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      Looked at available data, came to basically same conclusion.

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      Infosec Twitter has been doing a really good job at breaking this down: https://twitter.com/pwnallthethings/status/793241430659567617

      And the FBI agrees: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/11/01/us/politics/fbi-russia-election-donald-trump.html

      But the F.B.I. ultimately concluded that there could be an innocuous explanation, like a marketing email or spam, for the computer contacts.

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        If it’s automated, then how do you explain the extremely irregular timestamps?

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          And how about those chemtrails?!

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            I don’t know much about them as most sources are questionable. The Navy might be able to help you debunk the myths of military deploying anything in American cities.


            Maybe not… :P

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              Okay, I understand what you meant now. I really don’t appreciate the snark.

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                Not quite sure what you’re getting at.

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                  I think his point is that looking at “extremely irregular timestamps” is grasping at straws, and amounts to little more than a conspiracy theory based on little to no evidence.

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                    I’m not posing a theory; I’m merely pointing out that there’s an unexplained piece of evidence. I’m perfectly willing to believe that it’s innocuous if someone can make sense of it.

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            George Erhard had the same questions I had:

            Why just these systems interested in each other? A mass mailing system is useless if you don’t use it to send mail out to your marketing contact lists. It’s a big computer engaged in digital navel-gazing. It was UP, but as far as marketing was concerned, it was on a siding. As an IT break-fix tech, I get holy hell for a server sitting idle, especially something so directly involved with Making Money as a marketing email source. So there’s THAT question.

            Why more traffic at certain key points of the campaign? Again, marketing doesn’t stop or start based on current events - there’s always stuff to send to the rubes. Yet this server, configured and used as an email firehose, acted like a water fountain. Huh?? "

            Emphasis added by me. I’ve skimmed lots of stuff on direct and mass marketing. In books, articles, and recently Barnacl.es threads. Here’s the product that was supposedly there:


            It’s a CRM and event management solution for hotel chains. That it would be mainly used for communication between a Russian bank and a U.S. political campaign is just weird. Traffic patterns match the campaign press instead of say number of hotel visits they’re making in key areas. It would be nice to have that data point. They kill the server immediately after they’re asked why it connects to a Russian bank. This makes little sense for a hotel CRM but could be used for deniable communications with Russian backers.

            Personally, I’ve seen a lot of stupid IT out there. There’s lots of solutions even bought that have extra functionality that’s not documented. Many firewalls even had FTP servers running back in the day. (!?) Any of this might be normal BS that happens in between budget IT team and orders of non-technical management. Yet, if we’re looking at hotel CRM or deniable coms theories, it looks more like the latter. Most companies trying to book hotel visits simply don’t do that by connecting U.S. campaigns to Russian banks. Outlier might be if he only paid for upscale hotels through the Russian bank. That’s also weird.

            Note: We’re also operating on limited data from a biased outlet. Gotta remember that could affect our reasoning a bit. It’s all speculative to me.