NZ election could be hacked

Nicky Hager turned hacked emails into a book which was weaponised by the ‘Media party’ to try to prevent National getting re elected.

That is the dire warning from John Podesta (Hilary’s campaign manager) to New Zealand. Podesta claimed that “hacked information could be weaponised as fake news”. Nooooo! Surely not? Hacked emails turned into a book about dirty politics? Never going to happen, not in New Zealand. Oh … wait… 2014 …

And wasn’t the 2017 NZ election result weaponised by an old hack without an electorate?

Podesta received an email that had the appearance of a Google security alert, but actually contained a misleading link – a strategy known as spear-phishing. The link – which used the URL shortening service Bitly – brought Podesta to a fake log-in page where he entered his Gmail credentials. Gotcha!

So having fallen for one of the oldest tricks in the book, he is now the expert, even if he is two elections too late to the party? Quote.

In an exclusive television interview, Hillary Clinton’s former presidential campaign manager, John Podesta, told Newshub that New Zealand is a big juicy target – and that hacked information could be weaponised as fake news.

Having run the White House as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, and acting as counsellor to President Barack Obama, Mr Podesta is one of the most powerful people in US democratic politics.

He was also the campaign manager of presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton – although that didn’t go well.

During the campaign, tens of thousands of Mr Podesta’s emails were hacked by the Russia government.

The hack and release on WikiLeaks was believed to be a major factor in Ms Clinton’s loss to current president Donald Trump.

“Vladimir Putin must be sitting in the Kremlin saying this is the best return on investment I ever got – I’ve got a pliant president of the United States,” Mr Podesta says.

New Zealand’s top spies warned Parliament last month that our election is also vulnerable to attack, and Mr Podesta agrees.

“I’d say very worried,” he told Newshub. “I don’t see why they couldn’t do it. And there are other state actors as well.”

At the top of that list is China.

“There are other actors in the region including China that may have a high degree of interest in being able to penetrate what the private conversations of people in NZ politics and NZ Government are looking at,” Mr Podesta says.

New Zealand is a member of the Five Eyes spy network, a powerful intelligence club made up of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and us.

He says we’re a “juicier target”, and should guard against hacked information being weaponised as fake news.

“What’s new is this weaponisation – the use of social media to spread discord, lies, dissatisfaction – that’s I think what you’ve got to look out for,” he says. […]

New Zealand is not exempt – and Newshub understands it’s something the Prime Minister is seriously concerned about. End quote.


Well, as long as Ardern has her concerned face on, it is all good.