Latest information reviews inform of individuals receiving threatening emails in regards to the election. The actual emails declare to be from the “Proud Boys” proper wing individuals, threatening the recipients except they re-register as Republicans and vote for Trump. The e-mail incorporates the recipient’s title, avenue handle, and e-mail handle.
This isn’t an actual risk. That is the best and lowest type of spam. I’ll clarify why by answering some questions I’ve heard:
- Are people actually being threatened?
- Does this imply the Proud Boys are sending the emails?
- Had been the Proud Boys hacked?
- Is that this the abroad hack that the FBI and DNI gave a briefing about at the moment?
- Did the hackers acquire voter registration rolls by hacking voter registration databases?
- Can we inform who actually despatched these emails?
I’d reply most of these “Most likely not,” besides the FBI-DNI briefing. Right here’s the textual content of the e-mail:
Are people actually being threatened?
Tons of of emails have been reported, so 1000’s have been in all probability despatched. This was not a gun nut with a grudge who personally emailed individuals he heard about. This was an industrial operation. The e-mail’s personalised contents have been crammed in mechanically from a database containing 1000’s of names, addresses, and emails.
That is like an e-mail from the financial institution that claims your account is locked, and you should click on this hyperlink to unlock it, or all of your invoice funds might be rejected. Typically it’s apparent, like while you don’t have an account on the named financial institution. On this case, it’s not apparent as a result of a number of individuals are registered voters.
Had been the Proud Boys sending the emails?
They declare they didn’t ship the emails. It takes little or no technical talent to ship emails with a solid “From” handle. I’ve written different articles about this.
Had been the Proud Boys hacked?
You don’t want to regulate the Proud Boys e-mail to make use of their e-mail area in a solid e-mail. However the area may have been used. Reporting within the Washington Submit notes that the Proud Boys area will not be at present related any Web providers. They quoted a member of the group saying that they have been transferring the area between Web distributors. The area might have been weak to abuse through the switch course of.
The FBI-DNI election hack briefing
The Director of Nationwide Intelligence gave a briefing on latest election-hacking actions blamed on Iran and Russia. Whereas the briefing didn’t particularly consult with the Proud Boys e-mail, reporting within the Washington Submit ties the briefing’s contents to these emails.
Was voter information stolen from native registration databases?
Voter registration data (particularly mailing addresses) has been the bread and butter of political campaigns for not less than a century. Each metropolis, county, and state will present these lists to bona fide candidates for workplace, and presumably to others as effectively. Present lists in all probability embrace get together affiliation and e-mail addresses.
If “voter rolls” have been certainly stolen, they have been almost definitely stolen from candidates’ campaigns. Most campaigns are too busy and too cash-strapped to take care of cybersecurity.
It’s additionally potential that the handle lists aren’t voter rolls in any respect. They may be mailing addresses with matching e-mail addresses that concentrate on areas that didn’t vote for Trump within the final election.
Can we inform who despatched this e-mail?
Individuals have reviewed the e-mail headers for hints of the place they originated. They hint again to a number of nations. In keeping with CBS Information, a number of emails have been despatched from an Web cloud service in Saudi Arabia, whereas others got here from Estonia and the United Arab Emirates. (Right here is how one can hint the route of an e-mail).
Sadly, this doesn’t actually establish the emails’ origins. It’s straightforward to ascertain an e-mail account abroad and ship emails by means of that nation. Succesful hackers may additionally break into e-mail accounts in different nations and use them to ahead their spam.
The Backside Line
The purpose of this train was to sow confusion and mistrust in our voting system. Such emails don’t have anything to do with our voting system. They use a few of its data to intimidate individuals, nevertheless it’s like a series letter that threatens unhealthy luck when you “break the chain.” And I don’t consider in chain letters.