Monday, October 31, 2016

Was A Mysterious Trump Server Communicating With Russia?

4 Comments:

Blogger The Mystic said...

Well, if true, that's some damning evidence right there.

I don't know if these guys have any way to prove the legitimacy of their DNS logs (i.e. are they actually from Cendyn's DNS servers?). The Slate article paints them as a super secret IT illuminati group, so ostensibly, identifying themselves is right out. If they don't do that, SOMEONE with access to the name servers from which those logs came needs to corroborate their story, but that's not likely to happen since I'm sure it's some sort of breach of policy somewhere..

The logs that have been provided are just text files, and anyone who can type could've typed them out. If forged, whoever did it did a good job, obviously, but good jobs do occur.

And then, even if it's proven that these systems were communicating, there's the dearth of actual communication samples to deal with; no one knows what the communication was.

The biggest piece of evidence that something nefarious was/is going on is the fact that the servers in question went dark as soon as a reporter asked about them. And this occurred in spite of categorical denials from involved parties that the servers were ever communicating at all.

It's not likely that some spam message was caroming back and forth at the rate observed in those logs; one would expect more regular caroming intervals, since mail servers typically retry those operations at pretty predictable rates. The pattern of traffic matching closely with political happenings is pretty telling, as well.

But this all rests on the important condition: is this data legit?

If yes, then damn. That's some crazy shit.

But there's no obvious path toward confirmation of its legitimacy that I can detect, given the characterization of the data sources and their incapacity for revealing themselves or their methods.

Unless they did manage to capture some unencrypted mail traffic between the systems and it's got smoking gun material in it which is sufficient for one of them to nuke himself in the name of all that is good and holy in the world, this will fizzle out in the ever-growing pile of Internet detritus.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Lewis Carroll said...

All very insightful and cogent analysis, Mystic.
But you're ignoring the most important ethical directive. Which is that it's irresponsible not to speculate.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

LC: Ah, yes, the Noonan principle

M: Thanks for that. I was hoping you'd comment.

We may be on the verge of electing an actual Russian puppet as President of the United States.

3:27 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

I mean, if I had to jump in line with the Noonan principle, this is what springs to my mind most immediately:

We seem to know with reasonable certainty that a server used by Trump's business(es) was thought to be communicating with a weird Russian server belonging to a plausible conspiracy candidate. We also know with reasonable certainty that the server went dark after a reporter asked about it.

That, alone, is really hefty circumstantial evidence that something nefarious is going on. For those so-inclined, it's definitely adequate for getting one's Noonan on.

But, alas, the following remains to be verified:

-Trump's server was in fact communicating with a sketchy Russian server.
-The above-mentioned communications did in fact contain nefarious material.

Some other circumstantial evidence put forth by the possible trolls/analysts could also, if verified, be of interest, such as:

-Allegations that the Trump server was rejecting communication from all but the Russian server.

But that ain't exactly easy to prove without access to the system in question, and what the possible trolls/analysts put forth wasn't sufficient to prove it.

So, there you go, if you want to spectaculate all over this one.

4:50 PM  

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