How Old Was The Girl Clinton Had An Affair With Email Security: Be Smarter Than a Politician

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Email Security: Be Smarter Than a Politician

About 20 years ago, my life changed. I worked full-time for a non-profit agency for several years. The work was strenuous and required a lot of travel. My boss was a man of maximum commitment who didn’t care much about life outside of work and expected the rest of us to be the same.

I was not. I finished university, wrote a book, ended a bad relationship and felt truly free for the first time in a long time. I wanted to work for the property rights of poor South Africans, but I also wanted to play the guitar.

At that time I started listening to the popular British band Radiohead. I remember telling one date – a teacher – that I had a crush on them. She said, “Oh, yes. My eighth graders are too.” That was our last date.

One of the band’s great songs, which features a rousing solo by the inimitable guitarist Jonny Greenwood, features the following lyrics:

You do it for yourself, you do it

And that’s what really hurts

You are doing it for yourself, only you

You and no one else

I would like to dedicate this song to Hillary Clinton, her campaign chairman John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee…

Hacked to Pieces

Hillary Clinton’s email problems are legendary.

First there was a private server in the basement. Then DNC emails were hacked, costing Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz her job. And this month, the whistleblower organization WikiLeaks — which, contrary to press reports, is not pro-Trump, just rabidly anti-Clinton — seized John Podesta’s personal emails.

Whatever you think of the content of these leaks (which I honestly find silly), the fact that these powerful people were so easily hacked is astounding. What were they thinking? Didn’t they realize that email is about as secure as snail mail if you’re being stalked by a determined hacker?

Obviously not. Like Colin Powell, whose own private emails were hacked some time ago, Podesta used a commercial email provider – Gmail.

For a celebrity, using a free email service like Google or Yahoo is like a platoon of Marines driving through Mosul in a VW minibus. Someone will poke holes in you.

The Obama administration is blaming Russia for these hacks, which is perfectly fine with Hillary — she can deflect all questions by focusing on alleged threats to our national security and electoral sovereignty. But if the hack was done by a Russian, it could have been a 10-year-old boy… because the technique used was the simplest and oldest trick in the book.

Go Phish

Cybersecurity firm SecureWorks says the hacking method used to gain access to Podesta’s email account involved a link in an innocent-looking email modified to appear to be from Google. The email asked Podesta to sign in to his Google account by clicking on a hyperlink, which he did.

When Podesta clicked on the link, he was redirected to a fake Google landing page where he entered his username and password. With those, the hacker had access to his entire e-mail history.

This is called “phishing”. Instead of a sophisticated brute-force attack to crack Podesta’s password, the hacker tricked him into voluntarily giving up his credentials.

In other words, Podesta did it to himself. Just him and no one else.

Avoid the email phishing hook

How can you avoid the same fate? It’s easier than you think:

  • When you receive an email asking you to log in to a website, check the link. All you have to do is hover over the link. The actual Google address ends in .com. That’s the last piece of text before the first backslash in a link that you’ll see when you hover over it. This one ended in “tk”, which refers to the South Pacific island of Tokelau: a dead giveaway – if you’re looking, that is.

  • If you click on a link like Podesta, check the URL in the address bar of the website you’re landing on before doing anything else. If it ends with anything other than the actual domain name of the correct publisher (i.e. Google.com), it’s phishing. Podesta’s phishing link ended with “tk,” which is the last part of the address before the first backslash. This would be clearly visible in the address bar of his web browser – again, if he was paying attention.

  • Don’t use free email for anything sensitive. No Google, Outlook, Yahoo, AOL or Mail.com. Besides being ridiculously easy to hack, they all mine your personal emails for information about you that can be used to target ads to you.

Go the last mile

To be super safe, sign up for a secure email service like Protonmail or Tutanota. Besides being securely encrypted and unreadable by the companies that host them, they’re both run by privacy freaks and based in Europe, out of easy reach of American spies.

Well, there you have it. When it comes to email hacking, there is absolutely no need for you to do it yourself.

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