    1. Roo
      Windows

      Re: Kettles and pots?

      "if they do it they can't really complain about others doing it."

      If only that were true. Instead we have lots of whining in order to deflect attention from their wrong doing just like a four year old child. It would be nice if they took jobs seriously now they are doing stuff like running a country.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Kettles and pots?

        But who would have thought it was so hard to run a country?

        1. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: Kettles and pots?

          "But who would have thought it was so hard to run a country?"

          Not Donald Trump.

          http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-100days-idUSKBN17U0CA

  18. thames
    Coat

    Clinton's embarrassing leaks are on Wikileaks. Trump's are on his Twitter account.

    Clinton's embarrassing leaks are on Wikileaks. Trump's are on his Twitter account.

    More seriously, we can speculate that the Russians may have compromising information about Trump. Since the man knows no shame though, I'm not sure how much good it would do them.

    However, we know the Russians had compromising information about Clinton. I mean, everyone keeps tell us they hacked her servers to get it, right?

    Might I make a modest suggestion? How about not advancing dodgy politicians to positions of power to begin with?

    Mine's the one with the spy rifling through the pockets.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But at the end of the day....

    Trump is still a knob.

  20. Potemkine Silver badge

    Russia attacks!

    An interesting article about the russian attacks against our Macron's team: Hackers Came, but the French Were Prepared

    Not surprinsingly, her opponent (the fascistoid Le Pen) recognized the annexation of Crimea by Russia, received a loan of €9,000,000 from a russian bank which conveniently collapsed before the loan was refund, and was welcome with open arms by the Master of Puppets Putin in Moscow during the campaign... the most funny is that her Party claims to be Nationalist and putting France first when it is indeed a Russian fifth column.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Russia attacks!

      I wouldn't be surprised if Le Pen and her party have been under surveillance for quite some time. Kissing up to Russia, recognizing their widely condemned appropriation of territory, receiving a loan from a Russian bank soon after...

      She might well find herself arrested if there is any intel on that or tying her to the recent hack. She definitely faces a lawsuit about the allegations she made. Oh and embezzling money from the EU. Le Pen will have some interesting times.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Russia attacks!

        Does "embezzling money from the EU" include taking money from EU whilst fighting against it? Or is it just the whole fake jobs thing? (Would be hilarious if "hypocrisy whilst being or seeking to become an elected representative" was an offence!)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Russia attacks!

          >Does "embezzling money from the EU" include taking money from EU whilst fighting against it? Or is it just the whole fake jobs thing? (Would be hilarious if "hypocrisy whilst being or seeking to become an elected representative" was an offence!)

          My understanding is that FN (and UKIP) are under investigation for taking EU money designated for parties to fund Europe election campaigns and using it to fund domestic election campaigns.

          If hypocrisy was an offence, we'd be having to run general elections every couple of weeks with a completely new set of politicians.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Russia attacks!

      "he most funny is that her Party claims to be Nationalist and putting France first when it is indeed a Russian fifth column." Had a conversation about a month ago with a guy from a European country (one with far-right history) who mentioned neo-Nazis from there were being sent to Russia for 'training'.

  21. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    'Ol Dobby does love the latent dictator vibe.

    Or maybe because he reckons lacking experience they will be easier to play?

    Dobby knows authoritarians (which is what Le Penn and Trump are) love to be flattered and told they are "strong" and making "hard choices" (for the "greater good", naturally). It's pure coincidence their choices also benefit him.

    How does he know this?

    Simple. Because he's one himself.

  22. mhenriday
    Big Brother

    Truth, whole truth, nothing but truth according to James Robert Clapper and Michael Rogers

    Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:

    That alone should encourage the crew.

    Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:

    What I tell you three times is true.

    Henri

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Russian Hackers...

    I think its strange that Russia are still being blamed for all these hacks. The file dump was discussed about on 4chan, a couple days before the Macron leak on the \Pol\ board. I just find it hard to think that the Russian state hackers would choose to use 4chan, a message board not known for its credibility but its online hi-jinks over sites like wikileaks?

    Maybe next week the Russians will release proof that Boris Johnson is a weekend "trap" and regularly frequents \B\ board.

    But you never know, it could all be Russian aggression...

  24. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Proof of hacking

    The challenge:

    Prove that Russia can really influence an election - get the Lib Dems a majority in June ...

  25. Norman123

    Peace with Russia destroys big easy money

    One of the major policy initiated by Trump was peace with Russia. The "defense" industry cannot stand peace with anyone. "Defense" is the central pillar of a war-based economy. Hence huge forces are summoned to teach any "peaceniks" to never activate peace ideals where war rules and dirty energy fuels it and financiers make big bucks....

  26. Archtech Silver badge

    Same guy?

    "Clapper said Russia has been trying to influence American elections since the 1960s, and had scored a major win in 2016..."

    Is this the same James Clapper who is known to have deliberately and knowingly lied to Congress on at least two previous occasions?

  27. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

    your partisanship is showing

    just because Dems were complete idiots and openly colluded to take out Sanders, does not mean the same exists about the GOP. Your side got caught and now you claim something must exist because there' no way only your crew of clowns was corrupt.

    Problem is twofold:

    1) the GOP didn't want Trump either. Remember that? So any "leaks" from the GOP would have been them trying to Sanderize Trump, which failed.

    2) Clinton's email server had dick-all with the DNC break. I know the "game" is to get people to think "emails" means both the backroom unauditable skeeve machine AND the Wasserman/DNC screwing of its own party members, but you've got a site here that does contain a significant number of bipartisan (or antipartisan) types who've also been (or are currently) email administrators. You can try to play the game but only those who are already riding Waahmbulance are gonna buy it.

    the lack of something is NOT the proof of something. Your faith in "the russians did it and they held stuff back" is as invalid as saying "I can't prove God exists therefore he does".

    BTW, there is also plenty of "business dealings" between the Clinton Foundation (and just about ANY multinational) and the Russians. It's kinda how businesses go, or so we're told. Partisan outrage about the Loudmouth in Chief while ignoring Elect Me cuz My Husband Did Its foreign dealings is bullshit.

  28. Tom Paine Silver badge

    Just so we're all clear on this: Russia hacked the French elections, US Republicans and Dems , and the EU referendum.

    FTFY. No, don't ask for the evidence, as is typical in this country you won't be reading about most of it for another 29 years 3 months (God forbid the Mail / Express/ Telegraph readers should discover they were played like a fiddle by Vladimir!)

  29. DagD

    So Putin decided to use the Queen's Gambit. Giving up the pawn (Clinton's blatant disregard for network security) and instead cashing in on Trump (knowing that his hackers don't need a pawn like Clinton to get their claws into US Classified material). Instead he's used the control of the board to put the American People into check, with Check Mate coming with the intended fall of Trump.

    And the best part: He's getting the American Pawns to do it for him with Psychological warfare... Well Played, Putin!

  30. T J

    (Cough) Elephant in the (cough) room ...

    It's still amazing me.

    People think that Intelligence agencies TELL the public what they're doing.

    NO. They DON'T. Not even if there is a REASON to.

    Their business is secrecy. That never changes. It is their currency, their leverage, their life-blood, and their protection.

    They don't tell you anything they don't want you to know. That 'you' is us.

    For somebody to stand up and do this rubbish ... the agenda will become clearer down the track. But it's a stunt. It is a reasoned and calculated (or emergency) measure. It is not what it seems.

    And on a related topic - I *was* gratified to see some posters on El Reg were of the same opinion as myself: The Wikileaks CIA 'leaks' are just a load of old, disused crap and they've long since moved on to more sophisticated hacks. This was just a golden opportunity to use the White Haired One's ego to publish a giant wad of FUD. Now anybody who isn't in on the joke is running to patch stuff ... that no longer matters. Not to Intelligence agencies like the CIA, NSA, SVR, GRU and the other handful that actually have some clout in the world.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh those Russians

    I am genuinely confused as to why everyone here apparently buys the combined intelligence line that "the Russians" did it. The document that was produced for public consumption contained no real evidence whatsoever for the assertion. Certainly nothing even remotely resembling something presentable in court.

    https://arstechnica.com/security/2016/12/did-russia-tamper-with-the-2016-election-bitter-debate-likely-to-rage-on/

    https://arstechnica.com/security/2016/12/the-public-evidence-behind-claims-russia-hacked-for-trump/

    It seems the Democratic party and Podesta email release scandals' hacking ties to Russia are tenuous at best. One should also note that Assange (tm) and someone else intimately involved, have variously stated that it was an inside job, not a hack.

    Also, why do we repeatedly see written that "Wikileaks" is some sort of Russian lackey? Is there any evidence of this other than they publish some stuff that is offensive/embarrassing to the USA and other western nations? Is it simply that Wikileaks hasn't published anything damning the Kremlin (they may have, I didn't check) that makes them a Kremlin lackey by process of elimination? I am in fact curious to know the answer to this, as I must have missed the memo.

    Could someone point me to where I can find actual evidence of the alleged hacking - or is it all too secret?

    Also, so far the supposed "links" between Russia and Trump/his team, are at best tenuous.If I drank a beer last week with an IRA terrorist, would that "link" me to terrorism? Surely one would need more evidence than casual encounters in the course of normal business? But maybe not ... I guess if the Trump transition team were "wiretapped", there might be some evidence - I look forward to hearing it.

    That said, it might all be true, thaose damned Ruissians! But it might also all be a giant misinformation campaign being waged by the Democrats and "deep state" to cover up their obvious gross negligence in internal IT security. The known facts, of which there are simply very few, can be construed to support either notion.

    Bring on the Grand Juries, testimony under oath and rules of evidence!

    ps: Comey pissed off everyone. He overstepped his authority (not in question btw) and breached a number of FBI procedures and principles - he had to go and both sides know it. Heads of the agencies of the Executive Branch serve at the Presidents will. Comey is not the first FBI Director to get canned, probably not the last. AGs, the same. Trump has been pretty mild so far in canning opposition appointees, compared to Obama and Clinton.

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