Wednesday, January 4, 2017


No Russian hackers
In Vermont utility,
Only Dems committee?

ARTICLES IN THE LEFT-leaning Washington Post and the right-leaning Washington Times seem to agree:

Russian government hackers do not appear to have targeted Vermont utility, say people close to investigation

The Russians invaded Vermont — not!

Could it be that, as president-elect Trump contends, the Russian (government) did not hack into the Democrat National Committee’s (DNC) emails? (And it if did, why not into Clinton’s illegally stored-on-a-private-server State Department emails?)

Russia’s boss, Putin, is not a man easily liked by most Americans; we see him as an arrogant bully. But even arrogant bullies sometimes get blamed for others’ handiwork.

It appears that the DNC hackers were Russian; according to some sources, the keyboard used to hack the DNC displayed the Cyrillic alphabet (vs. the U.S.’ Latin alphabet as an example) and the hackers apparently were working on Moscow time — interesting that hackers work “normal” hours.

Most word processors come with multiple alphabets; all a user has to do is select one as the default and, by pressing a key combination (e.g., [Shift]-[Alt]) select an alternate alphabet. I would suspect that the DNC application that was hacked was coded in Latin (English) characters so keyboards with Cyrillic characters on the keys would have to be set to Latin characters.

It is not impossible to “learn” the keyboard “mapping” of a foreign alphabet and there are — for many alphabets — tiny labels to paste on individual keys for people who cannot remember the “map” of a “foreign” keyboard.

    Office Depot sells a keyboard with both Latin and Russian characters marked on the keys for US$37, with free shipping.

The bottom line is that the soon-to-be ex-president may have acted prematurely — a knee-jerk reaction — by specifically blaming Putin and his government based on suspect information. The incumbent at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has made enemies of multiple heads of state, Putin being only one.

    It is wise to recall that the heads of the spy — sorry, intelligence — agencies serve at the pleasure of the president, and even though the current president’s days are soon to end, he still is their master, and playing to his fears or political dreams is still best for their careers.

Incoming President Trump claims he, too, has “sources,” sources that might — and apparently do — have a different “take” on the DNC hack attack.

Whose experts are correct and whose are not remains to be seen, but Putin denies his government played any part in the DNC hack. Meanwhile, the incumbent has put the U.S. into the beginning of a cyber war that can only benefit the Chinese; it is not a war that can be won, but at least it is not a shooting war — albeit it could lead to one — where Americans are killed for a president’s ego.

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