I was as surprised as most when FBI Director Comey recommended no charges for Clinton over her email server shenanigans. I thought there would be more comments about the way she had the email server sterilized before it was handed over to the FBI. Smells like obstruction of justice to me. To make matters worse, the sterilization sabotaged efforts to investigate the massive 2014 breach of the State Department email system. This 19 Feb 2015 article from the Wall Street Journal touches on the extent of that breach.
Three months after the State Department confirmed hackers breached its unclassified email system, the government still hasn’t been able to evict them from the department’s network, according to three people familiar with the investigation. Government officials, assisted by outside contractors and the National Security Agency, have repeatedly scanned the network and taken some systems offline. But investigators still see signs of the hackers on State Department computers, the people familiar with the matter said. Each time investigators find a hacker tool and block it, these people said, the intruders tweak it slightly to attempt to sneak past defenses.
Investigators believe that hackers first snuck into State Department computers last fall after an employee clicked on a bogus link in an email referring to administrative matters, a type of attack known as a “phish.” That loaded malicious software onto the computer—a common hacker trick that has worked in countless corporate and government breaches.
From there, the hackers spread through the State Department’s sprawling network that includes machines in thousands of offices across the U.S., embassies and other outposts. It isn’t clear why the hackers were able to gain such wide access and whether the State Department routinely cordons off portions of its network to limit such maneuvers. (WSJ)
Could Clinton’s basement email server have been the key that allowed the wider DOS system hack? Unfortunately, the answer to that depends on your political position. We’ll never know for sure since that server was sterilized before it could be analyzed. The open source articles of a year ago attribute the hack to a DOS employee who opened a phishing email enclosure. Could be, but I doubt that’s the end of the story. Why were the DOS and NSA still having trouble eradicating the hostile code in the system months after discovering the breach? Well it’s my not so humble (in this case) opinion that the NSA and DOS are fools if they believe this phishing attack is the only source of malicious code in this system. Prior to Clinton even becoming Secretary of State, I knew hackers were infesting the DOS system and many other government systems. Most of these were kids, although some had government connections. They were in the routers and switches. I bet they’re still there. That’s far more insidious than hacking email servers.