Russiafvckery Open Thread: (Dis)Information Wants to Be… Leaked?

Kevin Poulsen — there’s a name I don’t remember seeing since the Snowden days. Feels, to my untechnologically-clued-in self, that most of Wikileaks activity over the last several years seems to have been the online equivalent of dogs pissing on fenceposts. Or the couch:

… The site, Distributed Denial of Secrets, was founded last month by transparency activists. Co-founder Emma Best said the Russian leaks, slated for release Friday, will bring into one place dozens of different archives of hacked material that, at best, have been difficult to locate, and in some cases appear to have disappeared entirely from the web.

“Stuff from politicians, journalists, bankers, folks in oligarch and religious circles, nationalists, separatists, terrorists operating in Ukraine,” said Best, a national-security journalist and transparency activist. “Hundreds of thousands of emails, Skype and Facebook messages, along with lots of docs.”

Distributed Denial of Secrets, or DDoS, is a volunteer effort that launched last month. Its objective is to provide researchers and journalists with a central repository where they can find the terabytes of hacked and leaked documents that are appearing on the internet with growing regularity. The site is a kind of academic library or a museum for leak scholars, housing such diverse artifacts as the files North Korea stole from Sony in 2014, and a leak from the Special State Protection Service of Azerbaijan…

Last year, Best agreed to help another journalist locate a particular Shaltai Boltai leak, a hunt that sent her into the world of Russian hacktivism. “Later I’m talking to some hackers—this is after DDoS’ public launch—and they hooked me up with a few archives,” Best told The Daily Beast. “A couple gigabytes, something like that. I do some digging, ask around, and manage to stir up a good bit more.”

Once word got around that Best was collecting Russian hacks, the floodgates opened. In late December, the project was on the verge of publishing its Russia collection when “middle of the night, more files come in,” Best said. Then an organization with its own collection of Russia leaks opened its archives to Best and her colleagues…

DDoS differs from WikiLeaks in that it doesn’t solicit direct leaks of unpublished data—its focus is on compiling, organizing, and curating leaks that have already appeared somewhere in public. “Emma Best, I think, is someone who will actually do a good job,” said Weaver, citing Best’s aggressive use of the Freedom of Information Act to extract documents from recalcitrant U.S. agencies. “Things get so scattered that putting it all into one place is a huge benefit.”…

It’s past my bedtime, so if I’ve misinterpreted / botched this info, I’m sure y’all will make due corrections in the comments.






83 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    So we’ll finally see Hillary’s 30,000 missing emails that the Russians have been holding onto?

  2. 2
    MattF says:

    I’d be suspicious of ‘Russian’ hacking information suddenly appearing out of nowhere. And if it turned out to be genuine, I’d stay out of elevators and stay on the ground floor of buildings.

  3. 3
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Baud: And, boy, are people who’ve never been involved in planning a wedding gonna be surprised at how many emails it can take just to make an informed choice between fonts on the RSVP cards, or the knotty distinctions between 6-seat and 8-seat table placement!

    (We had a deliberately low-key, 80-person wedding 25 years ago; I don’t even wanna think about what planning Chelsea’s wedding involved… )

  4. 4
    SFAW says:

    @Baud:

    So we’ll finally see Hillary’s 30,000 missing emails that the Russians have been holding onto?

    And America will finally, at long last, have all the evidence necessary to prove that Hitlary masterminded the assassination of Ambassador Stevens in Benghaziii!!!, the kidnapping of Judge Crater, the sinking of the Titanic, the Bermuda Triangle, the murders in the Rue Morgue, and Judas’s betrayal of Christ.

    Thank FSM we dodged THAT bullet.

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    @SFAW: You left out the various calumnies against Kavanaugh.

  6. 6
    SFAW says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    And, boy, are people who’ve never been involved in planning a wedding gonna be surprised at how many emails it can take just to make an informed choice between fonts on the RSVP cards, or the knotty distinctions between 6-seat and 8-seat table placement!

    Ridiculous. Mrs. SFAW and I planned our wedding — well, she did most of the planning, I just nodded my head and pretended to be doing something — with approximately zero e-mails.

    Of course, it was back when 8-tracks were still a thing, but still …

  7. 7
    SFAW says:

    @Baud:

    You left out the various calumnies against Kavanaugh.

    Just leaving something in reserve.

  8. 8
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    #HillaryRiggedTheOscars.

  9. 9
    SFAW says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    #HillaryRiggedTheOscars.

    Her perfidy knows no bounds

  10. 10
    debit says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: I heard that Hillary told Marie Kondo to Benghazi your books.

  11. 11
    bemused says:

    It just kills me that all this information wasn’t dug up long ago.

  12. 12
    Immanentize says:

    Jes sayin’
    These comments include some of the best snark in a long time.
    😹

  13. 13
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Tell me something I didn’t already know.

  14. 14
    Immanentize says:

    @bemused:
    It was, just not archived in one place. DDoS is a library.

  15. 15
    John S. says:

    I expect a full throated response from Glenn Greenwald in The Intercept explaining how DDoS is bad and Wikileaks is good.

  16. 16
    bemused says:

    @Immanentize:

    Gotcha. Aside from this info, I am furious that all the Russian/Trump family and associates’ corruption wasn’t given the attention it deserved long ago.

  17. 17
    Jeffro says:

    @debit:

    I heard that Hillary told Marie Kondo to Benghazi your books.

    Think of all the inside baseball it took just to put that sentence together, much less to verbify ‘Kondo’ and ‘Benghazi’ so that it makes perfect sense. Kudos, debit!

  18. 18
    Mary G says:

    I wish I was as funny as you guys, but nothing ever comes to mind until two days later. @debit: You win the intertubes today.

  19. 19

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    #HillaryRiggedTheOscars.

    And kidnapped the Lindbergh baby.

  20. 20
    Brachiator says:

    @SFAW:

    Ridiculous. Mrs. SFAW and I planned our wedding — well, she did most of the planning, I just nodded my head and pretended to be doing something — with approximately zero e-mails.

    Of course, it was back when 8-tracks were still a thing, but still …

    How many phone calls were made, back in those ancient days?

  21. 21
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Roger Moore: And assassinated Archduke Ferdinand.

  22. 22
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: HillaryRiggedTheOscars

    She made Steve Gutenberg a star!
    She did! She did!

  23. 23
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    And, boy, are people who’ve never been involved in planning a wedding gonna be surprised at how many emails it can take just to make an informed choice between fonts on the RSVP cards

    .

    And if she hadn’t been Secretary of State, it could have been done in person in an hour.

    I’ve been (inadvertently) involved in these types of shenanigans; and I saw it done right for my own marriage announcement (we “eloped” to our living room and then sent announcements to everyone).

    If you’re ever stuck with this task, here’s best practice (IMNSHO): find your printhouse/desktop publisher/fulfillment joint, sit down with their designer, give them the exact wording (block-printed). They type it in, Sit next to them, and they’ll present you with families of fonts, then once you’ve decided, run you through individual fonts until you have a final 3; print onto cardstock and take them home and sleep on it; call/e-mail them in the morning with your decision. Works for Invites, RSVPs, placecards, what-have-you.

    I was lucky; I knew roughly what I wanted, so I could tell them, outside Garamond-ish, inside cursive, optimize for clarity. When WarriorGirl was born, we went back and got her birth announcements from them as well.

  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @FlyingToaster:

    If you’re ever stuck with this task, here’s best practice (IMNSHO):

    I always found that the best approach is just to say, “Whatever you think, Dear.”

  25. 25
    FlyingToaster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I always found that the best approach is just to say, “Whatever you think, Dear.”

    Which is what HerrDoktor said, thank you veddy much.

  26. 26
    Yarrow says:

    @debit: I almost spit out my coffee! Where would you like your internets delivered?

  27. 27
    chris says:

    Completely OT but… brush your teeth! This is a gamechanger. If true, of course.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2191814-we-may-finally-know-what-causes-alzheimers-and-how-to-stop-it/

  28. 28
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @FlyingToaster: His Mama didn’t raise no fools.

  29. 29
    SFAW says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I always found that the best approach is just to say, “Whatever you think, Dear.”

    No kidding. I have found that doing otherwise is to court danger in extremis.

  30. 30
    Aleta says:

    From Newsweek last week:

    A German bank reportedly has evidence of “suspicious transactions” related to Jared Kushner’s family accounts and is willing to hand the information over to Russia probe special counsel Robert Mueller.

    The board chairman of the banking giant Deutsche Bank, Paul Achleitner, called for an internal investigation and found troubling results, German business magazine Manager Magazin reported in its print edition released on Friday.

    “Achleitner’s internal detectives were embarrassed to deliver their interim report regarding real estate tycoon Kushner to the financial regulator BaFin,” states the Manager Magazin story translated from German to English. “Their finding: There are indications that Donald Trump’s son-in-law or persons or companies close to him could have channeled suspicious monies through Deutsche Bank as part of their business dealings.”

    Federal prosecutors last month reportedly subpoenaed the bank for records relating to Kushner Companies, his family-run business. It was not known if the records involve Kushner or are tied to Mueller’s probe into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russians in the presidential election.

  31. 31
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SFAW: The other best response is to demonstrate abject incompetence at any and all tasks one doesn’t want to ever get saddled with again.

  32. 32
    Yarrow says:

    "I don't quite understand why" federal workers are needing to go to food banks, says Secretary Wilbur Ross on CNBC.— Niels Lesniewski (@nielslesniewski) January 24, 2019

    I wish we could make living on minimum wage for a month a requirement for anyone who gets appointed to a cabinet position. And no, they couldn’t access any backup funds or help during that time.

  33. 33
    lollipopguild says:

    @Roger Moore: Hilary shot Liberty Valence.

  34. 34
    trollhattan says:

    @Yarrow:
    This fuckin’ guy and his billionaire jowls. Your special place in hell awaits, Wilbur.

  35. 35
    The Lodger says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Didn’t Steve Gutenberg pick the fonts for the wedding invitations?

  36. 36
    MobiusKlein says:

    @chris: I have a long standing reluctance to believe anything in newscientist.
    So much hype, junk science, I just wait for better sources.

  37. 37

    Gotta say, that site has a great name.

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: ha!

  38. 38
    ThresherK says:

    @FlyingToaster: Same here; Spousal Ms ThresherK made most of the decisions. I did make one stand, and arranged an XTC song for the pianist to play for the bride’s pre-processional.

    (No, I didn’t know I was capable of that, but apparently it’s something my brain can do, if only a bit of.)

  39. 39
    The Dangerman says:

    So, first cuppa covfefe musings here (always dangerous).

    I’ve long thought that if Muellermas hits while the shutdown is still on, Trump (and Fox News) would, one, have the shittiest of shitstorms, but, two, quickly re-open the government. Basically, I thought Trump would fold quickly.

    Ha! Yeah, I don’t think so anymore.

    I won’t even try to guess how the Government re-opens fully if Muellermas hits; ok, I will guess. I guess the Senate could fold after overriding a veto that almost surely come (but that would be a painful 10 days or whatever it would be). Maybe the Senate wouldn’t fold. Depends on how bad Muellermas is, I guess. And that debt limit thing ain’t that far off.

  40. 40
    SFAW says:

    @lollipopguild:

    Hilary shot Liberty Valence.

    So you’re saying Hitlary is actually a man?

  41. 41
    chris says:

    @MobiusKlein: Agreed, hence the “if true.”

    But remember ulcers? There were all kinds of remedies including really invasive surgery until it turned out to be a bug. My inner pessimist says it can’t be this simple but optimist is over the moon.

  42. 42
    SFAW says:

    @Brachiator:

    How many phone calls were made, back in those ancient days?

    How many what were made? Give me a minute, let me Google that term …

  43. 43
    lollipopguild says:

    @SFAW: Any woman who wears pantsuits can also handle a gun when she needs to. Obama gave her access to his Timemachine(TM) so she could go back and shoot Valence.

  44. 44
    JR says:

    @chris: It also turns out that getting rid of the bug (heliobacter pylori) may be a causative factor for GERD, food sensitivity, and even asthma (!). Nature is never so simple as we’d like.

  45. 45
    Fair Economist says:

    @chris: Herpes simplex aka cold sores has been a prime suspect for Alzheimer’s for a while. The article should have mentioned that. Tau accumulation as the ultimate cause of Alzheimer’s was almost disproved over a decade ago when a trial of a tau blocker made patients *worse*. The logical conclusion is that tau accumulation is the result of an underlying disease (and there could be more than one). Inertia is research is so extreme that even now research is still primarily focused on tau. I’m wondering why they don’t just try antibiotics for P. gingivalis, though.

  46. 46

    @chris: wouldn’t we expect much higher incidence of Alzheimer’s in populations without modern dental medicine, and also pretty much all time but the modern era? Seems like an easy sanity check.

  47. 47
    kindness says:

    Nice. We are all better off with something like this. I sure hope they have good firewalls because we all know they gonna need ’em.

  48. 48
    chris says:

    @JR:

    GERD, food sensitivity, and even asthma

    Acceptable with a clear mind, no?

    @Fair Economist:

    antibiotics for P. gingivalis

    They did, it’s in the article. It quickly developed resistance. Onward!

  49. 49
    WaterGirl says:

    @Aleta: Deutsche Bank is shocked, shocked, to find that there is gambling going on in their establishment?

    I’m sure this recent “discovery” has nothing to do with the House committee that has subpoenaed or is about to subpoena documents from Deutsche Bank.

  50. 50
    trollhattan says:

    @ThresherK:
    Nice choice. And much better choice than “Your Dictionary” ;-)

  51. 51
    chris says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Maybe but except for early onset dementia people have to live a long time before they begin to show the signs. Before or without modern dentistry and medicine they didn’t. Alzheimer’s wasn’t a big deal when life expectancy was under 70. In 1900 it was under 50 and we know now that many people died from tooth problems.

  52. 52
    JR says:

    @chris: H. pylori (not gingivitis) is the bug that I was discussing there.

    Worth mentioning that most people have (or had) H. pylori colonies in their stomach. We are on the verge of eradicating it, and that might be more trouble than its worth. Once it’s gone, it will be gone forever.

  53. 53
    different-church-lady says:

    Let’s not make the same mistake we made with Wikileaks — DDoS may give off the superficial appearance of allies, but a knife like that can cut any direction at any time.

  54. 54
    different-church-lady says:

    @SFAW: Pft… that’s been known for years.

  55. 55
    Fair Economist says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Some quick poking around shows there is an association between poor oral health and Alzheimer’s. The historical changes don’t match so well though, as you point out. I would be really reluctant to jump on one particular bacterium as the cause since there are lots of different bacteria in plaque and they tend to travel together. I would really want to try antibiotic regimes before an enzyme blocker for one particular bug. This looms like an article to drum up funding for a second string research target.

  56. 56
    chris says:

    @JR: Ah, sorry, I missed that. But I think my point stands, sort of. Ulcers are horrible and painful, asthma is mostly manageable. I’ve never had either one so YMMV.

  57. 57

    @chris: life expectancy at birth is of course a crap figure if we’re trying to talk about senior health issues. Life expectancy at 65 is the column you want. I’d expect enough people lived long enough for somebody to do a reasonable comparison.

  58. 58
    Fair Economist says:

    @JR: Oh no, we are nowhere close to eradicating H pylori. Billions of people still have it. We can’t even reliably eradicate it in individual patients (best results are about 90% cure). I know this because my mother in law is wrestling with ulcers, which in her case is apparently NOT from H pylori.

  59. 59
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: To be fair that was only a sporting kill on Hilary’s part.

  60. 60
    chris says:

    @Major Major Major Major: True, maybe. But the people who did live well past the average were the very lucky with excellent immune systems. I don’t know how we’d figure out if the percentage of dementia in the population was the same as it is now.

  61. 61
    Brachiator says:

    @chris:

    Maybe but except for early onset dementia people have to live a long time before they begin to show the signs. Before or without modern dentistry and medicine they didn’t. Alzheimer’s wasn’t a big deal when life expectancy was under 70. In 1900 it was under 50 and we know now that many people died from tooth problems.

    Four percent of men born in 1900 would reach age 85. Still probably a sizeable enough group for Alzheimer’s to be a problem.

    And the disease was first clearly identified in 1901.

  62. 62
    Karen says:

    Is DDoS a good thing for us or a bad thing?

  63. 63
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @SFAW: I always found that using that phrase communicated disinterest, and so is dangerous in it’s own way.

    I started off the wedding planning with a discussion that I didn’t have strong feelings about most of the wedding planning, but I was going to really care about a few select things and I would appreciate if she’d let me handle those. And that I would be happy to help out on the rest of it to any extent she wanted, or do it all if she preferred.

    That seemed to work. I also hand-wrote all the invitations and place settings, which got some brownie points. ;)

  64. 64
    catclub says:

    @trollhattan:

    This fuckin’ guy and his billionaire jowls.

    He ain’t no billionaire. He wants people to THINK he is one.

    Trump and Ross both lied to get ON Forbes 400 Richest Americans list. Normal people lied to stay off the list.

  65. 65
    catclub says:

    @lollipopguild:

    Hilary shot Liberty Valence.

    I think Valence has to do with chemical bonds and electrons. How about Valance?

  66. 66
    lollipopguild says:

    @catclub: You are correct!

  67. 67
    Barbara says:

    @chris: That poor oral health appears in tandem with dementia does not necessarily mean that poor oral health causes dementia. It could mean that both have a common source, which won’t be eradicated by better oral hygiene. The same correspondence between oral health and heart disease has also been noted, but it does not seem to have led to any diagnostic or therapeutic significance. I mean, one should always do what one can to preserve oral health so there is no reason not to do it, but proving that one causes the other is a tall order.

  68. 68
    Barbara says:

    @Fair Economist: Research shows that H. Pylori is actually helpful for a long time, and then for some reason it stops being helpful and can be harmful for some people. So eradicating H. Pylori is not even necessarily a desirable goal. Who knew life could be so complicated?

  69. 69
    VeniceRiley says:

    @Anne Laurie: Here’s a typeface choosing chart I found funny. Perhaps you’ve all seen it before? Linky:

    https://inspirationlab.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/so-you-need-a-typeface/

  70. 70
    chris says:

    @Brachiator: At the DMV now. Lucky me.

    Don’t know the answer but I do know someone who might. Will report back.

  71. 71
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: FTR, I refined this procedure some decades ago to produce Uncle Cosmo’s Law of Marginal Competence, to wit:

    When work is drudgery, strive to be just competent enough at the lowest-level task to make firing you more trouble than it’s worth, but not so competent that you’d be entrusted with any task requiring extra effort or higher brain function.

    This worked best in gubmint jobs but was also applicable in heavily-bureaucratized private enterprise.

  72. 72
    chris says:

    @Barbara: Correlation is not causation. Agreed.
    My mother and her mother both died of/with dementia and I have five sisters approaching 60 so I’m always hopeful when I see these things.

  73. 73
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Yarrow:
    That’s of a piece with Kris Kobach buying an equivalent 6 hr audio legal course with state funds when ordered to do 6 hours of legal remediation by a federal judge. Is there any way of verifying whether he at least listened to the audio course or not?

  74. 74
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @catclub:”The Ferrous ion is in stable condition awaiting an electron donor to restore it to its former Ferric status…”

  75. 75
    The Lodger says:

    @catclub: Hillary shot a window decoration?

  76. 76
    Bill Arnold says:

    @MobiusKlein:
    It’s always wise to go to the paper when you see New Scientist (I subscribe to it FWIW :-) articles like this.
    Long paper, pretty interesting-looking from a brief skim. (warning http url.)
    Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer’s disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small-molecule inhibitor (html 23 Jan 2019)
    Not gonna try a TL;DR but Figure 1 is exciting
    Figure 1

  77. 77
    Original Lee says:

    @Brachiator: My great-grandfather and my grandfather and all of my grandfather’s brothers appear to have had Alzheimer’s. My grandfather is the only one we know for sure about, because he died in the 1990s and my grandmother agreed to an autopsy, but family members agree that the behaviors were the same for all of them. My father had Lewy Body Dementia, but one of his brothers and two of his male cousins from my grandfather’s brothers have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the last five years. Only one of his female relatives has had any dementia at all, and hers was stroke-related. The doctors for my generation are telling us that “ours” is likely to be Y-chromosome linked. I don’t know how we can definitively link some strains of Alzheimer’s to oral health, either, because most people have periods of time in their lives when they are not seeing a dentist regularly, if at all. I remember not having dental coverage for a stretch of 10 years, for instance.

  78. 78
    Barbara says:

    @Bill Arnold: The link is busted.

  79. 79
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Barbara:
    No clue why – the hover looks like what’s in my browser but it link doesn’t work; the New Scientist article has a direct link near the end. Here are the naked links:
    http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/1/eaau333
    http://advances.sciencemag.org......large.jpg
    ETA the second link (figure 1) works.

  80. 80
    Barbara says:

    @Bill Arnold: So I found the research. Here is a link to the news release of the company that appears to have paid for the research, which is called Cortexyme. That link will take you to a site that has other links to follow, including, I think, the one that you posted.

    They have a product that is slated to go through Phase 2/3 testing in 2019, according to the website.

  81. 81
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @SFAW:

    Mrs. SFAW and I planned our wedding … with approximately zero e-mails.

    Likewise, though we did save the guests’ names and addresses on a 5.25″ floppy.

  82. 82
    different-church-lady says:

    @Karen:

    Is DDoS a good thing for us or a bad thing?

    It is a thing.

  83. 83
    different-church-lady says:

    @Barbara:

    Who knew life could be so complicated?

    [raises hand]

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