Thoughts on Hillary’s e-mail Blunder

Working in IT for a living I am all-too-aware of how problematic security can be when it comes to email.

Corporations spend Millions on security to guard against intrusions, but this security has an Achilles heel, email.

Most corporate hacks are the result of compromised email addresses of employees who have high or admin access to sensitive material.

Even if the email hacks are successful on an employee who doesn’t have access to sensitive information, the hacker still has access to the email account itself.

With this access, the hacker can read, write, create, and delete emails in the account. The emails themselves may contain material that is secret or sensitive in content.

Those secretes may be personal, professional, or legal in nature, of they may contain trade secrets, information about upcoming events or even customer contact information.

So even though companies spend Millions annually to protect sensitive information, IT people know security is at the mercy of the individual user.iStock_000017775671XSmall

So when I heard that the secretary of state was running her own private email server outside of government supervision, outside of government run security protocols, I couldn’t believe it. What a careless thing to do.

Yes, many of us have private and corporate email addresses, I have a couple of each, but I use my business email address for business and private email for personal communication. I don’t mix the 2. Using my business email for personal matters is a no-no and most large companies forbid it.

The danger of mixing the two is there are invariably cross links. For example; say I use my business email to contact a friend on a personal matter, it could be anything, maybe an upcoming sporting event I’d like to watch, sharing a joke, or just plain B.S. If my friends email account gets hacked or already has been hacked, then the hacker has my business email address, exposing it to possible attacks.

Suppose my friends email account is hacked; I get an email from the same friend (except the hacker sends it unbeknownst to me), it contains a note or picture, and because I recognize the sender I open it. Unfortunately the email contains malware and now I’m compromised.

If on a small scale, knowing what a risk this represents, imagine the enormous risk posed by a Secretary of State whose is careless with her email account. It may never be known how much information is in the hands of the wrong people.

I further find it incredible that no one in the government put a stop to the practice after day one. It’s not like they didn’t know – or are completely brain dead. When you receive an email from someone the email address is evident. I.E. steve@clueless.com. So you recognize Steve and the email account he is associated with.

You would think the alarm bells would go off when someone in the State Department or any government department received an email from hillary@clintonemail.com!

Even if they didn’t pay attention to the senders address, any replies they sent would be obvious it was not a government server they were sending it to.

workamajig-security-failBut the use of the private email account was allowed to continue. Everyone who sent to or received from clintonemail.com knew this was against the rules. It was a careless risk, with national security implications, and no one cared.

How could such a blunder be allowed at the highest levels of our government?

The defense presented by Hillary was so lame it was laughable.

“The emails weren’t flagged top secret when I received them.” What?

So your defense is because they didn’t have a red flag in the subject line that said top secret, it relieves you of any responsibility?

You mean you couldn’t determine from the content, who it was from, or both, the information was top secret? So you defend incompetence with ignorance? Really? That’s your defense? And you are Secretary of State?

If I send a letter to my attorney, it is de facto subject to attorney client privilege, so wouldn’t it be safe to assume if you as Secretary of State received an email from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or an Ambassador from another country that it would be at least secret, if not top secret? Of course you would.

You and I send and receive private emails all the time that contain content that is not for public consumption, and we have enough sense to use discretion on what we can share and with whom, the contents of the email. Evidently Hillary Clinton doesn’t possess even that basic of discretion.

Defending incompetence with ignorance is an unbelievable excuse. Especially when National Security issues, or the lives of men and women serving to protect us are potentially put at risk.

We are not talking about a teenager on their first job being careless with an email account we are talking about the Secretary of State, who was previously a Senator, and before that First Lady of the U.S.

The emails exposed were even more damning to their defense. One email set revealed Hillary Clinton told her daughter Chelsea the attack on the Benghazi consulate was a terrorist attack while she told the American people the attacks were due to a YouTube Video.

Incompetence defended by ignorance, defended by deception becomes laughable when you expect others to believe it.

“Ignorance of the law excuses no man.” Unless you’re Hillary Clinton.