How I received $5 million from MyPillow Man and saved democracy

You could have learn a little bit about it. Within the 12 months In the summertime of 2021, Lindell introduced that he’ll maintain a “cyber symposium” in Sioux Falls, SD, to launch data proving that US voting machines had been hacked by China. He stated he would even pay $5 million to anybody who might disprove the knowledge.

Instantly, my associates began asking me if I used to be considering of calling. in any case, I created the sector of software program forensics.The science of analyzing software program supply code for mental property infringement or theft. I nonetheless wasn’t certain. There are numerous consultants who can analyze information. And nobody of their proper thoughts would supply $5 million if the knowledge wasn’t true and unverified, would they? Nevertheless, the symposium lasted three days – not sufficient time to research and confirm any information.

However I’m additionally a aggressive gambler. I really like a great problem. And because the calls and emails saved coming, I started to assume that I ought to go simply to be there when a narrative was made. I voted for Trump twice. If Lindel’s data was right, the presidential election would most likely have been overturned. A minimum of I need to meet some very fascinating individuals. So I flew to Sioux Falls.

I noticed about 40 or 50 of the contestants on the symposium. Some had been extremely expert hackers and cyber consultants like myself. Others had been solely events with restricted expertise in data expertise.

We gathered in two small lecture rooms, quiet public college lecture rooms. After introducing ourselves, we proceeded to obtain Lindell’s holy grail – which got here from an undisclosed supply as “proof of election fraud” – containing seven recordsdata containing greater than 23 gigabytes of information.

Two of the recordsdata had been basic details about voting machines. One other file is a nonsensical one minute and 20 second silent pc display exhibiting an unknown program being edited. The fourth file accommodates 23 gigabytes of binary file packet seize information or “PCAPs” consisting of zeros and ones.

If you do not know any of the languages, packets are small items of knowledge which might be despatched over networks just like the Web and picked up like footage of your grandchildren or cute cat motion pictures from YouTube. PCAPs are data of these packets as they fly across the community.

In a number of interviews, Lindell stated the information confirmed packets of votes flowing from outdoors the U.S. to China had been manipulated and despatched to U.S. voting machines to shift the votes from Trump to Biden.

We used a wide range of forensic instruments designed to know and analyze PCAPs, however discovered that this cryptic file contained not one of the 37 customary PCAP codecs. I even used the CodeSuite forensics instrument I developed to attempt to get any data from the file. Nada.

So I made a decision to give attention to the remaining three recordsdata, that are easy textual content recordsdata that may be opened with any textual content editor that comes pre-installed on any Home windows pc, reminiscent of Notepad. The contents had been the textual illustration of hex numbers, that are base 16 numbers utilized by computer systems versus the bottom 10 numbers utilized in decimal, utilized by people.

I began with a file named Chinese_SourceIP_HEX.txt. After programming computer systems for almost 50 years, I spotted that every of those hex numbers appeared to characterize a code of alphanumeric characters often known as the ASCII code. So I took a software program instrument I wrote years in the past and made this textual content file to transform the textual content illustration of numbers into precise numbers.

Subsequent, I opened the ensuing file in a notepad textual content editor. Certain sufficient, I noticed letters and numbers representing one other kind of code – Wealthy Textual content Format code, a really previous and easy method of coding phrase processor paperwork. (Typically it is good to be previous, smart and skilled like me.)

I opened this transformed file in Microsoft Phrase and… voila… a desk appeared with tons of of rows of numbers – numbers that appear to be IP addresses (that’s, numbers related to networked units). 7 7 7 7 7

With out another data, they had been significant as a listing of random phrases. On the time, it was clear that the knowledge in these textual content recordsdata had nothing to do with the 2020 election. That is once I knew I used to be on the important thing. The secret is to not present election fraud, however to point out Lindel’s nonsense.

I repeated the identical course of on different textual content recordsdata and located even stranger issues. These recordsdata had been additionally hidden phrase processing paperwork, however they contained hundreds of traces of gibberish – not simply random characters and numbers.

My eureka second had arrived. Whereas everybody regarded to the sky, I discovered the golden ticket on the bottom; Whereas looking for packet information within the recordsdata, the reality is that there was no packet information. I stated one thing out loud to nobody specifically, “I will take this to my lodge room and work on it there.” I quietly and intentionally packed up my laptop computer, left the room and left the place. Once I bought again to the lodge, I referred to as my spouse. “Begin enthusiastic about what you need to do with $5 million,” I informed her.

I went again to my room, wrote my report, and filed a duplicate on-line with the US Copyright Workplace to make sure I had it written by the competitors deadline. simply in case.

However Lindell’s sport wasn’t over but. The following day, a little bit earlier than midday, I walked into the cyber workroom and located everybody nonetheless at it. Turns on the market’s extra information to research – Lindel gave us about 50 gigabytes extra information to farm. There have been 4 new recordsdata, however once I checked out them, nothing however a spreadsheet containing basic details about 121,128 traces of Web service suppliers all over the world, together with their places, latitudes and longitudes, IP addresses, and numerous different data. I made a decision there was nothing within the file associated to the 2020 presidential election, and I puzzled what my rivals had been seeing.

Then got here one other large assortment of 509 recordsdata, many gigabytes in measurement. This was Lindel’s plan to ensure nobody might beat the problem, I assumed. Bombard us with recordsdata and never sufficient time to research them. I felt that $5 million abruptly fell into my fingers in a really unfair method.

However I by no means gave up and I had come a good distance. On the third and last day of the symposium, an concept got here to me. I made a decision to scan the file revision dates for all of the current recordsdata that got to us and lo and behold, a lot of the dates had been August 2021, proper earlier than the symposium.

In different phrases, the information was clearly edited earlier than we analyzed it. They did not correctly characterize the November 2020 election.

My flight was leaving earlier that night so I needed to be fast. I ran again to the lodge, added this new data to my report, double-checked it, triple-checked it, and saved it to a flash drive. I rapidly packed up and rushed to the symposium, handed my flash driver report back to somebody who regarded official, and ran to an Uber or Lyft close to the door. I bought to the airport simply in time to fly residence to Vegas.

I assume the remainder is historical past, as they are saying. I by no means spoke to Lindel after the symposium; He didn’t reply to my inquiries. So I employed nice legal professionals at Bailey Glasser and filed for arbitration. It lasted a couple of 12 months and a half, at which level the legislation agency give up and employed a brand new one. “What precisely was within the data you gave the consultants and the way did it relate to the November 2020 US presidential election?” They gave conflicting solutions to the vital questions.

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