It “is not a mistake; it is not a random event; and it is not technically possible for these IP addresses to simply appear on her computer systems without activity by someone using them as part of the cyber-attack.” --David Scantling, cyber-security expert.
I’m frequently asked about the status of my lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice over the secret, unlawful intrusions into my computers, exposed in 2013. As my federal case moves slowly through court system, there is a new development: ongoing forensic work of my computer laptop system has revealed a second government Internet Protocol (IP) address used in the illegal cyber-attacks on my computer laptop system.
The IP addresses don’t belong there.
In a new affidavit filed in federal court last week, cyber-security expert David Scantling states, “[T]he presence of these USPS addresses on [Attkisson’s] computer is not a mistake; it is not a random event; and it is not technically possible for these IP addresses to simply appear on her computer systems without activity by someone using them as part of the cyber-attack."
Scantling served as a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and as a Department of Defense (DoD) civilian employee. He’s familiar with “Advanced Persistent Threat” (“APT”) cyber-attacks. In fact, he developed and deployed similar APT cyber-attacks against foreign government, commercial, insurgent and terrorist targets. He also developed and deployed cyber-security countermeasures in the private sector to defend against such attacks.
Interestingly, both government IP addresses found embedded deep in my computer system trace to the U.S. Postal Service (U.S.P.S.), which has been known to cooperate with intelligence agencies on various levels. The U.S.P.S. refused to cooperate with me, prior to my lawsuit, after my forensics expert recovered evidence of an IP address mysteriously residing in my computer. At the time, an agency official dismissed the forensics evidence as some sort of unexplainable mistake, and refused to help us learn how its IP addresses are maintained and accessed so we could identify the perpetrators.
Tracing the evidence of the government-related intrusion to individual participants hasn’t been easy. The attackers attempted to erase their tracks once they were discovered. And neither the U.S.P.S. nor the Department of Justice (DOJ) are voluntarily cooperating. But experts familiar with the tools and tradecraft that are proprietary to government intelligence agencies have painstakingly recovered and pieced together compelling forensic proof as to attribution.
“There can be no reasonable question that an [Advanced Persistent Threat]-style cyber-attack was carried on Attkisson’s computer systems and Internet connection,” stated Scantling in an affidavit filed last week. “Specifically, the APT methods deployed against [Attkisson’s] computers and Internet connection…were sophisticated and of the type only available to government-type activities and operations.”
This latest information builds upon earlier forensic examinations already conducted by: a confidential government-linked source, an independent forensics specialist hired by CBS, and a forensics expert consulting on my lawsuit.
The facts at hand are at odds with widespread attempts to establish public counter-narratives, resulting in reckless reporting in the past that wrongly implied the Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) had rejected any notion of an intrusion into my computer(s). In fact, the IG never even reviewed the primary computer in question—a CBS laptop—because CBS News would not permit it. I had asked the IG to examine my personal computer, in which two independent forensics examiners had also identified evidence of intrusions. The IG investigators found and described to me significant suspicious anomalies in that system much like the CBS laptop, unearthing similar efforts by someone to erase data and evidence. However, when the IG computer experts finished their review, the findings went to higher ups and the resulting report was inexplicably withheld from me in its entirety.
I was shut out.
Many months later, under pressure from Congress, the IG eventually released a very different-sounding summary of its forensics report to the press. It recast or excluded much of what the investigators had told me they’d found. I attempted to obtain the full report and original notes, some of which I reviewed while the investigation was underway, describing the suspicious activity found on my personal computer. However, the IG has stonewalled my Freedom of Information (FOI) requests for these documents for several years. If the Department of Justice won’t comply with FOI law, then what recourse does a citizen have?
Meantime, instead of helping us get at the facts, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has attempted to block the federal lawsuit at every turn. For example, their lawyers improperly ignored our first notice asking that the appropriate U.S. Postal Service employee(s) appear to give testimony for discovery. The DOJ lawyers didn’t even go through the appropriate legal processes to oppose discovery; they literally ignored the motion entirely. If the nation’s top law enforcement body doesn’t follow the rule of law, what recourse does a citizen have?
If the Department of Justice wishes to establish that it had nothing to do with the forensically verified intrusions into my computers, it should help us get to the bottom of who did -- instead of obstructing the effort. Above all, in the interest of justice, the Justice Department should want to identify who would have spied on a national journalist reporting on a number of international news stories impacting political officials. To me, there are few more chilling scenarios from the standpoint of constitutional press freedoms and protections in our society.
Deep gratitude to the honest patriots who have been sources for my case because they believe the government attack on a member of the free press is so egregious. (As the case progresses, it's better to be on the side of the law than exposed as someone who knew but kept silent. Government whistleblowers will receive legal protection.)
Contact for Whistleblowers, and for more information: Attorney Tab Turner 501-791-2277
Recent pleading in case denying DOJ motion to dismiss the lawsuit
Sharyl Attkisson is a five-time Emmy award winning investigative correspondent and recipient of the Edward R. Murrow award for investigative reporting. She hosts the Sinclair weekly Sunday TV program: Full Measure, and is author of two New York Times bestsellers, including the new book: "The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think and How You Vote."
George Clemons says
You have referenced stonewalling by the DOJ. Since this has been going on for some years it is obvious that the Loretta Lynch DOJ was responsible and that is not surprising. With the change in administration, has their been any cooperation or or change in behavior by the Sessions DOJ? If not it seems to me that pressure by a Republican congress could unlodge the obstruction. Hopefully they are not so imbedded in the "swamp" that they would be interested in finding the truth about this unlawful intrusion which certainly has impact on the American public.
John Ker says
Ms Attkisson - there are serious issues you bring up about your personal experience, the IP addresses, hacking, non-co-operation by the DOJ. But you've stumbled upon what some of us already know: how utterly corrupt the federal criminal system truly is....and you'll learn soon enough the federal judges are part of it too. They are criminals, period. You have a name, money, powerful attorneys....now do research and an article into how the "average joe or sally" has their core constitutional rights gravely violated while being hammered through the "justice system". The feds, the FBI, the federal prosecutors, the judges they are all totally corrupt. They have a solution for every single constitutional right, like "oh, it was a harmless error". And prosecutors are completely protected, even when caught outright cheating they don't get punished. In fact they get promoted! I can cite several examples but trace what happened, as just one example, to the federal prosecutors who got caught cheating in the US Senator Ted Stevens' case. They got promoted. It happens all the time. Doesn't matter if the defendant is guilty or not = you're going to prison because they said so.
John Ker says
Forgot, on the FOIA delay you can file a lawsuit....even before they officially deny you, even before you go through the appeal process. It is called "slow walking" by them and there is good case law, especially in the D.C. circuit, to rest upon. Furthermore, your FOIA should have been filed as expediated, especially since you're a major media outlet (you blog/news reporting). If you attorney didn't file as expediated then fire him on the FOIA filing and find a new one. Media has special access to FOIA requests such as getting the information within 30-60 days. Where us "little people" it can take years. You can base the suit on that too. Read Freedom Watch FOIA lawsuits Tom Fitton has filed - he's got it down pat. With the right attorney you should get a court order for your FOIA filing in about 60 days.
You may be my favorite reporter of all time. One of the few I trust. I wish you would get a show on Fox, you could take the 9:00 p.m. slot. We need you out in the public more often. And besides your courageous reporting, you are incredibly beautiful, so watching would be a pleasure.
Wilbur L Wood says
In my book you are a reporter's reporter....a real hero, and working in a really dangerous world with the likes of cbs, barak obama, loretta lynch, comey, holder, hitlery and the other swampy critters....When you were first on "Full Measure," I sent that information to my list of approximately 55 other internet fans.....the most recent being the Ghosts that the American taxpayers are paying hundreds of millions of dollars for in Afghanistan. Thank you for the job that you do for America and Americans and I also give thanks daily for President Donald J Trump and his administration.
Ms. Attkisson, I respect you and your work and I wish you every success in your current lawsuit!
Denise Simon says
So, it would seem that Jeff Sessions and now perhaps Christopher Wray should be compelled to declassify the whole affair and documents.
Curtis Matsune says
Thank you for your courage and tenacity in pursuing this matter. If the government can do this to one of the most brilliant investigative reporters of our time, I shudder to think what they can do to the rest of us.
Deb Andrews says
This is happening to a lot of Americans who don't have the resources others have to fight it.
The USPS changed my address when I moved into a rental and forced me to get my mail in a lockbox at an apt building next door to my rental house. I had lots of problems with my mail delivery. I complained to the Postmaster and nothing changed.
Problems with my computer go back years, even the caller ID on my phone added a string of characters or numbers as I watched.
20 years ago I was legally threatened to "cease and desist" telling the truth about what is going on in public schools. I did not comply and my life changed. Gestapo and Stasi are at work in the US.
So , basically , my mailman is a spook.