As a web developer and somewhat of a web security expert I’ve been thinking about this issue for a while. Like any analyst, I ask myself a series of questions first.
Is it possible to make it look like someone or some country hacked a computer system?
The short answer is yes. It is also important to note that organizations like Anonymous are people from all around the globe. Some are Russian and some are American. Anonymous was split over Donald Trump. There are also many other hacking groups that can lead even the most diligent person to conclude a hack originated from a particular source. These groups could hack Vladimir Putin’s systems and make it look like he ordered a cyber attack against the US or our elections. Nothing is 100% when it comes to cyber security. I have been on the receiving end of these hacks so I do have some experience.
What is the motivation to hack or influence our election?
Let’s grant the argument and ask the motivation question. Would it matter which candidate I picked if my intention was simply to cause problems for the American people? No, either candidate would have worked. However, since Democrats are better known for violence, it would be logical to attack them to cause riots and protests.
What is the impact of a hack or attempt to influence our election?
Considering there is zero evidence of actual tampering with the vote tally or machines we can rule that out right away. Let’s grant the argument again and say there was some influence. What percent of the population would have been influenced? The final electoral college vote was 306 to 232. The difference was well beyond anyone’s ability to influence by exposing Hillary and the DNC’s flaws and schemes. Suffice it to say both sides were fully exposed during the election process.
Does the USA or our people hack or influence other countries elections?
It is well known that America tries to influence the elections and leadership of foreign countries. We have been doing it for a long time. Do a quick Google search. Obama’s State Department tried to influence the Israeli election of Netanyahu. It was tied directly to Obama’s campaign.
Does it really matter?
While hacking and influence of foreign actors in any election is a cause for concern, it is up to the people to be smart enough to see through it. Netanyahu won the election regardless of Obama’s attempt to influence Israel’s election. We would have voted for Trump regardless of Russian influence. What was the real impact of the hacking? It simply exposed the truth about the DNC and the Clinton Campaign. Trump’s cards were on the table and he was exposed for his shortcomings. When the American people had all the information at their disposal they picked Trump. Like it or not this is a bogus issue when it comes to the election results.
Michael J Kelly
We Who Served