Fox News correspondent Catherine Herridge pushed the evidence-free claim that Hillary Clinton's private email server may have been hacked by a “national state or a criminal syndicate” despite reports that her server “showed no evidence of foreign hacking.”
On March 3 The New York Times reported former Clinton aide Bryan Pagliano had told the FBI that computer security logs from her private email server showed that “nothing ... suggested any intrusion.” The report also noted that “computer security experts view logs as key documents when detecting hackers.”
Yet, during the March 4 edition of Fox News' The Real Story Herridge speculated that even though the security logs did not reveal a breach “a sophisticated attack ... will leave no footprint” and that “you cannot just take the security logs as the final say on whether something was compromised”:
HEATHER NAUERT (HOST): New developments to tell you about in the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation. A former aide tells investigators that there is no evidence that her e-mails were hacked. Clinton facing heavy criticism for potentially putting national security at risk by using that private server for State Department business. Our chief intelligence correspondent, Catherine Harris is live for us in Washington with the latest on this. So there was a source who came out to a couple of news organizations that said, “we looked at this. No one tried to tap in to Hillary Clinton's e-mails.” Pick it up from there if you would Catherine.
CATHERINE HERRDIGE: There's a lot more to this story, Heather. The last time we saw the former State Department I.T. specialist Bryan Pagliano was when he took the fifth before the Benghazi Select Committee on Capitol Hill last year. Since he has struck this immunity deal and reportedly provided computer security logs to the FBI that show no evidence of foreign hacks. But cybersecurity experts say a sophisticated attack like the one involving a nation state or a criminal syndicate will leave no footprint.
Fox News has previously reported that the FBI is doing a forensic review of the server and the router. Everything a server processes leaves traces of cyber DNA. And in most cases, FBI specialists can determine whether the cyber DNA contains malicious code indicating that the system was breached. So the bottom line is that in almost every case, you cannot just take the security logs as the final say on whether something was compromised.