It’s July 2014 and one member of my team, Don Allison of KoreLogic, has been working on my computer puzzles for more than a year. I’ve come to understand why he came so highly recommended. The work has been difficult and tedious. But there’s no great hurry. Patience must be exercised. His task has been to unmask some of the most sophisticated computer intrusion efforts in existence. And he’s gathering clues and intel. Revealing new information, even now, about the surveillance of both my work and personal computers by an outside presence.
Regarding my work laptop, Don tells me that his analysis shows CBS had the means and opportunity through corporate software to perform its own inside, complete remote acquisition and forensic analysis of the laptop as well as other platforms on their network as soon as I first informed them of the intrusion. If they did so, they didn’t tell me about it. Don can see that one party looking through my laptop showed particular interest in my Benghazi reporting work, opening and reading a key file.
Don is also able to provide the best forensics detail yet of my per- sonal desktop iMac. It reveals a sophisticated set of intrusions that were at least as invasive as the ones into my work laptop. The interlopers were able to co-opt my iMac and operate it remotely, as if they were sitting in front of it. They used a program to control parameters that allow for complete remote graphical access as one of the authorized users of the system.
The unauthorized presence had complete control.
It has access to emails, personal files, Internet browsing, pass- words, execution of programs, financial records, and photographs of not just me but of my family members as well.
The illegal infiltration included the ability to capture passwords and account information for my extended computing footprint as well, such as my external accounts with Hotmail, Facebook, Twitter, online banking credentials, and CBS corporate systems.
The invaders were able to access anything connected to my com- puter systems and they used their technology and expertise to comb through the photo records on my BlackBerry, specifically snooping through materials I had photographed regarding my Fast and Furiousresearch.
While a great deal of data has been expertly wiped in an attempt to cover-up the deed, Don is able to find remnants of what was once there. There’s crucial evidence of a government computer connection to my computer. A sort of backdoor link that leads to an ISP address for a government computer that can’t be accessed by the general public on the Web. It’s an undeniable link to the U.S. government. Don says the importance of this link can’t be understated.
“Let me put it this way,” he tells me. “This ISP address is better evidence of the government being in your computer than the govern- ment had when it accused China of hacking into computers in the U.S.”
“The greatest fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change.”
—Edward Snowden to the Guardian, June 2013