A chain of cracked computers. If DHS is able to trace it, they'll probably find that their machine was visited by somebody from a machine in Sweden, and that was an intrusion from somewhere else.
How does that make sense, though? "I want some information from the Secretary of State in Georgia. Let's start with the Federal Department of Homeland Security, that'll be way easier to crack."
If you are of the nefarious hacker sort, you may not care whose computer you hacked. The feds aren't always the most competent at IT, so those systems may have been the easy targets. Consider OPM for example...-Stc Michael
True, but there's another problem that example brings up: the OPM hack was supposed to have been carried out by a major nation state. Say you're Russia or China, and you've penetrated DHS. Would you really use it like this in order to get to the Georgia Secretary of State? You'd be risking exposing your penetration of a much bigger catch to get... I don't know... voter registration data from a reliable Red state.
You are assuming this is political, and not basement crackers trying to count coup. Our systems were cracked by a script-kiddie, whose main goal seemed to be to steal passwords for as many other systems as possible. He (presumably a he) didn't even bother to try to download anything, possibly because there wasn't anything obvious and small enough to grab and brag about.
As james mentioned, I would also not be surprised that the US systems can be cracked by script kiddies.Given modern crowd sourced cryptocurrencies and individual processing power, the scripts created can be far more process intensive.There are stories of scientists using individual humans and their computer power to process and analyze protein data, using a crowd sourced model. This conceptual framework is far beyond the bureaucracies of IT in government at least.
A crack, btw, is to defeat encryption and defense systems. A hack, would be to somehow creatively create the process before or after the crack succeeded or failed.Snowden, for example, wasn't a cracker. He already had access privs to the passwords. He was a mid to low level hacker, in that he used goggle type bots to suck up data he couldn't read in time.
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