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How CIA Director David Petraeusís Emails Were Traced (and How to Protect Yourself)
Lifehacker ^ | Tuesday, November 13, 2012 | Thorin Klosowski

Posted on 11/13/2012 8:56:48 PM PST by Jyotishi

Late last week, CIA director David Petraeus stepped down from his position after an FBI investigation revealed an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. Curiously, the revelation of the affair came about using location data from Gmail. Here's how the FBI put together the pieces, and how you can keep them from doing the same to you.

How the Affair Was Revealed by Tracing through Gmail

As you'd expect, the timeline of the affair itself is terribly complicated, and to understand the email trace that lead to the outing of the relationship, we do need to vaguely understand what happened with the affair. Here's a very brief summation of the events.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the original red flag that caught the FBI's ear was a series of anonymous, threatening emails sent to Jill Kelley, a Florida woman who organized military social events. The FBI then traced those threatening emails to their origin—probably with an IP address given up by Google—to Paula Broadwell. The FBI then got a warrant to monitor those email addresses, and eventually stumbled upon another email account where Petraeus and Broadwell left drafts of messages for each other:...

(Excerpt) Read more at lifehacker.com ...


TOPICS: Computers/Internet; Government; Politics
KEYWORDS: benghazi; broadwell; cia; email; petraeus; privacy; proxy; security

1 posted on 11/13/2012 8:56:59 PM PST by Jyotishi
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To: Jyotishi

“and how you can keep them from doing the same to you”

Or better yet, follow the advice a wise man gave me many years ago -

Never have sex with anyone crazier than you are.


2 posted on 11/13/2012 9:07:24 PM PST by I cannot think of a name
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To: Jyotishi

Want to protect yourself ... don’t send incriminating e-mails. I would never send an e-mail that I didn’t want the whole world to read.

If I wanted to send a message to someone unbeknownst to anyone I would put in an envelope and put a stamp on it ... off it would go. Might take a little longer, but it would be private.


3 posted on 11/13/2012 9:07:44 PM PST by doc1019
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To: Jyotishi

A man who is this ignorant about elementary cybersecurity should not be running the most powerful intelligence agency in the world.

Irene Kennedy would be appalled, and Thomas Stanfield would be spinning in his grave...


4 posted on 11/13/2012 9:14:57 PM PST by bigbob
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To: I cannot think of a name

Seriously, who uses a Gmail account to make threats........that’s what you use your DU mail account for.


5 posted on 11/13/2012 9:34:06 PM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: bigbob

I agree. It looks like Petraeus was set up big time.


6 posted on 11/13/2012 9:34:06 PM PST by Jyotishi (Seeking the truth, a fact at a time.)
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To: bigbob
Irene Kennedy would be appalled, and Thomas Stanfield would be spinning in his grave...

An now Petraeus is going to take the Rapp.

7 posted on 11/13/2012 9:41:27 PM PST by Jeff Chandler (www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAOwJvTOio)
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To: USNBandit
Seriously, who uses a Gmail account to make threats........that’s what you use your DU mail account for.

Admittedly, DU's admin staff is no match for Google's. But an IP address is 32 bits. And access logs are easy to search. What makes you think DU wouldn't give up yours, even if they haven't yet figured out you are a conservative troll?

8 posted on 11/13/2012 10:11:19 PM PST by cynwoody
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To: bigbob
A man who is this ignorant about elementary cybersecurity should not be running the most powerful intelligence agency in the world.

Amen, brother.

9 posted on 11/13/2012 10:11:37 PM PST by Wally_Kalbacken
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To: I cannot think of a name
Better than that are my two rules for surviving any job situation.

1. Keep your hands out of the till........

2. Keep your dick in your pants........

10 posted on 11/13/2012 10:21:45 PM PST by Species8472 (Stupid is supposed to hurt)
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To: I cannot think of a name
Another old wise saying: “Never put on paper [email/online] anything you wouldn't want to see on the front page of the paper.”

Petraeua was too trusting - he got set up. He took the bait.
But, good grief, in the world he has lived in most all his life - surrounded by as many unscrupulous people as honest - how could he not know better than to leave a trail?

I fear for him and his family - and us.

11 posted on 11/13/2012 10:37:21 PM PST by maine-iac7 (Christian is as Christian does.)
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To: I cannot think of a name

“Never have sex with anyone crazier than you are.”

Twenty-three years of marriage and I’ve been breaking that rule the whole time :-)


12 posted on 11/13/2012 10:41:34 PM PST by Gil4 (Progressives - Trying to repeal the Law of Supply and Demand since 1848)
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To: Jyotishi

I read about this shared email/drafts “tradecraft” thing in a spy novel (possibly Clancy) a few years ago.


13 posted on 11/13/2012 10:45:31 PM PST by Riverine
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To: Riverine

Petraeus and lover used al-Qaeda email tricks to keep affair secret

David Petraeus and his lover Paula Broadwell used a trick often employed by terrorists as they sought to keep their email exchanges secret.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9674067/Petraeus-and-lover-used-al-Qaeda-email-tricks-to-keep-affair-secret.html


14 posted on 11/13/2012 10:48:44 PM PST by Jyotishi (Seeking the truth, a fact at a time.)
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To: Species8472
Two deli employees talking on break--

Employee One: Did you hear that Bob stuck his pecker in the pickle slicer?
Employee Two: No! What happened?
Employee One: Boss fired 'em both!
15 posted on 11/13/2012 10:51:48 PM PST by Trod Upon (Obama: Making the Carter malaise look good. Misery Index in 3...2...1)
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To: maine-iac7

The irony of this situation is that the General didn’t belong to either woman - he was married. Did the mistress believe he was going to divorce his wife and marry her? She got jealous over something that wasn’t hers.


16 posted on 11/13/2012 10:53:55 PM PST by Catsrus
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To: bigbob
A man who is this ignorant about elementary cybersecurity should not be running the most powerful intelligence agency in the world.

His COMSEC plan would have been perfectly adequate if his paramour hadn't been so stupid as to stretch it well beyond spec by scaring Jill Kelley into calling the cops. And for no reason other than her hormonally-induced paranoia.

17 posted on 11/13/2012 10:54:48 PM PST by cynwoody
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To: Jyotishi

It’s also how teenagers do it. Whoopee.


18 posted on 11/13/2012 10:54:54 PM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge)
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To: piasa

It’s amazing how much adults copy kids these days.


19 posted on 11/13/2012 10:58:52 PM PST by Jyotishi (Seeking the truth, a fact at a time.)
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To: doc1019

Howie Carr reports an old mafia/pol credo that I can paraphrase as never write when to speak would do, and never speak when a nod would be adequate.


20 posted on 11/13/2012 11:06:22 PM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: Jyotishi
David Petraeus and his lover Paula Broadwell used a trick often employed by terrorists as they sought to keep their email exchanges secret.

That's guano.

Once the FBI knows about the account, the fact the communicants were viewing each others drafts instead of exchanging messages between separate accounts is irrelevant. They'll go to the access logs and trace the IP addresses and lay out the exchanges on a neat geographic timeline.

The critical error occurred when Broadwell sent the intimidating emails to Jill Kelley. That sort of amusement called for much higher levels of security than simply exchanging love notes on Gmail — high enough that you must assume the FBI will get the IP from which each message was sent, yet will not get you. Possible, but very inconvenient. Broadwell f'up up, pure and simple. If she wanted to intimidate Kelley, it needed to be from a totally isolated (geographically and temporally) account.

21 posted on 11/13/2012 11:08:55 PM PST by cynwoody
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To: Jyotishi

The ONLY question is WHY did the FBI get involved??? This sounds like a CAT FIGHT between to Groupies...nothing the FBI should have worried about, so WHY??? HOW did it get so far??


22 posted on 11/14/2012 12:47:05 AM PST by Ann Archy (AbORTION....the HUMAN sacrifice to the god of CONVIENCE.)
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To: cynwoody

I am almost NOT BUYING the story of the “threatening” e-mails sent between the tramps........something’s not right.


23 posted on 11/14/2012 12:50:19 AM PST by Ann Archy (AbORTION....the HUMAN sacrifice to the god of CONVIENCE.)
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To: Ann Archy

.


24 posted on 11/14/2012 12:50:59 AM PST by Ann Archy (ABORTION....the HUMAN sacrifice to the god of CONVIENCE.)
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To: Jyotishi

use homing pigeons....


25 posted on 11/14/2012 2:34:50 AM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Jyotishi

We cannot survive with with a lead ship class this stupid.


26 posted on 11/14/2012 2:39:47 AM PST by mo (If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.)
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To: mo

“Leadership class”


27 posted on 11/14/2012 2:40:55 AM PST by mo (If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.)
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To: mo

Lead Ship Makes sense too. Very heavy soft metal, easily punctured and will sink VERY fast.


28 posted on 11/14/2012 2:58:00 AM PST by The Working Man
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To: bigbob

My understanding is Petraeus and Broadwell werent actually sending emails between them but were composing emails and leaving them in draft, then each knowing the password of the others gmail would log in each day and read the drafts.


29 posted on 11/14/2012 3:12:52 AM PST by DainBramage
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To: Jyotishi

There are over a billion computers in the world, yet this web page found your particular computer. Ever wonder how it did that? Ever wonder if someone else could ‘trace’ it?

Internet anonymity my arse.


30 posted on 11/14/2012 3:18:30 AM PST by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: Yo-Yo
Yet it can be done.

How to hide your IP Address.

31 posted on 11/14/2012 3:55:57 AM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: bigbob
Irene Kennedy would be appalled, and Thomas Stanfield would be spinning in his grave...

The question is then what would Mitch Rabb do?

32 posted on 11/14/2012 4:29:34 AM PST by glm
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To: Jyotishi

You’ve been ‘GooGled’.


33 posted on 11/14/2012 8:51:48 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
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To: Ann Archy
The ONLY question is WHY did the FBI get involved??? This sounds like a CAT FIGHT between to Groupies...nothing the FBI should have worried about, so WHY??? HOW did it get so far??

It almost didn't, based on what I've read. The FBI was indeed about to brush it off as a cat fight, but Kelley's shirtless FBI friend wielded enough influence to kick start an investigation. And, of course, once the identities of the participants emerged, it was too good not to finish. I mean, once they tied the IP to Broadwell, at most a Google search would be needed to connect her to Petraeus.

34 posted on 11/14/2012 10:17:42 AM PST by cynwoody
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To: Alas Babylon!
Yet it can be done.

I guess it all depends on how much you trust the operator of the proxy server.

35 posted on 11/14/2012 3:26:59 PM PST by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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