[Cryptography] Digital Certificate Forensics: Clinton Email Server

Tom Mitchell mitch at niftyegg.com
Sun Mar 15 01:40:57 EDT 2015

On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 5:53 AM, Phillip Hallam-Baker <phill at hallambaker.com
> wrote:

> I have been reading the various pronouncements on the email server. It
> seems that a lot of people are making statements that are idiotic and wrong.

> When I was working with the Executive Office of the President on some of
> the whitehouse.gov systems, an individual known to us all here was in
> Congress being asked about security scanners. He claimed that he had
> scanned the whitehouse.gov domain and found the systems to be vulnerable.
> Five minutes later they were slammed by people launching probes.
> .....
> Someone who does not know what is behind the fence has very little way to
> know what is inside. And when the systems in question are running Open
> Genera (the lisp machine O/S) over a stripped down version of ULTRIX,
> chances are that any holes are not going to be uncovered by the typical
> probe. Since there was no reason to let people on the outside know what was
> inside, the servers intentionally reported false server version
> identification.
> What makes this whole situation even more ridiculous is that we know for a
> fact that the official state dept systems that 'should' have been used were
> completely insecure because Chelsea Manning has provided us with copies of
> all the cables.

I think what I just heard between the lines was:
A)  Looking at outgoing email is not going to find anything because any
politician knows that email becomes a record.
      Thus proving a negative is the game...
B)  White House and state department electronic communications were known
to be insecure then and perhaps now.
      Alternative were pressed into service and are classified to this
day.  HC could not discloses a classified directive
      to move from the systems at state and the WH.
C)  Running a common service in an oddball (uncommon) set of layers was and
may still be a serviceable option.

Unstated but interesting to me is a FISA warrant could not be served on
Clinton's email server without
notifying Clinton (in her home).   The MX record machines perhaps, since
store and forward could become
store, keepAcopy, forward but that requires system changes.    Also the
number of email messages is large
enough that the server  was not limited to Hillary alone.   We do not know
all the account names and email addresses on
the server.   This many messages seems to illuminate the potential of
lawful business, fundraising, book drafts.
book contracts, speaking engagement negotiations,  and more that a staff
would have to manage.

Re:  classified content.   There is almost no limit here   The first
classified document I ever saw
was apparently for shipping a modest amount of toilet paper to another
unit.  Apparently rolls of TP let you count
behinds... or illness or both.   For HC to mail B and say "wheels up"
tomorrow at 8:29 could have been classified
but not so marked even if it was her personal travel.

And 50,000 email messages could have been serviced on a Raspberry Pi system
i.e.  This volume is nothing for a modest old bit of cast off hardware.
The news media makes evil tones
when using the word "server" and speaks it half an octave lower.

  T o m    M i t c h e l l
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