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Februrary 26, 2016. Bogotá, Colombia. Ándres Sepúlveda (31) lives at an undisclosed maximum-security building of the General Attorneys office (Fiscalia Nacional) in Bogotá, Colombia; where he is serving a 10 years sentence for hacking and spying on the government and elected officials. Photo Credit: Juan Arredondo for Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Election

Anti-Socialist Hacker Allegedly Confessed to Bloomberg ‘Election Hacking’, Sidney Powell Tweets Article for the World to Read

Sidney Powell has been making the media rounds talking about foreign interference in the 2020 Presidential election, which she reminds people violates a Trump executive order, saying American’s votes were being tabulated in foreign countries, and her opposition says there is no proof of any sort that elections are unsafe or could be stolen.

Apparently her opposition doesn’t read Bloomberg news.

Powell, who is on the legal team for President Donald J. Trump, tweeted a hugely long 2016 Bloomberg article about hacking, on Wednesday, calling it a “confession”:

https://twitter.com/SidneyPowell1/status/1329069180277153793?s=20

This Bloomberg article, posted by Powell happens at the same time she claims to have a sworn statement, from a ” top Venezuelan military officer” who claims to have witnessed the development of the software used by Dominion Voting Systems, which she alleges is responsible for creating many votes for Democrat Joe Biden, and for removing votes from Trump, in the final vote tabulation.

Andrés Sepúlveda rigged elections throughout Latin America for almost a decade. He tells his story for the first time,” Bloomberg wrote.

“For eight years… he [Sepulveda] says he traveled the continent rigging major political campaigns. He led a team of hackers that stole campaign strategies, manipulated social media to create false waves of enthusiasm and derision, and installed spyware in opposition offices, all to help Peña Nieto, a right-of-center candidate, eke out a victory,” the article said, setting the stage for the confession.

WHY AMERICANS SHOULD CARE?

According to the 2016 article, the United States Democrats were in touch with the same people responsible for creating voter fraud in Mexico and Venezuelan elections, beginning with primary elections.

From the article, “Usually, he [Sepulveda] says, he was on the payroll of Juan José Rendón, a Miami-based political consultant who’s been called the Karl Rove of Latin America.”

REMEMBER THE NAME RENDON- THINK DNC PRIMARY WITH BERNIE SANDERS

“Last year, based on anonymous sources, the Colombian media reported that Rendón was working for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Rendón calls the reports untrue. The campaign did approach him, he says, but he turned them down because he dislikes Trump. ‘To my knowledge we are not familiar with this individual,’ says Trump’s spokeswoman, Hope Hicks. ‘I have never heard of him, and the same goes for other senior staff members.’ But Rendón says he’s in talks with another leading U.S. presidential campaign—he wouldn’t say which—to begin working for it once the primaries wrap up and the general election begins.”

The Bloomberg article has lengthy eyewitness testimony from Sepulveda about Rendon, the following is a long excerpt from the article:

“Rendón, says Sepúlveda, saw that hackers could be completely integrated into a modern political operation, running attack ads, researching the opposition, and finding ways to suppress a foe’s turnout. As for Sepúlveda, his insight was to understand that voters trusted what they thought were spontaneous expressions of real people on social media more than they did experts on television and in newspapers. He knew that accounts could be faked and social media trends fabricated, all relatively cheaply.

He wrote a software program, now called Social Media Predator, to manage and direct a virtual army of fake Twitter accounts. The software let him quickly change names, profile pictures, and biographies to fit any need. Eventually, he discovered, he could manipulate the public debate as easily as moving pieces on a chessboard—or, as he puts it, “When I realized that people believe what the Internet says more than reality, I discovered that I had the power to make people believe almost anything.”

Each job ended with a specific, color-coded destruct sequence. On election day, Sepúlveda would purge all data classified as “red.” Those were files that could send him and his handlers to prison: intercepted phone calls and e-mails, lists of hacking victims, and confidential briefings he prepared for the campaigns. All phones, hard drives, flash drives, and computer servers were physically destroyed. Less-sensitive “yellow” data—travel schedules, salary spreadsheets, fundraising plans—were saved to an encrypted thumb drive and given to the campaigns for one final review. A week later it, too, would be destroyed.

For most jobs, Sepúlveda assembled a crew and operated out of rental homes and apartments in Bogotá. He had a rotating group of 7 to 15 hackers brought in from across Latin America, drawing on the various regions’ specialties. Brazilians, in his view, develop the best malware. Venezuelans and Ecuadoreans are superb at scanning systems and software for vulnerabilities. Argentines are mobile intercept artists. Mexicans are masterly hackers in general but talk too much. Sepúlveda used them only in emergencies.

In Venezuela in 2012, the team abandoned its usual caution, animated by disgust with Chávez. With Chávez running for his fourth term, Sepúlveda posted an anonymized YouTube clip of himself rifling through the e-mail of one of the most powerful people in Venezuela, Diosdado Cabello, then president of the National Assembly. He also went outside his tight circle of trusted hackers and rallied Anonymous, the hacktivist group, to attack Chávez’s website.

Dirty Work

Colombia
Supported reelection of Alvaro Uribe for president, 2006; congressional elections, 2006; failed campaign of Oscar Iván Zuluaga for president, 2014

Honduras
Supported Porfirio Lobo Sosa, elected president 2009

Nicaragua
Against Daniel Ortega, 2011

Mexico
Supported Enrique Peña Nieto, over a three-year period

Venezuela
Against Chávez and Maduro in 2012 and 2013

Costa Rica
Supported Johnny Araya, failed presidential candidate for center-left National Liberation Party, 2014 election

Panama
Supported Juan Carlos Navarro, presidental candidate for the center-left Democratic Revolutionary Party, 2014 election

Sepulveda was eventually arrested.

From the article, “Three weeks before Sepúlveda’s arrest, Rendón was forced to resign from a campaign amid allegations in the press that he took $12 million from drug traffickers and passed part of it on to the candidate, something he denies.”

The author writes, “In July 2015, [for the Bloomberg article] Sepúlveda says he wants to tell his story because the public doesn’t grasp the power hackers exert over modern elections or the specialized skills needed to stop them. “I worked with presidents, public figures with great power, and did many things with absolutely no regrets because I did it with full conviction and under a clear objective, to end dictatorship and socialist governments in Latin America,” he says. “I have always said that there are two types of politics—what people see and what really makes things happen. I worked in politics that are not seen.

Sepúlveda’s contention that operations like his happen on every continent is plausible, says David Maynor, who runs a security testing company in Atlanta called Errata Security. Maynor says he occasionally gets inquiries for campaign-related jobs. His company has been asked to obtain e-mails and other documents from candidates’ computers and phones, though the ultimate client is never disclosed. “Those activities do happen in the U.S., and they happen all the time,” he says.

Sepúlveda says he’s allowed a computer and a monitored Internet connection as part of an agreement to help the attorney general’s office track and disrupt drug cartels using a version of his Social Media Predator software. The government will not confirm or deny that he has access to a computer, or what he’s using it for. He says he has modified Social Media Predator to counteract the kind of sabotage he used to specialize in, including jamming candidates’ Facebook walls and Twitter feeds.”

Which leads to many questions we do not have answers to yet. This story is developing..

FURTHER READING ON POWELL

I covered Powell’s statements here:

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