The Associated Press is exposing the security flaws in Hillary Clinton’s email setup, and it’s devastating. Some of the details they amassed have been known or suspected since early in the scandal, but seeing them all together, with some new details, paints a picture of hair-raising reckless vulnerability.
One cyber-security expert quoted in the piece described Clinton’s server as “total amateur hour.”
The big news comes right up front:
Clinton’s server, which handled her personal and State Department correspondence,appeared to allow users to connect openly over the Internet to control it remotely, according to detailed records compiled in 2012. Experts said the Microsoft remote desktop service wasn’t intended for such use without additional protective measures, and was the subject of U.S. government and industry warnings at the time over attacks from even low-skilled intruders.
Records show that Clinton additionally operated two more devices on her home network in Chappaqua, New York, that also were directly accessible from the Internet. One contained similar remote-control software that also has suffered from security vulnerabilities, known as Virtual Network Computing, and the other appeared to be configured to run websites.
Good Lord. Closing off Remote Desktop access is Security 101 stuff. If zero-day exploits were drunken party guests, even “Dead Broke” Clinton’s vast estate in Chappaqua wouldn’t have enough bedrooms to put them all up for the night.
The AP exclusively reviewed numerous records from an Internet “census” by an anonymous hacker-researcher, who three years ago used unsecured devices to scan hundreds of millions of Internet Protocol addresses for accessible doors, called “ports.” Using a computer in Serbia, the hacker scanned Clinton’s basement server in Chappaqua at least twice, in August and December 2012. It was unclear whether the hacker was aware the server belonged to Clinton, although it identified itself as providing email services for clintonemail.com. The results are widely available online.
Remote-access software allows users to control another computer from afar. The programs are usually operated through an encrypted connection — called a virtual private network, or VPN. But Clinton’s system appeared to accept commands directly from the Internet without such protections.
“That’s total amateur hour,” said Marc Maiffret, who has founded two cyber security companies. He said permitting remote-access connections directly over the Internet would be the result of someone choosing convenience over security or failing to understand the risks. “Real enterprise-class security, with teams dedicated to these things, would not do this,” he said.
Read more: breitbart.com
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