A new report claims that three countries attempted to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails.
China, South Korea and Germany all planted cyberattacks against Clinton’s private server, according to a congressional document. The threats were blocked by threat monitoring software, but Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wi.), who chairs the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, wrote a letter noting that from June-October 2013, Clinton did not have proper threat-monitoring protection. It is also unknown what, if any, protection Clinton had on her server before June 2013.
It is already known that Russia has tried to hack Clinton’s email. U.S. counterspies believe that is very likely that foreign intelligence agencies were reading Clinton’s email; now the U.S. has to assume the worst as to how much classified information Russia and China knows.
Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon, who doesn’t know what a wiped server means, took the opportunity to attack Johnson: “Ron Johnson is ripping a page from the House Benghazi Committee’s playbook and mounting his own, taxpayer-funded sham of an investigation with the sole purpose of attacking Hillary Clinton politically,” Fallon wrote in an email to CBS News. “The Justice Department is already conducting a review concerning the security of her server equipment, and Ron Johnson has no business interfering with it for his own partisan ends.”
Fallon did not answer any questions about possible cyberattacks from China, South Korea and Germany.
This report does little to allay fears that classified information wasn’t compromised. When the email scandal first broke in March, Clinton claimed her server was secure.
“The system… had numerous safeguards,” Clinton said at a press conference. “It was on property guarded by the Secret Service and there were no security breaches. So I think that the use of that server… certainly proved to be effective and secure.”
Clinton has also claimed that is no evidence that her server and email were hacked.
Secret Service does not protect the server from cyberattacks, and Clinton did not mention anything about the kind of protection she used to protect her server, if any. There is one report that Clinton’s server did not have its data encrypted for the first two months of her tenure.
James Rosen at Fox News put together a team of hackers and security experts back in March to find more information about Clinton’s email, and they determined she was using outdated versions of Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Internet Information Service. As a result, her server had numerous document security flaws, such as memory corruption; passwords could be vulnerable and attackers could use arbitrary code.
On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that Datto, a subcontractor that focusing on backing up data, told Platte River Networks, the company in charge of Clinton’s account, that the security needed to be updated on the server, only to be rebuffed. Platte River Networks claimed that the FBI told them not to change anything, although they did not tell the organization of Datto’s concerns.
In addition, Clinton’s emails were on a “cloud” storage system.
The fact that a “second-rate” IT firm and a subcontractor had access to Clinton’s email only increases the likelihood that classified information was exposed and obtained, especially since employees at Datto do not have security clearance. Datto also has faced cyberattacks.
There are 400 instances of classified documentation of Clinton’s server, and at least four documents were deemed as “top secret.” Despite claims from the Clinton campaign that none of the emails were deemed classified at the time she received or sent them, the fact that they contained information about issues like North Korea’s nuclear weapons and negotiations with Iran means they were automatically deemed classified. On Thursday, it was reported that an unsecure email from longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal names a top CIA source in Libya, which could be very dangerous to the safety of the unnamed source if the email was compromised.
Clinton will have to answer some serious questions about this scandal when she testifies before the House Benghazi Committee on Oct. 22.