Monday, March 13, 2017

More on the "odd" computer connection between the Russian bank and Trump organization - and a DeVos company link as well

This one should not die, and will not - if I can help it.

The FBI continues its investigation into the “odd” computer link between the Russian Alfa Bank and a mail server in Trump Tower according to this report from CNN a couple of days ago, Sources: FBI investigation continues into ‘odd’ computer link between Russian bank and Trump Organization.

Here are some significant digits.

What is known:

Last year, a small group of computer scientists obtained internet traffic records from the complex system that serves as the internet’s phone book. Access to these records is reserved for highly trusted cybersecurity firms and companies that provide this lookup service.

These signals were captured as they traveled along the internet’s Domain Name System (DNS).

These leaked records show that Alfa Bank servers repeatedly looked up the unique internet address of a particular Trump Organization computer server in the United States.

In the computer world, it’s the equivalent of looking up someone’s phone number – over and over again. While there isn’t necessarily a phone call, it usually indicates an intention to communicate, according to several computer scientists.

What puzzled them was why a Russian bank was repeatedly looking up the contact information for mail1.trump-email.com.

That internet address (URL) indicates that the purpose of the Trump Organization server was for email communications.

Publicly available internet records show that address, which was registered to the Trump Organization, points to an IP address that lives on an otherwise dull machine operated by a company in the tiny rural town of Lititz, Pennsylvania.

From May 4 until September 23, the Russian bank looked up the address to this Trump corporate server 2,820 times – more lookups than the Trump server received from any other source.

As noted, Alfa Bank alone represents 80% of the lookups, according to these leaked internet records.

Far back in second place, with 714 such lookups, was a company called Spectrum Health.

Spectrum is a medical facility chain led by Dick DeVos, the husband of Betsy DeVos, who was appointed by Trump as U.S. education secretary.

Together, Alfa and Spectrum accounted for 99% of the lookups.

So now there is a three-way connection between the Russian bank, DeVos’ Spectrum Health chain, and the Trump Organization. It may be that there is no connection at all between DeVos and Alfa Bank, but it is hard to believe that all this is a set of chance occurrences.

Check out the CNN report for the uncertainties about these connections. For example:

Robert Graham is a cybersecurity expert who wrote a widely circulated blog post in November that criticized computer scientists for premature conclusions connecting the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank.

But he’s still wondering why Alfa Bank and Spectrum Health alone dominated links to this Trump server.

“It’s indicative of communication between Trump, the health organization and the bank outside these servers,” he told CNN. “There is some sort of connection I can’t explain, and only they are doing it. It could be completely innocent.”

Or not.

And that’s why I nominate 99% as today’s significant digit.

For more about these computer connections see my November 3rd post, Evidence that Trump is The Moskovian Candidate.

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