When Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s former IT administrator – who has now been indicted on felony fraud charges – was finally banned from accessing the network for the House of Representatives, it was because of a secret server that Capitol Police found.
Imran Awan was funneling data from several House Democrats to the secret server. When investigators noticed, they notified police who requested data on this “secret server.”
Rather than being given the information, The Daily Caller reports they were provided with an “elaborate falsified image” designed to hide the violations.
It was that fake image – clearly trying to hide something – that got Awan banned from the network.
The secret server was connected to the House Democratic Caucus’ servers – a group chaired by then-Rep. Xavier Becerra (now California’s Attorney General). When investigators asked for Becerra’s server, his office deliberately provided a falsified copy, senior officials told The Daily Caller.
Data from the House Democrats’ server was also backed up into a massive folder in the cloud service “Dropbox.” Because of the security implications, congressional offices are banned from using Dropbox, meaning Awan could access the data whether or not he had direct access to the network.
Keep in mind – through all this – Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former head of the Democratic National Committee – kept Awan and his family (yes, his family) on the House payroll as IT consultants.
Awan had access to all of the emails and computer files for 45 members of Congress. Because Awan had everything, those 45 Democrats have been reluctant to comply with prosecutors because they fear embarrassing information could be released, The Daily Caller surmises.
Remember how Debbie Wasserman Schultz threatened Capitol Police saying that if the computer was not returned to her, there “would be consequences.”
House Democrats employed Awan and four family members for years as IT aides. After learning of the House probe, Awan and his wife, Hina Alvi, frantically transferred money to accounts in their native Pakistan.
Awan and Alvi were indicted in August on fraud charges related to the transfers, but they have not yet been charged with criminal cybersecurity violations partly because some of the 45 Democrats have been passive about helping build the case, the House official said.
House rules require that each member store their data on their own computer, to thwart hackers looking to get hold of reams of data. Awan, apparently did exactly the opposite, collecting all data onto one server, the computer meant to hold just the files of the administrative office of the Democratic caucus – he then uploaded it all to the “cloud” and to a secret server.
On Jan. 24, 2017, Becerra vacated his congressional seat to become California’s attorney general. “He wanted to wipe his server, and we brought to his attention it was under investigation. The light-off was we asked for an image of the server, and they deliberately turned over a fake server,” the senior official said.
“They were using the House Democratic Caucus as their central service warehouse … It was a breach. The data was completely out of [the members’] possession. Does it mean it was sold to the Russians? I don’t know,” the senior official said.