aside Why COULDN’T Mr. Ossoff Or Ms. Handel Just Win The June GA. Special Elections, Fair And Square?

Image result for photos of jon ossoff and karen handel

UPDATE: Republican candidate pulled it off with a 5 point win as per NY TIMES report:

Republican Karen Handel leads by 5 percentage points over Democrat Jon Ossoff with 79 percent of precincts fully reporting. Jump to estimate of final result↓

CANDIDATE PARTY VOTES PCT.
Karen Handel Republican 114,790 52.4%
Jon Ossoff Democrat 104,316 47.6

THIS IS THE REST OF THE STORY BEHIND THE SCENES…

By June, 21, 2017, Intelligence Community officials have gone on the record to inform the public that 21 US states had its voter registrations/ voting data websites penetrated by Russian hackers. The State of Georgia could have been one of these targets.

On June 14, 2017, David Ferguson of the Raw Story sounded this alarm with the following report, “Georgia officials refuse to fix serious security flaws in voting system ahead of special election:

“Officials in Georgia are strangely apathetic about addressing key vulnerabilities in the state’s voting system ahead of the special election Jun. 20 between Republican former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel and Democratic political newcomer Jon Ossoff.”

“Politico spoke with cyber security expert Logan Lamb who heard last August that the FBI was investigating attempted hack attacks on voting machines and decided to try for himself to hack a Georgia voting machine to see how it stood up to an outside threat.”

Image result for photos of logan lamb of ga voting expert“The results were not good, according to Lamb, who Politico’s Kim Zetter described as, “(a) 29-year-old former cybersecurity researcher with the federal government’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, Lamb, who now works for a private internet security firm in Georgia.”

A bit of research showed Lamb that the state of Georgia does all of its testing and programming of voting machines through Kennesaw University’s Center for Election Systems. He went to the center’s website and began to examine its vulnerabilities.

“I was looking for PDFs and documents,” Lamb told Politico, any items that would illuminate how the state’s system works. What he found alarmed him.”

Image result for photos of cyber security expert Logan Lamb“(H)e encountered a number of files, arranged by county, that looked like they could be used to hack an election,” wrote Zetter. “Lamb wrote an automated script to scrape the site and see what was there, then went off to lunch while the program did its work. When he returned, he discovered that the script had downloaded 15 gigabytes of data.”

“I was like whoa, whoa. … I did not mean to do that. … I was absolutely stunned, just the sheer quantity of files I had acquired,” Lamb said.”

“Even as reports mount that Russia-aligned hackers have penetrated multiple states’ voter databases and the full extent of their activity is still unknown, Georgia election officials are taking no steps, critics say, to secure the vote and render it impervious to outside tampering.”

Image result for photos of cyber security expert Logan Lamb“The security weaknesses recently exposed would be a welcome mat for bad actors,” said Marilyn Marks of the Rocky Mountain Foundation — a vote integrity group that has sued the state of Georgia demanding paper ballots in the runoff election between Handel and Ossoff in case of the need for a recount.”

“Among the documents Lamb found in his possession were “a database containing registration records for the state’s 6.7 million voters; multiple PDFs with instructions and passwords for election workers to sign in to a central server on Election Day; and software files for the state’s ExpressPoll pollbooks — electronic devices used by pollworkers to verify that a voter is registered before allowing them to cast a ballot. There also appeared to be databases for the so-called GEMS servers. These Global Election Management Systems are used to prepare paper and electronic ballots, tabulate votes and produce summaries of vote totals.”

“All of these items were supposed to be behind a password-protected firewall, Lamb said, but due to a configuring error in the site’s server, anyone could download whatever they wanted from the site.”

Image result for photos of cyber security expert Logan Lamb“You could just go to the root of where they were hosting all the files and just download everything without logging in,” Lamb said.”

“Furthermore, the university center is using an outdated version of the content manager software Drupal, one that contains a critical security flaw known by security researchers as “Drupageddon.”

“It would let attackers easily seize control of any site that used the software,” Zetter explained. “A patch to fix the hole had been available for two years, but the center hadn’t bothered to update the software, even though it was widely known in the security community that hackers had created automated scripts to attack the vulnerability back in 2014.”

“Lamb said that given what we know about attempts to hack to 2016 election, cyber intruders could easily have penetrated the database and planted malware or corrupted files which would then be copied on to the computers of every election worker in the state, giving hackers back door access to the state’s entire voting system.”

Image result for photos of Kennesaw University“For more than a decade, the Kennesaw University center has played a crucial role in calibrating and certifying Georgia’s voting machines. The center also supplies every county in the state with GEMS software to use in counting and tabulating votes. According to Lamb, this enables hackers to program voting machines to record votes for the wrong candidate.”

“And since Georgia’s machines lack a proper paper trail — which would allow voters to verify their choices before ballots are cast and could also be used to compare against electronic tallies during an audit — officials might never know the machines recorded votes inaccurately,” Politico said.”

“It is currently unclear whether this has ever happened in Georgia, but security experts say that there is sure way to recognize this type of hacking after the fact. The votes look exactly the same as accurately tallied votes to vote-counting software.”

Related image“The center also distributes voter registration lists to the state. During the 2016 election, multiple voters arrived at their polling places in Fulton County — one of the largest urban counties in the southeast — and were told they were registered elsewhere. When the voters went to the new location, they were told to return to the original polling place. These are the types of mistakes and miscounts that would be most readily pulled off by malevolent hackers.”

This week, Reuters reported that Russian hackers penetrated vote databases in 39 states and removed or altered voter data. They also managed to access the software used by poll workers to verify voters at the polls — the same software distributed by the Kennesaw center.”

Image result for photo of merle king of gaMost states in the U.S. have a patchwork, Politico said, of different brands and types of voting machines. All of the touch screen voting machines in Georgia come from the same manufacturer, the now-defunct Premier Election Systems — formerly known as Diebold.”

“The state uses more than 27,000 of these years-old machines and more than 6,000 ExpressPoll poll books, also made by Diebold. In other states, individual counties program and test their machines. Politico said that Georgia’s reliance on one central agency makes it “a bull’s-eye for someone wanting to disrupt elections in the state.”

Image result for photos of , Fulton County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams“On Friday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams ruled against plaintiffs seeking an injunction against using the potentially compromised voting machines. The Secretary of State’s office declined to answer Politico’s questions about the integrity of the state’s voting machines.”

“Lamb made the center aware of the vulnerabilities last August (2016) and executive director Merle King said he’d see to it that the problem was handled. However, a colleague of Lamb’s named Chris Grayson attempted to download the same cache of information in March of this year and found that it was still possible without a password.”

“King — who had hidden the issue from the public and from the Secretary of State’s office — was forced to acknowledge the failure to protect the state’s election system. He refused to comment to Politico about the matter.

Image result for photo of merle king of ga“The center contacted the FBI, accusing Lamb and Grayson of malicious hacking. After investigating the two security specialists, the FBI found no wrongdoing but urged Lamb to delete the files he’d found.”

“(T)he incident exposed the fact that the center had been operating its networks outside the scope of both the university system and the secretary of state’s office for years, according to a March 1 preliminary analysis produced by University Information Technology Services (UITS) and obtained by Politico,” wrote Zetter.”

“Workers at the center connected the center’s private database to the internet and created a wireless portal for themselves, UITS said, both of which created entry points for hackers.”

“Politico obtained emails from the center that said after the March breach of the database, a private security firm was brought in. However, it does not appear that any in-depth forensic analysis has taken place to see whether other intruders have accessed the network, nor is it clear whether the center kept sufficient network logs to use in an investigation.”

Image result for photos of Secretary of State Brian Kemp“In 2016, the Department of Homeland Security extended an offer to Georgia and other states to help safeguard their election systems from outside attack. Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) declined the offer.”

“[B]ecause of the DNC getting hacked — they now think our whole system is on the verge of disaster because some Russian’s going to tap into the voting system,” Kemp told Politico at the time. “And that’s just not — I mean, anything is possible, but it is not probable at all, the way our systems are set up.”

“If the NSA reports are to be believed, it is not only possible but probable that Georgia’s election systems have been compromised, but officials don’t seem interested in addressing the problem before the special election runoff next Tuesday.”

Related image“During her own time as Secretary of State, Handel commissioned a report from Georgia Tech analyzing the state election system for security flaws. The study found multiple issues, but not only did Handel decline to address them, she held a meeting in which representatives of the Kennesaw center shouted down the investigation team’s leader Richard DeMillo and his staff at her office.”

“I thought it was very strange,” DeMillo said to Politico. “It was kind of a contentious meeting. The Kennesaw people just stamped their foot and said ‘Over our dead body.’

THIS IS THE VERY SAME KAREN HANDEL WHO IS VYING TO BE THE NEXT CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR GEORGIA’S 6TH DISTRICT.

What this means, is that a Karen Handel win for Georgia’s 6th congressional district vacated seat this week, I have no assurance that this was not a tainted election.

Related References:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2017/06/13/georgia_judge_throws_out_request_to_use_paper_ballots_in_the_upcoming_special.html

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/04/18/new-details-emerge-in-theft-ga-voting-machines.html

Georgia Republicans pass racial  gerrymander.    http://www.slate.com/blogs/5/2/17

11 comments

  1. G’day Gronda, drupageddon, its lookinglike Armageddon, the direction seems to be that shite will hit fan (middle east) classic wag the dog unless sanity prevails. dumpageddon.
    I love AMERICA and AMERICANS. I believe in the sensitive, progressive, and multi cultural society. oh wait a minute, what about roswell? sorry Gronda, and im not inebtriated. Hugs to you and all aliens…

    • Dear Steele646,

      We are still a democracy in progress. I am not so arrogant to think otherwise, but until DDT came along, I believed that this USA was a great experiment in democracy.

      The world that DDT is looking to create is about taking the USA backwards.

      The USA has a diverse population that is rarely duplicated elsewhere. It used to be that immigrants who came here, if they worked hard, followed the laws etc. despite their backgrounds could become a success. Many of who’s who in this country are the first generation living in US BUT WHOSE PARENTS WERE IMMIGRANTS.

      This has been our strength but DDT wants to change this.

      And we still have a lot to overcome..

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Much love to you and yours Gronda. You are so kind to respond to me, a non voter of America, but a world citizen. Apart from a lack of Women in the founding fathers, for all their masonic traditions, I strongly believe the USA still has the responsibility to show a way of inclusion, respect of diverse cultures, and yes, to talk softly but carry a big stick. My concern as a man, is the glass ceiling, the status quo, and the money in military/industry. but I am nothing, you are everything… good luck with that and my humble support.

        • Dear Steele646,

          Because our countries consist of human beings, no one country can be said to be perfect. ALL have sinned. But ALL HAVE THEIR STRENGTHS AND POINTS OF PRIDE, AS WELL. And all our countries are a work in progress. And this is my fear for the USA. With our current leadership, we are impeded from making the progress that it needs to make.

          Hugs, Gronda

  2. Dear Mz. Gronda,
    Perhaps now after you have discovered this problem you will have a better understanding of my comment predicting a huge win by the GOPTP candidate. The distressing thing about this knowledge is not new, nor has it not ever been published in the past. This problem has been known about for a long time and it is not just a problem that involves just Georgia. If you will take the time to search you will find that the majority of the voting districts that voted heavily for tRump in the rural less populated states are using the type of voting machines that do not leave a paper trail, and have been shown in the past to be easily hacked. Combined with a election staff that in many states is chosen by the political party in power causes a problem similar to gerrymandering, where in the party in power is able to stay in power! One thing that should cause concern if the early vote in Georgia, can you honestly say that if you give the bad actors that much time that it is not going to be compromised?

    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      You are talking to the choir. See my blogs, “Blog By University Of Michigan’s Director Of Computer Science Department, J. Alex Halderman; Media Elites, You Are Wrong Again About The Need For Vote Recounts/ Audits; Argument In Favor Of Standardized Automatic Vote Audits; Breaking News: Hillary Clinton Is Being Asked To Consider A Recount In 3 States. I will be updating and reblogging these posts.

      The IC community has been harping on this issue including the former head, Jeh Johnson of the Homeland Security Department.at today’s US congressional hearing.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Dear Mz. Gronda,
        Please forgive this old coot’s frustration with the system? I spent much of yesterday in the dark “world” reading some of the sources that I had followed during the elections back in Nov, and then just as now, the vote tallies they talked about long before the polls closed were so close once again that it is almost ridiculous. To listen to our “alleged” leaders state that while the various states were hacked no votes were changed is almost enough to make me scream at my monitor… Perhaps tRump is right, maybe we do need a wall along the southern border, and perhaps Mexico will pay for it, but the need might be to keep us in instead of keeping them out!
        My frustration is not with you, it is because not only do we not have any viable leadership on this side of the aisle, we have no cohesive message! To put it bluntly, other than we want rid of tRump, and we want to salvage health care, what do we offer people in the way of change? Can you honestly tell me that if by some miracle the HOR voted to impeach tRump tomorrow that the Senate would vote to remove him from power? On the legal actions that have been filed against him, do you think the Republican biased court system would ultimately rule against him? Can you tell me that with the current leadership in the Democrat Party that there is much of a chance to take back control of either the house or the senate in the next election? Then there is the problem with ensuring the vote is actually counted right, can you tell me that the GOPTP will make changes that could lead to their loss in the election?
        I am glad that at least you, unlike me at the moment, can find something positive to look forward to, as I have run into a hopefully temporary wall of anger and frustration… ;-(

  3. Dear Mz. Gronda,
    Well, as I suspected Handel (GOPTP) has won the election in Georgia! I personally am disgusted, and IMO as the dark web was talking over the last several weeks, she could not lose, simply because of the election process and the equipment that they were using!

    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      there is other way to put this. This was a set back for the democrats, in that the party leaders could not come up with a winning strategy for this state.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Dear Mz. Gronda,
        That is possible, however I must ask, what party leaders? Do we even have a party leader left? In all honesty this is one race that I had actually hoped that all the folks on the dark side were incorrect about, but alas as predicted they were not! The Democrats stand no chance in XXXX unless someone suddenly comes out of the woodwork and offers true leadership! Honestly can you state with all certainty that they have anyone that is able to lead the party out of the quagmire they have become entrenched in? I’ve looked and looked but in all reality no one stand out as able to fill the need. Bernie is not it, he unfortunately is as divisive in some ways as tRump is, and that IMO is not what we need to begin healing this nation! Sorry, I’m not trying to be downbeat, but with all the things happening in this nation it is difficult to be otherwise.
        I don’t know how much you watch FOX News (?), but they have had a number of guests and hosts calling for war against North Korea. The unfortunate thing about that is the tRump listens to that bunch faithfully, and while the congress would have to approve a full blown war, it is conceivable that much like has been done in the past, a preemptive strike could be made prior to asking for authorization for war! At the current time, we as simple citizens are more or less powerless, using legal and civil means to stop what is happening in this nation in a short period of time.
        At this time I and millions of other citizens would like to see an honest and realistic short and long term solution to the problems facing this nation…
        Feel free to shoot a flare up into the sky to provide a little light on truly workable solutions to the problem.

        • Dear Crustyolemothman,

          You are right on point. Voters on either side of wherever the center line is, want someone who is going to stand up for those rural voters in a pragmatic way and not with just lip service.I would let them know that I see them instead of ignoring them or taking their votes for granted.

          If I were a democratic leader,I would focus on their needs with practical solutions. Helping this community would translate to helping all of those who are struggling to make ends meet.

          Their needs have not been met, addressed for so long that their anger will not be appeased easily. This is why 54% of White rural voters continue to support DDT, no matter what. Every time, DDT takes it to the liberal media; the establishment political system folks; the NYC, San Francisco liberals; etc., he is doing their bidding because this is what they want.

          In short, ignoring, demeaning and discounting these folks is not a winning strategy.

          But separate from my above theory, and more importantly, how can the democratic party expect peoples to donate hard earned monies if people believe the system is rigged? How can the democratic party not tackle in all earnestness the vulnerability of these electronic voting machines without a paper trail auditing system?

          For example, peoples who donated 23 million dollars to the Jon Ossoff’s campaign have no assurance that they didn’t invest in a rigged election.

          How do “we the people” know with certainty that our votes are being attributed to the candidate, we selected?

          And why isn’t there more outrage over this problem?

          Hugs, Gronda

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