The 'Hack' Narrative Collapses

by Karl Denninger, Market Ticker:

This is a pretty-good read, all-in.

“A speed of 22.7 megabytes is simply unobtainable, especially if we are talking about a transoceanic data transfer,” Folden said. “Based on the data we now have, what we’ve been calling a hack is impossible.” Last week Forensicator reported on a speed test he conducted more recently. It tightens the case considerably. “Transfer rates of 23 MB/s (Mega Bytes per second) are not just highly unlikely, but effectively impossible to accomplish when communicating over the Internet at any significant distance,” he wrote. “Further, local copy speeds are measured, demonstrating that 23 MB/s is a typical transfer rate when using a USB–2 flash device (thumb drive).”

I wouldn't go so far as to claim impossible, but I would say "highly unlikely."  The second part of the statement, however, is utterly true -- it is completely consistent with either a SD card or USB flash drive inserted into a computer.

When it comes to Internet transfer of data, remember one thing: You're only as fast as the slowest link in the middle.

There are plenty of places on the Internet with gigabit (that's ~100MegaBYTE per second) speeds.  But you would need such pipes end to end, and in addition, they'd have to be relatively empty at the time you exfiltrated the data.

What's worse is that there is a real bandwidth product delay problem that most "pedestrian" operating systems do not handle well at all.

In other words as latency and number of hops go up, irrespective of bandwidth, there's an issue with the maximum realistically obtainable speed, irrespective of whether there's sufficient available pipe space to take the data.  This is a problem that can be tuned for if you know how and your system has the resources to handle it on some operating systems -- specifically, server-class operating systems like FreeBSD.  But the "common" Windows machine pretty-much cannot be adjusted in this way and it requires expert knowledge to do so.

If that was the end of the evidence it would be pretty compelling.  But it's not.  Just as with Obama's "birth certificate" there is plenty of evidence of amateur hour attempts to frame the Russians in the narrative here, including blatantly-apparent metadata tampering in the files allegedly "stolen" by the Russians.

A skilled hacker -- in other words, a Russian who knows what he or she is doing -- would not make that mistake.  They certainly would not make it on a consistent basis across all the documents.  But a clown-car brigade fool trying to frame the Russians certainly would -- not intentionally of course, but rather out of ignorance.

Why would the DNC not use a skilled hacker?  For the same reason a skilled person (with something real to lose) wouldn't forge a birth certificate: They would never take the job, knowing full well that getting caught would at best end their career and might lead directly to a prison cell.

The skilled folks, in short, are intelligent enough to understand the risks in undertaking the task, they know how hard it is to do and not get caught due to accidentally leaving a trace somewhere and in addition they have a lot to lose.  They also tend not to be so arrogant as to think they're the "smartest"; the real deal folks know damn well that no matter how good you are there is always someone better, and that "better" person is capable of catching you.

Is this report the last word on the matter?  No.

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