President-elect Donald Trump said his administration would produce a full report on hacking within the first 90 days of his presidency....
Totally made up facts by sleazebag political operatives, both Democrats and Republicans - FAKE NEWS! Russia says nothing exists. Probably...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2017
released by "Intelligence" even knowing there is no proof, and never will be. My people will have a full report on hacking within 90 days!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2017
Trump's "people" are going to write up a report? Which "people" exactly?
I'm wondering whether there could be a connection between Trump's tweetstorm and this:
President-Elect Trump Announces Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to Lend Expertise to Cyber Security EffortsYes, an investigation by Giuliani certainly would be a frank, without-fear-or-favor examination of the facts, and not a total whitewash. And I am Marie of Roumania.
(New York, NY) -- President-elect Trump is very pleased to announce former Mayor Rudy Giuliani will be sharing his expertise and insight as a trusted friend concerning private sector cyber security problems and emerging solutions developing in the private sector.
I could easily be wrong about Trump turning this over to Rudy -- as Politico has implied, the cybersecurity role for Giuliani seems designed to line his pockets:
Rudy Giuliani’s new role advising President-elect Donald Trump on cyber security could provide a financial windfall for the former New York City mayor’s consulting firm and legal practice, creating a potential conflict of interest that won’t be subject to federal ethics laws.The tech publication ZDNet acknowledges that Giuliani makrs money offering cybersecurity services, but questions what exactly those services are:
Giuliani chairs the global cybersecurity practice at the law firm Greenberg Traurig, advising companies on securing data and responding to breaches. Through his own consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, the former New York mayor has worked for cyber-related clients including identity theft protection company LifeLock and insurance giant Aon.
Giuliani said he will not resign from those roles, even as he becomes a special adviser to the president-elect on these issues.
Trump's pick of Giuliani for this position isn't all too surprising to security circles. It's widely known that he is the chief executive of his own private-sector cybersecurity venture, Giuliani Partners.A Bush-era Washington Post story ventured a guess about the real work of Giuliani Partners:
Giuliani spent much of his time consulting after leaving office as mayor of New York at the end of 2001. His venture claims to offer "a comprehensive range of security and crisis management services." ...
Yet, even his cybersecurity venture's website, filled with clunky Flash components and "cyber" stock imagery throughout, doesn't advertise what it does.
For the past few months while Giuliani's name was floated for positions for the Republican's presidential campaign, we've tried to find out exactly what his company does, or can do better than any other security firm -- to no avail.
Giuliani, grounded in the intricately connected world of New York politics, has been more than adept at making the system work for his clients. They have included a pharmaceutical company that, with Giuliani's help, resolved a lengthy Drug Enforcement Administration investigation with only a fine; a confessed drug smuggler who hired Giuliani to ensure his security company could do business with the federal government; and the horse racing industry, eager to recover public confidence after a betting scandal.The ZDNet story certainly has a point about the Giuliani Security website, according to this tweeter:
Giuliani Security:— Michael Fienen (@fienen) January 12, 2017
- Expired SSL
- Doesn't force https
- Exposed CMS login
- Uses Flash
- Using EOL PHP version
- SSL Lab grade of F
(The site may have been improved since this was written. Parts of it have been down this morning.)
If Rudy isn't spearheading Trump's hacking "investigation," it'll be some other hack -- and yet the media will take the effort seriously, scratching its collective chin and wondering aloud whether anything in the report might embarrass the man who commissioned it.
Or, of course, Trump being Trump, today's announcement might just have been a brain fart, and we might never hear about a hacking report again.
Update in comments from the New York Crank:
The Giuliani website seems to be entirely down, as of 2 p.m. today. The speculation as to why, if it begins, could probably become America's newest parlor game.He's right -- the site is down.
Or maybe a 400-pound kid sitting on a bed somewhere did it.