The Daily Mail on Sunday morning (UK time) published additional details of what is contained on Hunter Biden’s “National Security Nightmare” laptop, and statements from forensic experts vouching for its authenticity.
The laptop was first reported on by the New York Post, and almost immediately Twitter and Facebook worked to scrub the story from its platforms and to cast doubt upon its authenticity.
In the Daily Mail report, experts say that the material on the laptop wasn’t encrypted or protected by even basic two-factor authentication, and was only secured by the password “Hunter 02.” They claim the laptop contained:
- Joe Biden’s personal mobile number and three private email addresses as well as the names of his Secret Service agents;
- Mobile numbers for former President Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary and almost every member of former President Barack Obama’s cabinet;
- A contact database of 1,500 people including actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Coldplay singer Chris Martin, former Presidential candidate John Kerry and ex-FBI boss Louis Freeh;
- Personal documents including Hunter’s passport, driver’s licence, social security card, credit cards and bank statements;
- Details of Hunter’s drug and sex problems, including $21,000 spent on one ‘live cam’ porn website and ‘selfies’ of him engaging in sex acts and smoking crack cocaine
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
While it isn’t illegal to possess the cell phone numbers of cabinet members or to store one’s personal documents and contact list on a computer, when data on one’s laptop can compromise national security, and when one’s circle of friends contains some of the most powerful people in the world, and when one routinely travels to foreign countries where internet security is a joke — accompanied by Secret Service — it makes sense to take the necessary steps to secure the integrity of one’s data.
And, while details of drug and sex problems might be seen as personal problems in some circles, in the view of foreign adversaries such problems are an avenue to blackmail.
On the laptop was an email dated November 10, 2011, the date Hunter left on a trip for France and the United Arab Emirates, to both Hunter and his then-wife Kathleen, listing the names and cell phone numbers of his Secret Service detail and their hotel room numbers:
Again, that communication was not illegal, but to have such information on an unsecured laptop that travels around the world, and into places like China and Ukraine where it could easily be compromised, is terrifying. What other information that might compromise national security is on that laptop?
IT expert Chris Greany told the Daily Mail that it was “staggering” that the laptop hadn’t been encrypted, and:
‘It’s a data breach and dangerous to have this type of material floating around,’ said the former police commander, who advised successive British Foreign Secretaries on laptop security.
‘For someone prominent, there is not only a risk of great reputational damage but also a risk of blackmail should the material fall into the wrong hands.’
According to the Daily Mail, a “forensic cyber expert” who analyzed material downloaded from the laptop said the material is authentic:
‘I have been doing this for 20 years and there is nothing to suggest the laptop or its contents have been interfered with or altered in any way,’ said the expert, who has worked with US law enforcement agencies.
‘There is no sign of data being added. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the real deal.’
It’s unclear whether the Daily Mail is referring to the expert the Daily Caller retained and who declared that an April 2015 email to Hunter Biden from a Burisma executive was “unquestionably accurate” or a different expert.
Another source told the Daily Mail:
‘The sheer volume of personal and financial information indicates Hunter has been potential blackmail fodder for years.
‘It seems almost inconceivable that Hunter Biden, the son of the man likely to become our next President, was so naive and reckless that he did not have basic encryption or even a two-stage password to protect such highly sensitive material.’
According to the Daily Mail, the 11 gigabytes of data on the laptop cover the time period from when Joe Biden became Vice President until April 12, 2019, when Hunter took it to the computer repair shop in Delaware.
Why was all of this data accessible?
In an astonishing lapse, Hunter Biden chose to protect his MacBook Pro computer – crammed with what an IT expert last night described as a ‘national security nightmare’ and ‘classic blackmail material’ – with a single, simple password: Hunter02.
Is it really an astonishing lapse, though? The MacBook Pro was dropped off in April 2019, around the same time Hunter and his late brother Beau’s widow, Hallie, broke up. Recent reports about Hallie throwing Hunter’s gun in a trash bin behind a grocery store in the fall of 2018 suggest that the relationship was a little on the explosive side. And, Hunter dropped the laptop off just two weeks before his father announced he’d be seeking the Democratic nomination in 2020.
It could be that Hunter Biden was tired and ready to exit his roller-coaster existence. A poem on the laptop, written by Hunter, reads:
A Mystery to Myself:
(A really seriously tragic dramatic comedy).
In the span of eight years:
My father is elected Vice President of the United States.
I loose [sic] the entirety of my business.
I find a new way of doing business and replace most my income.
I relapse after 7 years of sobriety.
I go back to rehab.
The secret service follow me.
What happens if Joe Biden is elected? The Secret Service follow him again. The pressure to fill his brother’s shoes increases.
Back to Hunter Biden’s laptop, according to the Daily Mail, the “scale and sensitivity of its contents – easily accessible to a hacker – is only revealed for first time today.” Why is that? Why didn’t American media companies reveal what was on the laptop? At least two outlets and one former presidential adviser claim to have had copies of the hard drive. So what kept them from publishing the full extent of what was found? For the moment, the important thing is that as many voters as possible are aware of the massive national security threat posed by the Biden family. But, after Tuesday’s election, come what may, some serious questions need to be asked of the people who had access to the contents of the laptop.