My Bigger Bus; Deleted Blog Post by Neal Rauhauser Nov 14, 2012

My Bigger Bus

First, I got that bigger bus Ali Akbar said I would need in Lies Aren’t Working, then I figured I’d break out Maltego and study the social network for BlogBash.

I fired it up and I was quite surprised to find this waiting for me:

Seems I was having trouble sleeping ten weeks ago and I already did the recon work. What you are seeing here is the normal sort of thing for a small group – a nice clean base file with just their accounts, so they can be easily selected and compared with other groups, and then a single study that shows any Twitter account that associates with two of more of them.

That single study was revealing – I found two staff members from Hynes Communications, the company mentioned in connection with the attempt to manufacture an October Surprise!

I have a similar set of files for Hynes, thanks to another huge slip by Aaron Walker. I love this guy – when he isn’t screwing up massively on discovery responses, he is running his mouth on Twitter, giving me all sorts of stuff I’d not get by any other method.

So I merged the eight BlogBash people with the ten or twelve accounts I have for Hynes, and this is what came of it:

So what you see here are orange dots that represent Twitter accounts. The green dots are four domains that I found to be interesting, based on the names that came up as having two or more associates among the BlogBash & Hynes folks. HynesCommunications and Blogbash itself are there, and the other two are Mitt Romney’s campaign site and I tagged the Twitter accounts using the colored stars in Maltego – red for Hynes, yellow for BlogBash, blue for Romney, green for Breitbart.

The tags are a visual clue that is more useful at higher resolution. Here is a shot from the densely connected center – Paul Ryan and Ann Romney, two Hynes staffers with red stars, the blogbash site, and one of the unaffiliated folks who is visible because this is where the force directed graph algorithm settled on placing him.

I got interested in this sort of thing when I was writing the study on HBGary’s Team Themis. Much of this I had a good feel for, having worked within the realm of social media during the 2010 election. I also knew that HBGary’s plan was awfully hopeful in terms of being able to attribute actions. Groups under surveillance quickly adapt to thwart unwanted attention, particularly when there is direct pressure, rather than just intelligence collection.

So what happens next? I think we’re in a wait and see mode, just a week past a bruising election that will likely prove to be Karl Rove’s Last Mistake. I see that Larry Sinclair Is Up To Something, which is just not good for Akbar. Someone is asking a lot of questions and I don’t think it’s One Of Santa’s Helpers. I have wondered out loud regarding Breitbart LLC Corporate Culpability and we’re going to be Reviving Swatgate, no matter how uncomfortable that makes the folks initially involved in filling that crock of shit.

So I have my big gnarly Terragator tire equipped bus, but I think my role here might be similar to that of a taxi driver in Beirut or Mogadishu. Anyone who wants to ride is free to climb on board. I’ll be pointing out various flashpoints, scaring ten years growth out of any pedestrians I catch jaywalking, and heckling Akbar and his ilk as we cruise the bumpy terrain of the GOP’s post presidential election defeat grudge match.