Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Mysterious Death of Bush's Cyber-Guru |

The Mysterious Death of Bush's Cyber-Guru |


"Ohio’s secretary of state in 2004 was a fiercely partisan Christian named Ken Blackwell. Blackwell had hired a company called GDC Limited to run the IT systems, which had subcontracted the job to Michael Connell’s company, GovTech. Connell had in turn sub-contracted SMARTech, an IT firm based in Chattanooga, to act, it was claimed, as a backup server.
“By looking at the URLs on the Web site, we discovered that there were three points on election night when SMARTech’s computers took over from the secretary of state,” says Arnebeck. “It is during that period that we believe votes were manipulated.”
In computer jargon it is known as a man-in-the-middle attack.
“At the time I didn’t know who SMARTech were,” says IT expert Stephen Spoonamore, opening a file on his computer showing the Internet architecture map of the 2004 Ohio election. He points to a red box in the bottom right-hand corner showing SMARTech’s server.
“Then I found out: They host Rove’s e-mails. They host the RNC’s Web site. They host George Bush’s Web site.” His voice rises in disbelief.
“I go, ‘Holy shit, this is a man-in-the-middle attack! These guys have programmed the state’s computers to talk to a company with ties 
to the Republican Party.’ It’s brilliant.”
With his wiry hair and designer glasses, Spoonamore looks like a character in a Tim Burton movie. A lifelong Republican, he is also one of the world’s acknowledged experts on cybersecurity, with a résumé that includes work for the U.S. armed forces and the FBI. In his spare time he has devoted thousands of hours to investigating cyberfraud in American elections. “I know I sound crazy when I talk about this stuff. No one wants to believe it. They say, ‘No one would steal an elec--tion.’ And I go, ‘Yeah, they would. And that’s exactly what they did.’ ”"


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