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CrowdStrike and the Trump Conspiracy Theory

Sometimes, politics and technology intersect in a big way. My friends know I’ve been working in the technology field a long time (over 30 years). So when I see blatant lies and fabrication involving technology and politics, it’s really disheartening. The story around CrowdStrike is also embarrassingly false.

The current impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump involves the mention of a company called CrowdStrike and the “email server” of the DNC (Democratic National Committee). During the now infamous phone call between Trump and the newly elected president of Ukraine (Volodymyr Zelensky), Trump asked Zelensky to look into “this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it.

Members of Congress have also implicated Ukraine, rather than (or in addition to) Russia for meddling in our 2016 election.

There’s so much error in all of that thinking. Let’s break it down in simple terms.

  • Who is CrowdStrike? They are a top cyber security company that comes highly recommended. They are based in Sunnyvale, California but they also have a big office in Arlington, Virginia. CrowdStrike specializes in combating nation state-level actors like Russia and China.
  • If your company or organization gets hacked, they are someone you’d call to figure out what happened; assess the damage; and help fix it all. CrowdStrike isn’t partisan either. They have also provided their services to the Republican campaign arm (the NRCC).
  • Russia (and Putin specifically) hates CrowdStrike because they uncovered Russia’s malware and Russia’s efforts to hack the United States.
  • Malware is nasty stuff that is frequently spread by email. The DNC email server was hacked (compromised) by Russia via a Kremlin-linked group called “Cozy Bear”. When CrowdStrike pulled the mask off of Russia’s malware, it also meant that those hacking tools stopped being as useful and non-detectable, which further angered Russia.
  • All four of our major U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia was behind our 2016 election meddling. The NSA, CIA, FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence were all in agreement on this.
  • Russia is at war with Ukraine. Ukraine has been a strong ally with the United States. So it’s quite logical that Russia would want to promote a lie that Ukraine was behind or involved in our election meddling. We *know* that this false narrative has been pushed by Russian intelligence agents.
  • Our president along with some members of Congress, have said that Ukraine has the email server of the DNC. That’s totally false. The hacked email server is unplugged, and sitting in the basement at the DNC. It’s their property (obviously).

For those still curious, here’s a very interesting and personal thread that discusses how sick this stupid conspiracy theory is:…/status/1198045410314473472


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