The narrative of a Russian hack into the computer system of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is an “outright lie” and “manipulation process,” William Binney, a former highly placed NSA official, claimed during in a radio interview.
Utilizing recently unlocked information from data that purportedly originated on the DNC’s servers, Binney claimed that he is “something like 99%” sure that the DNC servers were not hacked from the outside. He urged the U.S. Intelligence Community to immediately release any evidence utilized to draw the conclusion that Russia may have been associated with the breach of the DNC servers.
Binney was an architect of the NSA’s surveillance program. He is a former NSA technical director who helped to modernize the agency’s worldwide eavesdropping network, co-founding a unit on automating NSA signals intelligence. He became a famed whistleblower when he resigned on October 31, 2001, after spending more than 30 years with the agency.
He is also a senior leader of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), a group of former officers of the United States Intelligence Community founded in 2003. During the interview, Binney repeatedly referred to a forensic analysis conducted by VIPS members on DNC files posted online by the hacker known as Guccifer 2.0. The VIPS analysis highlighted data that purportedly indicated the DNC server was most likely not hacked from the outside.
Binney’s findings are not without detractors, however, with some experts saying the VIPS report is flawed and ignores other explanations for the metadata. Binney pushed back against the criticism, charging the detractors have no evidence for their claims. He squarely placed the onus on the U.S. government to prove any hack.
He was speaking on this reporter’s Sunday radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and Philadelphia’s NewsTalk 990 AM.
The VIPS analysis was made possible after an independent researcher who goes by the online name of Forensicator found a way to unlock metadata from Guccifer 2.0’s files.
The unlocked metadata shows that on July 5, 2016 a total of 1,976 megabytes of data were quickly downloaded into a file. A key finding is that the file downloads took only 87 seconds in total, which suggests a transfer rate of 22.7 megabytes per second.
A hack of the DNC server would have most likely used an Internet service provider. However, the analysts noted, in mid-2016 U.S. Internet service providers for residential clients did not have speeds capable of downloading data at that rate. The data upload is consistent with a regular transfer to a flash device like a thumb drive.
Yet, the VIPS report seemingly overlooked the fact that some corporate and cloud networks do have upload rates technically capable of transferring at that speed. The DNC has not commented on its own network speeds.
Speaking to this reporter, Binney stated, “It is almost absolutely not possible to do it from outside. I mean you have to have some access to the DNC network and some access from there that would allow you to take that rate in. That meant you had to be on the DNC network or some very high-speed network connected to it.”
Binney stated that if the data were transferred via the Internet, outside entities would have recordings of the transfer. “The network managers would monitor the network log for the Internet, for example,” he said. “Basically, the people who manage the fiber optic lines. Like AT&T. If they saw a bulge in traffic being passed down one line they could see that maybe we need to offload to another line and reroute. It’s like load-leveling across the entire network to make sure that it functions and it doesn’t go down for being overloaded on one line only.”
Binney, who helped build the NSA’s surveillance program, alleged that the NSA would have picked up on any outside hack of the DNC.
“They would know exactly where the package went if it were transferred. I would also add that, on the other end, NSA and GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), the British equivalent, are watching [WikiLeaks founder] Julian Assange in the embassy and all of the people who are related to him or are contacting him or having any kind of data transfer to or from him.”
“They’re watching them all – that’s Wikileaks, basically – they are watching them 24 hours a day cast iron. So, if anybody passed data to them across the network they would know. And be reporting it. That’s the whole problem. They didn’t come out and say here is where the data came from that came to Wikileaks. And he is where it came from – the DNC server to that point that is related to Wikileaks.”