Skip to comments.How CIA Director David Petraeusís Emails Were Traced (and How to Protect Yourself)
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 originprobably with an IP address given up by Googleto 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 ...
“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.
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.
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...
Seriously, who uses a Gmail account to make threats........that’s what you use your DU mail account for.
I agree. It looks like Petraeus was set up big time.
An now Petraeus is going to take the Rapp.
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?
1. Keep your hands out of the till........
2. Keep your dick in your pants........
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.
“Never have sex with anyone crazier than you are.”
Twenty-three years of marriage and I’ve been breaking that rule the whole time :-)
I read about this shared email/drafts “tradecraft” thing in a spy novel (possibly Clancy) a few years ago.
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
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.
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.
It’s also how teenagers do it. Whoopee.
It’s amazing how much adults copy kids these days.
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.
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.
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??
I am almost NOT BUYING the story of the “threatening” e-mails sent between the tramps........something’s not right.
use homing pigeons....
We cannot survive with with a lead ship class this stupid.
Lead Ship Makes sense too. Very heavy soft metal, easily punctured and will sink VERY fast.
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.
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.
The question is then what would Mitch Rabb do?
You’ve been ‘GooGled’.
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.
I guess it all depends on how much you trust the operator of the proxy server.