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General Discussion / VR Systems and the Durham Election
« Last post by citizensscience on September 24, 2017, 11:47:56 AM »
9/24 - Update - More on Durham County's third party software...








Interesting DHS didn't rule out software...




 


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#durhamelection




The calls started flooding in from hundreds of irate North Carolina voters just after 7 a.m. on Election Day last November.

Dozens were told they were ineligible to vote and were turned away at the polls, even when they displayed current registration cards. Others were sent from one polling place to another, only to be rejected. Scores of voters were incorrectly told they had cast ballots days earlier. In one precinct, voting halted for two hours.

Susan Greenhalgh, a troubleshooter at a nonpartisan election monitoring group, was alarmed. Most of the complaints came from Durham, a blue-leaning county in a swing state. The problems involved electronic poll books — tablets and laptops, loaded with check-in software, that have increasingly replaced the thick binders of paper used to verify voters’ identities and registration status. She knew that the company that provided Durham’s software, VR Systems, had been penetrated by Russian hackers months before.

“It felt like tampering, or some kind of cyberattack,” Ms. Greenhalgh said about the voting troubles in Durham.

There are plenty of other reasons for such breakdowns — local officials blamed human error and software malfunctions — and no clear-cut evidence of digital sabotage has emerged, much less a Russian role in it. Despite the disruptions, a record number of votes were cast in Durham, following a pattern there of overwhelming support for Democratic presidential candidates, this time Hillary Clinton.

But months later, for Ms. Greenhalgh, other election security experts and some state officials, questions still linger about what happened that day in Durham as well as other counties in North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Arizona.

After a presidential campaign scarred by Russian meddling, local, state and federal agencies have conducted little of the type of digital forensic investigation required to assess the impact, if any, on voting in at least 21 states whose election systems were targeted by Russian hackers, according to interviews with nearly two dozen national security and state officials and election technology specialists.

The assaults on the vast back-end election apparatus — voter-registration operations, state and local election databases, e-poll books and other equipment — have received far less attention than other aspects of the Russian interference, such as the hacking of Democratic emails and spreading of false or damaging information about Mrs. Clinton. Yet the hacking of electoral systems was more extensive than previously disclosed, The New York Times found.

Susan Greenhalgh, at her home in Amityville, N.Y. When she monitored complaints at an election call center last year, she was alarmed by disruptions reported in the swing state of North Carolina.

Beyond VR Systems, hackers breached at least two other providers of critical election services well ahead of the 2016 voting, said current and former intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information is classified. The officials would not disclose the names of the companies.

Intelligence officials in January reassured Americans that there was no indication that Russian hackers had altered the vote count on Election Day, the bottom-line outcome. But the assurances stopped there.

Government officials said that they intentionally did not address the security of the back-end election systems, whose disruption could prevent voters from even casting ballots.

That’s partly because states control elections; they have fewer resources than the federal government but have long been loath to allow even cursory federal intrusions into the voting process.

That, along with legal constraints on intelligence agencies’ involvement in domestic issues, has hobbled any broad examination of Russian efforts to compromise American election systems. Those attempts include combing through voter databases, scanning for vulnerabilities or seeking to alter data, which have been identified in multiple states. Current congressional inquiries and the special counsel’s Russia investigation have not focused on the matter.

“We don’t know if any of the problems were an accident, or the random problems you get with computer systems, or whether it was a local hacker, or actual malfeasance by a sovereign nation-state,” said Michael Daniel, who served as the cybersecurity coordinator in the Obama White House. “If you really want to know what happened, you’d have to do a lot of forensics, a lot of research and investigation, and you may not find out even then.”

In interviews, academic and private election security experts acknowledged the challenges of such diagnostics but argued that the effort is necessary. They warned about what could come, perhaps as soon as next year’s midterm elections, if the existing mix of outdated voting equipment, haphazard election-verification procedures and array of outside vendors is not improved to build an effective defense against Russian or other hackers.

In Durham, a local firm with limited digital forensics or software engineering expertise produced a confidential report, much of it involving interviews with poll workers, on the county’s election problems. The report was obtained by The Times, and election technology specialists who reviewed it at the Times’ request said the firm had not conducted any malware analysis or checked to see if any of the e-poll book software was altered, adding that the report produced more questions than answers.

Neither VR Systems — which operates in seven states beyond North Carolina — nor local officials were warned before Election Day that Russian hackers could have compromised their software. After problems arose, Durham County rebuffed help from the Department of Homeland Security and Free & Fair, a team of digital election-forensics experts who volunteered to conduct a free autopsy. The same was true elsewhere across the country.

Software that resulted in polling problems in the county was supplied by a company hacked by Russians months earlier.

“I always got stonewalled,” said Joe Kiniry, the chief executive and chief scientist at Free & Fair.

Still, some of the incidents reported in North Carolina occur in every election, said Charles Stewart III, a political scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an expert on election administration.

“Election officials and advocates and reporters who were watching most closely came away saying this was an amazingly quiet election,” he said, playing down the notion of tampering. He added, though, that the problems in Durham and elsewhere raise questions about the auditing of e-poll books and security of small election vendors.

Ms. Greenhalgh shares those concerns. “We still don’t know if Russian hackers did this,” she said about what happened in North Carolina. “But we still don’t know that they didn’t.”

Disorder at the polls.

North Carolina went for Donald J. Trump in a close election. But in Durham County, Hillary Clinton won 78 percent of the 156,000 votes, winning by a larger margin than President Barack Obama had against Mitt Romney four years earlier.

While only a fraction of voters were turned away because of the e-poll book difficulties — more than half of the county cast their ballots days earlier — plenty of others were affected when the state mandated that the entire county revert to paper rolls on Election Day. People steamed as everything slowed. Voters gave up and left polling places in droves — there’s no way of knowing the numbers, but they include more than a hundred North Carolina Central University students facing four-hour delays.

At a call center operated by the monitoring group Election Protection, Ms. Greenhalgh was fielding technical complaints from voters in Mississippi, Texas and North Carolina. Only a handful came from the first two states.

Her account of the troubles matches complaints logged in the Election Incident Reporting System, a tracking tool created by nonprofit groups. As the problems mounted, The Charlotte Observer reported that Durham’s e-poll book vendor was Florida-based VR Systems, which Ms. Greenhalgh knew from a CNN report had been hacked earlier by Russians. “Chills went through my spine,” she recalled.

The vendor does not make the touch-screen equipment used to cast or tally votes and does not manage county data. But without the information needed to verify voters’ identities and eligibility, which county officials load onto VR’s poll books, voters cannot cast ballots at all.


The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.

Details of the breach did not emerge until June, in a classified National Security Agency report leaked to The Intercept, a national security news site. That report found that hackers from Russia’s military intelligence agency, the G.R.U., had penetrated the company’s computer systems as early as August 2016, then sent “spear-phishing” emails from a fake VR Systems account to 122 state and local election jurisdictions. The emails sought to trick election officials into downloading malicious software to take over their computers.

The N.S.A. analysis did not say whether the hackers had sabotaged voter data. “It is unknown,” the agency concluded, whether Russian phishing “successfully compromised the intended victims, and what potential data could have been accessed.”

VR Systems’ chief operating officer, Ben Martin, said he did not believe Russian hackers were successful. He acknowledged that the vendor was a “juicy target,” given that its systems are used in battleground states including North Carolina, Florida and Virginia. But he said that the company blocked access from its systems to local databases, and employs security protocols to bar intruders and digital triggers that sound alerts if its software is manipulated.

On Election Day, as the e-poll book problems continued, Ms. Greenhalgh urged an Election Protection colleague in North Carolina to warn the state Board of Elections of a cyberattack and suggest that it call in the F.B.I. and Department of Homeland Security. In an email, she also warned a Homeland Security election specialist of the problems. Later, the specialist told her Durham County had rejected the agency’s help.

When Ms. Greenhalgh, who works at Verified Voting, a nonprofit dedicated to election integrity, followed up with the North Carolina colleague, he reported that state officials said they would not require federal help.

“He said: ‘The state does not view this as a problem. There’s nothing we can do, so we’ve moved on to other things,’” Ms. Greenhalgh recalled. “Meanwhile, I’m thinking, ‘What could be more important to move on to?’”

An Interference Campaign

The idea of subverting the American vote by hacking election systems is not new. In an assessment of Russian cyberattacks released in January, intelligence agencies said Kremlin spy services had been collecting information on election processes, technology and equipment in the United States since early 2014.

The Russians shied away from measures that might alter the “tallying” of votes, the report added, a conclusion drawn from American spying and intercepts of Russian officials’ communications and an analysis by the Department of Homeland Security, according to the current and former government officials.

The most obvious way to rig an election — controlling hundreds or thousands of decentralized voting machines — is also the most difficult. During a conference of computer hackers last month in Las Vegas, participants had direct access and quickly took over more than 30 voting machines. But remotely infiltrating machines of different makes and models and then covertly changing the vote count is far more challenging.

Beginning in 2015, the American officials said, Russian hackers focused instead on other internet-accessible targets: computers at the Democratic National Committee, state and local voter databases, election websites, e-poll book vendors and other back-end election services.

Apart from the Russian influence campaign intended to undermine Mrs. Clinton and other Democratic officials, the impact of the quieter Russian hacking efforts at the state and county level has not been widely studied. Federal officials have been so tight-lipped that not even many election officials in the 21 states the hackers assaulted know whether their systems were compromised, in part because they have not been granted security clearances to examine the classified evidence.

The January intelligence assessment implied that the Russian hackers had achieved broader access than has been assumed. Without elaborating, the report said the Russians had “obtained and maintained access to multiple U.S. state and local election boards.”

Two previously acknowledged strikes in June 2016 hint at Russian ambitions. In Arizona, Russian hackers successfully stole a username and password for an election official in Gila County. And in Illinois, Russian hackers inserted a malicious program into the Illinois State Board of Elections’ database. According to Ken Menzel, the board’s general counsel, the program tried unsuccessfully “to alter things other than voter data” — he declined to be more specific — and managed to illegally download registration files for 90,000 voters before being detected.

On Election Day last year, a number of counties reported problems similar to those in Durham. In North Carolina, paper roll incidents occurred in the counties that are home to the state’s largest cities, including Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville and Charlotte. Three of Virginia’s most populous counties — Prince William, Loudoun, and Henrico — as well as Fulton County, Georgia, which includes Atlanta, and Maricopa County, Arizona, which includes Phoenix, also reported difficulties. All were attributed to software glitches.

Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia and vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, argued for more scrutiny of suspicious incidents. “We must harden our cyber defenses, and thoroughly educate the American public about the danger posed” by attacks,” he said in an email. “In other words: we are not making our elections any safer by withholding information about the scope and scale of the threat.”

In Durham County, officials have rejected any notion that an intruder sought to alter the election outcome. “We do not believe, and evidence does not suggest, that hacking occurred on Election Day,” Derek Bowens, the election director, said in a recent email.

But last month, after inquiries from reporters and the North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, Durham county officials voted to turn over laptops and other devices to the board for further analysis. It was not clear which government agency or private forensics firm, would conduct the investigation.

Ms. Greenhalgh will be watching closely. “What people focus on is, ‘Did someone mess with the vote totals?’” she said. “What they don’t realize is that messing with the e-poll books to keep people from voting is just as effective.’”

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/09/01/us/politics/russia-election-hacking.html?referer=https://www.google.com/


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General Discussion / UPDATE - Durham Election - Fraud or Fiction... You Decide
« Last post by citizensscience on September 24, 2017, 09:24:50 AM »
- Just released by #NCSBE. 





Yet, still no explanation on how multiple electronic poll books go down  simultaneously, and are reported at the exact same time (6:45AM) but are all at seperate locations / precincts?

#fishy
 




11/13/2016 - Durham County Board of Elections responds...










A "Crack in the Case"?

Citizens Science has "Grave" Concerns with the below statement...





Again - How do Six "separate and apart" "Voter Poll Book Systems" go down that just so happen to be "Used to Verify Voter Registrations"?

This occurrence forces the Durham County Board of Elections to resort to the use of "Paper Poll Books" vs "Electronic Poll Books"

Why is this occurrence of fact so important?  Let's look to the "Intent" of the Electronic Voter Rolls and their stated "Purpose"...











So HOW is it, that six seperate precincts "Electronic Poll Books" all just happen to go down and are reported at the "Exact" same time...  6:45 AM??  Yes AM...

What other similar patterns can the State Board of Elections illustrate with other precincts with any such patterns?  Remember, Durham County Board of Elections was and remains under SBI Investigation for Election Tampering resulting in hundreds of ballots "Missing"...

What was the % of "Same-day Registered Voters" that were later found to be "Ineligible" after the statutory mailings were returned "Nondeliverable" for these same Durham precincts?

What exactly does "Nondeliverable" really mean...

The USPS defines "Nondeliverable" below...



https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/507.htm


Summary -  What a wonderful way to willfully commit #voterfraud in North Carolina, as it's near impossible for any US Attorney to prove the required elements, for example "Knowingly", to secure a criminal convection for such.

This is a significant deficiency in the election processes.



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North Carolina Marine Fisheries / YOUR FIRED - "$hit-Canned" or just a Shake-Up?
« Last post by citizensscience on September 23, 2017, 07:16:21 AM »




BUSTED Again?? 

WRAL pursued NCDMF seeking answers to the many alleged  deficiencies levied by NC's Voting Anglers regarding the agencies administration of the CRFL Fund...  DMF, deflected, denied and out right "Lied". 

Yes, the Division of Marine Fisheries told you and WRAL a Big Fat "Lie"! 

But - Did the wrong office just get "Gutted", $hit Canned or just Shook-Up?

Or did someone just take the sword for the "Dip'u'Dee" Director "Dee Lupton??

You Decide...


Grants Program Manager

Salary
$38,748.00 - $104,126.00 Annually

Location
Carteret County, NC

Job Type
Permanent Full-Time

Department
Dept of Environmental Quality

Job Number
17-06516 DMF60032666

Closing
10/8/2017 5:00 PM Eastern

Description of Work
Salary Grade Equivalent 73 -

Recruitment range $38,748 - $57,281

The Business Officer serves as the division's Grants Program Manager. 

The primary purposes of this position are to maintain the eligibility of the NC Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for participation in Federal Grant programs, to implement the state grant program of Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL), and to ensure the Commercial Fishing Resource Fund (CFRF) program runs efficiently and effectively.

This position is responsible for the Division's Federal Grant budget planning, formulating Federal Grant program plans, and coordinating DMF projects with other agencies and private groups by formulating and administering grants and contracts as needed.  The CRFL grant program implementation involves supervising the daily activities that ensure a smooth flow of operations and other procedures.  The CFRF program requires this position to conduct all administrative functions, including but not limited to serving as liaison to a funding committee as well as the Marine Fisheries Commission.  This position is responsible for all the daily activities that ensure a smooth flow of operations pursuant to the North Carolina General Statute (N.C.G.S.) § 113-173.1, and other procedures established and adopted by the NC Marine Fisheries Commission.
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Hemorrhagic Disease Reported in Southern Appalachian Deer


RALEIGH, N.C. (Sept. 14, 2017) — After receiving multiple reports of dead, dying or sick deer in the Southern Appalachians, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission said that hunters may see dead deer this hunting season but that the recent outbreak of hemorrhagic disease (HD) in white-tailed deer is cyclic and the population will rebound.

Citizens should report dead or obviously sick looking deer to their local district biologist to help monitor the impact of the disease.

Hemorrhagic disease is a common disease of deer caused by two types of viruses — one producing blue tongue and the other producing epizootic hemorrhagic disease. Tests of infected animals indicate that epizootic hemorrhagic disease appears to be the responsible virus for this year’s outbreak.
HD tends to occur in North Carolina every year, although with varying degrees of severity and distribution. The disease typically dies off after the first frost. The counties in the Southern Appalachians with moderate HD activity this year are Swain, Clay, Cherokee, Macon and Transylvania counties.

Transported by a biting midge or gnat, the HD viruses enter deer through insect bites. Common symptoms of sick animals include emaciation, loss of motor control, fever, lameness, and swelling of the neck and head. Feverish deer often seek relief near cool bodies of water, resulting in a higher frequency of dead deer near water than on adjacent uplands. Examinations of dead deer usually reveal ulcerations on the tongue, dental pad and roof of the mouth. The mouth and tongue also may be bluish and the skin and other soft tissues may be flush or reddish.
HD has no known human health implications, but it is one of the most significant endemic viral diseases of white-tailed deer in the southeastern U.S. There is no evidence that it can affect humans, dogs, cats or other domestic pets. The viruses, particularly blue tongue, can be contracted by other ruminants such as cows and sheep. Typically, HD does not cause severe symptoms in cows, but the blue tongue virus can cause disease in sheep similar to what occurs in white-tailed deer. Deer that recover from an episode of HD develop immunity to future outbreaks and deer populations quickly recover from even severe hemorrhagic disease outbreaks.

Hunters should not be concerned with eating venison from animals harvested in the area of HD outbreak because exposure to the virus does not pose a health risk to humans. As always, hunters should be cautious of consuming venison from any animal with obvious signs of illness.
The last major outbreak of HD in the state was in 2014 in the Piedmont, in particular Franklin and surrounding counties.  Other notable outbreaks occurred in 1939, 1955, 1961, 1971, 1976, 1988, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2011 and 2012.

Learn more about hemorrhagic disease.
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CRFL Grant: $23,741.00

Project Title:  Text-Messaging: A novel approach to collecting catch and effort information from North Carolina king mackerel tournament anglers

Applicant:  M. Scott Baker, Jr., NC Sea Grant Extension Program, UNCW Center for Marine Science, 5600 Marvin Moss Lane, Wilmington, NC 28409, 910-962-2492, bakers@uncw.edu.

CRFL Program Area, Objective and Funding Priority to be Addressed: Area: Fish

Objective 1: Estimate fishing effort, catch, harvest, and mortality of important coastal fish species.
Strategy F.1.1. Increase current recreational sampling levels to obtain estimates with greater precision.
Priority: Collection and long-term monitoring of recreational catch and effort data to obtain estimates with greater precision that meet data collection standards of the national Marine Recreational Information Initiative/Program (MRII or MRIP) and the state’s fishery management needs.

http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=e1db4f14-9af8-4af8-9b7f-a472cb5041c2&groupId=38337
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Meet “Double-Dipp’in” - Dee Lupton and the DMF "Kick-Backs"


Apparently NCDMF wants YOU the paying “Licensed” public to think the 135ft M/V West Bay handles transporting reef material to all of the Coastal Recreational Fishing Licence (CRFL) Funded inshore and offshore reefs.  Well that’s what you were just told when DMF swooped in for a bucket full of CRFL “Cash” to repair its reef construction “Place-Holder” vessel…. 

While the Recreational Anglers are funding repairs for DMF’s 135ft landing craft to remain in service, after just being told how critical of an asset the M/V West Bay is…  Citizens Science obtains official CRFL documents that show otherwise…

**It should be noted, this issue falls right in the Deputy Directors Lap - NOT the FTE’s of the Division who are being(?) put up to writing grant proposals to fund the holes in Dee Lupton’s “Budget”…. (Deputy Director of DMF)





Yes, NCDMF has a long history of “Outsourcing” reef construction and even science to third parties despite being in possession of all the assets needed to carry out the job, inclusive of very talented hard working FTE's. 

Yet, your Dip-$hit DMF “Leadership” (to the extent it exist) would rather issue CRFL Grants than utilize its own talented field staff and its assets as intended inclusive of DMF FTE Labor!   Why - Angler Funded “Kick-Backs”!

What you need to know, is the DMF thinks Coastal Anglers are FOOL’s…   However, we're - “Fools-No-More”! 

Yes, by issuing CRFL Grants then being so stupid to insert a “Kick-Back”, to be funneled right “back” to the Division for: 1) DMF Labor, 2) Vehicles 3) Meals and possibly even the M/V West Bay!

Hey, Dip’u'Dee Director Lupton isn’t your staff hired to do this very work? 

Why is the Deputy Director allowing CRFL Grants to be issued outside the agency for task that reside at the core of DMF’s very purpose? 

Does Ms. Lupton really think NC’s Licensed Anglers are just that STUPID?  This may be why she likely saw fit none of these publicly available documents would ever see the light of day as prescribed…

You will note below this may be one of the best scams yet…. NCDMF funds a large CRFL Grant, yet inserts  “Kick-Backs” to the Division of Marine Fisheries for using again, FTE (Staff), Vehicles, Meals and perhaps even the M/V West Bay.

This leaves one question - Why is NCDMF not fulfilling their role in conserving, protecting and enhancing marine fisheries given their $21M Budget?   

It appears NCDMF is nothing more than a mismanaged Marine Sub-Contractor with a history of issuing friendly grants / contracts to, in some cases, “Friends of the Family”….  (http://forum.citizensscience.org/index.php/topic,643.msg1829.html#msg1829)





http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=cd567ff2-21c8-4038-8961-da407dea76b5&groupId=38337









#crflgate
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What’s Steinburg drinking with dinner tonight?  Has anyone checked in with him? 
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North Carolina Marine Fisheries / #NCDMF - All in the Family…
« Last post by citizensscience on September 18, 2017, 08:00:38 PM »
NC Marine Fisheries  - “Rolling with Family”…. And the $50K Expense issued to taxpayers!

http://www.ncauditor.net/EPSWeb/Reports/investigative/inv-2012-0381.pdf


http://www.ncauditor.net/EPSWeb/Reports/investigative/inv-2012-0381.pdf
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North Carolina Marine Fisheries / NCDMF "Failing" Same Audit 16yrs Later??
« Last post by citizensscience on September 18, 2017, 07:26:28 PM »
#ncdmf #marinefisheries


Is it possible for NCDMF to "Fail" the same Audit Twice?? 

You calculate DMF's grade...

Audit findings generate extensive list of recommended to bring North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries procedures into compliance and implement recommended safeguards -

DMF = "Deficient Marine Fishery"


CLICK HERE - http://www.ncauditor.net/EPSWeb/Reports/performance/followup_171a.pdf





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