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Suspect that did bomb threats as well as DDOS getting almost 13 years

In the good news department, we are learning that someone who has done both bomb threats and Ddos attacks is scheduled to serve 8 years in the slammer.

Here is a section of the article in which we’re going to linkto at the end.

A 22-year-old North Carolina man has been sentenced to nearly eight years in prison for conducting bomb threats against thousands of schools in the U.S. and United Kingdom, running a service that launched distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and for possessing sexually explicit images of minors.

Timothy Dalton Vaughn from Winston-Salem, N.C. was a key member of the Apophis Squad, a gang of young ne’er-do-wells who made bomb threats to more than 2,400 schools and launched DDoS attacks against countless Web sites — including KrebsOnSecurity on multiple occasions.

The Justice Department says Vaughn and his gang ran a DDoS-for-hire service that they used to shake down victims.

“In early 2018, Vaughn demanded 1.5 bitcoin (then worth approximately $20,000) from a Long Beach company, to prevent denial-of-service attacks on its website,” reads a statement from Nicola Hanna, U.S. attorney for the Central District of California. “When the company refused to pay, he launched a DDoS attack that disabled the company’s website.”

Dalton, whose online aliases included “WantedbyFeds” and “Hacker_R_US,” pleaded guilty last year to one count of conspiracy to convey threats to injure, convey false information concerning use of explosive device, and intentionally damage a computer; one count of computer hacking; and one count of possession of child pornography.

Federal judge Otis D. Wright II sentenced Vaughn to 95 months for possessing 200 sexually explicit images and videos depicting children, including at least one toddler, the Justice Department said. Vaughn was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison for the remaining charge. The sentences will be served concurrently.

Since the sentence is running consecutively, he’ll be serving almost 13 years (12.917 years) or 155 months. The pornogrophy is the longest at 95 months, while the hacking charges are 60. Why should one be lesser than the other? I’ll let the comment boards await you on this one. Please register and leave your comments. I don’t want to be the only one posting here.

For the full story, please read: Bomb Threat, DDoS Purveyor Gets Eight Years

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We’ve got more news on solar wind … its going to get rather interesting

Hello folks,

We’ve got more news coming out of solar wind and their catastrophe if you can call it that. We know to date the comerce department was hit along with other potential players who use this company.

Apparently from what I’ve read, we’re learning that the software used is supposed to be a health checker of some point for IT to use for the network. They call it a health checker in this industry.

There are two articles that I am going to talk about today, and two important articles. Both of these articles may be similar in content, but I feel that they’re worth discussing.

The first article talks about a malicious domain that was taken over by Microsoft and Godaddy to prevent the spread of whatever this thing was going around. The second article talks about this, and covers some other stuff, so let’s get started with the latest.

The first article as part of this blog post is entitled: Malicious Domain in SolarWinds Hack Turned into ‘Killswitch’ which was quite interesting.

A key malicious domain name used to control potentially thousands of computer systems compromised via the months-long breach at network monitoring software
vendor SolarWinds was commandeered by security experts and used as a “killswitch” designed to turn the sprawling cybercrime operation against itself, KrebsOnSecurity
has learned.

Today, FireEye responded that the domain seizure was part of a collaborative effort to prevent networks that may have been affected by the compromised
SolarWinds software update from communicating with the attackers. What’s more, the company said the domain was reconfigured to act as a “killswitch” that
would prevent the malware from continuing to operate in some circumstances.

“SUNBURST is the malware that was distributed through SolarWinds software,” FireEye said in a statement shared with KrebsOnSecurity. “As part of FireEye’s
analysis of SUNBURST, we identified a killswitch that would prevent SUNBURST from continuing to operate.”

This is quite interesting, because I don’t remember much about this family called Sunburst. According to a portion of Fire Eye’s statement, it says:

This killswitch will not remove the actor from victim networks where they have established other backdoors. However, it will make it more difficult to
for the actor to leverage the previously distributed versions of SUNBURST.”

This is quite interesting, seeing that this malware has gone so far, however not surprising just the same.

According to Krebs, Sunburst is using obfuscated communications and techniques to stay under the radar and only now are researchers like Fire Eye’s team and others are trying to figure it out.

More interesting in this article is that a Chinese cybersecurity firm named RedDrip published information on Get Hub about this. Brian Krebs links to this and I’m going to do the same. China is not known for cybersecurity stuff, they’re well known to cause as much havoc in cybersecurity, I just had to wonder.

According to this research however, there are possibly hundreds of victims involved, and we’re just getting started. This may include universities, high tech companies, and even governments may be involved too.

We know from my prior post linked above, I post the five known possibilities of the government and possibly others that could have been effected, but it would not surprise me that there can be more, and it wouldn’t surprise me that we’re only scratching the surface.

There’s possibly more including the possibility that the legal fallout of the breach for this company will be felt for some time. According to Brian Krebs, the Washington Post reported that top investors sold shares of stock prior to the breach becoming public. The number of stocks are unknown, but it is millions of dollars of stock. Stocks fell 20 percent if not more since the breach.

The second article talks about the potential number of customers, the title indicates at least 18,000 potential customers effected. This article also comes from Krebs on Security and is entitled SolarWinds Hack Could Affect 18K Customers and should be read too.

This was written on Monday, and I think the first article I linked to was written the next day.

The still-unfolding breach at network management software firm SolarWinds may have resulted in malicious code being pushed to nearly 18,000 customers,
the company said in a legal filing on Monday. Meanwhile, Microsoft should soon have some idea which and how many SolarWinds customers were affected, as
it recently took possession of a key domain name used by the intruders to control infected systems.

On Dec. 13, SolarWinds acknowledged that hackers had inserted malware into a service that provided software updates for its Orion platform, a suite of
products broadly used across the U.S. federal government and Fortune 500 firms to monitor the health of their IT networks.

There are a lot of products we do not know about, so its no surprise that we don’t know anything about this company. I don’t want to label them as a bad company, just a very big mistake that is just going to cost them. In this article, they talk about the fact that this intrusion could’ve gotten in to Solar Wind’s Microsoft 365 accounts, and we know what that could mean don’t you?

There is a lot of linked stuff here, so the best thing to do is to read both articles and form your own opinion. This is only heating up, and I surmise that its only going to get bigger.

The boards await you on what you think of this one. Catch you all later!

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Technology podcast 357: the last tech podcast of 2020

Welcome to the final technology podcast of 2020 for the tech podcast series. Don’t worry, I’ll be working on more podcasts for this series.

Here are the show notes for today’s program.

On this edition of the podcast, the final podcast of 2020, we’ll demo Weather Underground. I wanted to do two demos, but I think one is enough. I hope you’ll enjoy it.Apple Vis has a post in their directory of apps about Weather Underground – Forecast which was written up. While I do like the app, I believe the person writing this has the same points I do. I do find it accurate, but there are definitely some accessibility issues which you’ll hear about in the demo.The Security Box will have other podcasted content, so the feed will still be going strong in 2020. On podcast 358, I hope to have another demo of something i learned about, an app that’ll assist me with billing credit cards. See you all then!

Don’t want to mess with RSS? Don’t freat! Download the 48.57mb file as this show is under an hour this time. Thanks so much for listening, and continue to watch the blog for more.

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The Security box, podcast 23 is now available

Hello folks, I present you the security box, podcast 23. Below, please find notes and things, the show notes, and a direct download link as usual.

Welcome to podcast 23 of the security box. The full show notes follow, noting that the rss has the first portion. I hope that you enjoy the program.

Note, that this is the last live program until the first Wednesday of January 2021. The JRN will continue to give you Security Box episodes covering the year in review, 2020 from both the tech podcast and Security Box platforms.

Here are the show notes.

Welcome to podcast 23 of the security box. Picking up where we leave off, we continue with Shaken/Stir and its discussion from podcast 21.

Besides that, we’ll go ahead and talk about a company which doesn’t really care about the security of its customers. The name has been mentioned in passing, but now its time to talk about some very serious stuff on a podcast.

We’ll have news, notes, and more.


Shaken/Stir was discussed on podcast 21 of the podcast, and podcast 23 will finish it off. Here are the links, taken from podcast 21’s notations.

News Notes


  • Oh boy, the government is really in trouble. Multiple articles within the last 24 hours indicate that the Comerce Department are in some serious trouble and maybe more are on the way. Cyberscoop and Krebs on Security are two sources, and there may be more from these sources. The government has had a lot of trouble with their security, now this? The cyberscoop article in question says in part:

    Hackers breached the Commerce Department, and reportedly have infiltrated the Treasury Department and other U.S. agencies, in incidents that government
    security officials said on Sunday that they were fighting to contain.

    There were signs that the impact could stretch far and wide in not only the government, but also the private sector. SolarWinds, an IT provider to many
    government agencies and Fortune 500 companies, said it was working with law enforcement, the intelligence community and others to investigate a vulnerability
    apparently implanted into its supply chain by a nation state.

    “We can confirm there has been a breach in one of our bureaus,” a Commerce Department spokesperson said. The spokesperson added that Commerce has asked
    the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency “and the FBI to investigate, and we cannot comment further at this

    This blog post from Monday goes in to a little bit more, including showing who this company Solar Wind has as customers. We’re definitely going to learn more about this one.

  • The UScert now has something on the solar wind issue which I’m going to put in the show notes. It was released well after I broke the story Monday morning on the blog. Active Exploitation of SolarWinds Software may end up getting updated, and the USCert is an arm of the government.

You get caught, get time, and don’t try to get an appeal: some good news!

Open forum:

  • Why do we have to hand out our social security numbers as identifiers for everything we do? I understand places like Social Security, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and places that require that. Job applications require it, its known as a bad identifier as it can be taken and that is it for you. What do you think about that? Sound off.

Want to download today’s program? Don’t worry! Use this link to download the 193.60mb file and enjoy!

I’ll post another blog post after podcast 25 with the links to the entire archive to date like I did for the first 13 episodes. Thanks so much for listening to the program and feel free to participate any time!

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Blog admin updates for christmas

Hi all.
I just thought I’d post a admin update status report as I have found myself with a little more time due to google outages.
Firstly, wordpress 5.6 has been installed.
Other admins may have noticed that older themes have been removed namely the 2020 theme because when there are more than 2 themes loaded the health security is triggered and its not used.
Php checker is removed because it never tested more than 7.3 and we are 7.4 now.
A small reminder to all admins moving forward that requests should be made to previders and hosters for php8 upgrade.
This will not be needed for 2 years and a lot of plugins will need to be adapted before then but its worth putting in the update request or at least noting it down after the trouble we had last time with the request.

As of now the current solution is holding, though weather its because of 0spam, the auto user removal and the ip block lists we are subscribed to I don’t know.
No new user has registered in ages so at least for now we can keep that open.
No extra unwanted users have been added since the system was installed.

You may have noticed some jquery test modules running on the site as wordpress moves to update its jquery support.
These modules have been removed as their logs show we are ok and no action is needed.

Accessibility statement.
I will be adding an access statement to the site, as well as a plugins list of stuff we use.
An accessibility statement is not needed, but it brings us in line with wordpress template guidelines.
A plugin list is not needed but since most are static, I thought if someone wants to know what is on the site and what works will be a good idea.
It will also be something for me to refference should I branch away from wordpress.com which I have yet to be bothered doing.
Update wize things are set for the end of the year.
I need to find a way to get themes to autoupdate like plugins but thats another story.

This is a small note that I will be going on vacation on various days or weeks between february through to april.
or even may.
I won’t be away all that time but there is at least 1 festival I will be going to, and a roadtrip, as well as one other thing yet to happen.
The site will continue to work and I may have mail at that time though I may not.
Happy christmas all.

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Here comes some news in the good variety

Hi folks, welcome here to another blog post and this blog post will cover some good news items that I thought I’d pass along.

California man gets 3 years in prison for hacking Nintendo, collecting child pornography

Yes, this is definitely some good news. Its about time we’ve started getting some good news, because this year has definitely full of bad news. The 21 year old gentleman in this case did quite a bit of hacking although I think it is not fitting for only 3 years of prison time.

A 21-year-old California man has been sentenced to three years in prison and seven years of supervised release for a hacking scheme that stole proprietary Nintendo information, and for possessing child pornography.

The defendant, Ryan Hernandez, will also have to pay more than $259,000 to remediate damages he allegedly caused Nintendo, U.S. prosecutors in the Western District of Washington announced Tuesday.

The sentencing comes four years after Hernandez first got in trouble with the law for alleged hacking. In 2016, as a teenager, Hernandez and an unnamed associate stole login credentials from a Nintendo employee that were used to access files on Nintendo consoles and games, according to prosecutors. FBI
agents visited Hernandez and his parents, and Hernandez pledged not to engage in anymore malicious online activity, the Justice Department said in a press release.

Not only did this guy steal by hacking, but he was also involved in child pornogrophy? I’m glad in some ways I can’t see, although I can hear, but i am sure I wouldn’t be interested in all that.

The article goes in to more detail of the piracy of video games and other types of arrests that might be of interest to you.

Suspect in case of Mirai botnet, which knocked major sites offline in 2016, pleads guilty

You have to be kidding me, we have a second suspect that actually pleads guilty after doing stuff?

The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday announced that an unnamed defendant has pleaded guilty in connection with a cyberattack that rocked the internet
in 2016.

The article talks about this botnet effecting Dyn, who is an internet Infrustructure company. It eventually made its way out on the Internet where it caused a bunch of havoc. <a href=”Here is more on the October 2016 Distributed Denial of Service Attack from the same article.

In this case, the defendant in question conspired with others in September and October 2016 to leverage an offshoot of an army of hackers computers known
as the Mirai botnet, the Justice Department said Wednesday. The malicious tool relied on connected video cameras, recorders and other devices to carry
out the incident.

Authorities withheld the name of the defendant because they were a juvenile at the time of the offense. The guilty plea took place in a closed hearing
the the District of New Hampshire. The presiding judge scheduled sentencing for Jan. 7, 2021.

They pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit computer fraud and abuse by operating a botnet and by intentionally damaging a computer.

There is much more to this complicated story, I just can’t seem to cover this one without doing a lot of linking.

Former NSA contractor Reality Winner loses appeal, will remain imprisoned

I thought I wrote or even covered the Reality Winner case, but it looks like I’ve not. Well, there is a first time for everything as this particular case got really interesting as she was part of the NSA. Apparently, she along with others have been caught doing things they’re not supposed to do.

The former National Security Agency contractor convicted in 2018 of illegally leaking top secret information to a news organization will remain in federal
prison after an appeals court upheld a ruling against a compassionate release amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

While some cases according to the article have been allowed to be overturned because of Covid, not every one can and there may be things that we just don’t know about. It links to an 8 page opinion piece and there’s more to this really interesting story.

“After careful consideration and with the benefit of oral argument, we conclude that the District Court did not abuse its discretion in denying Ms. Winner’s
motion,” Monday’s opinion says. “Because we resolve her appeal on this basis alone, we need not (and do not) address Ms. Winner’s other arguments.”

In early April, Winner, now 29, had filed a motion for compassionate release with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, saying
that she suffers from depression and an eating disorder, and that COVID-19 related prison lockdowns affected her ability to cope with those conditions,
thus making her more susceptible to further illness. The district court rejected Winner’s motion without holding an evidentiary hearing.

Winner was working as a linguist for Pluribus International Corp., a government contractor, when she was accused of leaking leaking a report on Russian
interference in U.S. elections. The Intercept published details from the document but says it did not know the exact source. Afterward, Winner was arrested
and pleaded guilty to violating the Espionage Act.

“Winner has not carried the burden of demonstrating that her specific medical conditions under the particular conditions of confinement at FMC Carswell
place her at a risk substantial enough to justify early release,” U.S. District Judge J. Randal Hall wrote in April, in rejecting Winner’s motion. “In
fact, the court is constrained to observe that Winner is in a medical prison, which is presumably better equipped than most to deal with any onset of COVID-19
in its inmates.”

There’s more, click on the link for more. Hope everyone finds this of interest and comment on some great news.

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space issues on google

Hi all.
This article highlights why using everything online could be a problem.
The article is quite technical in nature, but simply put, google ran out of space.
On a slightly more detailed note, a google component failed to alocate enough space to its authentication programs.
So those ran out of space.
Since that happened no one could log in.
These crashed as they were out of space and everything else did becauseit ran out of space.
There are links to an article on amazon with things going down.
For most of us, stuff just didn’t work for a bit, but security systems were effected, fire systems, and the like.
Fortunately nothing major happened except some people had to pull out speakers and stuff to stop them playing, group accounts from groups.io bounced including mine due to the outage.
Some things failed to sync properly etc.
But can you imagine if all the nukes were on google and it went down.
What would the computers think, how do they know if something going down is not an attack but a bit of failing or full hardware.
Wars were almost started if you listen to youtube from bears tripping sensors and bugged chips.
With everything going on the cloud there may become a day when the world ends because someone’s ups got a flat battery.
With systems getting quieter and quieter, if something fails you may not notice it.
As another update please read this extra article.
It seems google still had issues today.
The biggest will be bouncing emails from a lot of things.
groups.io is effected by this, and I had to unbounce this morning and just now.
Google have managed to get themselves in order though and it should all be ok.
For those still having issues follow instructions to unbounce yourself, you may be automatically unbounced as google did notify most previders.

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Have you gotten your windows update on?

Last Tuesday was the last Tuesday of 2020 where Microsoft and others released patches on what is known as Patch Tuesday.

Not sure why I can’t receive anything from Trend Micro right now, Krebs on Security does cover the patch Tuesday as usual.

Microsoft today issued its final batch of security updates for Windows PCs in 2020, ending the year with a relatively light patch load. Nine of the 58
security vulnerabilities addressed this month earned Microsoft’s most-dire “critical” label, meaning they can be abused by malware or miscreants to seize
remote control over PCs without any help from users.

Mercifully, it does not appear that any of the flaws fixed this month are being actively exploited, nor have any them been detailed publicly prior to today.

For complete information on the news of Windows Updates and any links that might be of interest, please go to this article entitled: Patch Tuesday, Good Riddance 2020 Edition which is well written as usual.

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IOS and Mac have updates, time to get your update on

Apple Vis is reporting that IOS and Mac have updates that are released today. Here is the IOS post on IOS.

It has notations in that post about full fixes across the landscape of IOS, and you can read it and decide what isimportant to you.

Next, the mac, TV, and other information. This blog post entitled: Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.1, watchOS 7.2, and tvOS 14.3 is the blog post.

I hope that this information is of value to you, and make it a great day!

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Breaking! The Comerce Department among possible others breached

It must be Monday, news always comes out and becomes breaking on such a day. Today, two sources, Cyberscoop and Krebs on Security post articles. Cyberscoop was on Sunday and Krebs on Monday.

Cyberscoop writes:

Hackers breached the Commerce Department, and reportedly have infiltrated the Treasury Department and other U.S. agencies, in incidents that government
security officials said on Sunday that they were fighting to contain.

There were signs that the impact could stretch far and wide in not only the government, but also the private sector. SolarWinds, an IT provider to many
government agencies and Fortune 500 companies, said it was working with law enforcement, the intelligence community and others to investigate a vulnerability
apparently implanted into its supply chain by a nation state.

“We can confirm there has been a breach in one of our bureaus,” a Commerce Department spokesperson said. The spokesperson added that Commerce has asked
the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency “and the FBI to investigate, and we cannot comment further at this

Krebs on Security writes:

Communications at the U.S. Treasury and Commerce Departments were reportedly compromised by a supply chain attack on SolarWinds, a security vendor that
helps the federal government and a range of Fortune 500 companies monitor the health of their IT networks. Given the breadth of the company’s customer
base, experts say the incident may be just the first of many such disclosures.

No matter which article you read, both are good in their right, and if this is anything to come, we may be hearing more.

The worst part is that the company which admitted to the problem, Solar Wind, has a customer base of 300,000 which include:

  • -more than 425 of the U.S. Fortune 500
  • -all ten of the top ten US telecommunications companies
  • -all five branches of the U.S. military
  • -all five of the top five U.S. accounting firms
  • -the Pentagon
  • -the State Department
  • -the National Security Agency
  • -the Department of Justice
  • -The White House.

Its unclear how many customers are effected by the software issue, I guess this story will get quite interesting as more is known.

Want to read more?

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The Security box, podcast 22: BEC, what is it?

I know that the blog hasn’t been touched in about a week, and I have blogging to do. The first blog post is going to be the show notes for the just completed security box which is available on the RSS feed. Don’t want to deal with RSS? Download the 167.05mb file and I hope you enjoy the program.

Here is the show notes which are short, compared to other notations.

Welcome to the security box, podcast 22 picking up the podcast with business email compromise.

Besides that, we talk about a couple of people who have been a problem in the phone world, tie it in to phone security, and find out if these guys would be capable of using such tech. Comments also came in about scams when looking for a place to live, and of course some tunes come along with it. Enjoy!
Delving into the World of Business Email Compromise (BEC)
Business email compromise

See you next week!

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The Security box, podcast 21: The beginning of Shaken and Stir

Hello folks, the RSS feed had the podcast up yesterday, but its time to get the show notes up here. We’ve got quite a bit in the news notes category, as it was quite interesting what we found. There may be more coming soon that we’ve not blogged about, so feel free to check out the blog for more.

Download the Security box, podcast 21 (164.6mb)

Welcome to podcast 21 of the security box. This week, I thought it would be interesting to take you through the Shaken and Stir protocol. This protocol is supposed to go through and make sure we get adequate caller ID.

Below, please find resources that we found on the Internet for the Shaken and Stir protocol, and I’ll be working on braille material so that I have something in writing. We hope that you enjoy the program today.


News Notes

Home Depot

Tik Tok

Ghosts in our machines

Breach News

  • A networking giant recently got owned with data leaking out on their employees and business partners. Is your data like that insecure?

    Belden, a U.S. manufacturer of networking and industrial cable products, said Tuesday that unidentified attackers had accessed and copied data on current
    and former employees, and some of its business partners.

    The company is based in St. Louis, and they made over 2 billion dollars this past year. Wonder how much is going toward cleaning this up and what happened with them? Networking giant Belden says hackers accessed data on employees, business partners is the article for this one.


  • An article that finally talks about the fact that these actors aren’t quitting? I’ll have my full thoughts posted on the blog, but boy why does this not surprise me that Phishlabs is finally saying this? I said it back in April. Ransomware Groups Break Promises, Leak Data Anyway is the article, and boy its a good one.

There may be more that I’m not going to post here in the notes, so make sure that you check out the blog and other sources for what may be of interest to you. Thanks for checking out the program as usual!

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The Justice Department has said there is no wide spread voting fraud

I’m going to post this on the tech blog, even though it comes from KNX, the local news agency in Los Angeles. It talks about the election and the post was posted 9 hours ago.

One of the people in the justice department is named William Barr, and he is claiming that there is no wide spread voiing fraud where machines, computers, humans or otherwise could do such a massive scale to make the decision of who is going to be president, president.

While I’ve got my own opinions of the election system, I’ve nto come up with any solution to replace what we’ve got, and I know that we all have a voice if we chose to use it or not.

This goes on What Christopher Krebs said before he got the Boot by President Trump. MSN also indicated that there was no voter fraud that was so massive that it would overturn the election.
While the Security Box, episode 20 didn’t cover the election per see, we link to articles and blogs that might be of interest as well.
We even have a article on habing a line on the election metaling and then we had state leaders asking for help.

If we didn’t want the help in the states with various problems to make sure our election is as secure as possible, than we wouldn’t have been able to pull it off. Was it the most secure? For today, the answer is yes in my opinion. Articles don’t indicate that outside influence had any part of anything like they did in 2016. We even had the articles on Diebold from years past, but I don’t see anything of that this year. Do you think everyone was transparent since the 2016 election?

It seems like what Mr. Krebs did (no relation to Brian Krebs) was as transparent as we can get.

What do you think? Want to read what KNX has to say which is the latest and comes from a news agency? AG William Barr says Justice Dept. has not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change 2020 election outcome
is the article. Have fun with this update, and enjoy!

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