The Iowa Standard talked with about eight different cyber experts who were a part of the Mike Lindell Cyber Symposium in Sioux Falls. One of those cyber experts was Doug Gould. Here is the perspective provided by Gould, who is the Chief Technical Officer of Cyber Team USA.
On Thursday, Gould provided an update essentially on behalf of the cyber experts at the Mike Lindell Cyber Symposium.
He opened his brief talk by explaining to people that expecting the cyber experts to reach conclusions in three days would be like doing damage to a car and asking for the mechanics to have it fixed — in five minutes.
“We all know that’s not a realistic expectation,” he said. “But when it comes to some of this technical stuff, you may not fully appreciate it. So, we’re looking at the data from one computer that is 20 gigabytes. I mean, I could probably pile the stage this tall with books all the way across and it would not cover 20 gigabytes worth of information. I would tell you the absolute minimum is three and a half weeks.”
And that’s with a team of two, three, four or even five cyber experts.
Gould explained the first thing he will look at are the dates of all the files as well as some secret things that are done. That would narrow down the scope to what he’s looking at.
“I would pick things that are unusual,” he said. “Perfect example — last night I was looking at the Mesa County data and one of the programs popped up. (There were some) email addresses and they were foreign email addresses. Well, there are only a dozen of them and it took me three hours to verify that they were meaningless. They’re not relevant to anything. There was no email machine that determined that time. And those addresses were a false flag.
“So we’re going to find little rabbit holes that we could go down and that’s part of the process. But we have to look at everything.”
Ultimately Gould said he could not say he has anything that is “conclusive.”
“I can neither prove that it’s right or prove it is wrong,” he said. “That’s now. It’s very, very, very early. It’s kind of like if I took the novel War and Peace and I’ve read the table of contents. And that’s all I’ve done.
“So, we need more time. It’s going to be a lot of work. It’s very technical, but we’re working on it and I think one of the good things here is we’ve got a team together. And we are working together, we’ve established relationships, we’ve got some initial trust going and there will be some answers at some point in the future.”
I talked with Gould after his presentation to see if there was anything else he could offer and to ask some questions.
He simply reiterated what he said publicly — at this point the experts simply have not had enough time to do a proper or thorough investigation.
“Just to validate the evidence, just to validate the integrity, the evidence — takes 14, 15 hours with the software and my computer,” he said.
Gould added that he was told there are some concerns that lawyers are looking at to determine whether experts can have full access.
“I have not heard the resolution to that yet,” he said. “So obviously there are some issues that we’re not aware of that are going to take a lot more time.”
We asked Gould how the event went compared to how he expected it to go.
“I would like to have had more time before the event to prepare and have more information about what was going to be happening,” he said. “On the other hand, we’ve already seen adversaries here at this conference. Mike Lindell was physically attacked (Wednesday) night. There have been other people doing information attacks throughout. And I understand the need for caution. So, I mean, I wish it were different, but it is what it is.”