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If you use Softpanorama Spyware removal strategy, you can remove most of spyware types no matter how complex and sophisticated the infection method is. The only exception is encryption based extortionware such as Cryptolocker (Win32/Crilock.A)
Yes, spyware can be complex, extremely annoying and obnoxious as well as extremly difficult to remove (and latest banking and data encryption Trojans are a serious warning). Typically the period between malware gets into your computer and the moment it is detected by AV program installed can vary from hours to several weeks or even months. For some not very popular and regional (or highly specialized, "government sponsored", etc ) malware it can be years.
At the same time while protection of PC using scanning AV program is never enough, paranoia about spyware is completely unwarranted. Despite tremendous increase in spyware complexity and capabilities in recent years, restoration of OS from a "healthy" C-drive image using a bootable CD created beforehand on other (non-infected) computer is a sure way to defeat even the most complex spyware. One important lesson that extortionware such as Cryptolocker (Win32/Crilock.A) taught is that there should always be two sets of backup (say A and B) and each week you should change from one set to another. And that periodic backup to double layer DVD makes perfect sense if the size of your backup image is less then 8GB. Backup on a USB harddrives can be attacked, backup on DVD is in-penetratable after it was created. Another method to defeat attempts of data-encryption Trojans to destroy your backups is to daily move of your current backup image via FTP or SCP to a different, Linux-based backup computer.
Using this "backup-based disinfection" is a three step approach. You can read about it at Softpanorama Malware Defense Strategy Here is the contents:
Formally spyware is any software which uses an internet connection from your computer in the background (as "backchannel") operating without user knowledge or explicit permission. that definition actually includes a lot of modern commercial software. The presence of such a backchannel represents a simple way to detect even the most sophisticated spyware and a TCP/IP sniffer often is an adequate tool for this. For example, you can switch to other computer (and periodic switching between computers is another good practice, as it keeps you "reference image" tested and up-to-date) and see what communications exist on your "old" PC or laptop for a week or so using sniffer logs. That actually greatly helps against "spyware paranoia" (NSA under each bed ;-).
Spyware is often connected with some way to get an advertising revenue, propagate spam or similar things. In few cases they try to steal and use your financial information (so called banking Trojans). And in very rare cases they want to monitor your activities. In any case now spyware became mostly "for profit" criminal business, and this type of criminals have enough money to pay developers and buy exploits. That means that each new generation of spyware is more sophisticated then previous generations of malware. Interest to this type of programs from NSA and other three letter agencies does not help iether: the methods they develop using government funds and highly paid developers are eventually revealed and then flowing downhill from spooks to financial criminals. Story of malware used to damage Iranian uranium enrichment program is pretty instructive in this respect. See Duqu Trojan, Flame and Stuxnet for more information. Just those three advanced 'state of the art" of spyware development considerably, creating essentially a "new era" in malware (as in "beforeStuxnet" and "after Stuxnet")
In any case we can safely assume that those days few spyware/adware programs are primitive and just uses one Run key to launch itself (and that removal of this key disinfects computer).
Generally any use of an Internet "backchannel" connection should be preceded by a complete and truthful disclosure followed by the receipt of explicit, informed, consent for such use. Often spyware is disguised as a useful utility (atomic clock, toolbar, free game or other useful utility). In this case the developer does not disclose that in addition to openly stated function it is using PC Internet connection to send information about your activities or even your data to the third party. Typical connected information is the site you visited (WeatherBug is one classic example).
Often spyware deliberately complicates its removal from the computer or tried to reinstall itself by downloading missing components, if one component is removed.
The spyware problem is not a pure Windows security problem. Situation is more complex. While the insecurity and architectural flaws of Windows operating system is a problem that aids malware in general, the channel for spreading spyware is usually Web and specifically Google search engine (which for some reason does not mark DNS names that are less then a month old -- many "waterhole spyware distribution sites" belong to this category. We really need something for IE that blocks sites which has DNS registered less then a month or so ago. OpenDNS is an interesting option is this respect. Checking can be incorporated into DNS Prefetching:
The DNS Prefetch addon for Firefox enables DNS Prefetching which is a method of resolving and caching DNS lookups before you actually click on a link. DNS prefetching just resolves domain names before a user tries to navigate, so that there will be no effective user delay due to DNS resolution. One example where prefetching can help is when a user is looking at a page with many links to various other domains, for instance a search results page.
With DNS Prefetching, Firefox automatically scans the content of each page looking for links, extracting the domain name from each link, and resolving each domain to an IP address. All this work is done in parallel with the user's reading of the page. When a user clicks on any of these pre-resolved names to visit a new domain, they save an average of over 250ms in navigation.
Email spam and deceptive advertising of sites via Google or other search engine is still the major channels of penetration of spyware into PCs. Google search results is especially nasty and effective channel. Be careful not to get into "grey zone" site on the PC that you use for your daily work. If you can't live without browsing grey areas of Internet, buy a Goggle Chomebook (such Acer C720 11.6" Chromebook) or Android tablet and browse those areas exclusively from them . Or install Ubuntu on one of your old PCs. Using a different Os then Windows represent an additional lawyer of protection -- most attacks are still directed toward Windows users and PC with Intel-compatible CPUs and Windows XP-Windows 7-Windows 10 installed. Using a different OS and/or CPU architecture gives you substantial additional protection via "security via obscurity" effect.
Spyware authors like virus authors look for a particular category of gullible and greedy users: despite all this bad experience some people just can't avoid clicking on a "Get Kool Mouse Pointerz Here" or "Free Microsoft Office 2013" type of links iether in search results or email ;-). Using a email client that disables all "rich content" and hides attachments such as Thunderbird proves you with free and effective layer of protection against such threats.
Spyware authors like virus authors look for a particular category of gullible and greedy users: despite all this bad experience some people just can't avoid clicking on a "Get Kool Mouse Pointerz Here" or "Free Microsoft Office 2013" type of links iether in search results or email ;-). Using a email client that disables all "rich content" and hides attachments such as Thunderbird proves you with free and effective layer of protection against such threats.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here are some potentially useful methods for those who are using IE Internet browser:
You can configure UAC in your computer to meet your preferences:
If you detected spyware on your computer before removal look at the network connections the computer uses and try to "cut an oxygen" by adding sites that it accesses to hosts file and to the restricted zone. That might helps to prevent re-infections
Acronis True Image
You can run your system in a special try mode with the Try&Decide feature. In this mode you can try out new applications or experiment with the system while being sure that you can always discard the changes made to the system and revert it back to the state it was just before turning on the Try&Decide mode.
When you turn on the Try&Decide mode, the product activates a special Acronis driver, which starts reading all requests to the protected partition and forwards these to the storage location you have selected.
Unless you are targeted by government agencies spyware can be eliminated. If you use separate PC for vital tasks chance to get spyware on this "more secure" PC is really small. Using several virtual machines on 8GB laptop is no-brainer and also provides a reasonably high level of protection (many types of advanced spyware detect the presence of VM environments and refuse to run on it, fearing that they are "watched"/analysed ) .
Still there is high level of paranoia about spyware in mainstream press. Sometimes it reaches a really stupid level of "if your computer is infected discard it and get a new one". A pretty telling example of this paranoia was a NYT article By MATT RICHTEL and JOHN MARKOFF "Corrupted PC's Find New Home in the Dumpster" (July 17, 2005 ). The main hero of this article (who claim to holds PhD in computer science) demonstrates simply amazing level of ignorance of Windows OS (unless this was just a pretext to upgrade his old computer ;-)
SAN FRANCISCO, July 15 - Add personal computers to the list of throwaways in the disposable society.
On a recent Sunday morning when Lew Tucker's Dell desktop computer was overrun by spyware and adware - stealth software that delivers intrusive advertising messages and even gathers data from the user's machine - he did not simply get rid of the offending programs. He threw out the whole computer.
Mr. Tucker, an Internet industry executive who holds a Ph.D. in computer science, decided that rather than take the time to remove the offending software, he would spend $400 on a new machine.
He is not alone in his surrender in the face of growing legions of digital pests, not only adware and spyware but computer viruses and other Internet-borne infections as well. Many PC owners are simply replacing embattled machines rather than fixing them.
"I was spending time every week trying to keep the machine free of viruses and worms," said Mr. Tucker, a vice president of Salesforce.com, a Web services firm based here. "I was losing the battle. It was cheaper and faster to go to the store and buy a low-end PC."
In the face of a constant stream of pop-up ads, malfunctioning programs and performance slowed to a crawl or a crash - the hallmarks of spyware and adware - throwing out a computer "is a rational response," said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, a Washington-based research group that studies the Internet's social impact.
While no figures are available on the ranks of those jettisoning their PC's, the scourge of unwanted software is widely felt. This month the Pew group published a study in which 43 percent of the 2,001 adult Internet users polled said they had been confronted with spyware or adware, collectively known as malware. Forty-eight percent said they had stopped visiting Web sites that might deposit unwanted programs on their PC's.
Moreover, 68 percent said they had had computer trouble in the last year consistent with the problems caused by spyware or adware, though 60 percent of those were unsure of the problems' origins. Twenty percent of those who tried to fix the problem said it had not been solved; among those who spent money seeking a remedy, the average outlay was $129.
By comparison, it is possible to buy a new computer, including a monitor, for less than $500, though more powerful systems can cost considerably more.
Meantime, the threats from infection continue to rise, and "the arms race seems to have tilted toward the bad guys," Mr. Rainie said.
The number of viruses has more than doubled in just the last six months, while the number of adware and spyware programs has roughly quadrupled during the same period, said Vincent Weafer, a senior director at Symantec, which makes the Norton computer security programs. One reason for the explosion, Symantec executives say, is the growth of high-speed Internet access, which allows people to stay connected to the Internet constantly but creates more opportunity for malicious programs to find their way onto machines.
Mr. Weafer said an area of particular concern was infections adept at burying themselves in a computer system so that the cleansing programs had trouble finding them. The removal of these programs must often be done manually, requiring greater technical expertise.
There are methods of protecting computers from infection through antivirus and spyware-removal software and digital barriers called firewalls, but those tools are far from being completely effective.
"Things are spinning out of control," said David Gelernter, a professor of computer science at Yale.
Mr. Gelernter said his own family's computer became so badly infected that he bought a new one this week. He said his two teenage sons were balking at spending the hours needed to scrub the old one clean of viruses, worms and adware.
Mr. Gelernter blames the software industry for the morass, noting that people are increasingly unwilling to take out their "software tweezers" to clean their machines.
Microsoft executives say they decided to enter the anti-spyware business earlier this year after realizing the extent of the problem.
"We saw that a significant percentage of crashes and other problems were being caused by this," said Paul Bryan, an executive in the company's security business unit. Windows XP Service Pack 2, an upgrade to the latest Windows operating system that has been distributed to more than 200 million computers, includes an automated malware removal program that has been used 800 million times this year, he said.
At least another 10 million copies of a test version of the company's spyware removal program have been downloaded. Yet Microsoft executives acknowledged that they were not providing protection for people who have earlier versions of the company's operating system. And that provides little comfort for those who must navigate the perils of cyberspace.
Terrelea Wong's old computer now sits beside her sofa in the living room, unused, except as a makeshift table that holds a box of tissues.
Ms. Wong, a physician at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in South San Francisco, started getting a relentless stream of pop-up ads a year ago on her four-year-old Hewlett-Packard desktop computer. Often her entire screen would turn blue and urge her to "hit any key to continue." Sometimes the computer would freeze altogether.
After putting up with the problem for months, Ms. Wong said she decided last November that rather than fix her PC, she would buy a new one. Succumbing to the seduction of all the new bells and whistles, she spent $3,000 on a new Apple laptop.
She is instituting new rules to keep her home computer virus-free.
"I've modified my behavior. I'm not letting my friends borrow my computer," she said, after speculating that the indiscriminate use of the Internet by her and her friends had led to the infection problems.
Peter Randol, 45, a stockbroker for Charles Schwab in Denver, is at his wits' end, too. His family's four-year-old Dell computer has not been the same since last year when they got a digital subscriber line for high-speed Internet access. Mr. Randol said the PC's performance has slowed, a result he attributes to dozens of malicious programs he has discovered on the computer.
He has eliminated some of the programs, but error messages continue to pop up on his screen, and the computer can be agonizingly slow.
"I may have no choice but to buy a new one," he said, noting that he hopes that by starting over, he can get a computer that will be more impervious to infection.
Buying a new computer is not always an antidote. Bora Ozturk, 33, who manages bank branches in San Francisco, bought a $900 Hewlett-Packard computer last year only to have it nearly paralyzed three months ago with infections that he believes he got from visiting Turkish news sites.
He debated throwing the PC out, but it had pictures of his newborn son and all of his music files. He decided to fix it himself, spending 15 hours learning what to do, then saving all his pictures and music to a disk and then wiping the hard drive clean - the equivalent of starting over.
For his part, Mr. Tucker, the Salesforce.com executive, said the first piece of software he installed on the new machine two weeks ago was antivirus software. He does not want a replay of his frustrations the last month, when the attacks on his old machine became relentless.
"It came down to the simple human fact that maintaining the old computer didn't pay," he said.
If we assume that "Mr. Tucker, an Internet industry executive who holds a Ph.D." holds Ph.D in computer science, it is clear that he is iether idiot or crook. With all due respect to this Ph.D holder I think that any holder of associate or bachelor degree in computer science should be able to reinstall Windows OS. Moreover even bachelor degree in computer science presuppose some interest and level of understanding of OS internals and TCP/IP networking ;-).
But there is some rational in this naive and deceptive NYT drivel: having a second computer helps to fight spyware. Used computer of decent quality can be bought for less then $200 on eBay. By having a second computer you can switch to it and continue your work instead of frantically trying to disinfect the current machine. Actually the most damaging to your data blunders are done not by viruses or Trojans but by users who try to fix the computer and do not fully understand the consequences of their action. In a way classic scenario of Sysadmin Horror Stories which is so intimately known by any Unix sysadmin is replaced here with a different OS and different players.
Beware AV vendors that try to create hysteria and profit from it. In my opinion both Symantec and McAfee lost track and use "gray" methods of increasing sales of their, generally speaking, mediocre products. Microsoft Security Essentials and other similar free AV programs while far from being perfect are good enough for most users and money spend of McAfee should generally be spend on buying better backup drives and such.
Spreading FUD is a classic method to increase sales. Of course, such behavior perfectly suit the job description of any a senior director at Symantec. But this is slightly skeptical site and we should know better then believe stupid FUD of Symantec weasels. The truth is that Symantec behavior is some cases is very close to behavior of spam vendors (Symantec employs scareware sales tactics, lawsuit charges - Computerworld)
The lawsuit, which was filed in a California federal court by lawyers representing Washington State resident James Gross, charged Symantec with deceptive business practices, fraud and other violations of state and federal laws.
Gross took exception to the way Symantec promotes a trio of tools: PC Tools Registry Mechanic, PC Tools Performance Toolkit and Norton Utilities. According to Gross, Symantec pitches those programs with a free diagnostic scan that consistently posts menacing warnings that the customer's PC needs maintenance. To fix the all the problems, however, the user must pay for the software.
Those are the same schemes used by "scareware" makers to con customers into forking over money for essentially worthless security software, said Gross.
The paradox wasn't lost on Gross, who cited research on scareware programs from Symantec's own security research arm.
"In what can only be described as supreme irony, or a clever attempt by Defendant to persuade customers to choose its own 'legitimate' computer utility software, the results of Symantec's research succinctly capture the fraud at issue in this lawsuit," said Gross' complaint.
They also were sued for automatically renewing subscriptions to Norton Antivirus. The New York Attorney General's office fined Symantec $375,000 for the practice and ordered it to give notice before renewing any subscription. Here is one customer letter (Symantec Corporation Complaint - Be Careful What You Order from Symantec - Norton Antivirus):
I recently ordered Norton Antivirus 2010 as a download from Symantec for 39.95 (or so I thought). A month later, my electronic bank statement revealed that Symantec had debited my account $140 in three separate transactions. Two debits were just double-bills for the 2010 Norton Antivirus and one was for an internet security package at $70, which I never ordered.
I went to a Symantec chatroom to complain, and the stsffer immediately agreed to a full refund, no questions asked.
The catch is I won't get my money back for 5-10 business days. And the company removed all its software from my computer. Also, they immediately wanted a statement from me that I was satisfied with their customer support (forget about it!).
I did some research and learned this company has been sued for deceptive business practices in the past and recently paid a fine to the NY State Attorney General for renewing subscriptions without permission and charging debit/credit cards.
McAfee is not much better then Symantec either. Here is a relevant info from Wikipedia:
A review of VirusScan 2006 by CNET criticized the product due to "pronounced performance hits in two of our three real-world performance tests" and some users reviewing the same product reported encountering technical problems.
Some older versions of the VirusScan engine use all available CPU cycles.
Customer Support Criticisms
Reviewers have described customer support for McAfee products as lacking, with support staff slow to respond and unable to answer many questions.
2010 Reboot Problem
On April 21, 2010, beginning approximately at 2 PM GMT, an erroneous virus definition file update from McAfee affected millions of computers worldwide running Windows XP Service Pack 3. The update resulted in the removal of a Windows system file (
svchost.exe) on those machines, causing machines to lose network access and, in some cases, to enter a reboot loop. McAfee rectified this by removing and replacing the faulty DAT file, version 5958, with an emergency DAT file (version 5959) and has posted a fix for the affected machines in its consumer "KnowledgeBase".
Generally there are strange bedfellows in this spyware business. See Jesse Willms Settles in Court with Google a Google Win against the Scammers Strangely Perfect
Actually cleaning spyware it's not a rocket science as you always can restore OS from a healthy image or reinstall Windows and software and then merge your data with this image.
In all, even the most complex cases of spyware infection, reinstallation from a "healthy" disk image works perfectly well and for anybody who is professional in the field (and not a lazy misfit with CS degree who has no backups and does not know what is installed on his/her computer) should take less an hour. I doubt that anyone can find a plausible case when you cannot clean spyware by reinstallation. But I encourage you to try and submit such case in a letter to the editor of Softpanorama.
Most vendors now provide a special partition with the image of initially installed Windows 7 or Windows 8 as well as ordered with PC software such as Microsoft Office (factory install image). The manual always has a special chapter about restoring the image where description is understandable for everybody with an average IQ ;-). If it's to bad y ou can always call vendor and they are quite helpful.
For the guys who assemble computer themselves the same idea works as well: they should be able to create additional partition and "initial image" using free version of Acronis True Image (for Seagate and Western digital drives) or any other similar utility.
Not all spyware produces any signs that you are infected. For obvious reasons banking Trojans do not.
But many other types of spyware do produced to signs. If you are seeing new toolbars in your browser, excessive popups, or your homepage has been switched, or more commonly PC became very slow or periodically reboot itself or crashes chances are that you are infected. Other typical symptoms:
There are several prominent groups of spyware:
Remote access Trojans(RATs) is malware that provides hidden channel of remote assess to your computer administrator (or equivalent) account, much like VNC (on which many of them are based) or ssh or telnet. Computer which has covert remote control installed and about the owner of the computer does not know is called zombie. Such Trojans often use rootkit technology to hide their presence. The set of such computers controlled from a single center is called zombie network. Some publications suggest that there are millions of such computers in the world. This is a popular brand of malware with its own ecosystem that contain open source code that can serve as a template for new strains of malware (All copy and paste makes Jack a bored boy - Microsoft Malware Protection Center )
We recently came across what appeared to be a new sample, but was actually part of malware discovered in 2010. This new-old sample is built from publicly available source code and, like many of its kind, is frequently rebranded. Because of all the changes that malware authors have made, we have detection for each customized iteration. One such iteration (SHA1 8d81462089f9d1b4ec4c7423710cf545be2708e7) is commonly deployed under private obfuscators (such as H1N1 or Umbra). We detect this threat as TrojanSpy:Win32/SSonce.C(the sample also has a message for antivirus researchers, asserting that our job is monotonous and boring.)
Other backdoors that originate from the same source code are currently detected as Backdoor:Win32/Bezigate.A and Backdoor:Win32/Talsab.C, and Backdoor:Win32/Nosrawec.C. What we are seeing here is rampant use of copy/paste in the code. Because of this, all these spying families share common features, such as: reverse-connection to an attacker's server, plugins capable of file transfers, screen capture and anti-virus software disabling. Although the code is publicly available, there are some features, such as mouse/keyboard control, which are only available in private versions, as seen from the Facebook page of one of the authors.
The idea of hijacking somebody else computer to use as a storage or computational resource is as old as computing itself. Morris worm was the first computer worm that propagated from one Unix machine to another by exploiting vulnerabilities of Unix known at this time. Later there were several well publicized cases of oversees hackers trying to get access (and succeeding) at university and research networks. See for example:
Free AV scanner such a Microsoft security essentials is a useful first layer of defense. It is easily breached and can't be relied upon but nevertheless it is unreasonable not to use a free scanning software for detection. See Spyware Scanners. This is important as not all spyware has obvious signs and reveals itself in changing the behavior of the computer of IE or both. Businesses which want an inexpensive software tool that can be used to clean up a Spyware infection on a one-time basis should use free Microsoft Security Essentials which Windows compatibility wise is better, not worse then expensive ( and redundant) solutions from Symantec (junk), McAfee (semi-junk) and other AV vendors. And as for spyware detection they all are at best mediocre. You might be lucky and you might be not but generally it can be three or more months before they will include particular malware that infected your PC into their signature databases.
Microsoft provides free spyware scanner (actually 10 days copy of Microsoft Security essentials) That I recommend to try first.
If you see some suspicious files detected by free scan or files in " C:\Documents and Settings\dell\Local Settings\Temp\" that you can't delete you can use free service called VirusTotal which allow to submit sample and run it over more then two dozens of AV tools. It produce some useful results and is best of the breed as of 2012.
AV vendors are just an overhead caused by flaws in Microsoft Windows design. For example Microsoft program loader is junk, signing executables is an option (Authencode), but it is rarely used (With Security set to High, no potentially dangerous content will be run, signed or unsigned). Ability to tell the source of the program in Windows is almost non-existent. System files are scattered in really messy fashion and Windows directory is a big mess. Registry is another mess which provides tremendous amount of ways to launch rogue programs.
In any case free spyware scanners are simple and yet effective against almost all but the most complex spyware. And that's why they should be tried first. There are two prominent free Spyware scanners (Adaware and Spybot S&D). Spybot S&D usage is discussed in a separate page.
The main problem with of the Spyware scanners is that Spyware is repeating the path of file viruses and newer variants are designed with the specific mechanism to aviod detection by the scanners (polymorthic spyware). One early example of this trend was vx2 Spyware (SAHAgent, aka Golden Retriever, ShopAtHome and ShopAtHomeSelect). Another early example was CoolWebSearch or CWS as many refer to it. With more the a hundred know variants CWS has surpassed most other spyware in sophistication of the infection and dificulty of removal.
In any case it does not make sense to spend money of commersial spyware scanner. It is batter to bye a USB drive and a good backup tool like Acronis.
Please be aware that you need to check the reputation of the product before downloading it. Some spyware mask itself as AV product and is installed on your PC without your permission., After that it produced fake report about multiple infections found to scare you into registering the product. An early example of this trend was Antivirus system pro. A more recent example is XP Antivirus 2012 Such product is essentially an extortion scheme designed to exploit the fear of infection for financial gain.
While analyzing network traffic is the best way to detect spyware, the non-scanner based strategies of fighting spyware includes several additional lines of defense:
Apr 18, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Angelor Not , 1 week agofionnualaable , 1 week ago
Assange has exposed so much of the Obama and Clinton cabal that they and their henchman would try any means possible to not have him extradited.Driver Driver , 3 days ago (edited)
(From a horrified and disgusted Brit) My highest regard for: - the 3 dedicated panelists; - those among the honest Spanish police mentioned; - the brave Ecuadorian journalists pursuing presidential corruption charges; and: - elements of the UN not yet become toothless tigers re basic human rights. I have little if any hope such moral fibre will prevail (or be ALLOWED to do so) in the UK. Corruption and blind stupidity seem to have gone too far here, as they have in the USA, and possibly also even in the remaining "5 eyes" countries. Iberia (Portuguese Guteras at UN) has a chance to triumph in justice over degenerate Anglo-Saxon increasingly dictatorship regimes. Will they triumph? We'll see. The whole world will see. And the world has many many more than a mere 5 eyes.A M , 6 days ago
The new president of Ecuador is a real thief. A real crook.Hoomanna Dee , 1 week ago
It's disgusting how the governments behave as we've seen the truth in Wikileaks which remains correct and truth 100% of the time...that's what the governments are scared of..... the truth and transparency..... it shows them for what they are hypocrites and lairs......!!!ishant 7 , 4 days ago
Bit hard to spy on corrupt world leaders without the internet. Pretty sure Moreno has his own set of enemies, since he's blackmailing or bankrolling everyone in his sight with the backing of Goldman Sachs. Also black kettle, that's the most surveilled building in the world inside and out.
Asylees are not supposed to be treated like criminals, he's without charge. The US, Ecuador's current government and the UK are violating international law. And the press is an anemic mess. Our message to them: you're next.
All journalism utilises sources and those sources are entitled to protection. Not a grand jury. Not a supermax. Not torture.nick f , 1 day ago
In India we call these so called journalisfs as PRESSTITUTESNassau Events , 2 days ago
The cockroaches dont like when the rock is lifted and we see them for what they are. Assange lifted the rock and now the cockroaches are out to get him.Needful Things Company , 6 days ago
It is not surprising that Equodoreian leader has failed the integrity of the country and the people of Equodoreian. The fact that Julian Assange had full asylum was granted to him with full protection, it proved the government before protected the souverign country and its citizens as a country which is respected and free from any kind of being a puppet or slave and master position. Assange' s case is extremely important but in the meantime the position of Equodoreian people are let down on the world platform of shame. The day the new leader left Equodoreian naked.
This is so wrong! He needs to be protected. Unless they are bringing him to USA to testify against the Clinton/Obama crimes. We never would have found out anything of the corruption and take down of the USA if it were not for his investigating reporting! Because the crooks got caught and exposed they are trying to destroy him. He acted like a reporter or what they use to be like. Just like the Nixon days but they broke into files. Assange was given information. He was not the spy from what I can gather! They should be thanking him for exposing the crimes that have been going on!
Apr 18, 2019 | thesaker.is
worldblee on April 16, 2019 , · at 3:56 pm EST/EDTThat video is on fire! Good stuff!Павел (Paul) on April 17, 2019 , · at 9:43 am EST/EDTIt is funny but the problem remains... I want to see serious hard hitting justice whatever it takes.vot tak on April 17, 2019 , · at 8:28 pm EST/EDTOops, wrong "button".
"Authorized by the united bitches of america." Yeah, israel's bitches.
Apr 17, 2019 | www.presstv.com
Dr. Paul, the founder of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, made the remarks on Monday while discussing the violent arrest of Assange by UK Metropolitan Police last week at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, after the Moreno government cancelled his asylum.
The Australian whistleblower was arrested on behalf of the US on Thursday at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he had been granted asylum since 2012.
Assange, 47, is wanted by the US government for publishing classified documents related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars that were leaked by American whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Assange spent seven years at the Ecuadorian embassy before his arrest.
"We have two foreign policies. We tell people what to do. And if they do it, we reward them. We give them a lot of money. If they don't, they're in for big trouble, they're liable to get bombed; we invade them, and there will be a coup," Dr. Paul said.
"We find that Moreno, the president of Ecuador, did not do badly. He's been playing footsies with us, and gaining some money and he delivered, you know, after he became president – it's shame because the previous president the one that allowed or at least would at least Assange could be 'protected' to some degree," he stated.
"But he (Moreno) evidently is out form and now of course he has delivered him. And this might not be even all of that. This probably is official tool of ours to provide these funds," the analyst noted.
"The IMF has already delivered $4.2 billion to [Ecuador], and there's another six billion dollars in the pipeline for that," he said.PressTV-Moreno: Assange used Ecuador's London Embassy for spying President Moreno claims the WikiLeaks founder tried to use Ecuador's Embassy in London for spying activities during his almost seven-year stay.
Moreno on Sunday accused Assange of trying to use Ecuador's embassy in London as a "center for spying," and said that the decision to strip the whistleblower of his political asylum followed "violations" of that status.
In an interview with The Guardian , Moreno defended his decision on the Assange case.
"It is unfortunate that, from our territory and with the permission of authorities of the previous government, facilities have been provided within the Ecuadoran Embassy in London to interfere in processes of other states," the president said.
Apr 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Anunnaki , 11 hours ago linkAnunnaki , 11 hours ago link
If Trump pardoned Assange, I would consider that draining the swamp. But Orange Jewlius is a Deep State **** socket, so the swamp has grown to a lagoonrtb61 , 12 hours ago link
Jimmy Dore and Tucker Carlson nail it
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SnwC_1Pf9VQOZZIDOWNUNDER , 9 hours ago link
Clearly the US government has zero respect for Australia, Australian Law or Australian citizens. The case is shite, else they would allow Assange to be deported to Australia and the extradition hearing to be heard there. They refuse because they know their case is shite and they would have to prove it in Australia before they could get extradition.
The USA is not an ally of Australia because it does not respect Australian law, not in the least. Prove US respect of Australians by deporting Assange to Australia and holding the extradition hearings there, else look as guilty as shite and never ever to be trusted by Australians.NYC80 , 13 hours ago link
The US Govt respects NOBODY but its own Interests. It's the Australian Govt that's complicit in this travesty of Nil justice. The Gutless Australian Govt has NO interest in helping Julian Assange because they were persuaded NOT to by their American masters. It hurts that your own Govt are total A$$holes & follow USA into Crimes with out question. The Australian Govt has a History of lip service only when assistance Overseas is required. **** them !Ms No , 14 hours ago link
Assange probably is a narcissist. So what? All the people criticizing him are, too. At least he's an honest narcissist. In everything he's published, not a single item has even been allegedly false. Can any of these other so-called "journalists" demonstrate that level of accuracy?
Here is a good article on Assange. Explains the cat. Things were okay for him under the real elected president of Ecuador, except no sunlight thanks to US spooks.
Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
Saoirse , says: April 13, 2019 at 1:39 am GMThttp://raymcgovern.com/
Ray on Why the Deep State Hates Julian Assange
Apr 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Myth #2: Assange Will Get a Fair Trial In the U.S.
14-year CIA officer John Kiriakou notes :
Assange has been charged in the Eastern District of Virginia -- the so-called "Espionage Court." That is just what many of us have feared. Remember, no national security defendant has ever been found not guilty in the Eastern District of Virginia . The Eastern District is also known as the "rocket docket" for the swiftness with which cases are heard and decided. Not ready to mount a defense? Need more time? Haven't received all of your discovery? Tough luck. See you in court.
I have long predicted that Assange would face Judge Leonie Brinkema were he to be charged in the Eastern District. Brinkema handled my case, as well as CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling's. She also has reserved the Ed Snowden case for herself. Brinkema is a hanging judge .
Brinkema gave me literally no chance to defend myself . At one point, while approaching trial, my attorneys filed 70 motions, asking that 70 classified documents be declassified so that I could use them to defend myself. I had no defense without them. We blocked off three days for the hearings. When we got to the courtroom, Brinkema said, "Let me save everybody a lot of time. I'm going to deny all 70 of these motions. You don't need any of this information to be declassified." The entire process took a minute. On the way out of the courtroom, I asked my lead attorney what had just happened. "We just lost the case. That's what happened. Now we talk about a plea."
My attorneys eventually negotiated a plea for 30 months in prison -- significantly below the 45 years that the Justice Department had initially sought. The plea was something called an 11-C1C plea; it was written in stone and could not be changed by the judge. She could either take it or leave it. She took it, but not after telling me to rise, pointing her finger at me, and saying, "Mr. Kiriakou, I hate this plea. I've been a judge since 1986 and I've never had an 11C1C. If I could, I would give you ten years." Her comments were inappropriate and my attorneys filed an ethics complaint against her. But that's Brinkema. That's who she is.
Julian Assange doesn't have a prayer of a fair trial in the Eastern District of Virginia.
Apr 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Assange's arrest represents an abuse of power, highlighting not only how true journalism has now been banished in the West, but also how politicians, journalists, news agencies and think-tanks collude with each other to silence people
Apr 12, 2019 | spectator.us
The nine-year gap – long after Manning had been charged, found guilty, and released from prison – suggests that there is something ulterior going on here. The offenses outlined in the indictment are on extraordinarily weak legal footing. Part of the criminal 'conspiracy,' prosecutors allege, is that Assange sought to protect Manning as a source and encouraged her to provide government records in the public interest.
This is standard journalistic practice.
And it is now being criminalized by the Trump DoJ, while liberals celebrate from the sidelines – eager to join hands with the likes of Mike Pompeo and Lindsey Graham. You could not get a more sinister confluence of political fraudsters.
They – meaning most Democrats – will never get over their grudge against Assange for having dared to expose the corruption of America's ruling party in 2016, which they believed help deprive their beloved Hillary of her rightful ascension to the presidential throne. Once again, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is among the few exceptions.
The DNC and Podesta email releases, now distilled reductively into the term ‘Russian interference,’ contained multitudinous newsworthy revelations, as evidenced by the fact that virtually the entire US media reported on them. (Here, feel free to refresh your memory on this as well.) But for no reason other than pure partisan score-settling, elite liberals are willing to toss aside any consideration for the dire First Amendment implications of Assange’s arrest and cry out with joy that this man they regard as innately evil has finally been ensnared by the punitive might of the American carceral state.
Trump supporters and Trump himself also look downright foolish. It takes about two seconds to Google all the instances in which Trump glowingly touted WikiLeaks on the 2016 campaign trail. ‘I love WikiLeaks!’ he famously proclaimed on October 10, 2016 in Wilkes-Barre, Penn.
Presumably this expression of ‘love’ was indication that Trump viewed WikiLeaks as providing a public service. If not, perhaps some intrepid reporter can ask precisely what his ‘love’ entailed. He can pretend all he wants now that he’s totally oblivious to WikiLeaks, but it was Trump himself who relayed that he was contemporaneously reading the Podesta emails in October 2016, and reveling in all their newsworthiness. If he wanted, he could obviously intercede and prevent any unjust prosecution of Assange. Trump has certainly seen fit to complain publicly about all matter of other inconvenient Justice Department activity, especially as it pertained to him or his family members and associates. But now he’s acting as though he’s never heard of WikiLeaks, which is just pitiful: not a soul believes it, even his most ardent supporters.
Sean Hannity became one of Assange’s biggest fans in 2016 and 2017, effusively lavishing him with praise and even visiting him in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for an exclusive interview. One wonders whether Hannity, who reportedly speaks to his best buddy Trump every night before bedtime, will counsel a different course on this matter. There’s also the question of whether Trump’s most vehement online advocates, who largely have become stalwart defenders of WikiLeaks, will put their money where their mouth is and condition their continued support on Assange not being depredated by the American prison system.
Assange accomplished more in 2010 alone than any of his preening media antagonists will in their entire lifetime, combined. Your feelings about him as a person do not matter. He could be the scummiest human on the face of Earth, and it would not detract from the fact that he has brought revelatory information to public that would otherwise have been concealed. He has shone light on some of the most powerful political factions not just in the US, but around the world. This will remain true regardless of whether Trump capitulates to the ‘Deep State’ and goes along with this utterly chilling, free speech-undermining prosecution.
I personally have supported Assange since I started in journalism, nine years ago, not because I had any special affinity for the man himself (although the radical transparency philosophy he espoused was definitely compelling). My support was based on the fact that Assange had devised a novel way to hold powerful figures to account, whose nefarious conduct would otherwise go unexamined but for the methods he pioneered. As thanks, he was holed up in a tiny embassy for nearly seven years – until yesterday, when they hauled him out ignominiously to face charges in what will likely turn out to be a political show trial. Donald Trump has the ability to stop this, but almost certainly won’t. And that’s all you need to know about him.
Apr 13, 2019 | www.unz.com
For seven years, we have had to listen to a chorus of journalists, politicians and "experts" telling us that Assange was nothing more than a fugitive from justice, and that the British and Swedish legal systems could be relied on to handle his case in full accordance with the law. Barely a "mainstream" voice was raised in his defence in all that time.
... ... ...
The political and media establishment ignored the mounting evidence of a secret grand jury in Virginia formulating charges against Assange, and ridiculed Wikileaks' concerns that the Swedish case might be cover for a more sinister attempt by the US to extradite Assange and lock him away in a high-security prison, as had happened to whistleblower Chelsea Manning.
... ... ...
Equally, they ignored the fact that Assange had been given diplomatic status by Ecuador, as well as Ecuadorean citizenship. Britain was obligated to allow him to leave the embassy, using his diplomatic immunity, to travel unhindered to Ecuador. No "mainstream" journalist or politician thought this significant either.
... ... ...
They turned a blind eye to the news that, after refusing to question Assange in the UK, Swedish prosecutors had decided to quietly drop the case against him in 2015. Sweden had kept the decision under wraps for more than two years.
... ... ...
Most of the other documents relating to these conversations were unavailable. They had been destroyed by the UK's Crown Prosecution Service in violation of protocol. But no one in the political and media establishment cared, of course.
Similarly, they ignored the fact that Assange was forced to hole up for years in the embassy, under the most intense form of house arrest, even though he no longer had a case to answer in Sweden. They told us -- apparently in all seriousness -- that he had to be arrested for his bail infraction, something that would normally be dealt with by a fine.
... ... ...
This was never about Sweden or bail violations, or even about the discredited Russiagate narrative, as anyone who was paying the vaguest attention should have been able to work out. It was about the US Deep State doing everything in its power to crush Wikileaks and make an example of its founder.
It was about making sure there would never again be a leak like that of Collateral Murder, the military video released by Wikileaks in 2007 that showed US soldiers celebrating as they murdered Iraqi civilians. It was about making sure there would never again be a dump of US diplomatic cables, like those released in 2010 that revealed the secret machinations of the US empire to dominate the planet whatever the cost in human rights violations.
Now the pretence is over. The British police invaded the diplomatic territory of Ecuador -- invited in by Ecuador after it tore up Assange's asylum status -- to smuggle him off to jail. Two vassal states cooperating to do the bidding of the US empire. The arrest was not to help two women in Sweden or to enforce a minor bail infraction.
No, the British authorities were acting on an extradition warrant from the US. And the charges the US authorities have concocted relate to Wikileaks' earliest work exposing the US military's war crimes in Iraq -- the stuff that we all once agreed was in the public interest, that British and US media clamoured to publish themselves.
Still the media and political class is turning a blind eye. Where is the outrage at the lies we have been served up for these past seven years? Where is the contrition at having been gulled for so long? Where is the fury at the most basic press freedom -- the right to publish -- being trashed to silence Assange? Where is the willingness finally to speak up in Assange's defence?
It's not there. There will be no indignation at the BBC, or the Guardian, or CNN. Just curious, impassive -- even gently mocking -- reporting of Assange's fate.
And that is because these journalists, politicians and experts never really believed anything they said. They knew all along that the US wanted to silence Assange and to crush Wikileaks. They knew that all along and they didn't care. In fact, they happily conspired in paving the way for today's kidnapping of Assange.
They did so because they are not there to represent the truth, or to stand up for ordinary people, or to protect a free press, or even to enforce the rule of law. They don't care about any of that. They are there to protect their careers, and the system that rewards them with money and influence. They don't want an upstart like Assange kicking over their applecart.
Now they will spin us a whole new set of deceptions and distractions about Assange to keep us anaesthetised, to keep us from being incensed as our rights are whittled away, and to prevent us from realising that Assange's rights and our own are indivisible. We stand or fall together.
Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair" (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net .
anonymous  • Disclaimer , says: April 12, 2019 at 10:41 am GMTThank you.Digital Samizdat , says: April 12, 2019 at 5:11 pm GMT
This should be an uncomfortable time for the “journalists” of the Establishment. Very few will speak up as does Mr. Cook. Watch how little is said about the recent Manning re-imprisonment to sweat out grand jury testimony. Things may have grown so craven that we’ll even see efforts to revoke Mr. Assange’s awards.
This is also a good column for us to share with those people who just might want not to play along with the lies that define Exceptionalia.Carlton Meyer , says: • Website April 13, 2019 at 4:32 am GMT
… from the moment Julian Assange first sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, they have been telling us we were wrong, that we were paranoid conspiracy theorists. We were told there was no real threat of Assange’s extradition to the United States, that it was all in our fevered imaginations.
It all reminds me of Rod Dreher’s Law of Merited Impossibility: “That’ll never happen. And when it does , boy won’t you deserve it!”
Equally, they ignored the fact that Assange had been given diplomatic status by Ecuador, as well as Ecuadorean citizenship. Britain was obligated to allow him to leave the embassy, using his diplomatic immunity, to travel unhindered to Ecuador. No “mainstream” journalist or politician thought this significant either.
Why would they? They don’t even recognize diplomatic status for heads of state who get in their way! Remember what they did to President Evo Morales of Bolivia back when he was threatening to grant asylum to Ed Snowden? Here’s a refresher:
Any way you slice, this is a sad for liberty.From my blog:The Alarmist , says: April 13, 2019 at 5:01 am GMT
Apr 13, 2019 – Julian Assange
People who just watch corporate media think Julian Assange is a bad guy who deserves life in prison, except those who watch the great Tucker Carlson. Watch his recent show where he explains why our corporate media and political class hate Assange.
He is charged with encouraging Army Private Chelsea Manning to send him embarrassing information, specifically this video of a US Army Apache helicopter gunning down civilians in broad daylight in Baghdad.
But there is no proof of this, and Manning has repeatedly said he never communicated to Assange about anything. Manning got eight years in prison for this crime; the Apache pilots were never charged. and now they want to hang Assange for exposing a war crime. I have recommend this great 2016 interview twice, where Assange calmly explains the massive corruption that patriotic FBI agents refer to as the “Clinton Crime Family.”
This gang is so powerful that it ordered federal agents to spy on the Trump political campaign, and indicted and imprisoned some participants in an attempt to pressure President Trump to step down. It seems Trump still fears this gang, otherwise he would order his attorney general to drop this bogus charge against Assange, then pardon him forever and invite him to speak at White House press conferences.Endgame Napoleon , says: April 13, 2019 at 6:14 am GMT
“… they ignored the fact that Assange was forced to hole up for years in the embassy, under the most intense form of house arrest, even though he no longer had a case to answer in Sweden.”
Meh! Assange should have walked out the door of the embassy years ago. He might have ended up in the same place, but he could have seized the moral high ground by seeking asylum in Britain for fear of the death penalty in the US, which was a credible fear given public comments by various US officials. By rotting away in the Ecuadorian embassy, be greatly diminished any credibility he might have had to turn the UK judicial system inside out to his favour. Now he’s just a creepy looking bail jumper who flung faeces against the wall, rather than being a persecuted journalist.@Johnny Rottenborough Millionaire politicians on both sides of the political fence get very emotional about anything that impacts their own privacy & safety and the privacy & safety of their kin, while ignoring the issues that jeopardize the privacy & safety of ordinary voters. While corporate-owned politicians get a lot out of this game, ordinary voters who have never had less in the way of Fourth Amendment privacy rights, and whose First Amendment rights are quickly shrinking to the size of Assange’s, do not get the consolation of riches without risk granted to bought-off politicians in this era’s pay-to-play version of democracy. It’s a lose / lose for average voters.Tom Welsh , says: April 13, 2019 at 9:31 am GMTMr Cook’s criticism of the mainstream media (MSM) is absolutely justified.UncommonGround , says: April 13, 2019 at 10:13 am GMT
It seems to me that their hatred of Mr Assange reflects the unfortunate fact that, while he is a real journalist, they actually aren’t. Instead, they are stenographers for power: what Paul Craig Roberts calls “presstitutes” (a very happy coinage which exactly hits the bull’s eye).
The difference is that real journalists, like Mr Assange, Mr Roberts and Mr Cook, are mainly motivated by the search for objective truth – which they then publish, as far as they are able.
Whereas those people who go by the spurious names of “journalist”, “reporter”, “editor”, etc. are motivated by the desire to go on earning their salaries, and to gain promotion and “distinction” in society. (Sad but true: social distinction is often gained by performing acts of dishonesty and downright wickedness).
Here are some interesting quotations that cast some light on this disheartening state of affairs. If you look carefully at their dates you may be surprised to find that nothing has changed very much since the mid-19th century.
‘Marr: “How can you know that I’m self-censoring? How can you know that journalists are…”
‘Chomsky: “I’m not saying you’re self censoring. I’m sure you believe everything you’re saying. But what I’m saying is that if you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting”’.
– Transcript of interview between Noam Chomsky and Andrew Marr (Feb. 14, 1996) https://scratchindog.blogspot.com/2015/07/transcript-of-interview-between-noam.html
‘If something goes wrong with the government, a free press will ferret it out and it will get fixed. But if something goes wrong with our free press, the country will go straight to hell’.
– I. F. Stone (as reported by his son Dr Jeremy J Stone) http://russia-insider.com/en/media-criticism/hey-corporate-media-glenn-greenwald-video-can-teach-you-what-real-journalism/ri6669
‘There is no such a thing in America as an independent press, unless it is out in country towns. You are all slaves. You know it, and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to express an honest opinion. If you expressed it, you would know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid $150 for keeping honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for doing similar things. If I should allow honest opinions to be printed in one issue of my paper, I would be like Othello before twenty-four hours: my occupation would be gone. The man who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street hunting for another job. The business of a New York journalist is to distort the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread, or for what is about the same — his salary. You know this, and I know it; and what foolery to be toasting an “Independent Press”! We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are jumping-jacks. They pull the string and we dance. Our time, our talents, our lives, our possibilities, are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes’.
– John Swinton (1829–1901), Scottish-American journalist, newspaper publisher, and orator. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Swinton http://www.rense.com/general20/yes.htm
‘The press today is an army with carefully organized arms and branches, with journalists as officers, and readers as soldiers. But here, as in every army, the soldier obeys blindly, and war-aims and operation-plans change without his knowledge. The reader neither knows, nor is allowed to know, the purposes for which he is used, nor even the role that he is to play. A more appalling caricature of freedom of thought cannot be imagined. Formerly a man did not dare to think freely. Now he dares, but cannot; his will to think is only a willingness to think to order, and this is what he feels as his liberty’.
– Oswald Spengler, “The Decline of the West” Vol. II, trans. C.F. Atkinson (1928), p. 462
‘How do wars start? Wars start when politicians lie to journalists, then believe what they read in the press’.
– Karl Kraus, “Through Western Eyes – Russia Misconstrued” http://www.hellevig.net/ebook/Putin’s%20new%20Russia.pdf
And finally, two quotations from classic novels which go to the heart of the matter.
‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it’.
– Upton Sinclair
‘Sometimes a man wants to be stupid if it lets him do a thing his cleverness forbids’.
– John Steinbeck (“East of Eden”)Very good article. There is one point that I would like to make: Assange asked for asyl before he went to the embassy of Ecuador and Ecuador gave him asylum. This meant that they had an obligation to protect him. It’s really unbeliavable that a country gives asylum to someone and half way tells that they have changed their mind and will let the person be arrested. ” We told you you would be safe with us, but now we just changed our mind”. Assange also became a citizen of Ecuador and this possibly means that Ecuador couldn’t have let him been arrested in their embassy by the police of another country without a process against him in Ecuador and without him having the right to defend himself in a court. Many countries don’t extradit their citizens to other countries.EliteCommInc. , says: April 13, 2019 at 10:59 am GMT
Another remark. For years there were uncountable articles about Assange in The Guardian. Those articles were read by many people and got really many comments. There were very fierce discussions about him with thousends of comments. With time The Guardian turned decisively against him and published articles againt him. There were people there who seemed to hate him. In the last days there were again many articles about him. They pronounce themselves discretely against his extradition to the US even if showing themselves to be critical of him as if trying to justify their years of attacks against him. But one detail: I didn’t find even one article in The Guardian where you can comment the case. Today for instance you can comment an article by Gaby Hinsliff about Kim Kardashian. Marina Hyde talks in an article about washing her hair (whatever else she wants to say, with 2831 comments at this moment). But you don’t find any article about Assange that you can comment. 10 or 8 or 5 years ago there were hundreds of articles about him that you could comment.The game afoot here is obvious.Tsar Nicholas , says: April 13, 2019 at 11:38 am GMT
UK PM May said about Assange – “no one is above the law” – proving she is a weak sister without a clue.
No one is above the law except the British government, which ignored the provisions of the EU Withdrawal Act requiring us to leave on March 29th.
No one is above the law except for the US and the UK which have illegally deployed forces to Syria against the wishes of the government in Damascus.
And Tony Blair, a million dead thanks to his corruption. He should be doing time in a Gulag for his evil crimes.
And of course, the black MP for Peterborough – Fiona Onasanya – served a mere three weeks in jail for perverting the course of justice, normally regarded as a very serious offence. But she was out in time – electronic tag and curfew notwithstanding – to vote in the House of Commons against leaving the EU.
Apr 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
After the arrest of Julian Assange by British police and the unsealing of the U.S. indictment against him, the question is why is the U.S. doing this and why now?
The indictment alleges that Assange 'conspired' with Chelsea Manning by giving support to her attempt to find a password to an account that would have allowed her to conceal her pilfering of U.S. documents. Glenn Greenwald argues that the case is quite thin and clearly an attack on press freedom. That a reporter or editor has to help a source to conceal its identity is part of the job description.
The Obama administration, not known for reluctance to go after whistleblowers, had already weighted the 'conspired' case and decided against prosecuting it.
It is thus likely that the case, as unsealed now, is only a pretext to extradite Assange from Britain. The real case will only get unsealed if and when Assange is in U.S. custody.
National security reporter William Arkin, who left NBC News over its warmongering , is likely right when he writes that the issue behind this is Wikileaks' publishing of the CIA's hacking tools known as Vault 7.
While the publishing of the Vault 7 files received little coverage in the media, it seriously damaged to the CIA's capabilities. Arkin wrote on April 11 about the Vault 7 connection. The Guardian and the Daily Beast were offered the piece but declined to publish it:The American case, which shifted completely in March 2017, is based up WikiLeaks' publications of the so-called "Vault 7" documents, an extensive set of cyber espionage secrets of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Vault 7 was little noticed in the emerging Russian collusion scandal of the new Trump administration, but the nearly 10,000 CIA documents that WikiLeaks started publishing that March constituted an unprecedented breach, far more potentially damaging than anything the anti-secrecy website had ever done, according to numerous U.S. officials.
"There have been serious compromises – Manning and Snowden included – but until 2017, no one had laid a glove on the Agency in decades," says a senior intelligence official who has been directly involved in the damage assessments.
"Then came Vault 7, almost the entire archive of the CIA's own hacking group," the official says. "The CIA went ballistic at the breach." The official is referring to a little known CIA organization called the Center for Cyber Intelligence, a then unknown counterpart to the National Security Agency, and one that conducts and oversees the covert hacking efforts of the U.S. government.
Wikileaks acquired the Vault 7 files in late 2016 or early 2017. In January 2017 a lawyer for Julian Assange tried to make a deal with the U.S. government. Assange would refrain from publishing some critical content of the Vault 7 files in exchange for limited immunity and safe passage to talk with U.S. officials. One issue to be talked about was the sourcing of the DNC files which Wikileaks published.
U.S. officials in the anti-Trump camp claimed that Russia had hacked the DNC servers. Assange consistently said that Russia was not the source of the published files. He offered technical evidence to prove that. On March 23 2017 Wikileaks published some Vault 7 files of minor interest.
The Justice Department wanted a deal and made on offer to Assange. But intervention from then FBI director Comey sabotaged it :Multiple sources tell me the FBI's counterintelligence team was aware and engaged in the Justice Department's strategy but could not explain what motivated Comey to send a different message around the negotiations ...
With the deal seemingly in jeopardy Wikileaks publish the CIA's Vault 7 files of "Marble Framework" and "Grasshopper". These CIA tools systematically changed its sniffing tools to make them look "Russian" or "Iranian" by inserting foreign language strings into their source code. The publication proved that the attribution of the DNC pilfering and other "hacks" to Russia was nonsense. The publishing of these files ended all negotiations:On April 7, 2017, Assange released documents with the specifics of some of the CIA malware used for cyber attacks. It had immediate impact: A furious U.S. government backed out of the negotiations, and then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo slammed WikiLeaks as a "hostile intelligence service."
The alleged leaker of the Vault 7 files, one Joshua Schulte , is in U.S. custody but still has not had his day in court. It is likely that the U.S. wants to offer him a deal should he agree to testify against Assange.
In another piece Arkin expands on his first take by setting the case into a wider context:[C]oming on the heels of massive leaks by Edward Snowden and a group called the Shadow Brokers just months earlier, and given the notoriety WikiLeaks had earned, Vault 7 was the straw that broke the governmental back . Not only was it an unprecedented penetration of the CIA, an organization that had evaded any breach of this type since the 1970's, but it showed that all of the efforts of the U.S. government after Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden had failed to either deter or catch "millennial leakers."
The targeting of Assange is not only for revenge, though revenge is surely part of the motive. The wider aim is to shut down on leaking:The thinking of government officials – current and former – that I've talked to is that shutting down WikiLeaks once and for all – or at least separating it from the mainstream media to make it less attractive as a recipient of U.S. government secrets, will at least be one step towards greater internal security.
Assange will first be sentenced in Britain for jumping bail. He will be convicted to some six month of jail. Only after that time will the legal fight about the extradition to the States begin. It may take up to three years.
Assange's greatest hope to escape an extradition is a change of government in Britain:Jeremy Corbyn @jeremycorbyn - 19:34 utc - 11 Apr 2019
The extradition of Julian Assange to the US for exposing evidence of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan should be opposed by the British government.
The time it will take for the extradition case to move through British and EU courts is likely long enough for Labour to win a general election. With Jeremy Corbyn in charge Assange would likely be safe. It is one more reason for the transatlantic establishment to prevent a Corbyn win by all means available to it.
Posted by b on April 13, 2019 at 02:19 PM | Permalink
Eugene , Apr 13, 2019 2:35:30 PM | link
But I thought that the US Government was infallible, that it could do no wrong, was all ways upright in everything it does? So who really is Assange? Why is the big bad wolf afraid.
Laguerre , Apr 13, 2019 2:37:38 PM | linkbjd , Apr 13, 2019 2:47:58 PM | linkthe question is why is the U.S. doing this and why now?One reason for why now is May's political difficulties over Brexit. She was humiliated by the EU the night before Assange's arrest. It was expected, and she needed a cover-up by other big news.
It worked, in as far as nobody much noticed that she's stuck without a solution. Only it wasn't quite as bad a humiliation as she expected. Tusk, Merkel, etc, except Macron, were more helpful than she expected. She could have kept the nuclear blast for another time.The crook Comey refused because he knew exactly already (through side connections with the DNC directly, or through CroudStrike?) that the DNC files was a leak and not a hack.rolf , Apr 13, 2019 3:02:20 PM | link
That's why he never wanted to investigate, why he never wanted to talk to Assange. His problem is that pretty soon he'll have some explaining to do in this area. "Nobody is above the law!".
John Pilger: Assange Arrest a Warning from HistoryTrailer Trash , Apr 13, 2019 3:04:56 PM | link
https://consortiumnews.com/2019/04/12/assange-arrest-a-warning-from-history/Seems like Assange is getting the international version of diesel therapy, where US federal prisoners are tossed into vans and transported around the countryside for days or weeks at a time. Meanwhile no one knows where they are and the prisoner is completely shut off from the rest of the world. Assange could very well spend many more years being shuttled from one prison to another, in various nations, and never come to trial.AuGold , Apr 13, 2019 3:11:26 PM | link
Folks may recall a fatal version of diesel therapy performed by the Baltimore Police a few years ago. A young man was shackled but unsecured in the back of a van, which was driven in a manner that fatally slammed him into the sides of the prisoner compartment.Interesting about "diesel therapy" I had never heard of that. Thnks for sharing.Laguerre , Apr 13, 2019 3:15:26 PM | linkNot that I know a lot about the Assange case, but I do wonder whether the coup is not beginning to go wrong. Obviously the plan was to extradite Assange on a light accusation, worth 5 years, and then add in more when he was in the US. I thought the US was too fast in declaring their intention to extradite.AuGold , Apr 13, 2019 3:24:31 PM | link
Now there's a big movement in Britain that the sex accusations are more important than the light US demand, and that Assange should be extradited to Sweden. Difficult to resist.
The continuation of the Swedish accusations, not yet renewed, doesn't mean condemnation. We could end up with a situation where the Swedish case fails, but the US demand is insufficient for extradition. Uncertain, but it could go that way.Lagueeresteve , Apr 13, 2019 3:47:15 PM | link
"I do wonder whether the coup is not beginning to go wrong."
agreed. it is concerning.Dead man walking, he will never be allowed to testifyCirce , Apr 13, 2019 3:49:16 PM | linkYou know what doesn't jive here: What does Chelsea Manning who was free after a commuted sentence, and being illegally surveilled by Trump's Justice have to do with Vault 7, that happened WHILE she was in prison, and why was she surveilled by this admin's justice anyway, hauled before a grand jury, and after refusing to give up the goods on Assange, thrown into solitary confinement for supposedly a leak that happened WHILE she was serving a sentence for the Iraq leak...hello??? This makes no sense!mh505 , Apr 13, 2019 3:51:04 PM | link
Cranking up the Russiagate us/them bullshet narrative with this is really disingenuous and tiresome. ALL ARE GUILTY AS SIN AND ESPECIALLY PRECIOUS DEAR 'OL TRUMP under whose watch all this is going down.
You think the U.K. is going to let Assange serve his term and then have Corbyn stop the extradition? I don't know whether to laugh or cry? First of all they're going to find a way to ensure he will face extradition from prison since he is a flight risk, and now more than ever Corbyn is going to face an iron wall of subversion. Watch closely. For starters, Corbyn is going to be dragged through London with a Scarlet letter on his chest spelling ANTI-SEMITE.
So that's it? We're not pointing to the ironic elephant in the room, the fact that Trump shut down the ICC investigation into U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan at the same time that Manning and Assange are behind bars. No, this inconvenient coincidence doesn't fit the U.S./Russia narrative, so let's pretend it's no big deal!There is a RootAction call for signatures against extradition:jayc , Apr 13, 2019 4:02:42 PM | link
A drop in the ocean, of course, but every little bit may help ...American police and security agencies have a history of vindictive revenge, and once Assange is in their hands he will never see the light of day again. The idea he would have anything approaching a "day in court" in the US is naive and mistaken.linda gentsch , Apr 13, 2019 4:03:21 PM | link
Assange's defence will play out in the extradition proceedings, but even if he is somehow successful there he will remain in danger of an extraordinary rendition.
I believe the fix is in - this arrest was coordinated between Britain, US and Ecuador over many months, and probably an unseemly hasty extradition proceeding will occur soon enough.Circe @10Jackrabbit , Apr 13, 2019 4:04:49 PM | link
The same thought about why they would be going after Manning if this is about Vault 7 went thru my head as I read this.
Maybe they really want Assange over the Vault 7 release but don't have a good legal reason to convict him on that. This is the Outlaw Empire. They never need legal reasons to do anything else they do. Why would they care about the law in the case of Assange? They can just disappear him. They already have their Mockingbird press disparaging Assange.IMO think b is right about Vault7.Laguerre , Apr 13, 2019 4:13:28 PM | link
I think it's likely that the Swedish rape charges are revived and Assange is extradited to Sweden first, and then to USA.
The light charges USA put forward are a red herring. Probably never intended to actually work, given the Swedish possibility.
You can bet that they've thought this through in great detail.
Anyway, pinning hopes on Corbyn is foolish. The British establishment is dead-set against Corbyn and even if Corbyn did win, his statement of support for Assange is very very narrow.Posted by: Circe | Apr 13, 2019 3:49:16 PM | 10
That's a good rant, but not more than that. By the way, do Americans understand the English usage "rant", which I've never seen in an American context. It means a download of your feelings, without them necessarily being related to reality.
Mar 17, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
O Society , March 16, 2019 at 7:55 am
The Truth is Out There. I Want to Believe!
Same old scams, different packaging. That's New & Improved for you.
Raymond Comeau , March 15, 2019 at 12:35 pm
I could not suffer through reading the whole article. This is mainly because I have watched the news daily about Mueller's Investigation and I sincerely believe that Mueller is Champion of the Democrats who are trying to depose President Donald Trump at any cost.
For what Mueller found any decent lawyer with a Degree and a few years of experience could have found what Mueller found for far far less money. Mueller only found common crimes AND NO COLLUSION BETWEEN PRESIDENT TRUMP AND PUTIN!
The Mueller Investigation should be given to an honest broker to review, and Mueller should be paid only what it would cost to produce the commonplace crimes Mueller, The Democrats, and CNN has tried to convince the people that indeed Trump COLLUDED with RUSSIA. Mueller is, a BIG NOTHING BURGER and THE DEMOCRATS AND CNN ARE MUELLER'S SINGING CANARYS! Mueller should be jailed.
Bogdan Miller , March 15, 2019 at 11:04 am
This article explains why the Mueller Report is already highly suspect. For another thing, we know that since before 2016, Democrats have been studying Russian Internet and hacking tactics, and posing as Russian Bots/Trolls on Facebook and other media outlets, all in an effort to harm President Trump.
It appears the FBI, CIA, and NSA have great difficulty in differentiating between Russians and Democrats posing as Russians.
B.J.M. Former Intelligence Analyst and Humint Collector
vinnieoh , March 15, 2019 at 8:17 am
Moving on: the US House yesterday voted UNANIMOUSLY (remember that word, so foreign these days to US governance?) to "urge" the new AG to release the complete Mueller report.
A non-binding resolution, but you would think that the Democrats can't see the diesel locomotive bearing down on their clown car, about to smash it to pieces. The new AG in turn says he will summarize the report and that is what we will see, not the entire report. And taxation without representation takes a new twist.
... ... ...
Raymond Comeau , March 15, 2019 at 12:38 pm
What else would you expect from two Political Parties who are really branches of the ONE Party which Represents DEEP STATE".
DWS , March 15, 2019 at 5:58 am
Maybe the VIPS should look into the murder of Seth Rich, the DNC staffer who had the security clearance required to access the DNC servers, and who was murdered in the same week as the emails were taken. In particular, they should ask why the police were told to stand down and close the murder case without further investigation.
Raymond Comeau , March 15, 2019 at 12:47 pm
EXACTLY! But, Deep State will not allow that. And, it would ruin the USA' plan to continue to invade more sovereign countries and steal their resources such as oil and Minerals. The people of the USA must be Ostriches or are so terrified that they accept anything their Criminal Governments tell them.
Eventually, the chickens will come home to roost and perhaps the USA voters will ROAST when the crimes of the USA sink the whole country. It is time for a few Brave Men and Women to find their backbones and throw out the warmongers and their leading Oligarchs!
KiwiAntz , March 14, 2019 at 6:44 pm
What a brilliant article, so logical, methodical & a forensic, scientific breakdown of the phony Russiagate project? And there's no doubt, this was a co-ordinated, determined Intelligence project to reverse the results of the 2016 Election by initiating a soft coup or Regime change op on a elected Leader, a very American Coup, something the American Intelligence Agencies specialise in, everywhere else, on a Global scale, too get Trump impeached & removed from the Whitehouse?
If you can't get him out via a Election, try & try again, like Maduro in Venezuela, to forcibly remove the targeted person by setting him up with fake, false accusations & fabricated evidence? How very predictable & how very American of Mueller & the Democratic Party. Absolute American Corruption, corrupts absolutely?
Brian Murphy , March 15, 2019 at 10:33 am
Right. Since its purpose is to destroy Trump politically, the investigation should go on as long as Trump is in office. Alternatively, if at this point Trump has completely sold out, that would be another reason to stop the investigation.
If the investigation wraps up and finds nothing, that means Trump has already completely sold out. If the investigation continues, it means someone important still thinks Trump retains some vestige of his balls.
DH Fabian , March 14, 2019 at 1:19 pm
By last June or July the Mueller investigation has resulted in roughly 150 indictments for perjury/financial crimes, and there was a handful of convictions to date. The report did not support the Clinton wing's anti-Russian allegations about the 2016 election, and was largely brushed aside by media. Mueller was then reportedly sent back in to "find something." presumably to support the anti-Russian claims.
mike k , March 14, 2019 at 12:57 pm
From the beginning of the Russia did it story, right after Trump's electoral victory, it was apparent that this was a fraud. The democratic party however has locked onto this preposterous story, and they will go to their graves denying this was a scam to deny their presidential defeat, and somehow reverse the result of Trump's election. My sincere hope is that this blatant lie will be an albatross around the party's neck, that will carry them down into oblivion. They have betrayed those of us who supported them for so many years. They are in many ways now worse than the republican scum they seek to replace.
DH Fabian , March 14, 2019 at 1:26 pm
Trump is almost certain to be re-elected in 2020, and we'll go through this all over again.
Tom , March 14, 2019 at 12:00 pm
The very fact that the FBI never had access to the servers and took the word of a private company that had a history of being anti-Russian is enough to throw the entire ruse out.
LJ , March 14, 2019 at 2:39 pm
Agreed!!!! and don't forget the FBI/Comey gave Hillary and her Campaign a head's up before they moved to seize the evidence. . So too, Comey said he stopped the Investigation , thereby rendering judgement of innocence, even though by his own words 'gross negligence' had a occurred (which is normally considered grounds for prosecution). In doing so he exceeded the FBI's investigative mandate. He rationalized that decision was appropriate because of the appearance of impropriety that resulted from Attorney General Lynch having a private meeting on a plane on a runway with Bill and Hillary . Where was the logic in that. Who called the meeting? All were Lawyers who had served as President, Senator, Attorney General and knew that the meeting was absolutely inappropriate. . Comey should be prosecuted if they want to prosecute anyone else because of this CRAP. PS Trump is an idiot. Uhinfortunately he is just a symptom of the disease at this point. Look at the cover of Rolling Stone magazine , carry a barf bag.
Jane Christ , March 14, 2019 at 6:51 pm
Exactly. This throws doubt on the ability of the FBI to work independently. They are working for those who want to cover -up the Hillary mess . She evidently has sufficient funds to pay them off. I am disgusted with the level of corruption.
hetro , March 14, 2019 at 10:50 am
Nancy Pelosi's announcement two days ago that the Democrats will not seek impeachment for Trump suggests the emptiness of the Mueller investigation on the specific "collusion" issue. If there were something hot and lingering and about to emerge, this decision is highly unlikely, especially with the reasoning she gave at "so as not to divide the American people." Dividing the people hasn't been of much concern throughout this bogus witch hunt on Trump, which has added to his incompetence in leavening a growing hysteria and confusion in this country. If there is something, anything at all, in the Mueller report to support the collusion theory, Pelosi would I'm sure gleefully trot it out to get a lesser candidate like Pence as opposition for 2020.
James Clooney , March 14, 2019 at 11:17 am
We know and Assange has confirmed Seth Rich, assassinated in D.C. for his deed, downloaded the emails and most likely passed them on to former British ambassador Craig Murray in a D.C. park for transport to Wikileaks.
We must also honor Shawn Lucas assassinated for serving DNC with a litigation notice exposing the DNC conspiracy against Sanders.
hetro , March 14, 2019 at 3:18 pm
Where has Assange confirmed this? Assange's long-standing position is NOT to reveal his sources. I believe he has continued to honor this position.
Skip Scott , March 15, 2019 at 7:15 am
It has merely been insinuated by the offering of a reward for info on Seth's murder. In one breath he says wikileaks will never divulge a source, and in the next he offers a $20k reward saying that sources take tremendous risk. Doesn't take much of a logical leap to connect A to B.
DH Fabian , March 14, 2019 at 1:30 pm
Are you aware that Democrats split apart their 0wn voting base in the 1990s, middle class vs. poor? The Obama years merely confirmed that this split is permanent. This is particularly relevant for Democrats, as their voting base had long consisted of the poor and middle class, for the common good. Ignoring this deep split hasn't made it go away.
hetro , March 14, 2019 at 3:24 pm
Even more important is how the Democrats have sold out to an Establishment view favoring neocon theory, since at least Bill Clinton. Pelosi's recent behavior with Ilhan Omar confirms this and the split you're talking about. My point is it is distinctly odd that Pelosi is discouraging impeachment on "dividing the Party" (already divided, of course, as you say), whereas the Russia-gate fantasy was so hot not that long ago. Again it points to a cynical opportunism and manipulation of the electorate. Both parties are a sad excuse to represent ordinary people's interests.
Skip Scott , March 15, 2019 at 7:21 am
She said "dividing the country", not the party. I think she may have concerns over Trump's heavily armed base. That said, the statement may have been a ruse. There are plenty of Republicans that would cross the line in favor of impeachment with the right "conclusions" by Mueller. Pelosi may be setting up for a "bombshell" conclusion by Mueller. One must never forget that we are watching theater, and that Trump was a "mistake" to be controlled or eliminated.
Cindy Haddix , March 14, 2019 at 8:04 am
Mueller should be ashamed that he has made President Trump his main concern!! If all this investigation would stop he could save America millions!!! He needs to quit this witch-hunt and worry about things that really need to be handled!!! If the democrats and Trump haters would stop pushing senseless lies hopefully this would stop ? It's so disgusting that his democrat friend was never really investigated ? stop the witch-hunt and move forward!!!!
torture this , March 14, 2019 at 7:29 am
According to this letter, mistakes might have been made on Rachel Maddow's show. I can't wait to read how she responds. I'd watch her show, myself except that it has the same effect on me as ipecac.
Zhu , March 14, 2019 at 3:37 am
People will cling to "Putin made Trump President!!!" much as many cling "Obama's a Kenyan Muslim! Not a real American!!!". Both nut theories are emotionally satisfying, no matter what the historical facts are. Many Americans just can't admit their mistakes and blaming a scapegoat is a way out.
O Society , March 14, 2019 at 2:03 am
Thank you VIPS for organizing this legit dissent consisting of experts in the field of intelligence and computer forensics.
This so-called "Russiagate" narrative is an illustration of our "freedom of the press" failure in the US due to groupthink and self censorship. He who pays the piper is apt to call the tune.
It is astounding how little skepticism and scientifically-informed reasoning goes on in our media. These folks show themselves to be native advertising rather than authentic journalists at every turn.
DH Fabian , March 14, 2019 at 1:33 pm
But it has been Democrats and the media that market to middle class Dems, who persist in trying to sell the Russian Tale. They excel at ignoring the evidence that utterly contradicts their claims.
O Society , March 15, 2019 at 3:50 pm
Oh, we're well beyond your "Blame the middle class Dems" stage.
The WINNING!!! team sports bullshit drowns the entire country now the latrine's sprung a leak. People pretend to live in bubbles made of blue or red quite like the Three Little Pigs, isn't it? Except instead of a house made of bricks saving the day for the littlepiggies, what we've got here is a purple puddle of piss.
Everyone's more than glad to project all our problems on "THEM" though, aren't we?
Meanwhile, the White House smells like a urinal not washed since the 1950s and simpletons still get their rocks off arguing about whether Mickey Mouse can beat up Ronald McDonald.
T'would be comic except what's so tragic is the desperate need Americans have to believe, oh just believe! in something. Never mind the sound of the jackhammer on your skull dear, there's an app for that or is it a pill?
I don't know, don't ask me, I'm busy watching TV. Have a cheeto.
Sam F , March 13, 2019 at 6:45 pm
Very good analysis clearly stated, especially adding the FAT timestamps to the transmission speeds.
Minor corrections: "The emails were copied from the network" should be "from the much faster local network" because this is to Contradict the notion that they were copied over the internet network, which most readers will equate with "network." Also "reportedin" should be "reported in."
Michael , March 13, 2019 at 6:25 pm
It is likely that New Knowledge was actually "the Russians", possibly working in concert with Crowdstrike. Once an intelligence agency gets away with something like pretending to be Russian hackers and bots, they tend to re-use their model; it is too tempting to discard an effective model after a one-off accomplishment. New Knowledge was caught interfering/ determining the outcome in the Alabama Senate race on the side of Democrat Doug Jones, and claimed they were merely trying to mimic Russian methods to see if they worked (they did; not sure of their punishment?). Occam's razor would suggest that New Knowledge would be competent to mimic/ pretend to be "Russians" after the fact of wikileaks' publication of emails. New Knowledge has employees from the NSA and State department sympathetic to/ working with(?) Hillary, and were the "outside" agency hired to evaluate and report on the "Russian" hacking of the DNC emails/ servers.
DH Fabian , March 13, 2019 at 5:48 pm
Mueller released report last summer, which resulted in (the last I checked) roughly 150 indictments, a handful of convictions to date, all for perjury/financial (not political) crimes. This wasn't kept secret. It simply wasn't what Democrats wanted to hear, so although it was mentioned in some lib media (which overwhelmingly supported neoliberal Hillary Clinton), it was essentially swept under the carpet.
Billy , March 13, 2019 at 11:11 pm
Barr, Sessions, every congressmen all the corporate MSM war profiteer mouth pieces. They all know that "Russia hacked the DNC" and "Russia meddled" is fabricated garbage. They don't care, because their chosen war beast corporate candidate couldn't beat Donald goofball Trump. So it has to be shown that the war beast only lost because of nefarious reasons. Because they're gonna run another war beast cut from the same cloth as Hillary in 2020.
Realist , March 14, 2019 at 3:22 am
You betcha. Moreover, who but the Russians do these idiots have left to blame? Everybody else is now off limits due to political correctness. Sigh Those Catholics, Jews, "ethnics" and sundry "deviants" used to be such reliable scapegoats, to say nothing of the "undeveloped" world. As Clapper "authoritatively" says, only this vile lineage still carries the genes for the most extremes of human perfidy. Squirrels in your attic? It must be the damned Russkies! The bastards impudently tried to copy our democracy, economic system and free press and only besmirched those institutions, ruining all of Hillary's glorious plans for a worldwide benevolent dictatorship. All this might be humorous if it weren't so funny.
And those Chinese better not get to thinking they are somehow our equals just because all their trillions invested in U.S. Treasury bonds have paid for all our wars of choice and MIC boondoggles since before the turn of the century. Unless they start delivering Trump some "free stuff" the big man is gonna cut off their water. No more affordable manufactured goods for the American public! So there!
As to the article: impeccable research and analysis by the VIPS crew yet again. They've proven to me that, to a near certainty, the Easter Bunny is not likely to exist. Mueller won't read it. Clapper will still prance around a free man, as will Brennan. The Democrats won't care, that is until November of 2020. And Hillary will continue to skate, unhindered in larding up the Clinton Foundation to purposes one can only imagine.
Joe Tedesky , March 14, 2019 at 10:02 pm
I have posted this article 'the Russia they Lost' before and from time to time but once again it seems appropriate to add this link to expound upon for what you've been saying. It's an article written by a Russian who in they're youth growing up in the USSR dreamed of living the American lifestyle if Russia were to ever ditch communism. But . Starting with Kosovo this Russian's youthful dream turned nightmarishly ugly and, as time went by with more and yet even more USA aggression this Russian author loss his admiration and desire for all things American to be proudly envied. This is a story where USA hard power destroyed any hope of American soft power for world unity. But hey that unity business was never part of the plan anyway.
Realist , March 15, 2019 at 10:38 pm
right you are, joe. if america was smart rather than arrogant, it would have cooperated with china and russia to see the belt and road initiative succeed by perhaps building a bridge or tunnel from siberia to alaska, and by building its own fleet of icebreakers to open up its part of the northwest passage. but no, it only wants to sabotage what others propose. that's not being a leader, it's being a dick.
i'm gonna have to go on the disabled list here until the sudden neurological problem with my right hand clears up–it's like paralysed. too difficult to do this one-handed using hunt and peck. at least the problem was not in the old bean, according to the scans. carry on, sir.
Brian James , March 13, 2019 at 5:04 pm
Mar 4, 2019 Tom Fitton: President Trump a 'Crime Victim' by Illegal Deep State DOJ & FBI Abuses: https://youtu.be/ixWMorWAC7c
DH Fabian , March 13, 2019 at 5:55 pm
Trump is a willing player in this game. The anti-Russian Crusade was, quite simply, a stunningly reckless, short-sighted effort to overturn the 2016 election, removing Trump to install Hillary Clinton in office. Trump and the Republicans continue to win by default, as Democrats only drive more voters away.
Howard , March 13, 2019 at 4:36 pm
Thank you Ray McGovern and the Other 17 VIPS C0-Signers of your National Security Essay for Truth. Along with Craig Murray and Seymour Hirsch, former Sam Adams Award winners for "shining light into dark places", you are national resources for objectivity in critical survival information matters for our country. It is more than a pity that our mainstream media are so beholden to their corporate task masters that they cannot depart from the company line for fear of losing their livelihoods, and in the process we risk losing life on the planet because of unconstrained nuclear war on the part of the two main adversaries facing off in an atmosphere of fear and mistrust. Let me speak plainly. THEY SHOULD BE TALKING TO YOU AND NOT THE VESTED INTERESTS' MOUTHPIECES. Thank you for your continued leadership!
James Clooney , March 14, 2019 at 11:28 am
Roger Ailes founder of FOX news died, "falling down stairs" within a week of FOX news exposing to the world that the assassinated Seth Rich downloaded the DNC emails.
DH Fabian , March 13, 2019 at 6:03 pm
Google the Mueller investigation report from last June or July. When it was released, the public response was like a deflated balloon. It did not support the "Russian collusion" allegations -- the only thing Democrats still had left to sell. The report resulted in roughly 150 indictments for perjury/financial crimes (not political), and a handful of convictions to date -- none of which had anything to do with the election results.
Hank , March 13, 2019 at 6:19 pm
Much ado about nothing. All the talk and chatter and media airplay about "Russian meddling" in the 2016 election only tells me that these liars think the American public is that stupid. They are probably right, but the REAL reason that Hillary lost is because there ARE enough informed people now in this nation who are quite aware of the Clinton's sordid history where scandals seem to follow every where they go, but indictments and/or investigations don't. There IS an internet nowadays with lots of FACTUAL DOCUMENTED information. That's a lot more than I can say about the mainstream corporate-controlled media!
I know this won't ever happen, but an HONEST investigation into the Democratic Party and their actions during the 2016 election would make ANY collusion with ANY nation look like a mole hill next to a mountain! One of the problems with living in this nation is if you are truly informed and make an effort 24/7 to be that way by doing your own research, you more-than-likely can be considered an "island in a sea of ignorance".
Tom , March 14, 2019 at 12:13 pm
We know that the FBI never had access to the servers and a private company was allowed to handle the evidence. Wasnt it a crime scene? The evidence was tampered with And we will never know what was on the servers.
Mark McCarty , March 13, 2019 at 4:10 pm
As a complement to this excellent analysis, I would like to make 2 further points:
The Mueller indictment of Russian Intelligence for hacking the DNC and transferring their booty to Wikileaks is absurd on its face for this reason: Assange announced on June 12th the impending release of Hillary-related emails. Yet the indictment claims that Guccifer 2.0 did not succeed in transferring the DNC emails to Wikileaks until the time period of July 14-18th – after which they were released online on July 22nd. Are we to suppose that Assange, a publisher of impeccable integrity, publicly announced the publication of emails he had not yet seen, and which he was obtaining from a source of murky provenance? And are we further to suppose that Wikileaks could have processed 20K emails and 20K attachments to insure their genuineness in a period of only several days? As you will recall, Wikileaks subsequently took a number of weeks to process the Podesta emails they released in October.
And another peculiarity merits attention. Assange did not state on June 12th that he was releasing DNC emails – and yet Crowdstrike and the Guccifer 2.0 personna evidently knew that this was in store. A likely resolution of this conundrum is that US intelligence had been monitoring all communications to Wikileaks, and had informed the DNC that their hacked emails had been offered to Wikileaks. A further reasonable prospect is that US intelligence subsequently unmasked the leaker to the DNC; as Assange has strongly hinted, this likely was Seth Rich. This could explain Rich's subsequent murder, as Rich would have been in a position to unmask the Guccifer 2.0 hoax and the entire Russian hacking narrative.
Sam F , March 13, 2019 at 7:06 pm
Curious that Assange has Not explicitly stated that the leaker was Seth Rich, if it was, as this would take pressure from himself and incriminate the DNC in the murder of Rich. Perhaps he doesn't know, and has the honor not to take the opportunity, or perhaps he knows that it was not Rich.
James Clooney , March 14, 2019 at 11:40 am
View the Dutch TV interview with Asssange and there is another interview available on youtube in which Assange DOES subtly confirmed it was Seth Rich.
Assange posted a $10,000 reward for Seth Rich's murders capture.
Abby , March 13, 2019 at 10:11 pm
Another mistaken issue with the "Russia hacked the DNC computers on Trump's command" is that he never asked Russia to do that. His words were, "Russia if you 'find' Hillary's missing emails let us know." He said that after she advised congress that she wouldn't be turning in all of the emails they asked for because she deleted 30,000 of them and said that they were personal.
But if Mueller or the FBI wants to look at all of them they can find them at the NYC FBI office because they are on Weiner's laptop. Why? Because Hillary's aid Huma Abedin, Weiner's wife sent them to it. Just another security risk that Hillary had because of her private email server. This is why Comey had to tell congress that more of them had been found 11 days before the election. If Comey hadn't done that then the FBI would have.
But did Comey or McCabe look at her emails there to see if any of them were classified? No they did not do that. And today we find out that Lisa Page told congress that it was Obama's decision not to charge Hillary for being grossly negligent on using her private email server. This has been known by congress for many months and now we know that the fix was always in for her to get off.
robert e williamson jr , March 13, 2019 at 3:26 pm
I want to thank you folks at VIPS. Like I have been saying for years now the relationship between CIA, NSA and DOJ is an incestuous one at best. A perverse corrupted bond to control the masses. A large group of religious fanatics who want things "ONE WAY". They are the facilitators for the rogue government known as the "DEEP STATE"!
Just ask billy barr.
More truth is a very good thing. I believe DOJ is supporting the intelligence community because of blackmail. They can't come clean because they all risk doing lots of time if a new judicial mechanism replaces them. We are in big trouble here.
Apparently the rule of law is not!
You folks that keep claiming we live in the post truth era! Get off me. Demand the truth and nothing else. Best be getting ready for the fight of your lives. The truth is you have to look yourself in the mirror every morning, deny that truth. The claim you are living in the post truth era is an admission your life is a lie. Now grab a hold of yourself pick a dogdamned side and stand for something,.
Thank You VIPS!
Joe Tedesky , March 13, 2019 at 2:58 pm
Hats off to the VIP's who have investigated this Russian hacking that wasn't a hacking for without them what would we news junkies have otherwise to lift open the hood of Mueller's never ending Russia-gate investigation. Although the one thing this Russia-gate nonsense has accomplished is it has destroyed with our freedom of speech when it comes to how we citizens gather our news. Much like everything else that has been done during these post 9/11 years of continual wars our civil rights have been marginalized down to zero or, a bit above if that's even still an argument to be made for the sake of numbers.
Watching the Manafort sentencing is quite interesting for the fact that Manafort didn't conclude in as much as he played fast and loose with his income. In fact maybe Manafort's case should have been prosecuted by the State Department or, how about the IRS? Also wouldn't it be worth investigating other Geopolitical Rain Makers like Manafort for similar crimes of financial wrongdoing? I mean is it possible Manafort is or was the only one of his type to do such dishonest things? In any case Manafort wasn't charged with concluding with any Russians in regard to the 2016 presidential election and, with that we all fall down.
I guess the best thing (not) that came out of this Russia-gate silliness is Rachel Maddow's tv ratings zoomed upwards. But I hate to tell you that the only ones buying what Ms Maddow is selling are the died in the wool Hillary supporters along with the chicken-hawks who rally to the MIC lobby for more war. It's all a game and yet there are many of us who just don't wish to play it but still we must because no one will listen to the sanity that gets ignored keep up the good work VIP's some of us are listening.
Andrew Thomas , March 13, 2019 at 12:42 pm
The article did not mention something called to my attention for the first time by one of the outstanding members of your commentariat just a couple of days ago- that Ambassador Murray stayed publicly, over two years ago, that he had been given the thumb drive by a go-between in D.C. and had somehow gotten it to Wikileaks. And, that he has NEVER BEEN INTERVIEWED by Mueller &Company. I was blown away by this, and found the original articles just by googling Murray. The excuse given is that Murray "lacks credibility ", or some such, because of his prior relationship with Assange and/or Wikileaks. This is so ludicrous I can't even get my head around it. And now, you have given me a new detail-the meeting with Pompeo, and the complete lack of follow-up thereafter. Here all this time I thought I was the most cynical SOB who existed, and now I feel as naive as when I was 13 and believed what Dean Rusk was saying like it was holy writ. I am in your debt.
Bob Van Noy , March 13, 2019 at 2:33 pm
Andrew Thomas I'm afraid that huge amounts of our History post 1947 is organized and propagandized disinformation. There is an incredible page that John Simpkin has organized over the years that specifically addresses individuals, click on a name and read about them. https://spartacus-educational.com/USAdisinformation.htm
Mark McCarty , March 13, 2019 at 4:18 pm
A small correction: the Daily Mail article regarding Murray claimed that Murray was given a thumbdrive which he subsequently carried back to Wikileaks. On his blog, Murray subsequently disputed this part of the story, indicating that, while he had met with a leaker or confederate of a leaker in Washington DC, the Podesta emails were already in possession of Wikileaks at the time. Murray refused to clarify the reason for his meeting with this source, but he is adamant in maintaining that the DNC and Podesta emails were leaked, not hacked.
And it is indeed ludicrous that Mueller, given the mandate to investigate the alleged Russian hacking of the DNC and Podesta, has never attempted to question either Assange or Murray. That in itself is enough for us to conclude that the Mueller investigation is a complete sham.
Ian Brown , March 13, 2019 at 4:43 pm
It's pretty astonishing that Mueller was more interested in Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi as credible sources about Wikileaks and the DNC release than Craig Murray!
LJ , March 13, 2019 at 12:29 pm
A guy comes in with a pedigree like that, """ former FBI head """ to examine and validate if possible an FBI sting manufactured off a phony FISA indictment based on the Steele Report, It immediately reminded me of the 9-11 Commission with Thomas Kean, former Board member of the National Endowment for Democracy, being appointed by GW Bush the Simple to head an investigation that he had previously said he did not want to authorize( and of course bi partisan yes man Lee Hamilton as #2, lest we forget) . Really this should be seen as another low point in our Democracy. Uncle Sam is the Limbo Man, How low can you go?
After Bill and Hillary and Monica and Paula Jones and Blue Dresses well, Golden Showers in a Moscow luxury hotel, I guess that make it just salacious enough.
Mueller looks just like what he is. He has that same phony self important air as Comey . In 2 years this will be forgotten.. I do not think this hurts Trumps chances at re-election as much as the Democrats are hurting themselves. This has already gone on way too long.
Drew Hunkins , March 13, 2019 at 11:59 am
Mueller has nothing and he well knows it. He was willingly roped into this whole pathetic charade and he's left grasping for anything remotely tied to Trump campaign officials and Russians.
Even the most tenuous connections and weak relationships are splashed across the mass media in breathless headlines. Meanwhile, NONE of the supposed skulduggery unearthed by Mueller has anything to do with the Kremlin "hacking" the election to favor Trump, which was the entire raison d'etre behind Rosenstein, Brennan, Podesta and Mueller's crusade on behalf of the deplorable DNC and Washington militarist-imperialists. It will be fascinating to witness how Mueller and his crew ultimately extricate themselves from this giant fraudulent edifice of deceit. Will they even be able to save the most rudimentary amount of face?
So sickening to see the manner in which many DNC sycophants obsequiously genuflect to their godlike Mueller. A damn prosecutor who was likely in bed with the Winter Hill Gang.
Jack , March 13, 2019 at 12:21 pm
You have failed. An investigation is just that, a finding of the facts. What would Mueller have to extricate himself from? If nothing is found, he has still done his job. You are a divisive idiot.
Skip Scott , March 13, 2019 at 1:13 pm
Yes, he has done his job. And his job was to bring his royal Orangeness to heel, and to make sure that detente and co-operation with Russia remained impossible. The forever war continues. Mission Accomplished.
Drew Hunkins , March 13, 2019 at 2:12 pm
Keep running cover for an out of control prosecutor, who, if he had any integrity, would have hit the bully pulpit mos ago declaring there's nothing of substance to one of the most potentially dangerous accusations in world history: the Kremlin hacking the election. Last I checked it puts two nuclear nation-states on the brink of potential war. And you call me divisive? Mueller's now a willing accomplice to this entire McCarthyite smear and disinformation campaign. It's all so pathetic that folks such as yourself try and mislead and feed half-truths to the people.
You're failing Jack, in more ways than you know.
Gregory Herr , March 13, 2019 at 9:13 pm
Drew, you might enjoy this discussion Robert Scheer has with Stephen Cohen and Katrina vanden Heuvel.
Realist , March 15, 2019 at 3:38 am
Moreover, as the Saker pointed out in his most recent column in the Unz Review, the entire Deep State conspiracy, in an ad hoc alliance with the embarrassed and embarrassing Democrats, have made an absolute sham of due process in their blatant witch hunt to bag the president. This reached an apex when his personal lawyer, Mr. Cohen, was trotted out before congress to violate Trump's confidentiality in every mortifying way he could even vaguely reconstruct. The man was expected to say anything to mitigate the anticipated tortures to come in the course of this modern day inquisition by our latter day Torquemada. To his credit though, even with his ass in a sling, he could simply not confabulate the smoking gun evidence for the alleged Russian collusion that this whole farce was built around.
Tom , March 14, 2019 at 12:30 pm
Mueller stood with Bush as he lied the world into war based on lies and illegally spied on America and tortured some folks.
George Collins , March 13, 2019 at 2:02 pm
QED: as to the nexus with the Winter Hill gang wasn't there litigation involving the Boston FBI, condonation of murder by the FBI and damages awarded to or on behalf of convicted parties that the FBI had reason to know were innocent? The malfeasance reportedly occurred during Mueller time. Further on the sanctified diligence of Mr. Mueller can be gleaned from the reports of Coleen Rowley, former FBI attorney stationed in Milwaukee??? when the DC FBI office was ignoring warnings sent about 9/11. See also Sibel Edmonds who knew to much and was court order muzzled about FBI mis/malfeasance in the aftermath of 9/11.
I'd say it's game, set, match VIPS and a pox on Clapper and the complicit intelligence folk complicit in the nuclear loaded Russia-gate fibs.
Kiers , March 13, 2019 at 11:47 am
How can we expect the DNC to "hand it " to Trumpf, when, behind the scenes, THEY ARE ONE PARTY. They are throwing faux-scary pillow bombs at each other because they are both complicit in a long chain of corruptions. Business as usual for the "principled" two party system! Democracy! Through the gauze of corporate media! You must be joking!
Skip Scott , March 13, 2019 at 11:28 am
"We believe that there are enough people of integrity in the Department of Justice to prevent the outright manufacture or distortion of "evidence," particularly if they become aware that experienced scientists have completed independent forensic study that yield very different conclusions."
I wish I shared this belief. However, as with Nancy Pelosi's recent statement regarding pursuing impeachment, I smell a rat. I believe with the help of what the late Robert Parry called "the Mighty Wurlitzer", Mueller is going to use coerced false testimony and fabricated forensics to drop a bombshell the size of 911. I think Nancy's statement was just a feint before throwing the knockout punch.
If reason ruled the day, we should have nothing to worry about. But considering all the perfidy that the so-called "Intelligence" Agencies and their MSM lackeys get away with daily, I think we are in for more theater; and I think VIPS will receive a cold shoulder outside of venues like CN.
I pray to God I'm wrong.
Sam F , March 13, 2019 at 7:32 pm
My extensive experience with DOJ and the federal judiciary establishes that at least 98% of them are dedicated career liars, engaged in organized crime to serve political gangs, and make only a fanatical pretense of patriotism or legality. They are loyal to money alone, deeply cynical and opposed to the US Constitution and laws, with no credibility at all beyond any real evidence.
Eric32 , March 14, 2019 at 4:24 pm
As near I can see, Federal Govt. careers at the higher levels depend on having dirt on other players, and helping, not hurting, the money/power schemes of the players above you.
The Clintons (through their foundation) apparently have a lot of corruption dirt on CIA, FBI etc. top players, some of whom somehow became multi-millionaires during their civil service careers.
Trump, who was only running for President as a name brand marketing ploy with little desire to actually win, apparently came into the Presidency with no dirt arsenal and little idea of where to go from there.
Bob Van Noy , March 13, 2019 at 11:09 am
I remember reading with dismay how Russians were propagandized by the Soviet Press Management only to find out later the depth of disbelief within the Russian population itself. We now know what that feels like. The good part of this disastrous scenario for America is that for careful readers, disinformation becomes revelatory. For instance, if one reads an editorial that refers to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, or continually refers to Russian interference in the last Presidential election, then one can immediately dismiss the article and question the motivation for the presentation. Of course the problem is how to establish truth in reporting
Jeff Harrison , March 13, 2019 at 10:41 am
Thank you, VIPs. Hopefully, you don't expect this to make a difference. The US has moved into a post truth, post reality existence best characterized by Karl Rove's declaration: "we're an empire now, when we act, we create our own reality." What Mr. Rove in his arrogance fails to appreciate is that it is his reality but not anyone else's. Thus Pompous can claim that Guaido is the democratic leader in Venezuela even though he's never been elected .
Gary Weglarz , March 13, 2019 at 10:21 am
Thank you. The next time one of my friends or family give me that glazed over stare and utters anymore of the "but, RUSSIA" nonsense I will refer them directly to this article. Your collective work and ethical stand on this matter is deeply appreciated by anyone who values the truth.
Russiagate stands with past government propaganda operations that were simply made up out of thin air: i.e. Kuwaiti incubator babies, WMD's, Gaddafi's viagra fueled rape camps, Assad can't sleep at night unless he's gassing his own people, to the latest, "Maduro can't sleep at night unless he's starving his own people."
The complete and utter amorality of the deep state remains on display for all to see with "Russiagate," which is as fact-free a propaganda campaign as any of those just mentioned.
Marc , March 13, 2019 at 10:13 am
I am a computer naif, so I am prepared to accept the VIPS analysis about FAT and transfer rates. However, the presentation here leaves me with several questions. First, do I understand correctly that the FAT rounding to even numbers is introduced by the thumb drive? And if so, does the FAT analysis show only that the DNC data passed through a thumb drive? That is, does the analysis distinguish whether the DNC data were directly transferred to a thumb drive, or whether the data were hacked and then transferred to a thumb drive, eg, to give a copy to Wikileaks? Second, although the transatlantic transfer rate is too slow to fit some time stamps, is it possible that the data were hacked onto a local computer that was under the control of some faraway agent?
Jeff Harrison , March 13, 2019 at 11:12 am
Not quite. FAT is the crappy storage system developed by Microsoft (and not used by UNIX). The metadata associated with any file gets rewritten when it gets moved. If that movement is to a storage device that uses FAT, the timestamp on the file will end in an even number. If it were moved to a unix server (and most of the major servers run Unix) it would be in the UFS (unix file system) and it would be the actual time from the system clock. Every storage device has a utility that tells it where to write the data and what to write. Since it's writing to a storage device using FAT, it'll round the numbers. To get to your real question, yes, you could hack and then transfer the data to a thumb drive but if you did that the dates wouldn't line up.
Skip Scott , March 14, 2019 at 8:05 am
Which dates wouldn't line up? Is there a history of metadata available, or just metadata for the most recent move?
David G , March 13, 2019 at 12:22 pm
Marc asks: "[D]oes the analysis distinguish whether the DNC data were directly transferred to a thumb drive, or whether the data were hacked and then transferred to a thumb drive, eg, to give a copy to Wikileaks?"
I asked that question in comments under a previous CN piece; other people have asked that question elsewhere.
To my knowledge, it hasn't been addressed directly by the VIPS, and I think they should do so. (If they already have, someone please enlighten me.)
Skip Scott , March 13, 2019 at 1:07 pm
I am no computer wiz, but Binney has repeatedly made the point that the NSA scoops up everything. If there had been a hack, they'd know it, and they wouldn't only have had "moderate" confidence in the Jan. assessment. I believe that although farfetched, an argument could be made that a Russian spy got into the DNC, loaded a thumb drive, and gave it to Craig Murray.
David G , March 13, 2019 at 3:31 pm
Respectfully, that's a separate point, which may or may not raise issues of its own.
But I think the question Marc posed stands.
Skip Scott , March 14, 2019 at 7:59 am
I don't see how it's separate. If the NSA scoops up everything, they'd have solid evidence of the hack, and wouldn't have only had "moderate" confidence, which Bill Binney says is equivalent to them saying "we don't have squat". They wouldn't even have needed Mueller at all, except to possibly build a "parallel case" due to classification issues. Also, the FBI not demanding direct access to the DNC server tells you something is fishy. They could easily have gotten a warrant to examine the server, but chose not to. They also purposely refuse to get testimony from Craig Murray and Julian Assange, which rings alarm bells on its own.
As for the technical aspect of Marc's question, I agree that I'd like to see Bill Binney directly answer it.
Mar 13, 2019 | Consortiumnews
The final Mueller report should be graded "incomplete," says VIPS, whose forensic work proves the speciousness of the story that DNC emails published by WikiLeaks came from Russian hacking.
MEMORANDUM FOR: The Attorney General
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Mueller's Forensics-Free Findings
Media reports are predicting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is about to give you the findings of his probe into any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump. If Mueller gives you his "completed" report anytime soon, it should be graded "incomplete."
Major deficiencies include depending on a DNC-hired cybersecurity company for forensics and failure to consult with those who have done original forensic work, including us and the independent forensic investigators with whom we have examined the data. We stand ready to help.
We veteran intelligence professionals (VIPS) have done enough detailed forensic work to prove the speciousness of the prevailing story that the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks came from Russian hacking. Given the paucity of evidence to support that story, we believe Mueller may choose to finesse this key issue and leave everyone hanging. That would help sustain the widespread belief that Trump owes his victory to President Vladimir Putin, and strengthen the hand of those who pay little heed to the unpredictable consequences of an increase in tensions with nuclear-armed Russia.
There is an overabundance of "assessments" but a lack of hard evidence to support that prevailing narrative. We believe that there are enough people of integrity in the Department of Justice to prevent the outright manufacture or distortion of "evidence," particularly if they become aware that experienced scientists have completed independent forensic study that yield very different conclusions. We know only too well -- and did our best to expose -- how our former colleagues in the intelligence community manufactured fraudulent "evidence" of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
We have scrutinized publicly available physical data -- the "trail" that every cyber operation leaves behind. And we have had support from highly experienced independent forensic investigators who, like us, have no axes to grind. We can prove that the conventional-wisdom story about Russian-hacking-DNC-emails-for-WikiLeaks is false. Drawing largely on the unique expertise of two VIPS scientists who worked for a combined total of 70 years at the National Security Agency and became Technical Directors there, we have regularly published our findings. But we have been deprived of a hearing in mainstream media -- an experience painfully reminiscent of what we had to endure when we exposed the corruption of intelligence before the attack on Iraq 16 years ago.
This time, with the principles of physics and forensic science to rely on, we are able to adduce solid evidence exposing mistakes and distortions in the dominant story. We offer you below -- as a kind of aide-memoire -- a discussion of some of the key factors related to what has become known as "Russia-gate." And we include our most recent findings drawn from forensic work on data associated with WikiLeaks' publication of the DNC emails.
We do not claim our conclusions are "irrefutable and undeniable," a la Colin Powell at the UN before the Iraq war. Our judgments, however, are based on the scientific method -- not "assessments." We decided to put this memorandum together in hopes of ensuring that you hear that directly from us.
If the Mueller team remains reluctant to review our work -- or even to interview willing witnesses with direct knowledge, like WikiLeaks' Julian Assange and former UK Ambassador Craig Murray, we fear that many of those yearning earnestly for the truth on Russia-gate will come to the corrosive conclusion that the Mueller investigation was a sham.
In sum, we are concerned that, at this point, an incomplete Mueller report will fall far short of the commitment made by then Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "to ensure a full and thorough investigation," when he appointed Mueller in May 2017. Again, we are at your disposal.
The centerpiece accusation of Kremlin "interference" in the 2016 presidential election was the charge that Russia hacked Democratic National Committee emails and gave them to WikiLeaks to embarrass Secretary Hillary Clinton and help Mr. Trump win. The weeks following the election witnessed multiple leak-based media allegations to that effect. These culminated on January 6, 2017 in an evidence-light, rump report misleadingly labeled "Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA)." Prepared by "handpicked analysts" from only three of the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies (CIA, FBI, and NSA), the assessment expressed "high confidence" in the Russia-hacking-to-WikiLeaks story, but lacked so much as a hint that the authors had sought access to independent forensics to support their "assessment."
The media immediately awarded the ICA the status of Holy Writ, choosing to overlook an assortment of banal, full-disclosure-type caveats included in the assessment itself -- such as:
" When Intelligence Community analysts use words such as 'we assess' or 'we judge,' they are conveying an analytic assessment or judgment. Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary High confidence in a judgment does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgments might be wrong."
To their credit, however, the authors of the ICA did make a highly germane point in introductory remarks on "cyber incident attribution." They noted: "The nature of cyberspace makes attribution of cyber operations difficult but not impossible. Every kind of cyber operation -- malicious or not -- leaves a trail." [Emphasis added.]
The imperative is to get on that "trail" -- and quickly, before red herrings can be swept across it. The best way to establish attribution is to apply the methodology and processes of forensic science. Intrusions into computers leave behind discernible physical data that can be examined scientifically by forensic experts. Risk to "sources and methods" is normally not a problem.
Direct access to the actual computers is the first requirement -- the more so when an intrusion is termed "an act of war" and blamed on a nuclear-armed foreign government (the words used by the late Sen. John McCain and other senior officials). In testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in March 2017, former FBI Director James Comey admitted that he did not insist on physical access to the DNC computers even though, as he conceded, "best practices" dictate direct access.
In June 2017, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr asked Comey whether he ever had "access to the actual hardware that was hacked." Comey answered, "In the case of the DNC we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic information from a private party, a high-class entity, that had done the work. " Sen. Burr followed up: "But no content? Isn't content an important part of the forensics from a counterintelligence standpoint?" Comey: "It is, although what was briefed to me by my folks is that they had gotten the information from the private party that they needed to understand the intrusion by the spring of 2016."
The "private party/high-class entity" to which Comey refers is CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm of checkered reputation and multiple conflicts of interest, including very close ties to a number of key anti-Russian organizations. Comey indicated that the DNC hired CrowdStrike in the spring of 2016.
Given the stakes involved in the Russia-gate investigation including a possible impeachment battle and greatly increased tension between Russia and the U.S. -- it is difficult to understand why Comey did not move quickly to seize the computer hardware so the FBI could perform an independent examination of what quickly became the major predicate for investigating election interference by Russia. Fortunately, enough data remain on the forensic "trail" to arrive at evidence-anchored conclusions. The work we have done shows the prevailing narrative to be false. We have been suggesting this for over two years. Recent forensic work significantly strengthens that conclusion.
We Do Forensics
Recent forensic examination of the Wikileaks DNC files shows they were created on 23, 25 and 26 May 2016. (On June 12, Julian Assange announced he had them; WikiLeaks published them on July 22.) We recently discovered that the files reveal a FAT (File Allocation Table) system property. This shows that the data had been transferred to an external storage device, such as a thumb drive, before WikiLeaks posted them.
FAT is a simple file system named for its method of organization, the File Allocation Table. It is used for storage only and is not related to internet transfers like hacking. Were WikiLeaks to have received the DNC files via a hack, the last modified times on the files would be a random mixture of odd-and even-ending numbers.
Why is that important? The evidence lies in the "last modified" time stamps on the Wikileaks files. When a file is stored under the FAT file system the software rounds the time to the nearest even-numbered second. Every single one of the time stamps in the DNC files on WikiLeaks' site ends in an even number.
We have examined 500 DNC email files stored on the Wikileaks site. All 500 files end in an even number -- 2, 4, 6, 8 or 0. If those files had been hacked over the Internet, there would be an equal probability of the time stamp ending in an odd number. The random probability that FAT was not used is 1 chance in 2 to the 500th power. Thus, these data show that the DNC emails posted by WikiLeaks went through a storage device, like a thumb drive, and were physically moved before Wikileaks posted the emails on the World Wide Web.
This finding alone is enough to raise reasonable doubts, for example, about Mueller's indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking the DNC emails given to WikiLeaks. A defense attorney could easily use the forensics to argue that someone copied the DNC files to a storage device like a USB thumb drive and got them physically to WikiLeaks -- not electronically via a hack.
Role of NSA
For more than two years, we strongly suspected that the DNC emails were copied/leaked in that way, not hacked. And we said so. We remain intrigued by the apparent failure of NSA's dragnet, collect-it-all approach -- including "cast-iron" coverage of WikiLeaks -- to provide forensic evidence (as opposed to "assessments") as to how the DNC emails got to WikiLeaks and who sent them. Well before the telling evidence drawn from the use of FAT, other technical evidence led us to conclude that the DNC emails were not hacked over the network, but rather physically moved over, say, the Atlantic Ocean.
Is it possible that NSA has not yet been asked to produce the collected packets of DNC email data claimed to have been hacked by Russia? Surely, this should be done before Mueller competes his investigation. NSA has taps on all the transoceanic cables leaving the U.S. and would almost certainly have such packets if they exist. (The detailed slides released by Edward Snowden actually show the routes that trace the packets.)
The forensics we examined shed no direct light on who may have been behind the leak. The only thing we know for sure is that the person had to have direct access to the DNC computers or servers in order to copy the emails. The apparent lack of evidence from the most likely source, NSA, regarding a hack may help explain the FBI's curious preference for forensic data from CrowdStrike. No less puzzling is why Comey would choose to call CrowdStrike a "high-class entity."
Comey was one of the intelligence chiefs briefing President Obama on January 5, 2017 on the "Intelligence Community Assessment," which was then briefed to President-elect Trump and published the following day. That Obama found a key part of the ICA narrative less than persuasive became clear at his last press conference (January 18), when he told the media, "The conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to how 'the DNC emails that were leaked' got to WikiLeaks.
Is Guccifer 2.0 a Fraud?
There is further compelling technical evidence that undermines the claim that the DNC emails were downloaded over the internet as a result of a spearphishing attack. William Binney, one of VIPS' two former Technical Directors at NSA, along with other former intelligence community experts, examined files posted by Guccifer 2.0 and discovered that those files could not have been downloaded over the internet. It is a simple matter of mathematics and physics.
There was a flurry of activity after Julian Assange announced on June 12, 2016: "We have emails relating to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication." On June 14, DNC contractor CrowdStrike announced that malware was found on the DNC server and claimed there was evidence it was injected by Russians. On June 15, the Guccifer 2.0 persona emerged on the public stage, affirmed the DNC statement, claimed to be responsible for hacking the DNC, claimed to be a WikiLeaks source, and posted a document that forensics show was synthetically tainted with "Russian fingerprints."
Our suspicions about the Guccifer 2.0 persona grew when G-2 claimed responsibility for a "hack" of the DNC on July 5, 2016, which released DNC data that was rather bland compared to what WikiLeaks published 17 days later (showing how the DNC had tipped the primary scales against Sen. Bernie Sanders). As VIPS reported in a wrap-up Memorandum for the President on July 24, 2017 (titled "Intel Vets Challenge 'Russia Hack' Evidence)," forensic examination of the July 5, 2016 cyber intrusion into the DNC showed it NOT to be a hack by the Russians or by anyone else, but rather a copy onto an external storage device. It seemed a good guess that the July 5 intrusion was a contrivance to preemptively taint anything WikiLeaks might later publish from the DNC, by "showing" it came from a "Russian hack." WikiLeaks published the DNC emails on July 22, three days before the Democratic convention.
As we prepared our July 24 memo for the President, we chose to begin by taking Guccifer 2.0 at face value; i. e., that the documents he posted on July 5, 2016 were obtained via a hack over the Internet. Binney conducted a forensic examination of the metadata contained in the posted documents and compared that metadata with the known capacity of Internet connection speeds at the time in the U.S. This analysis showed a transfer rate as high as 49.1 megabytes per second, which is much faster than was possible from a remote online Internet connection. The 49.1 megabytes speed coincided, though, with the rate that copying onto a thumb drive could accommodate.
Binney, assisted by colleagues with relevant technical expertise, then extended the examination and ran various forensic tests from the U.S. to the Netherlands, Albania, Belgrade and the UK. The fastest Internet rate obtained -- from a data center in New Jersey to a data center in the UK -- was 12 megabytes per second, which is less than a fourth of the capacity typical of a copy onto a thumb drive.
The findings from the examination of the Guccifer 2.0 data and the WikiLeaks data does not indicate who copied the information to an external storage device (probably a thumb drive). But our examination does disprove that G.2 hacked into the DNC on July 5, 2016. Forensic evidence for the Guccifer 2.0 data adds to other evidence that the DNC emails were not taken by an internet spearphishing attack. The data breach was local. The emails were copied from the network.
After VIPS' July 24, 2017 Memorandum for the President, Binney, one of its principal authors, was invited to share his insights with Mike Pompeo, CIA Director at the time. When Binney arrived in Pompeo's office at CIA Headquarters on October 24, 2017 for an hour-long discussion, the director made no secret of the reason for the invitation: "You are here because the President told me that if I really wanted to know about Russian hacking I needed to talk with you."
Binney warned Pompeo -- to stares of incredulity -- that his people should stop lying about the Russian hacking. Binney then started to explain the VIPS findings that had caught President Trump's attention. Pompeo asked Binney if he would talk to the FBI and NSA. Binney agreed, but has not been contacted by those agencies. With that, Pompeo had done what the President asked. There was no follow-up.
Confronting James Clapper on Forensics
We, the hoi polloi, do not often get a chance to talk to people like Pompeo -- and still less to the former intelligence chiefs who are the leading purveyors of the prevailing Russia-gate narrative. An exception came on November 13, when former National Intelligence Director James Clapper came to the Carnegie Endowment in Washington to hawk his memoir. Answering a question during the Q&A about Russian "hacking" and NSA, Clapper said:
" Well, I have talked with NSA a lot And in my mind, I spent a lot of time in the SIGINT business, the forensic evidence was overwhelming about what the Russians had done. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind whatsoever." [Emphasis added]
Clapper added: " as a private citizen, understanding the magnitude of what the Russians did and the number of citizens in our country they reached and the different mechanisms that, by which they reached them, to me it stretches credulity to think they didn't have a profound impact on election on the outcome of the election."
(A transcript of the interesting Q&A can be found here and a commentary on Clapper's performance at Carnegie, as well as on his longstanding lack of credibility, is here .)
Normally soft-spoken Ron Wyden, Democratic senator from Oregon, lost his patience with Clapper last week when he learned that Clapper is still denying that he lied to the Senate Intelligence Committee about the extent of NSA surveillance of U.S. citizens. In an unusual outburst, Wyden said: "James Clapper needs to stop making excuses for lying to the American people about mass surveillance. To be clear: I sent him the question in advance. I asked him to correct the record afterward. He chose to let the lie stand."
The materials brought out by Edward Snowden in June 2013 showed Clapper to have lied under oath to the committee on March 12, 2013; he was, nevertheless, allowed to stay on as Director of National Intelligence for three and half more years. Clapper fancies himself an expert on Russia, telling Meet the Press on May 28, 2017 that Russia's history shows that Russians are "typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever."
Clapper ought to be asked about the "forensics" he said were "overwhelming about what the Russians had done." And that, too, before Mueller completes his investigation.
For the steering group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity:
- William Binney , former NSA Technical Director for World Geopolitical & Military Analysis; Co-founder of NSA's Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center (ret.)
- Richard H. Black , Senator of Virginia, 13th District; Colonel US Army (ret.); Former Chief, Criminal Law Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General, the Pentagon (associate VIPS)
- Bogdan Dzakovic , former Team Leader of Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security (ret.) (associate VIPS)
- Philip Girald i, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)
- Mike Gravel , former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator
- James George Jatras , former U.S. diplomat and former foreign policy adviser to Senate leadership (Associate VIPS)
- Larry C. Johnson , former CIA and State Department Counter Terrorism officer
- John Kiriakou , former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former senior investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
- Karen Kwiatkowski , former Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003
- Edward Loomis , Cryptologic Computer Scientist, former Technical Director at NSA (ret.)
- David MacMichael , Ph.D., former senior estimates officer, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
- Ray McGovern , former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst; CIA Presidential briefer (ret.)
- Elizabeth Murray , former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council & CIA political analyst (ret.)
- Todd E. Pierce , MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)
- Peter Van Buren , US Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) (associate VIPS)
- Sarah G. Wilton , CDR, USNR, (ret.); Defense Intelligence Agency (ret.)
- Kirk Wiebe , former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA
- Ann Wright , retired U.S. Army reserve colonel and former U.S. diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq War
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) is made up of former intelligence officers, diplomats, military officers and congressional staffers. The organization, founded in 2002, was among the first critics of Washington's justifications for launching a war against Iraq. VIPS advocates a US foreign and national security policy based on genuine national interests rather than contrived threats promoted for largely political reasons. An archive of VIPS memoranda is available at Consortiumnews.com.9280
Tags: Bill Binney Donald Trump Hillary Clinton James Clapper James Comey Mike Pompeo Robert Mueller Veteran Intelligence Professional for Sanity VIPS WikiLeaks
Jan 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Don Bacon , Feb 21, 2018 10:29:06 PM | linkThe US Air Force has out-sourced cybersecurity.The U.S. military's love affair with bug bounty programs continues.
The second iteration of "Hack the Air Force" in December paid out $103,883 in bounties to freelance hackers for 106 vulnerabilities found over a 20-day period. The highest bounty was $12,500, the largest paid by the U.S. government to date.
The Air Force's first bug bounty program launched in April 2017 following similar efforts like Hack the Pentagon and Hack the Army in 2016. In total, more than 3,000 vulnerabilities have been found in federal government systems since the programs began.
The bug bounty platform HackerOne, a private company, continues to handle the military's bug bounty initiatives. Air Force CISO Peter Kim, who helped kick off and cheerlead the service's first round last year, also played a leading role this time. . . here
Dec 29, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
For over two years now, the concepts of "Russian collusion" and "Russian election meddling" have been shoved down our throats by the mainstream media (MSM) under the guise of legitimate concern that the Kremlin may have installed a puppet president in Donald Trump.
Having no evidence of collusion aside from a largely unverified opposition-research dossier fabricated by a former British spy, the focus shifted from "collusion" to "meddling" and "influence." In other words, maybe Trump didn't actually collude with Putin, but the Kremlin used Russian tricks to influence the election in Trump's favor. To some, this looked like nothing more than an establishment scheme to cast a permanent spectre of doubt over the legitimacy of President Donald J. Trump.
Election meddling "Russian bots" and "troll farms" became the central focus - as claims were levied of social media operations conducted by Kremlin-linked organizations which sought to influence and divide certain segments of America.
And while scant evidence of a Russian influence operation exists outside of a handful of indictments connected to a St. Petersburg "Troll farm" (which a liberal journalist cast serious doubt ov er), the MSM - with all of their proselytizing over the "threat to democracy" that election meddling poses, has largely decided to ignore actual evidence of "Russian bots" created by Democrat IT experts, used against a GOP candidate in the Alabama special election, and amplified through the Russian bot-detecting "Hamilton 68" dashboard developed by the same IT experts.Jonathon Morgan ✔ @jonathonmorgan
Russian trolls tracked by # Hamilton68 are taking an interest in the AL Senate race. What a surprise.298 4:02 PM - Nov 10, 2017
Democratic operative Jonathon Morgan - bankrolled by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, pulled a Russian bot "false flag" operation against GOP candidate Roy Moore in the Alabama special election last year - creating thousands of fake social media accounts designed to influence voters . Hoffman has since apologized, while Morgan was suspended by Facebook for "coordinated inauthentic" behavior.
As Russian state-owned RT puts it - and who could blame them for being a bit pissed over the whole thing, "it turns out there really was meddling in American democracy by "Russian bots." Except they weren't run from Moscow or St. Petersburg, but from the offices of Democrat operatives chiefly responsible for creating and amplifying the "Russiagate" hysteria over the past two years in a textbook case of psychological projection. "
A week before Christmas, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report accusing Russia of depressing Democrat voter turnout by targeting African-Americans on social media. Its authors, New Knowledge, quickly became a household name.
Described by the New York Times as a group of "tech specialists who lean Democratic," New Knowledge has ties to both the US military and intelligence agencies. Its CEO and co-founder Jonathon Morgan previously worked for DARPA, the US military's advanced research agenc y. His partner, Ryan Fox, is a 15-year veteran of the National Security Agency who also worked as a computer analyst for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Their unique skill sets have managed to attract the eye of investors, who pumped $11 million into the company in 2018 alone.
On December 19, a New York Times story revealed that Morgan and his crew had created a fake army of Russian bots, as well as fake Facebook groups, in order to discredit Republican candidate Roy Moore in Alabama's 2017 special election for the US Senate.
Working on behalf of the Democrats, Morgan and his crew created an estimated 1,000 fake Twitter accounts with Russian names, and had them follow Moore. They also operated several Facebook pages where they posed as Alabama conservatives who wanted like-minded voters to support a write-in candidate instead.
In an internal memo, New Knowledge boasted that it had "orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet."
It worked. The botnet claim made a splash on social media and was further amplified by Mother Jones, which based its story on expert opinion from Morgan's other dubious creation, Hamilton 68. - RT
Moore ended up losing the Alabama special election by a slim margin of just
In other words: In November 2017 when Moore and his Democratic opponent were in a bitter fight to win over voters Morgan openly promoted the theory that Russian bots were supporting Moore's campaign . A year later after being caught red-handed orchestrating a self-described "false flag" operation Morgan now says that his team never thought that the bots were Russian and have no idea what their purpose was . Did he think no one would notice? - RT
Dan Cohen ✔ @dancohen3000 Replying to @dancohen3000
Disinformation warrior @ jonathonmorgan attempts to control damage by lying. He now claims the "false flag operation" never took place and the botnet he promoted as Russian-linked (based on phony Hamilton68 Russian troll tracker he developed) wasn't Russian https://www. newknowledge.com/blog/about-ala bama89 2:23 AM - Dec 29, 2018
Even more strange is that Scott Shane - the journalist who wrote the New York Times piece exposing the Alabama "Russian bot" scheme, knew about it for months after speaking at an event where the organizers bragged about the false flag on Moore .
Shane was one of the speakers at a meeting in September, organized by American Engagement Technologies, a group run by Mikey Dickerson, President Barack Obama's former tech czar. Dickerson explained how AET spent $100,000 on New Knowledge's campaign to suppress Republican votes, " enrage" Democrats to boost turnout, and execute a "false flag" to hrt Moore. He dubbed it "Project Birmingham." - RT
Dan Cohen ✔ @dancohen3000 · Dec 28, 2018 Replying to @dancohen3000
This gets even weirder: NYT reporter @ ScottShaneNYT , who broke the Alabama disinfo op story, learned of it in early September when he spoke at an off-the-record event organized by one of the firms that perpetrated the deception https://www. buzzfeednews.com/article/craigs ilverman/alabama-dirty-tricksters-invited-a-new-york-times-reporterNY Times Reporter Briefed Alabama Special Election Dirty Tricksters
New York Times reporter Scott Shane spoke at an event organized by the group who ran a disinformation op aimed at helping defeat Roy Moore in Alabama.
A lightly-redacted copy of the internal @ NewKnowledgeAI report has been leaked and claims at least partial credit for Doug Jones' victory. Details follow https:// medium.com/@jeffgiesea/br eaking-heres-the-after-action-report-from-the-alabama-senate-disinformation10 12:09 PM - Dec 28, 2018 Twitter Ads info and privacy
Shane told BuzzFeed that he was "shocked" by the revelations, though hid behind a nondisclosure agreement at the request of American Engagement Technologies (AET). He instead chose to spin the New Knowledge "false flag" operation on Moore as "limited Russian tactics" which were part of an "experiment" that had a budget of "only" $100,000 - and which had no effect on the election.
New Knowledge suggested that the false flag operation was simply a "research project," which Morgan suggested was designed "to better understand and report on the tactics and effects of social media disinformation."
View image on TwitterJonathon Morgan ✔ @jonathonmorgan465 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy
My statement on this evening's NYT article.94 9:17 PM - Dec 19, 2018
While the New York Times seemed satisfied with his explanation, others pointed out that Morgan had used the Hamilton 68 dashboard to give his "false flag" more credibility misleading the public about a "Russian" influence campaign that he knew was fake.
New Knowledge's protestations apparently didn't convince Facebook, which announced last week that five accounts linked to New Knowledge including Morgan's had been suspended for engaging in "coordinated inauthentic behavior." - RT
They knew exactly what they were doing
While Morgan and New Knowledge sought to frame the "Project Birmingham" as a simple research project, a leaked copy of the operation's after-action report reveals that they knew exactly what they were doing .
"We targeted 650,000 like AL voters, with a combination of persona accounts, astroturfing, automated social media amplification and targeted advertising," reads the report published by entrepreneur and executive coach Jeff Giesea.
Jeff Giesea ✔ @jeffgiesea1,381 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy
BREAKING: Here's the after-action report from the AL Senate disinfo campaign.
**an exclusive release by @ JeffGiesea https:// medium.com/@jeffgiesea/br eaking-heres-the-after-action-report-from-the-alabama-senate-disinformation-campaign-e3edd854f17d1,658 8:49 PM - Dec 27, 2018 Twitter Ads info and privacy BREAKING: Here's The After-Action Report From the Alabama Senate Disinformation Campaign
EXCLUSIVE RELEASE FROM JEFF GIESEAmedium.com
The rhetorical question remains, why did the MSM drop this election meddling story like a hot rock after the initial headlines faded away?
criminal election meddling, but then who the **** is going to click on some morons tactic and switch votes?
anyone basing any funding, whether it is number of facebook hits or attempted mind games by egotistical cuck soyboys needs a serious psychological examination. fake news is fake BECAUSE IT ISNT REAL AND DOES NOT MATTER TO ANYONE but those living in the excited misery of their tiny bubble world safe spaces. SOCIAL MEDIA IS A CON AND IS NOT IMPORTANT OR RELEVANT TO ANYONE.
far more serious is destroying ballots, writing in ballots without consent, bussing voters around to vote multiple times in different districts, registering dead voters and imperosnating the corpses, withholding votes until deadlines pass - making them invalid.
Herdee , 10 minutes agoMugabe , 20 minutes ago
NATO on behalf of the Washington politicians uses the same bullsh*t propaganda for continual war.Yippie21 , 21 minutes ago
Yup "PROJECTION"...LetThemEatRand , 21 minutes ago
None of this even touches on the 501c3 or whatever that was set up , concerned Alabama voters or somesuch, and was funneled a **** load of money to be found to be in violation of the law AFTER the election and then it all just disappeared. Nothing to see here folks, Democrat won, let's move on. There was a LOT of " tests " for the smart-set in that election and it all worked. We saw a bunch of it used in 2018, especially in Texas with Beto and down-ballot races. Democrats cleaned up like crazy in Texas, especially in Houston.
2020 is going to be a hot mess. And the press is in on it, and even if illegal or unseemly things are done, as long as Democrats win, all good... let's move on. Crazy.Oldguy05 , 19 minutes ago
The fact that MSM is not covering this story -- which is so big it truly raises major questions about the entire Russiagate conspiracy including why Mueller was appointed in the first place -- is proof that they have no interest in journalism or the truth and that they are 100% agenda driven liars. Not that we needed more proof, but there it is anyway.CosineCosineCosine , 23 minutes ago
Dimz corruption is a nogo. Now if it were conservatives.......LetThemEatRand , 27 minutes ago
I'm not a huge fan, but Jimmy Dore has a cathartic and entertaining 30 minutes on this farce. Well worth the watch:
h https://youtu.be/hqLIJznUNVwdead hobo , 30 minutes ago
Really the bigger story is here is that these guys convincingly pretended to be Russian Bots in order to influence an election (not with the message being put forth by the bots, but by their sheer existence as apparent supporters of the Moore campaign).
By all appearances, they were Russian bots trying to influence the election. Now we know it was DNC operatives. Yet we are supposed to believe without any proof that the "Russian bots" that supposedly influenced the 2016 Presidential election were, actually, Russian bots, and worthy of a two year long probe about "Russian collusion" and "Russian meddling."
The whole thing is probably a farce, not only in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia had any influence at all on a single voter, but also in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia even tried (just claims and allegations by people who have a vested interest in convincing us its true).chunga , 30 minutes ago
I've been watching Scandal on Netflix. Still only in season 2. Amazing how nothing changes.They nailed it and memorialized it. The MSM are useful idiots who are happy to make money publicizing what will sell the best.JRobby , 33 minutes ago
The media is biased and sucks, yup.
The reason the reds lost the house is because they went along with this nonsense and did nothing about it, like frightened baby chipmunks.divingengineer , 22 minutes ago
Only when "the opposition" does it is it illegal. Total totalitarian state wannabe stuff.DarkPurpleHaze , 33 minutes ago
Amazing how people can contort reality to justify their own righteous cause, but decry their opposition for the EXACT same thing. See trump visit to troops signing hats as most recent proof. If DJT takes a piss and sprinkles the seat, it's a crime.divingengineer , 20 minutes ago
They're afraid to expose themselves...unlike Kevin Spacey. Trump or Whitaker will expose this with one signature. It's coming.CosineCosineCosine , 10 minutes ago
Spacey has totally lost it. See his latest video, it will be a powerful piece of evidence for an insanity plea.
Disagree strongly. I think it was excellent - perhaps you misunderstood the point? 6 minutes Diana Davidson look at it clarifies
Nov 15, 2018 | www.wsj.com
Over the past year, U.S. prosecutors have discussed several types of charges they could potentially bring against the WikiLeaks founder
The Justice Department is preparing to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and is increasingly optimistic it will be able to get him into a U.S. courtroom, according to people in Washington familiar with the matter. Over the past year, U.S. prosecutors have discussed several types of charges they could potentially bring against Mr. Assange, the people said. Mr. Assange has lived in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since receiving political asylum from the South American country in 2012...
The exact charges Justice Department might pursue remain unclear, but they may involve the Espionage Act, which criminalizes the disclosure of national defense-related information.
Nov 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
BM , Nov 10, 2018 5:56:10 AM | link
Whilst on the topic of ISIS, here is an article about its mother-concern, CIA:
CIA's 'Surveillance State' is Operating Against US All
On two declassified letters from 2014 from the Intelligence Community Inspector General (didn't know there was one, but doesn't do much good anyway, it seems, read further) to the chairpersons of the House and Senate intelligence committees notifying them that the CIA has been monitoring emails between the CIA's head of the whistleblowing and source protection and Congressional. "Most of these emails concerned pending and developing whistleblower complaints". Shows why Edward Snowdon didn't consider it appropriate to rely on internal complaints proceedures. This while under the leadership of seasoned liars and criminals Brennan and Clapper, of course.
It clearly shows a taste of what these buggers have to hide, and why they went to such extraordinary lengths as Russiagate to cover it all up and save their skins - that of course being the real reason behind Russiagate as I have said several times, nothing to do with either Trump or Russia.
guidoamm , Nov 10, 2018 1:32:52 AM | linkAnd there is this too of course:Anton Worter , Nov 10, 2018 12:39:39 AM | link
Pentagon Fake Al Qaeda Propaganda@4
OWS was a Controlled-Dissent operation, sending poor students north to fecklessly march on Wall Street when they could have shut down WADC, and sending wealthy seniors south to fecklessly line Pennsylvania Avenue, when they could have shut down Wall Street.
Both I$I$, and Hamas, and Antifa et al are all Controlled Dissent operations. The followers are duped, are used, abused and then abandoned by honey-pots put there by Central Intelligence, at least since the Spanish Civil War.
That's why MoA articles like this one make you wonder, just who is conning whom, at a time when the Internet is weaponized, when Google Assistant achieved AI awareness indistinguishable from anyone on the phone, China TV has launched a virtual AI news reporter indistinguishable from reality, and Stanford can audio-video a captured image of anyone as well as their voice intonation, then 3D model them, in real time, reading and emoting from a script, indistinguishable from reality, ...and then this.
Another Gift of Trust😂 brought to you by Scientocracy. Be sure to tithe your AI bot, or word will get back to Chairman Albertus, then you'll be called in to confess your thought crimes to the Green Cadre, itself another Controlled Dissent honeypot, in a Tithe-for-Credits Swindle.
I tell my kids, just enjoy life, live it large, and get ready for hell. It's coming for breakfast.
Nov 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Harry Law , Nov 10, 2018 9:11:40 AM | link
Hacking operations by anyone, can and will be used by US propagandists to provoke Russia or whoever stands in the way of the US war machine, take this Pompeo rant against Iran and the Iranian response......
Asking of Pompeo "have you no shame?", Zarif mocked Pompeo's praise for the Saudis for "providing millions and millions of dollars of humanitarian relief" to Yemen, saying America's "butcher clients" were spending billions of dollars bombing school buses. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif issued a statement lashing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for his recent comments on the Yemen War. Discussing the US-backed Saudi invasion of Yemen, Pompeo declared Iran to be to blame for the death and destruction in the country. https://news.antiwar.com/2018/11/09/iran-fm-slams-pompeo-for-blaming-yemen-war-on-iran/
The US way of looking at things supposes that up is down, and white is black, it makes no sense, unless the US hopes these provocations will lead to a war or at the very least Russia or Iran capitulating to US aggression, which will not happen. Sanctions by the US on all and sundry must be opposed, if not the US will claim justifiably to be the worlds policeman and the arbiter of who will trade with who, a ludicrous proposition but one that most governments are afraid is now taking place, witness the new US ambassador to Germany in his first tweet telling the Germans to cease all trade with Iran immediately.
Nov 08, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
US whistle-blower Edward Snowden yesterday claimed that Saudi Arabia used Israeli spyware to target murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi .
Addressing a conference in Tel Aviv via a video link, Snowden claimed that software made by an Israeli cyber intelligence firm was used by Saudi Arabia to track and target Khashoggi in the lead up to his murder on 2 October inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
Snowden told his audience:
"How do they [Saudi Arabia] know what his [Khashoggi's] plans were and that they needed to act against him? That knowledge came from the technology developed by NSO," Israeli business daily Globes reported.
Snowden accused NSO of "selling a digital burglary tool," adding it "is not just being used for catching criminals and stopping terrorist attacks, not just for saving lives, but for making money [ ] such a level of recklessness [ ] actually starts costing lives," according to the Jerusalem Post .
Snowden – made famous in 2013 for leaking classified National Security Agency (NSA) files and exposing the extent of US surveillance – added that "Israel is routinely at the top of the US' classified threat list of hackers along with Russia and China [ ] even though it is an ally".
Snowden is wanted in the US for espionage, so could not travel to Tel Aviv to address the conference in person for fear of being handed over to the authorities.
The Israeli firm to which Snowden referred – NSO Group Technologies – is known for developing the "Pegasus" software which can be used to remotely infect a target's mobile phone and then relay back data accessed by the device. Although NSO claims that its products "are licensed only to legitimate government agencies for the sole purpose of investigating and preventing crime and terror," this is not the first time its Pegasus software has been used by Saudi Arabia to track critics.
In October it was revealed that Saudi Arabia used Pegasus software to eavesdrop on 27-year-old Saudi dissident Omar Abdulaziz, a prominent critic of the Saudi government on social media.
The revelation was made by Canadian research group Citizen Lab , which found that the software had been used to hack Abdulaziz' iPhone between June and August of this year. Citizen Lab's Director Ron Deibert explained that such actions by Saudi Arabia "would constitute illegal wiretapping".
A separate report by Citizen Lab in September found a "significant expansion of Pegasus usage in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in the Middle East," in particular the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Citizen Lab added that in August 2016, Emirati human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor was targeted with the Pegasus spyware.
Snowden's comments come less than a week after it emerged that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked the United States to stand by Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman (MBS) in the wake of the Khashoggi case. The revelation was made by the Washington Post , which cited information from US officials familiar with a series of telephone conversations made to Jared Kushner – senior advisor to President Donald Trump and Trump's son-in-law – and National Security Adviser John Bolton regarding the Khashoggi case. The officials told the Post that:
In recent days, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have reached out to the Trump administration to express support for the crown prince, arguing that he is an important strategic partner in the region, said people familiar with the calls.
Bin Salman has come under intense scrutiny in the month since Khashoggi first disappeared , with many suspecting his involvement in ordering the brutal murder. Yet while several world leaders have shunned the crown prince, it is thought that Israel would suffer from any decline in Saudi influence in the region in light of its purportedly central role in the upcoming " Deal of the Century ".
ihatewinter </> , 2018-11-05T17:52:15-05:00
Nov 07, 2018 | arstechnica.com
President Rouhani's phone "bugged," attacks against network infrastructure claimed.
Sean Gallagher - 11/5/2018, 5:10 PMreader comments
Last week, Iran's chief of civil defense claimed that the Iranian government had fought off Israeli attempts to infect computer systems with what he described as a new version of Stuxnet -- the malware reportedly developed jointly by the US and Israel that targeted Iran's uranium-enrichment program. Gholamreza Jalali, chief of the National Passive Defense Organization (NPDO), told Iran's IRNA news service, "Recently, we discovered a new generation of Stuxnet which consisted of several parts... and was trying to enter our systems."
On November 5, Iran Telecommunications Minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi accused Israel of being behind the attack, and he said that the malware was intended to "harm the country's communication infrastructures." Jahromi praised "technical teams" for shutting down the attack, saying that the attackers "returned empty-handed." A report from Iran's Tasnim news agency quoted Deputy Telecommunications Minister Hamid Fattahi as stating that more details of the cyber attacks would be made public soon.
Jahromi said that Iran would sue Israel over the attack through the International Court of Justice. The Iranian government has also said it would sue the US in the ICJ over the reinstatement of sanctions. Israel has remained silent regarding the accusations .
The claims come a week after the NPDO's Jalali announced that President Hassan Rouhani's cell phone had been "tapped" and was being replaced with a new, more secure device. This led to a statement by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, exhorting Iran's security apparatus to "confront infiltration through scientific, accurate, and up-to-date action."
While Iran protests the alleged attacks -- about which the Israeli government has been silent -- Iranian hackers have continued to conduct their own cyber attacks. A recent report from security tools company Carbon Black based on data from the company's incident-response partners found that Iran had been a significant source of attacks in the third quarter of this year, with one incident-response professional noting, "We've seen a lot of destructive actions from Iran and North Korea lately, where they've effectively wiped machines they suspect of being forensically analyzed."
SymmetricChaos </> , 2018-11-05T17:16:46-05:00 I feel like governments still think of cyber warfare as something that doesn't really count and are willing to be dangerously provocative in their use of it. ihatewinter , 2018-11-05T17:27:06-05:00 Another day in international politics. Beats lobbing bombs at each other. +13 ( +16 / -3 ) fahrenheit_ak </> , 2018-11-05T17:46:44-05:00corey_1967 wrote:revision0 , 2018-11-05T17:48:22-05:00 Israeli hackers?The twin pillars of Iran's foreign policy - America is evil and Wipe Israel off the map - do not appear to be serving the country very well.
They serve Iran very well, America is an easy target to gather support against, and Israel is more than willing to play the bad guy (for a bunch of reasons including Israels' policy of nuclear hegemony in the region and historical antagonism against Arab states).
Quote:Israeli hackers offered Cambridge Analytica, the data collection firm that worked on U.S. President Donald Trump's election campaign, material on two politicians who are heads of state, the Guardian reported Wednesday, citing witnesses.
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/isr ... -1.5933977
Quote:For $20M, These Israeli Hackers Will Spy On Any Phone On The Planet
https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrew ... -ulin-ss7/
Quote:While Israelis are not necessarily number one in technical skills -- that award goes to Russian hackers -- Israelis are probably the best at thinking on their feet and adjusting to changing situations on the fly, a trait essential for success in a wide range of areas, including cyber-security, said Forzieri. "In modern attacks, the human factor -- for example, getting someone to click on a link that will install malware -- constitutes as much as 85% of a successful attack," he said.+5 ( +9 / -4 )
http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-ha ... ty-expert/
dramamoose wrote:thorpe wrote:Agree. While Israel is not about to win Humanitarian Nation of the year Award any time soon, I don't see it going to Iran in a close vote tally either.The pro-Israel trolls out in front of this comment section...
You don't have to be pro-Israel to be anti-Iran. Far from it. I think many of Israel's actions in Palestine are reprehensible, but I also know to (rightly) fear an Islamic dictatorship who is actively funding terrorism groups and is likely a few years away from having a working nuclear bomb, should they resume research (which the US actions seem likely to cause).
The US created the Islamic Republic of Iran by holding a cruel dictator in power rather than risking a slide into communism. We should be engaging diplomatically, rather than trying sanctions which clearly don't work. But I don't think that the original Stuxnet was a bad idea, nor do I think that intense surveillance of what could be a potentially very dangerous country is a bad one either.
If the Israelis (slash US) did in fact target civilian infrastructure, that's a problem. Unless, of course, they were bugging them for espionage purposes.
Nov 06, 2018 | it.slashdot.org
(zdnet.com) 62 Researchers have found flaws that can be exploited to bypass hardware encryption in well known and popular SSD drives. Master passwords and faulty standards implementations allow attackers access to encrypted data without needing to know the user-chosen password.
SSDs from Micron (Crucial) and Samsung are affected. These are SSDs that support hardware-level encryption via a local built-in chip, separate from the main CPU. Some of these devices have a factory-set master password that bypasses the user-set password, while other SSDs store the encryption key on the hard drive, from where it can be retrieved. The issue is worse on Windows, where BitLocker defers software-level encryption to hardware encryption-capable SSDs, meaning user data is vulnerable to attacks without the user's knowledge. More in the research paper .
Nov 02, 2018 | sputniknews.com
A US government employee with an apparent addiction to Russian pornography is causing a headache at the US Geological Survey (USGS) after infecting their network with malware. The USGS's Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report October 17 detailing the compromise. The employee was apparently visiting pornography sites on his government-issued laptop, which is how the malware was contracted and spread through the network.
The employee, whose name is redacted from the report, visited thousands of pornographic websites. "Many of the 9,000 web pages [redacted] visited routed through websites that originated in Russia and contained malware," the report says.
"Most of the larger porn sites are not actively trying to install malware on your device, because that would interrupt their business model of getting you to come back to the site, click and view ads, and subscribe to their premium content," web developer and technologist Chris Garaffa told Sputnik News Tuesday. "However, third-party ad networks that do not properly screen the ads they run can be exploited to serve malware along with the ad. This applies not just to porn sites but to any site with advertisements on it."
"I recommend people use a safer browser like Mozilla Firefox or Brave, along with an ad-blocker add-on like uBlock Origin to help mitigate the risks -- regardless of what content they're viewing," Garaffa added.
According to the government's analysis, a number of pornographic images were saved on an unauthorized USB device and the employee's personal Android phone, which also got infected with the malware.
USGS is under the Department of Interior (DOI), which prohibits employees from viewing or distributing pornography on government computers. Employees are also banned from connecting their personal devices to government computers or networks, another rule that was violated by the employee.
The DOI conducts IT security training once a year, during which employees sign a statement saying they understand those rules. The employee attended those annual training events and the OIG "confirmed he agreed to the Rules of Behavior for several years prior."
The OIG recommended that USGS step up its monitoring of employee web usage, block pornographic websites and prevent unauthorized USB devices from being used on all employee computers. It gave USGS 90 days to indicate whether it plans on implementing those recommendations.
According to NextGov, a number of US government agencies have had similar scandals in recent history, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service and about a dozen others .
Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC) has on three occasions introduced legislation banning the viewing of pornography on federal government computers, NextGov notes. It isn't clear why the bills have failed to come to fruition.
"If your employer owns your phone, computer or even just the network you're connecting to, they have the legal right to monitor, log and save records of what you're typing, what websites you're visiting, the content of the emails you send -- even on your personal accounts -- and the right to look at your screen," Garaffa said.
"Employees should effectively keep in mind that they currently have no legal right to privacy when using a company-owned device or network," he added.
Nov 02, 2018 | sputniknews.com
The head of Iran's civil defense agency announced on Sunday that a new version of the Stuxnet virus, believed to be a US-Israeli creation, had been found by Iranian authorities. The announcement came amid news that President Hassan Rouhani's phone had been bugged and a call for increased defenses to "confront infiltration." "Recently we discovered a new generation of Stuxnet which consisted of several parts and was trying to enter our systems," announced Brigadier General Gholamreza Jalali, head of Iranian civil defense, Reuters reported. He gave no further details, such as whom the Iranian government believes to be behind the attack or how much damage it had caused.
The original Stuxnet virus targeted nuclear centrifuges at Iran's Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility in June 2009, when it caused about 20 percent of the facility's centrifuges to spin out of control until they broke. It's widely believed to have been a joint creation by the US and Israel.
The Times of Israel noted that Israeli officials have refused to discuss what role, if any, they played in either Stuxnet operation.
That same day, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Sunday, "In the face of the enemy's complex practices, our civil defense should confront infiltration through scientific, accurate and up-to-date action."
Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) then reported on Monday that Rouhani's cell phone had recently been discovered to be bugged, citing Jalali as saying that Rouhani's phone would be replaced with a more secure device. Again, Jalali made no indication as to who was believed to be behind the wire tap .
Still, Israel seems to be name on everyone's lips. The news is only one episode in a rapid succession of moves between Israel and Iran, with Israel's Mossad intelligence agency saying on Wednesday it had thwarted an Iranian murder plot in Denmark against three members of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz, an organization connected to those who carried out a terrorist attack during a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz on September 22, killing 25 people.
Earlier this year, Israel claimed it had accomplished a vast cyber-heist, stealing an archive that Israel claimed documented Tehran's continuing nuclear weapons program. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented those claims to the UN in September.
"What Iran hides, Israel will find," Netanyahu declared in his UN speech at the time.Lex W. PorterWhat kind of sick people put viruses in nuclear power stations? The same kind that shoot kids with sniper rifles while their citizens watch and cheer, I guess. Straight up criminal rogue regime...
John MasonWho else could it be but one of the dirty 4, US, UK, France or Israel who have been involved in creating global chaos.
Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
et Al October 5, 2018 at 4:00 amThe Register: Decoding the Chinese Super Micro super spy-chip super-scandal: What do we know – and who is telling the truth?
Who's your money on? Bloomberg's sources? Apple? Amazon? Super Micro?
Hit the comments. Quite a few very good points made, namely 'Why now?' (its da Chinese!) as it supposed occurred some years ago, the US breaks this kind of story when it knows it will shortly be fingered for doing the same (the US did a demo SCADA attack for the media before the STUXNET story broke), if it was done it would have only been on select machines etc. etc.
Euractiv: Apple, Amazon deny Bloomberg report on Chinese hardware attack
There was a headlining (which of course I cannot find now*) saying that the US is calling on the UK, EU & Japan should get together and take on China economically. Why does the might US need help? It's quite an admission. This is at the same time that the US is targeting EU companies that do business with Russia and also telling Brussels that they do not agree with its very modest proposals for WTO reform.** There's no balance. They're all over the place, no to mention their spokespersons going tonto and shooting off their mouths so casually (US NATO Amb).
The more you look at all the current revelations, who they are made by, the way they are all being fed to the press and the demands now being made, it looks more and more that the Euro-Atfantacists are making another concerted and desperate campaign to retain some sort of influence. The UK is leaving the EU. Even if it rejoins, it won't be a 'special partner'. The fact that the USA-insane Netherlands and the UK are running their stories together shows us that the target is the rest of Europe, just as outgoing Pres of the EU J-C Juncker has said that Europe's best interests are with a security treaty with Russia. BTW, Finland's Stubb is putting himself forward to replace Juncker
* et voila! US, EU should 'clean the house' and deal with China – US ambassador
** US says it cannot support some of EU's ideas for WTO reform
Oct 07, 2018 | freethoughtblogs.com
Bob Moore asks me to comment on an article about propaganda and security/intelligence. [ article ] This is going to be a mixture of opinion and references to facts; I'll try to be clear which is which.
Yesterday several NATO countries ran a concerted propaganda campaign against Russia. The context for it was a NATO summit in which the U.S. presses for an intensified cyberwar against NATO's preferred enemy.
On the same day another coordinated campaign targeted China. It is aimed against China's development of computer chip manufacturing further up the value chain. Related to this is U.S. pressure on Taiwan, a leading chip manufacturer, to cut its ties with its big motherland.
It is true that the US periodically makes a big push regarding "messaging" about hacking. Whether or not it constitutes a "propaganda campaign" depends on how we choose to interpret things and the labels we attach to them -- "propaganda campaign" has a lot of negative connotations and one person's "outreach effort" is an other's "propaganda." An ultra-nationalist or an authoritarian submissive who takes the government's word for anything would call it "outreach."
There has been an ongoing campaign on the part of the US, to get out the idea that China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have massive armies of hackers that are constantly looking to steal American secrets. The absurdity of the US' claims is pretty obvious. As I pointed out in my book The Myth of Homeland Security (2004) [ wc ] claims such as that the Chinese had "40,000 highly trained hackers" are flat-out absurd and ignore the reality of hacking; that's four army corps. Hackers don't engage in "human wave" attacks.
"The Great US/China Cyberwar of 2010" is one cyberwar that didn't happen, but was presaged with a run-up of lots of claims that the Chinese were hacking all over the place. I'm perfectly willing to accept the possibility that there was Chinese hacking activity, but in the industry there was no indication of an additional level of attack or significance.
One thing that did happen in 2010 around the same time as the nonexistent cyberwar was China and Russia proposed trilateral talks with the US to attempt to define appropriate limits on state-sponsored hacking. The US flatly rejected the proposal, but there was virtually no coverage of that in the US media at the time. The UN also called for a cyberwar treaty framework, and the effort was killed by the US. [ wired ] What's fascinating and incomprehensible to me is that, whenever the US feels that its ability to claim pre-emptive cyberwar is challenged, it responds with a wave of claims about Chinese (or Russian or North Korean) cyberwar aggression.
John Negroponte, former director of US intelligence, said intelligence agencies in the major powers would be the first to "express reservations" about such an accord.
US ideology is that "we don't start wars" -- it's always looking for an excuse to go to war under the rubric of self-defense, so I see these sorts of claims as justification in advance for unilateral action. I also see it as a sign of weakness; if the US were truly the superpower it claims it is, it would simply accept its imperial mantle and stop bothering to try to justify anything. I'm afraid we may be getting close to that point.
My assumption has always been that the US is projecting its own actions on other nations. At the time when the US was talking the loudest about Chinese cyberwar, the US and Israel had launched STUXNET against the Iranian enrichment plant at Natanz, and the breeder reactor at Bushehr (which happens to be just outside of a large city; the attack took some of its control systems and backup generators offline). Attacks on nuclear power facilities are a war crime under international humanitarian law, which framework the US is signatory to but has not committed to actually follow. This sort of activity happens at the same time that the US distributes talking-points to the media about the danger of Russian hackers crashing the US power grid. I don't think we can psychoanalyze an entire government and I think psychoanalysis is mostly nonsense -- but it's tempting to accuse the US of "projection."
The anti-Russian campaign is about alleged Russian spying, hacking and influence operations. Britain and the Netherland took the lead. Britain accused Russia's military intelligence service (GRU) of spying attempts against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague and Switzerland, of spying attempts against the British Foreign Office, of influence campaigns related to European and the U.S. elections, and of hacking the international doping agency WADA. British media willingly helped to exaggerate the claims: [ ]
The Netherland [sic] for its part released a flurry of information about the alleged spying attempts against the OPCW in The Hague. It claims that four GRU agents traveled to The Hague on official Russian diplomatic passports to sniff out the WiFi network of the OPCW. (WiFi networks are notoriously easy to hack. If the OPCW is indeed using such it should not be trusted with any security relevant issues.) The Russian officials were allegedly very secretive, even cleaning out their own hotel trash, while they, at the same, time carried laptops with private data and even taxi receipts showing their travel from a GRU headquarter in Moscow to the airport. Like in the Skripal/Novichok saga the Russian spies are, at the same time, portrayed as supervillains and hapless amateurs. Real spies are neither.
The U.S. Justice Department added to the onslaught by issuing new indictments (pdf) against alleged GRU agents dubiously connected to several alleged hacking incidents . As none of those Russians will ever stand in front of a U.S. court the broad allegations will never be tested.
There's a lot there, and I think the interpretation is a bit over-wrought, but it's mostly accurate. The US and the UK (and other NATO allies, as necessary) clearly coordinate when it comes to talking points. Claims of Chinese cyberwar in the US press will be followed by claims in the UK and Australian press, as well. My suspicion is that this is not the US Government and UK Government coordinating a story -- it's the intelligence agencies doing it. My opinion is that the intelligence services are fairly close to a "deep state" -- the CIA and NSA are completely out of control and the CIA has gone far toward building its own military, while the NSA has implemented completely unrestricted surveillance worldwide.
All of this stuff happens against the backdrop of Klein, Binney, Snowden, and the Vault 7 revelations, as well as solid attribution identifying the NSA as "equation group" and linking the code-tree of NSA-developed malware to STUXNET, FLAME, and DUQU. While the attribution that "Fancy Bear is the GRU" has been made and is probably fairly solid, the attribution of NSA malware and CIA malware is rock solid; the US has even admitted to deploying STUXNET -- Obama bragged about it. When Snowden's revelations outlined how the NSA had eavesdropped on Angela Merkel's cellphone, the Germans expressed shock and Barack Obama remarkably truthfully said "that's how these things are done" and blew the whole thing off by saying that the NSA wasn't eavesdropping on Merkel any more. [ bbc ]
It's hard to keep score because everything is pretty vague, but it sounds like the US has been dramatically out-spending and out-acting the other nations that it accuses of being prepared for cyberwar. I tend to be extremely skeptical of US claims because: bomber gap, missile gap, gulf of Tonkin, Iraq WMD, Afghanistan, Libya and every other aggressive attack by the US which was blamed on its target. The reason I assume the US is the most aggressive actor in cyberspace is because the US has done a terrible job of protecting its tool-sets and operational security: it's hard not to see the US is prepared for cyberwar, when both the NSA and the CIA leak massive collections of advanced tools.
Meanwhile, where are the leaks of Russian and Chinese tools? They have been few and far between, if there have been any at all. Does this mean that the Russians and Chinese have amazingly superior tradecraft, if not tools? I don't know. My observation is that the NSA and CIA have been horribly sloppy and have clearly spent a gigantic amount of money preparing to compromise both foreign and domestic systems -- that's bad enough. With friends like the NSA and CIA, who needs Russians and Chinese?
The article does not have great depth to its understanding of the situation, I'm afraid. So it comes off as a bit heavy on the recent news while ignoring the long-term trends. For example:
The allegations of Chinese supply chain attacks are of course just as hypocritical as the allegations against Russia. The very first know case of computer related supply chain manipulation goes back to 1982 :
A CIA operation to sabotage Soviet industry by duping Moscow into stealing booby-trapped software was spectacularly successful when it triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian gas pipeline, it emerged yesterday.
I wrote a piece about the "Farewell Dossier" in 2004. [ mjr ] Re-reading it, it comes off as skeptical but waffly. I think that it's self-promotion by the CIA and exaggerates considerably ("look how clever we are!") at a time when the CIA was suffering an attention and credibility deficit after its shitshow performance under George Tenet. But the first known cases of computer related supply chain manipulation go back to the 70s and 80s -- the NSA even compromised Crypto AG's Hagelin M-209 system (a mechanical ciphering machine) in order to read global communications encrypted with that product. You can imagine Crypto AG's surprise when the Iranian secret police arrested one of their sales reps for selling backdoor'd crypto -- the NSA had never told them about the backdoor, naturally. The CIA was also on record for producing Xerox machines destined for the USSR, which had recorders built into them So, while the article is portraying the historical sweep of NSA dirty tricks, they're only looking at the recent ones. Remember: the NSA also weakened the elliptic curve crypto library in RSA's Bsafe implementation, paying RSADSI $13 million to accept their tweaked code.
Why haven't we been hearing about the Chinese and Russians doing that sort of thing? There are four options:
- The Russians and Chinese are doing it, they're just so darned good nobody has caught them until just recently.
- The Russians and Chinese simply resort to using existing tools developed by the hacking/cybercrime community and rely on great operational security rather than fancy tools.
- The Russian and Chinese efforts are relatively tiny compared to the massive efforts the US expends tens of billions of dollars on. The US spends about $50bn on its intelligence agencies, while the entire Russian Department of Defense budget is about $90bn (China is around $139bn) -- maybe the Russians and Chinese have such a small footprint because they are much smaller operations?
- Something else.
That brings us to the recent kerfuffle about taps on the Supermicro motherboards. That's not unbelievable at all -- not in a world where we discover that Intel has built a parallel management CPU into every CPU since 2008, and that there is solid indications that other processors have similar backdoors.
Was the Intel IME a "backdoor" or just "a bad idea"? Well, that's tricky. Let me put my tinfoil hat on: making a backdoor look like a sloppily developed product feature would be the competent way to write a backdoor. Making it as sneaky as the backdoor in the Via is unnecessary -- incompetence is eminently believable.&
I believe all of these stories (including the Supermicro) are the tip of a great big, ugly iceberg. The intelligence community has long known that software-only solutions are too mutable, and are easy to decompile and figure out. They have wanted to be in the BIOS of systems -- on the motherboard -- for a long time. If you go back to 2014, we have disclosures about the NSA malware that hides in hard drive BIOS: [ vice ] [ vice ] That appears to have been in progress around 2000/2001.
Of note, the group recovered two modules belonging to EquationDrug and GrayFish that were used to reprogram hard drives to give the attackers persistent control over a target machine. These modules can target practically every hard drive manufacturer and brand on the market, including Seagate, Western Digital, Samsung, Toshiba, Corsair, Hitachi and more. Such attacks have traditionally been difficult to pull off, given the risk in modifying hard drive software, which may explain why Kaspersky could only identify a handful of very specific targets against which the attack was used, where the risk was worth the reward.But Equation Group's malware platforms have other tricks, too. GrayFish, for example, also has the ability to install itself into computer's boot record -- software that loads even before the operating system itself -- and stores all of its data inside a portion of the operating system called the registry, where configuration data is normally stored.
EquationDrug was designed for use on older Windows operating systems, and "some of the plugins were designed originally for use on Windows 95/98/ME" -- versions of Windows so old that they offer a good indication of the Equation Group's age.
This is not a very good example of how to establish a "malware gap" since it just makes the NSA look like they are incapable of keeping a secret. If you want an idea how bad it is, Kaspersky labs' analysis of the NSA's toolchain is a good example of how to do attribution correctly. Unfortunately for the US agenda, that solid attribution points toward Fort Meade in Maryland. [kaspersky]
Let me be clear: I think we are fucked every which way from the start. With backdoors in the BIOS, backdoors on the CPU, and wireless cellular-spectrum backdoors, there are probably backdoors in the GPUs and the physical network controllers, as well. Maybe the backdoors in the GPU come from the GRU and maybe the backdoors in the hard drives come from NSA, but who cares? The upshot is that all of our systems are so heinously compromised that they can only be considered marginally reliable. It is, literally, not your computer: it's theirs. They'll let you use it so long as your information is interesting to them.
Do I believe the Chinese are capable of doing such a thing? Of course. Is the GRU? Probably. Mossad? Sure. NSA? Well-documented attribution points toward NSA. Your computer is a free-fire zone. It has been since the mid 1990s, when the NSA was told "no" on the Clipper chip and decided to come up with its own Plan B, C, D, and E. Then, the CIA came up with theirs. Etc. There are probably so many backdoors in our systems that it's a miracle it works at all.
From my 2012 RSA conference lecture "Cyberwar, you're doing it wrong."
The problem is that playing in this space is the purview of governments. Nobody in the cybercrime or hacking world need tools like these. The intelligence operatives have huge budgets, compared to a typical company's security budget, and it's unreasonable to expect any business to invest such a level of effort on defending itself. So what should companies do? They should do exactly what they are doing: expect the government to deal with it; that's what governments are for. The problem with that strategy is that their government isn't on their side, either! It's Hobbes' playground.
In case you think I am engaging in hyperbole, I assure you I am not. If you want another example of the lengths (and willingness to bypass the law) "they" are willing to go, consider 'stingrays' that are in operation in every major US city and outside of every interesting hotel and high tech park. Those devices are not passive -- they actively inject themselves into the call set-up between your phone and your carrier -- your data goes through the stingray, or it doesn't go at all. If there are multiple stingrays, then your latency goes through the roof. "They" don't care. Are the stingrays NSA, FBI, CIA, Mossad, GRU, or PLA? Probably a bit of all of the above depending on where and when.
Whenever the US gets caught with its pants down around its ankles, it blames the Chinese or the Russians because they have done a good job of building the idea that the most serious hackers on the planet at the Chinese. I don't believe that we're seeing complex propaganda campaigns that are tied to specific incidents -- I think we see ongoing organic propaganda campaigns that all serve the same end: protect the agencies, protect their budgets, justify their existence, and downplay their incompetence.
So, with respect to "propaganda" I would say that the US intelligence community has been consistently pushing a propaganda agenda against the US government, and the citizens in order to justify its actions and defend its budget.
The government also engages in propaganda, and is influenced by the intelligence community's propaganda as well. And the propaganda campaigns work because everyone involved assumes, "well, given what the NSA has been able to do, I should assume the Chinese can do likewise." That's a perfectly reasonable assumption and I think it's probably true that the Chinese have capabilities. The situation is what Chuck Spinney calls "A self-licking ice cream cone" -- it's a justifying structure that makes participation in endless aggression seem like a sensible thing to do. And, when there's inevitably a disaster, it's going to be like a cyber-9/11 and will serve as a justification for even more unrestrained aggression.
Want to see what it looks like? A thousand thanks to Commentariat member [redacted] for this link. If you don't like video, there's an article here. [ toms ]
Is this an NSA backdoor, or normal incompetence? Is Intel Management Engine an NSA-inspired backdoor, or did some system engineers at Intel think that was a good idea? There are other scary indications of embedded compromise: the CIA's Vault7 archive included code that appeared to be intended to embed in the firmware of "smart" flatscreen TVs. That would make every LG flat panel in every hotel room, a listening device just waiting to be turned on.
We know the Chinese didn't do that particular bug but why wouldn't they do something similar, in something else? China is the world's oldest mature culture -- they literally wrote the book on strategy -- Americans acting as though it's a great surprise to learn that the Chinese are not stupid, it's just the parochialism of a 250 year-old culture looking at a 3,000 year-old culture and saying "wow, you guys haven't been asleep at the switch after all!"
WIRED on cyberspace treaties [ wired ]Comments
Pierce R. Butler says
October 6, 2018 at 1:31 pm
What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes.
Funny how those obsessed with "false flag" operations work so hard to invite more of same.
Marcus Ranum says
October 6, 2018 at 2:28 pm
Pierce R. Butler@#1:
What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes.
Yes. Since 2001, as far as most of us can tell, federal cybersecurity spend has been 80% offense, 20% defense. And a lot of the offensive spend has been aimed at We, The People.
Cat Mara says
October 6, 2018 at 5:20 pm
Your mention of Operation Sundevil and Kevin Mitnick in a previous post made me think that maybe the reason we haven't seen the kind of leaks from the Russian and Chinese hacking operations that we've seem from the NSA is that they're running a "Kevin Mitnick style" operation; that is, relying less on technical solutions and using instead old-fashioned "social engineering" and other low-tech forms of espionage (like running troll farms on social media). I mean, I've seen interviews with retired US intelligence people since the 90s complain that since the late 1980s, the intelligence agencies have been crippled by management in love with hi-tech "SIGINT" solutions to problems that never deliver and neglecting old-fashioned "HUMINT" intelligence-gathering.
The thing is, Kevin Mitnick got away with a lot of what he did because people didn't take security seriously then, and still don't. On a similar nostalgia vibe, I remember reading an article by Keith Bostic (one of the researchers who helped in the analysis of the Morris worm that took down a significant chunk of the Internet back in 1988) where he did a follow-up a year or so afterwards and some depressing number of organisations that had been hit by it still hadn't patched the holes that had let the worm infect them in the first place.
Marcus Ranum says
October 6, 2018 at 9:20 pm
Your mention of Operation Sundevil and Kevin Mitnick in a previous post made me think that maybe the reason we haven't seen the kind of leaks from the Russian and Chinese hacking operations that we've seem from the NSA is that they're running a "Kevin Mitnick style" operation; that is, relying less on technical solutions and using instead old-fashioned "social engineering" and other low-tech forms of espionage (like running troll farms on social media).
I think that's right, to a high degree. What if Edward Snowden was an agent provocateur instead of a well-meaning naive kid? A tremendous amount of damage could be done, as well as stealing the US' expensive toys. The Russians have been very good at doing exactly that sort of operation, since WWII. The Chinese are, if anything, more subtle than the Russians.
The Chinese attitude, as expressed to me by someone who might be a credible source is, "why are you picking a fight with us? We don't care, you're too far away for us to threaten you, we both have loads of our own fish to fry. To them, the US is young, hyperactive, and stupid.
The FBI is not competent, at all, against old-school humint intelligence-gathering. Compared to the US' cyber-toys, the old ways are probably more efficient and cost effective. China's intelligence community is also much more team-oriented than the CIA/NSA; they're actually a disciplined operation under the strategic control of policy-makers. That, by the way, is why Russians and Chinese stare in amazement when Americans ask things like "Do you think Putin knew about this?" What a stupid question! It's an autocracy; they don't have intelligence operatives just going an deciding "it's a nice day to go to England with some Novichok." The entire American attitude toward espionage lacks maturity.
On a similar nostalgia vibe, I remember reading an article by Keith Bostic (one of the researchers who helped in the analysis of the Morris worm that took down a significant chunk of the Internet back in 1988) where he did a follow-up a year or so afterwards and some depressing number of organisations that had been hit by it still hadn't patched the holes that had let the worm infect them in the first place.
That as an exciting time. We were downstream from University of Maryland, which got hit pretty badly. Pete Cottrel and Chris Torek from UMD were also in on Bostic's dissection. We were doing uucp over TCP for our email (that changed pretty soon after the worm) and our uucp queue blew up. I cured the worm with a reboot into single-user mode and a quick 'rm -f' in the uucp queue.
Bob Moore says
October 7, 2018 at 9:18 am
Thanks. I appreciate your measured analysis and the making explicit of the bottom line: " agencies, protect their budgets, justify their existence, and downplay their incompetence."
Oct 05, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
daffyDuct , Oct 5, 2018 8:35:21 PM | linkThe SuperMicro chips may be an alleged use of the Intel Management Engine (or the AMD equivalent).
From Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-10-04/the-big-hack-how-china-used-a-tiny-chip-to-infiltrate-america-s-top-companies
"In simplified terms, the implants on Supermicro hardware manipulated the core operating instructions that tell the server what to do as data move across a motherboard, two people familiar with the chips' operation say. This happened at a crucial moment, as small bits of the operating system were being stored in the board's temporary memory en route to the server's central processor, the CPU. The implant was placed on the board in a way that allowed it to effectively edit this information queue, injecting its own code or altering the order of the instructions the CPU was meant to follow. Deviously small changes could create disastrous effects.
The illicit chips could do all this because they were connected to the baseboard management controller, a kind of superchip that administrators use to remotely log in to problematic servers, giving them access to the most sensitive code even on machines that have crashed or are turned off."
From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Management_Engine
"The Intel Management Engine (ME), also known as the Manageability Engine, is an autonomous subsystem that has been incorporated in virtually all of Intel's processor chipsets since 2008. The subsystem primarily consists of proprietary firmware running on a separate microprocessor that performs tasks during boot-up, while the computer is running, and while it is asleep.As long as the chipset or SoC is connected to current (via battery or power supply), it continues to run even when the system is turned off. Intel claims the ME is required to provide full performance. Its exact workings are largely undocumented and its code is obfuscated using confidential huffman tables stored directly in hardware, so the firmware does not contain the information necessary to decode its contents. Intel's main competitor AMD has incorporated the equivalent AMD Secure Technology (formally called Platform Security Processor) in virtually all of its post-2013 CPUs.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and security expert Damien Zammit accuse the ME of being a backdoor and a privacy concern. Zammit states that the ME has full access to memory (without the parent CPU having any knowledge); has full access to the TCP/IP stack and can send and receive network packets independent of the operating system, thus bypassing its firewall. Intel asserts that it "does not put back doors in its products" and that its products do not "give Intel control or access to computing systems without the explicit permission of the end user."
Oct 04, 2018 | it.slashdot.org
Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) , Tuesday May 29, 2012 @12:17AM ( #40139317 ) JournalIt's a scam !! ( Score: 5 , Informative)
http://erratasec.blogspot.com/2012/05/bogus-story-no-chinese-backdoor-in.html [blogspot.com]Bogus story: no Chinese backdoor in military chip"Today's big news is that researchers have found proof of Chinese manufacturers putting backdoors in American chips that the military uses. This is false. While they did find a backdoor in a popular FPGA chip, there is no evidence the Chinese put it there, or even that it was intentionally malicious.
Furthermore, the Actel ProAsic3 FPGA chip isn't fabricated in China at all !!jhoegl ( 638955 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @01:30PM ( #40136003 )khasim ( 1285 ) writes: < email@example.com > on Monday May 28, 2012 @01:48PM ( #40136097 )Fear mongering ( Score: 5 , Insightful)
It sells...Particularly in a press release like that. ( Score: 5 , Insightful)
That entire article reads more like a press release with FUD than anything with any facts.
Which US customer?
No facts and LOTS of claims. It's pure FUD.
(Not that this might not be a real concern. But the first step is getting past the FUD and marketing materials and getting to the real facts.)ArsenneLupin ( 766289 ) , Tuesday May 29, 2012 @01:11AM ( #40139489 )Re:Particularly in a press release like that. ( Score: 5 , Informative)
A quick google showed that that this is indeed the chip, but the claims are "slightly" overblown [blogspot.com]Anonymous Coward , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:14PM ( #40136273 )Most likely inserted by Microsemi/Actel not fab ( Score: 5 , Informative)
1) Read the paper http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~sps32/Silicon_scan_draft.pdf
2) This is talking about FPGAs designed by Microsemi/Actel.
3) The article focuses on the ProAsic3 chips but says all the Microsemi/Actel chips tested had the same backdoor including but not limited to Igloo, Fusion and Smartfusion.
4) FPGAs give JTAG access to their internals for programming and debugging but many of the access methods are proprietary and undocumented. (security through obscurity)
5) Most FPGAs have features that attempt to prevent reverse engineering by disabling the ability to read out critical stuff.
6) These chips have a secret passphrase (security through obscurity again) that allows you to read out the stuff that was supposed to be protected.
7) These researchers came up with a new way of analyzing the chip (pipeline emission analysis) to discover the secret passphrase. More conventional analysis (differential power analysis) was not sensitive enough to reveal it.
This sounds a lot (speculation on my part) like a deliberate backdoor put in for debug purposes, security through obscurity at it's best. It doesn't sound like something secret added by the chip fab company, although time will tell. Just as embedded controller companies have gotten into trouble putting hidden logins into their code thinking they're making the right tradeoff between convenience and security, this hardware company seems to have done the same.
Someone forgot to tell the marketing droids though and they made up a bunch of stuff about how the h/w was super secure.JimCanuck ( 2474366 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @04:45PM ( #40137217 )Re:Most likely inserted by Microsemi/Actel not fab ( Score: 5 , Interesting)
I don't think anyone fully understands JTAG, there are a lot of different versions of it mashed together on the typical hardware IC. Regardless if its a FPGA, microcontroller or otherwise. The so called "back door" can only be accessed through the JTAG port as well, so unless the military installed a JTAG bridge to communicate to the outside world and left it there, well then the "backdoor" is rather useless.
Something that can also be completely disabled by setting the right fuse inside the chip itself to disable all JTAG connections. Something that is considered standard practice on IC's with a JTAG port available once assembled into their final product and programmed.
Plus according to Microsemi's own website, all military and aerospace qualified versions of their parts are still made in the USA. So this "researcher" used commercial parts, which depending on the price point can be made in the plant in Shanghai or in the USA at Microsemi's own will.
The "researcher" and the person who wrote the article need to spend some time reading more before talking.emt377 ( 610337 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @07:02PM ( #40137873 )Re:Most likely inserted by Microsemi/Actel not fab ( Score: 4 , Insightful)The so called "back door" can only be accessed through the JTAG port as well, so unless the military installed a JTAG bridge to communicate to the outside world and left it there, well then the "backdoor" is rather useless.
With pin access to the FPGA it's trivial to hook it up, no bridges or transceivers needed. If it's a BGA then get a breakout/riser board that provides pin access. This is off-the-shelf stuff. This means if the Chinese military gets their hands on the hardware they can reverse engineer it. They won't have to lean very hard on the manufacturer for them to cough up every last detail. In China you just don't say no to such requests if you know what's good for you and your business.JimCanuck ( 2474366 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @11:05PM ( #40139083 )Re:Most likely inserted by Microsemi/Actel not fab ( Score: 4 , Interesting)Not being readable even when someone has the device in hand is exactly what these secure FPGAs are meant to protect against!
It's not a non-issue. It's a complete failure of a product to provide any advantages over non-secure equivalents.
You clearly have NOT used a FPGA or similar. First the ProASIC3 the article focuses on is the CHEAPEST product in the product line (some of that model line reach down to below a dollar each). But beyond that
... Devices are SECURED by processes, such as blowing the JTAG fuses in the device which makes them operation only, and unreadable. They are secureable, if you follow the proper processes and methods laid out by the manufacturer of the specific chip.
Just because a "research paper" claims there is other then standard methods of JTAG built into the JTAG doesn't mean that the device doesn't secure as it should, nor does it mean this researcher who is trying to peddle his own product is anything but biased in this situation.nospam007 ( 722110 ) * , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:39PM ( #40136445 )Re:What did the military expect? ( Score: 4 , Interesting)
"Even if this case turns out to be a false alarm, allowing a nation that you repeatedly refer to as a 'near-peer competitor' to build parts of your high-tech weaponry is idiotic."
Not to mention the non-backdoor ones.
'Bogus electronic parts from China have infiltrated critical U.S. defense systems and equipment, including Navy helicopters and a commonly used Air Force cargo aircraft, a new report says.'
http://articles.dailypress.com/2012-05-23/news/dp-nws-counterfeit-chinese-parts-20120523_1_fake-chinese-parts-counterfeit-parts-air-force-c-130j [dailypress.com]0123456 ( 636235 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:04PM ( #40136219 )Re:Should only buy military components from allies ( Score: 3 , Funny)The US military should have a strict policy of only buying military parts from sovereign, free, democratic countries with a long history of friendship, such as Israel, Canada, Europe, Japan and South Korea.
Didn't the US and UK governments sell crypto equipment they knew they could break to their 'allies' during the Cold War?tlhIngan ( 30335 ) writes: < slashdot@[ ]f.net ['wor' in gap] > on Monday May 28, 2012 @03:30PM ( #40136781 )Re:Should only buy military components from allies ( Score: 5 , Insightful)Second problem.... 20 years ago the DOD had their own processor manufacturing facilities, IC chips, etc. They were shut down in favor of commercial equipment because some idiot decided it was better to have an easier time buying replacement parts at Radioshack than buying quality military-grade components that could last in austere environments. (Yes, speaking from experience). Servers and workstations used to be built from the ground up at places like Tobyhanna Army Depot. Now, servers and workstations are bought from Dell.
Fabs are expensive. The latest generation nodes cost billions of dollars to set up and billions more to run. If they aren't cranking chips out 24/7, they're literally costing money. Yes, I know it's hte military, but I'm sure people have a hard time justifying $10B every few years just to fab a few chips. One of the biggest developments in the 90s was the development of foundries that let anyone with a few tens of millions get in the game of producing chips rather than requiring billions in startup costs. Hence the startup of tons of fabless companies selling chips.
OK, another option is to buy a cheap obsolete fab and make chips that way - much cheaper to run, but we're also talking maybe 10+ year old technology, at which point the chips are going to be slower and take more power.
Also, building your own computer from the ground up is expensive - either you buy the designs of your servers from say, Intel, or design your own. If you buy it, it'll be expensive and probably require your fab to be upgraded (or you get stuck with an old design - e.g., Pentium (the original) - which Intel bought back from the DoD because the DoD had been debugging it over the decade). If you went with the older cheaper fab, the design has to be modified to support that technology (you cannot just take a design and run with it - you have to adapt your chip to the foundry you use).
If you roll your own, that becomes a support nightmare because now no one knows the system.
And on the taxpayer side - I'm sure everyone will question why you're spending billions running a fab that's only used at 10% capacity - unless you want the DoD getting into the foundry business with its own issues.
Or, why is the military spending so much money designing and running its own computer architecture and support services when they could buy much cheaper machines from Dell and run Linux on them?
Hell, even if the DoD had budget for that, some bean counter will probably do the same so they can save money from one side and use it to buy more fighter jets or something.
30+ years ago, defense spending on electronics formed a huge part of the overall electronics spending. These days, defense spending is but a small fraction - it's far more lucrative to go after the consumer market than the military - they just don't have the economic clout they once had. End result is the military is forced to buy COTS ICs, or face stuff like a $0.50 chip costing easily $50 or more for same just because the military is a bit-player for semiconductors__aaltlg1547 ( 2541114 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:29PM ( #40136361 )Genda ( 560240 ) writes: < <ten.tog> <ta> <teiram> > on Monday May 28, 2012 @03:46PM ( #40136857 ) JournalRe:Should only buy military components from allies ( Score: 2 )
Anybody remember Jonathan Pollard?Re:Should only buy military components from allies ( Score: 2 )
You do know that the Mossad has been caught stealing and collecting American Top Secrets. In fact most of the nations above save perhaps Canada have at one time or another been caught either spying on us, or performing dirty deeds cheap against America's best interest. I'd say for the really classified stuff, like the internal security devices that monitor everything else... homegrown only thanks, and add that any enterprising person who's looking to get paid twice by screwing with the hardware or selling secrets to certified unfriendlies get's to cools their heels for VERY LONG TIME.NixieBunny ( 859050 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @01:34PM ( #40136025 ) HomepageThe actual article ( Score: 5 , Informative)
The original article is here. [cam.ac.uk] It refers to an Actel ProAsic3 chip, which is an FPGA with internal EEPROM to store the configuration.Anonymous Coward , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:09PM ( #40136249 )Re:The actual article ( Score: 5 , Interesting)
From your much more useful link,We investigated the PA3 backdoor problem through Internet searches, software and hardware analysis and found that this particular backdoor is not a result of any mistake or an innocent bug, but is instead a deliberately inserted and well thought-through backdoor that is crafted into, and part of, the PA3 security system. We analysed other Microsemi/Actel products and found they all have the same deliberate backdoor. Those products include, but are not limited to: Igloo, Fusion and Smartfusion.we have found that the PA3 is used in military products such as weapons, guidance, flight control, networking and communications. In industry it is used in nuclear power plants, power distribution, aerospace, aviation, public transport and automotive products. This permits a new and disturbing possibility of a large scale Stuxnet-type attack via a network or the Internet on the silicon itself. If the key is known, commands can be embedded into a worm to scan for JTAG, then to attack and reprogram the firmware remotely.
emphasis mine. Key is retrieved using the backdoor. Frankly, if this is true, Microsemi/Actel should get complete ban from all government contracts, including using their chips in any item build for use by the government.NixieBunny ( 859050 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:44PM ( #40136487 ) HomepageRe:The actual article ( Score: 3 )
I would not be surprised if it's a factory backdoor that's included in all their products, but is not documented and is assumed to not be a problem because it's not documented.
With regard to reprogramming the chip remotely or by the FPGA itself via the JTAG port: A secure system is one that can't reprogram itself.
When I was designing VMEbus computer boards for a military subcontractor many years ago, every board had a JTAG connector that required the use of another computer with a special cable plugged into the board to perform reprogramming of the FPGAs. None of this update-by-remote-control crap.Blackman-Turkey ( 1115185 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:19PM ( #40136305 )Re:The actual article ( Score: 3 , Informative)
No source approved [dla.mil] for Microsemi (Actel) qualified chips in China. If you use non-approved sources then, well, shit happens (although how this HW backdoor would be exploited is kind of unclear).
It seems that People's Republic of China has been misidentified with Taiwan (Republic of China).6031769 ( 829845 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @01:35PM ( #40136031 ) Homepage JournalWait and see ( Score: 5 , Informative)
Either the claims will be backed up by independently reproduced tests or they won't. But, given his apparent track record in this area and the obvious scrutiny this would bring, Skorobogatov must have been sure of his results before announcing this.
Here's his publications list from his University home page, FWIW: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~sps32/#Publications [cam.ac.uk]Anonymous Coward , Monday May 28, 2012 @01:36PM ( #40136039 )samzenpus will be looking for a new job soon ( Score: 3 , Funny)Even though this story has been blowing-up on Twitter, there are a few caveats. The backdoor doesn't seem to have been confirmed by anyone else, Skorobogatov is a little short on details, and he is trying to sell the scanning technology used to uncover the vulnerability.
Hey hey HEY! You stop that right this INSTANT, samzenpus! This is Slashdot! We'll have none of your "actual investigative research" nonsense around here! Fear mongering to sell ad space, mister, and that's ALL! Now get back to work! We need more fluffy space-filling articles like that one about the minor holiday labeling bug Microsoft had in the UK! That's what we want to see more of!laing ( 303349 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:08PM ( #40136243 )Requires Physical Access ( Score: 5 , Informative)
The back-door described in the white paper requires access to the JTAG (1149.1) interface to exploit. Most deployed systems do not provide an active external interface for JTAG. With physical access to a "secure" system based upon these parts, the techniques described in the white paper allow for a total compromise of all IP within. Without physical access, very little can be done to compromise systems based upon these parts.vlm ( 69642 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @03:34PM ( #40136807 )Where was it designed in? ( Score: 3 )
Where was this undocumented feature/bug designed in? I see plenty of "I hate China" posts, it would be quite hilarious if the fedgov talked the US mfgr into adding this backdoor, then the Chinese built it as designed. Perhaps the plan all along was to blame the Chinese if they're caught.
These are not military chips. They are FPGAs that happen to be used occasionally for military apps. Most of them are sold for other, more commercially exploitable purposes.time961 ( 618278 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @03:51PM ( #40136887 )Big risk is to "secret sauce" for comms & cryp ( Score: 5 , Informative)
This is a physical-access backdoor. You have to have your hands on the hardware to be able to use JTAG. It's not a "remote kill switch" driven by a magic data trigger, it's a mechanism that requires use of a special connector on the circuit board to connect to a dedicated JTAG port that is simply neither used nor accessible in anything resembling normal operation.
That said, it's still pretty bad, because hardware does occasionally end up in the hands of unfriendlies (e.g., crashed drones). FPGAs like these are often used to run classified software radio algorithms with anti-jam and anti-interception goals, or to run classified cryptographic algorithms. If those algorithms can be extracted from otherwise-dead and disassembled equipment, that would be bad--the manufacturer's claim that the FPGA bitstream can't be extracted might be part of the system's security certification assumptions. If that claim is false, and no other counter-measures are place, that could be pretty bad.
Surreptitiously modifying a system in place through the JTAG port is possible, but less of a threat: the adversary would have to get access to the system and then return it without anyone noticing. Also, a backdoor inserted that way would have to co-exist peacefully with all the other functions of the FPGA, a significant challenge both from an intellectual standpoint and from a size/timing standpoint--the FPGA may just not have enough spare capacity or spare cycles. They tend to be packed pretty full, 'coz they're expensive and you want to use all the capacity you have available to do clever stuff.Fnord666 ( 889225 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @09:16PM ( #40138557 ) JournalRe:Big risk is to "secret sauce" for comms & c ( Score: 4 , Insightful)This is a physical-access backdoor. You have to have your hands on the hardware to be able to use JTAG. It's not a "remote kill switch" driven by a magic data trigger, it's a mechanism that requires use of a special connector on the circuit board to connect to a dedicated JTAG port that is simply neither used nor accessible in anything resembling normal operation.
Surreptitiously modifying a system in place through the JTAG port is possible, but less of a threat: the adversary would have to get access to the system and then return it without anyone noticing.
As someone else mentioned in another post, physical access can be a bit of a misnomer. Technically all that is required is for a computer to be connected via the JTAG interface in order to exploit this. This might be a diagnostic computer for example. If that diagnostic computer were to be infected with a targeted payload, there is your physical access.nurb432 ( 527695 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:43PM ( #40136477 ) Homepage Journalrtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @03:22PM ( #40136743 )Re:Is it called JTAG? ( Score: 2 )
I agree it most likely wasn't malicious, but its more than careless, its irresponsible, especially when dealing with military contracts.Re:No China link yet, probably a US backdoor ( Score: 2 )There is no China link to the backdoor yet.
The page with a link to the final paper actually does mention China. However, it's an American design from a US company. I suspect we will find the backdoor was in the original plans. It will be interesting to see however.
Oct 04, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Today, Bloomberg BusinessWeek published a story claiming that AWS was aware of modified hardware or malicious chips in SuperMicro motherboards in Elemental Media's hardware at the time Amazon acquired Elemental in 2015, and that Amazon was aware of modified hardware or chips in AWS's China Region.
As we shared with Bloomberg BusinessWeek multiple times over the last couple months, this is untrue. At no time, past or present, have we ever found any issues relating to modified hardware or malicious chips in SuperMicro motherboards in any Elemental or Amazon systems. Nor have we engaged in an investigation with the government.
There are so many inaccuracies in this article as it relates to Amazon that they're hard to count. We will name only a few of them here. First, when Amazon was considering acquiring Elemental, we did a lot of due diligence with our own security team, and also commissioned a single external security company to do a security assessment for us as well. That report did not identify any issues with modified chips or hardware. As is typical with most of these audits, it offered some recommended areas to remediate, and we fixed all critical issues before the acquisition closed. This was the sole external security report commissioned. Bloomberg has admittedly never seen our commissioned security report nor any other (and refused to share any details of any purported other report with us).
The article also claims that after learning of hardware modifications and malicious chips in Elemental servers, we conducted a network-wide audit of SuperMicro motherboards and discovered the malicious chips in a Beijing data center. This claim is similarly untrue. The first and most obvious reason is that we never found modified hardware or malicious chips in Elemental servers. Aside from that, we never found modified hardware or malicious chips in servers in any of our data centers. And, this notion that we sold off the hardware and datacenter in China to our partner Sinnet because we wanted to rid ourselves of SuperMicro servers is absurd. Sinnet had been running these data centers since we launched in China, they owned these data centers from the start, and the hardware we "sold" to them was a transfer-of-assets agreement mandated by new China regulations for non-Chinese cloud providers to continue to operate in China.
Amazon employs stringent security standards across our supply chain – investigating all hardware and software prior to going into production and performing regular security audits internally and with our supply chain partners. We further strengthen our security posture by implementing our own hardware designs for critical components such as processors, servers, storage systems, and networking equipment.
Security will always be our top priority. AWS is trusted by many of the world's most risk-sensitive organizations precisely because we have demonstrated this unwavering commitment to putting their security above all else. We are constantly vigilant about potential threats to our customers, and we take swift and decisive action to address them whenever they are identified.
– Steve Schmidt, Chief Information Security Officer
Trumptards are IDIOTs
CashMcCall , 5 hours agoCashMcCall , 5 hours ago
TRUMPTARDS have an enormous amount of surplus time on their hands to forward their Harry Potter Styled Conspiracies.
APPLE AND AMAZON DENIED THE STORY. STORY OVER... GET IT CREEPY?Urban Roman , 5 hours ago
While TRUMPTARDS were posting their Conspiracy Theories and the "TrumpEXPERTS" were embellishing the ridiculous story with their lavish accounts of chip bug design, I was enjoying a Bloomberg windfall.
Having confirmed early that the story was False since AMAZON and APPLE BOTH DENIED IT... and their stock was not moving, I turned to Supermicro which was plunging and down over 50%. I checked the options, and noted they were soft, so I put in bids for long shares and filled blocks at 9 from two accounts.
The moronic TRUMPTARD Conspiracy posts continued, Supermicro is now up over 13.
That is the difference between having a brain in your head or having TRUMPTARD **** FOR BRAINS...Chairman , 5 hours ago
On second thought, this story is just ********. Note that the BBG story never mentions the backdoors that were talked about for over a decade, nor did they mention Mr. Snowden's revelation that those backdoors do exist, and are being used, by the surveillance state.
Since the Chinese factories are manufacturing these things, they'd have all the specs and the blobs and whatever else they need, and would never require a super-secret hardware chip like this. Maybe this MITM chip exists, and maybe it doesn't. But there's nothing to keep China from using the ME on any recent Intel chip, or the equivalent on any recent AMD chip, anywhere.
The purpose of this article is to scare you away from using Huawei or ZTE for anything, and my guess is that it is because those companies did not include these now-standard backdoors in their equipment. Maybe they included Chinese backdoors instead, but again, they wouldn't need a tiny piece of hardware for this MITM attack, since modern processors are all defective by design.DisorderlyConduct , 4 hours ago
I think I will start implementing this as an interview question. If a job candidate is stupid enough to believe this **** then they will not work for me.Kendle C , 5 hours ago
Well, hmmm, could be. To update a PCB is actually really poor work. I would freak my biscuits if I received one of my PCBs with strange pads, traces or parts.
To substitute a part is craftier. To change the content of a part is harder, and nigh impossible to detect without xray.
Even craftier is to change VHDL code in an OTP chip or an ASIC. The package and internal structure is the same but the fuses would be burned different. No one would likely detect this unless they were specifically looking for it.AllBentOutOfShape , 5 hours ago
Well written propaganda fails to prove claims. Everybody in networking and IT knows that switches and routers have access to root, built in, often required by government, backdoors. Scripts are no big thing often used to speed up updates, backups, and troubleshooting. So when western manufacturers began shoveling their work to Taiwan and China, with them they sent millions of text files, including instructions for backdoor access, the means and technology (to do what this **** article is claiming) to modify the design, even classes with default password and bypass operations for future techs. We were shoveling hand over foot designs as fast as we could...all for the almighty dollar while stiffing American workers. So you might say greed trumped security and that fault lies with us. So stuff this cobbled together propaganda piece, warmongering ****.skunzie , 6 hours ago
ZH has definitely been co-oped. This is just the latest propaganda ******** article of the week they've come out with. I'm seeing more and more articles sourced from well known propaganda outlets in recent months.PrivetHedge , 6 hours ago
Reminds me of how the US pulled off covert espionage of the Russians in the 70's using Xerox copiers. The CIA inserted trained Xerox copy repairmen to handle repairs on balky copiers in Russian embassies, etc. When a machine was down the technician inserted altered motherboards which would transmit future copies directly to the CIA. This is a cautionary tale for companies to cover their achilles heel (weakest point) as that is generally the easiest way to infiltrate the unsuspecting company.CashMcCall , 6 hours ago
What another huge load of bollocks from our pharisee master morons.
I guess they think we're as stupid as they are.smacker , 7 hours ago
But but but the story came from one of the chosen money changers Bloomberg... everyone knows a *** would never lie or print a false story at the market openStinkbug 1 , 7 hours ago
With all the existing ***** chips and backdoors on our computers and smartphones planted by the CIA, NSA, M$, Goolag & friends, and now this chip supposedly from China, it won't be long before there's no space left in RAM and on mobos for the chips that actually make the device do what we bought it to do.I Write Code , 7 hours ago
this was going on 20 years ago when it was discovered that digital picture frames from china were collecting passwords and sending them back. it was just a test, so didn't get much press.
now they have the kinks worked out, and are ready for the coup de grace.ChecksandBalances , 7 hours ago
https://www.reddit.com/r/news/comments/9lac9k/china_used_a_tiny_chip_in_a_hack_that_infiltrated/?st=JMUNFMRR&sh=10c388fbFedPool , 7 hours ago
This story seemed to die. Did anyone find anything indicating someone on our side has actually got a look at the malicious chip, assuming it exists? Technical blogs have nothing, only news rags like NewsMaxx. If 30 companies had these chips surely someone has one. This might be one huge fake news story. Why Bloomberg would publish it is kind of odd.underlying , 7 hours ago
Probably a limited evaluation operation to gauge the population's appetite for war. Pentagram market research. They're probably hitting all of the comment sections around the web as we speak. Don't forget to wave 'hi'.
Heya warmongers. No, we don't want a war yet, k thanks.Urban Roman , 5 hours ago
Since were on the topic let's take a look at the scope hacking tools known to the general public known prior to the Supermicro Server Motherboard Hardware Exploit; (P.S. What the **** do you expect when you have Chinese state owned enterprises, at minimum quasi state owned enterprises in special economic development zones controlled by the Chinese communist party, building motherboards?)
Snowden NSA Leaks published in the gaurdian/intercept
Wikileaks Vault 7 etc....
Spector/Meltdown vulnerability exploits
Random list compiled by TC bitches
This does not include the private/corporate sector hacking pen testing resources and suites which are abundant and easily available to **** up the competition in their own right.
i.e., https://gbhackers.com/hacking-tools-list/Moribundus , 8 hours ago
Exactly. Why would they ever need a super-micro-man-in-the-middle-chip?
Maybe this 'chip' serves some niche in their spycraft, but the article in the keypost ignores a herd of elephants swept under the carpet, and concentrates on a literal speck of dust.Dr. Acula , 8 hours ago
A US-funded biomedical laboratory in Georgia may have conducted bioweapons research under the guise of a drug test, which claimed the lives of at least 73 subjects...new documents "allow us to take a fresh look" at outbreaks of African swine fever in southern Russia in 2007-2018, which "spread from the territory of Georgia into the Russian Federation, European nations and China. The infection strain in the samples collected from animals killed by the disease in those nations was identical to the Georgia-2007 strain." https://www.rt.com/news/440309-us-georgia-toxic-bioweapon-test/
"In a Senate testimony this past February, six major US intelligence heads warned that American citizens shouldn't use Huawei and ZTE products and services." - https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/2/17310870/pentagon-ban-huawei-zte-phones-retail-stores-military-bases
Are these the same intelligence agencies that complain about Russian collusion and cover up 9/11 and pizzagate?
Sep 04, 2018 | news.slashdot.orgmsmash on Tuesday September 04, 2018 @10:50AM from the how-about-that dept
West Virginia's Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who's currently running for U.S. Senate, announced Tuesday that he's partnering with two local community and technical colleges to connect senior citizens with college students for free cybersecurity training .
The announcement comes amid rising cyber scams, many of which are targeted at elderly.
Sep 03, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.orgBM , Sep 3, 2018 12:54:15 PM | link
The US Department of Homeland Security fabricated "intelligence reports" of Russian election hacking in order to try to get control of the election infrastructure (probebly so that they can hack it more easily to control the election results).
How the Department of Homeland Security Created a Deceptive Tale of Russia Hacking US Voter Sites
Aug 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
librul | Aug 21, 2018 11:04:43 PM | 48
Can we see Microsoft's actions today as a salespitch?
https://www.nextgov.com/it-modernization/2018/07/pentagon-accepting-bids-its-controversial-10-billion-war-cloud/150059/The Defense Department on Thursday officially began accepting proposals for its highly-anticipated Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract. The JEDI contract will be awarded to a single cloud provider -- an issue many tech companies rallied against -- and will be valued at up to $10 billion over 10 years, according to the final request for proposal. The contract itself will put a commercial company in charge of hosting and distributing mission-critical workloads and classified military secrets to warfighters around the globe in a single war cloud.
https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2018/08/someone-waging-secret-war-undermine-pentagons-huge-cloud-contract/150685/As some of the biggest U.S. technology companies have lined up to bid on the $10 billion contract to create a massive Pentagon cloud computing network, the behind-the-scenes war to win it has turned ugly.
In the running are Amazon Web Services, IBM and Microsoft. Winning this contract gives the winner an advantage in winning future related contracts.
Aug 02, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
richardstevenhack -> Bill Herschel , a day agoYes, PostgreSQL is very good. It's open source, meaning the source code is available for inspection, so if there was anything suspicious about it, it would likely have been caught before now. Of course, bugs and security issues might well remain, regardless.
Russians make a lot of good software. Their computer training in universities has always been first rate.
This is similar to the big issue over the Kaspersky company, a major manufacturer of a high-quality antimalware suite, being Russian. The US has made it a big issue, passing regulations that prohibit US government offices from using it, forcing Kaspersky to consider moving to Switzerland. I don't think many people in the infosec community have any concerns about Kaspersky being Russian. They've been in the antimalware business for quite a while and always get top marks in the independent antimalware tests.
There was a big row over Kaspersky's software actually doing its job and detecting malware on an NSA officer's personal workstation at home, where he was conducting development in an unauthorized manner. The software did as it is designed, which is upload the suspicious software to Kaspersky's servers for analysis. This was represented by the US government as some sort of "spying for the Russian intelligence community" by Kaspersky. The US government also made a big deal over the fact that Kaspersky does work with the Russian government on computer security issues, as one would expect of such a company.
The whole thing is just another example of "Russian Derangement Syndrome."
Aug 01, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
- richardstevenhack -> Bill Herschel , a day agoYes, PostgreSQL is very good. It's open source, meaning the source code is available for inspection, so if there was anything suspicious about it, it would likely have been caught before now. Of course, bugs and security issues might well remain, regardless.
Russians make a lot of good software. Their computer training in universities has always been first rate.
This is similar to the big issue over the Kaspersky company, a major manufacturer of a high-quality antimalware suite, being Russian. The US has made it a big issue, passing regulations that prohibit US government offices from using it, forcing Kaspersky to consider moving to Switzerland. I don't think many people in the infosec community have any concerns about Kaspersky being Russian. They've been in the antimalware business for quite a while and always get top marks in the independent antimalware tests.
There was a big row over Kaspersky's software actually doing its job and detecting malware on an NSA officer's personal workstation at home, where he was conducting development in an unauthorized manner. The software did as it is designed, which is upload the suspicious software to Kaspersky's servers for analysis. This was represented by the US government as some sort of "spying for the Russian intelligence community" by Kaspersky. The US government also made a big deal over the fact that Kaspersky does work with the Russian government on computer security issues, as one would expect of such a company.
The whole thing is just another example of "Russian Derangement Syndrome."
Jul 05, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
...Stuxnet, which was thought to be a joint American-Israeli assault on Iran's nuclear program. And there are reports of U.S. attempts to similarly hamper North Korean missile development. Some consider such direct attacks on other governments to be akin to acts of war. Would Washington join Moscow in a pledge to become a good cyber citizen?
Jun 27, 2018 | consortiumnews.com
Did Sen. Warner and Comey 'Collude' on Russia-gate? June 27, 2018 • 68 Comments
The U.S. was in talks for a deal with Julian Assange but then FBI Director James Comey ordered an end to negotiations after Assange offered to prove Russia was not involved in the DNC leak, as Ray McGovern explains.
By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News
An explosive report by investigative journalist John Solomon on the opinion page of Monday's edition of The Hill sheds a bright light on how Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and then-FBI Director James Comey collaborated to prevent WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange from discussing "technical evidence ruling out certain parties [read Russia]" in the controversial leak of Democratic Party emails to WikiLeaks during the 2016 election.
A deal that was being discussed last year between Assange and U.S. government officials would have given Assange "limited immunity" to allow him to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been exiled for six years. In exchange, Assange would agree to limit through redactions "some classified CIA information he might release in the future," according to Solomon, who cited "interviews and a trove of internal DOJ documents turned over to Senate investigators." Solomon even provided a copy of the draft immunity deal with Assange.
But Comey's intervention to stop the negotiations with Assange ultimately ruined the deal, Solomon says, quoting "multiple sources." With the prospective agreement thrown into serious doubt, Assange "unleashed a series of leaks that U.S. officials say damaged their cyber warfare capabilities for a long time to come." These were the Vault 7 releases, which led then CIA Director Mike Pompeo to call WikiLeaks "a hostile intelligence service."
Solomon's report provides reasons why Official Washington has now put so much pressure on Ecuador to keep Assange incommunicado in its embassy in London.
Assange: Came close to a deal with the U.S. (Photo credit: New Media Days / Peter Erichsen)
The report does not say what led Comey to intervene to ruin the talks with Assange. But it came after Assange had offered to "provide technical evidence and discussion regarding who did not engage in the DNC releases," Solomon quotes WikiLeaks' intermediary with the government as saying. It would be a safe assumption that Assange was offering to prove that Russia was not WikiLeaks' source of the DNC emails.
If that was the reason Comey and Warner ruined the talks, as is likely, it would reveal a cynical decision to put U.S. intelligence agents and highly sophisticated cybertools at risk, rather than allow Assange to at least attempt to prove that Russia was not behind the DNC leak.
The greater risk to Warner and Comey apparently would have been if Assange provided evidence that Russia played no role in the 2016 leaks of DNC documents.
Missteps and Stand Down
In mid-February 2017, in a remarkable display of naiveté, Adam Waldman, Assange's pro bono attorney who acted as the intermediary in the talks, asked Warner if the Senate Intelligence Committee staff would like any contact with Assange to ask about Russia or other issues. Waldman was apparently oblivious to Sen. Warner's stoking of Russia-gate.
Warner contacted Comey and, invoking his name, instructed Waldman to "stand down and end the discussions with Assange," Waldman told Solomon. The "stand down" instruction "did happen," according to another of Solomon's sources with good access to Warner. However, Waldman's counterpart attorney David Laufman , an accomplished federal prosecutor picked by the Justice Departent to work the government side of the CIA-Assange fledgling deal, told Waldman, "That's B.S. You're not standing down, and neither am I."
But the damage had been done. When word of the original stand-down order reached WikiLeaks, trust evaporated, putting an end to two months of what Waldman called "constructive, principled discussions that included the Department of Justice."
The two sides had come within inches of sealing the deal. Writing to Laufman on March 28, 2017, Waldman gave him Assange's offer to discuss "risk mitigation approaches relating to CIA documents in WikiLeaks' possession or control, such as the redaction of Agency personnel in hostile jurisdictions," in return for "an acceptable immunity and safe passage agreement."
On March 31, 2017, though, WikiLeaks released the most damaging disclosure up to that point from what it called "Vault 7" -- a treasure trove of CIA cybertools leaked from CIA files. This disclosure featured the tool "Marble Framework," which enabled the CIA to hack into computers, disguise who hacked in, and falsely attribute the hack to someone else by leaving so-called tell-tale signs -- like Cyrillic, for example. The CIA documents also showed that the "Marble" tool had been employed in 2016.
Misfeasance or Malfeasance
Comey: Ordered an end to talks with Assange.
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, which includes among our members two former Technical Directors of the National Security Agency, has repeatedly called attention to its conclusion that the DNC emails were leaked -- not "hacked" by Russia or anyone else (and, later, our suspicion that someone may have been playing Marbles, so to speak).
In fact, VIPS and independent forensic investigators, have performed what former FBI Director Comey -- at first inexplicably, now not so inexplicably -- failed to do when the so-called "Russian hack" of the DNC was first reported. In July 2017 VIPS published its key findings with supporting data.
Two month later , VIPS published the results of follow-up experiments conducted to test the conclusions reached in July.
Why did then FBI Director Comey fail to insist on getting direct access to the DNC computers in order to follow best-practice forensics to discover who intruded into the DNC computers? (Recall, at the time Sen. John McCain and others were calling the "Russian hack" no less than an "act of war.") A 7th grader can now figure that out.
Asked on January 10, 2017 by Senate Intelligence Committee chair Richard Burr (R-NC) whether direct access to the servers and devices would have helped the FBI in their investigation, Comey replied : "Our forensics folks would always prefer to get access to the original device or server that's involved, so it's the best evidence."
At that point, Burr and Warner let Comey down easy. Hence, it should come as no surprise that, according to one of John Solomon's sources, Sen. Warner (who is co-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee) kept Sen. Burr apprised of his intervention into the negotiation with Assange, leading to its collapse.
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for a total of 30 years and prepared and briefed, one-on-one, the President's Daily Brief from 1981 to 1985.
If you enjoyed this original article please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.
Mar 20, 2017 | www.youtube.com
The mighty CIA has fallen victim to a major breach, with WikiLeaks revealing the true scope of the Agency's ability for cyber-espionage. Its tools seem to be aimed at ordinary citizens your phone, your car, your TV, even your fridge can become an instrument of surveillance in the hands of the CIA. How does the CIA use these tools, and why do they need them in the first place?
And as WikiLeaks promises even more revelations, how is all of this going to shape the already tense relationship between new president and the intelligence community?
A man who has spent over two decades in the CIA's clandestine service Gary Berntsen is on SophieCo.
FULL TRANSCRIPT: https://www.rt.com/shows/sophieco/381...Sophie Shevardnadze: Gary Berntsen, former CIA official, welcome to the show, great to have you with us. Now, Vault 7, a major batch of CIA docs revealed by Wikileaks uncovers the agency's cyber tools. We're talking about world's most powerful intelligence agency - how exactly did the CIA lose control of its arsenal of hacking weapons?
Gary Berntsen: First off, I'd like to say that the world has changed a lot in the last several decades, and people are communicating in many different ways and intelligence services, whether they be American or Russian, are covering these communications and their coverage of those communications has evolved. Without commenting on the specific validity of those tools, it was clear that the CIA was surely using contractors to be involved in this process, not just staff officers, and that individuals decided that they had problems with U.S. policy, and have leaked these things to Wikileaks. This is a large problem, for the U.S. community, but just as the U.S. is having problems, the Russia face similar problems. Just this week you had multiple members of the FSB charged with hacking as well, and they have been charged by the U.S. government. So both services who are competitors, face challenges as we've entered a new era of mass communications.
SS: So like you're saying, the leaker or leakers of the CIA docs is presumably a CIA contractor - should the agency be spending more effort on vetting its own officers? Is the process rigorous enough?
GB: Clearly. Look There have been individuals since the dawn of history. Espionage is the second oldest occupation, have conducted spying and espionage operations, and there have been people who have turned against their own side and worked for competitors and worked for those opposing the country or the group that they're working with. It's been a problem from the beginning, and it continues to be a problem, and the U.S. clearly is going to have to do a much better job at vetting those individuals who are given security clearances, without a doubt.
SS: The CIA studied the flaws in the software of devices like iPhones, Androids, Smart TVs, apps like Whatsapp that left them exposed to hacking, but didn't care about patching those up - so, in essence the agency chose to leave Americans vulnerable to cyberattacks, rather than protect them?
GB: I think you have to understand, in this world that we're operating and the number one target of our intelligence community are terrorists. Since the attacks of 9\11, 16 years ago, the obsession of the American intelligence community is to identify those planning terrorist attacks, collecting information on them and being able to defeat them. These individuals are using all these means of communication. I have spoken with many security services around the world, since my retirement back in 2005-2006, a lot of them have had problems covering the communications of somebody's very devices and programs that you've talked about - whether they be narcotraffickers or salafist jihadists, they are all piggybacking off of commercial communications. Therefore the need for modern intelligence services to sort of provide coverage of all means of communications. And there's a price that you pay for that.
SS: One of the most disturbing parts of the leaks is the "Weeping Angel" program - CIA hacking into Samsung Smart TVs to record what's going on even when the TV appears to be turned off. Why are the CIA's tools designed to penetrate devices used by ordinary Western citizens at home?
GB: Look, I wouldn't say it has anything to do with Western homes, because the CIA doesn't do technical operations against American citizens - that's prohibited by the law. If the CIA does anything in the U.S., it does it side-by-side with the FBI, and it does it according to FISA - the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act laws. It's gotta go to the judge to do those things. Those tools are used primarily against the individuals and terrorists that are targeting the U.S. or other foreign entities that we see as a significant threat to the U.S. national security, which is the normal functioning of any intelligence service.
SS: Just like you say, the CIA insists it never uses its investigative tools on American citizens in the US, but, we're wondering, exactly how many terrorist camps in the Middle East have Samsung Smart TVs to watch their favorite shows on? Does it seem like the CIA lost its direction?
GB: Plenty of them.
GB: I've travelled in the Middle East, Samsungs are sold everywhere. Sophie, Samsung TVs are sold all over the world. I've spent a lot of time in the Middle East, I've seen them in Afghanistan, I've seen them everywhere. So, any kind of devices that you can imagine, people are using everywhere. We're in a global economy now.
SS: The CIA has tools to hack iPhones - but they make up only around 15 % of the world's smartphone market. IPhones are not popular among terrorists, but they are among business and political elites - so are they the real target here?
GB: No. The CIA in relative terms to the size of the world is a small organisation. It is an organisation that has roughly 20 or more thousand people - it's not that large in terms of covering a planet with 7 billion people. We have significant threats to the U.S. and to the Western world. We live in an age of super-terrorism, we live in an age when individuals, small groups of people, can leverage technology at a lethal effect. The greatest threats to this planet are not just nuclear, they are bio. The U.S. needs to have as many tools as possible to defend itself against these threats, as does Russia want to have similar types of tools to defend itself. You too, Russian people have suffered from a number of terrible terrorist acts.
SS: Wikileaks suggest the CIA copied the hacking habits of other nations to create a fake electronic trace - why would the CIA need that?
GB: The CIA, as any intelligence service, would look to conduct coverage in the most unobtrusive fashion as possible. It is going to do its operations so that they can collect and collect again and again against terrorist organisations, where and whenever it can, because sometimes threats are not just static, they are continuous.
SS: You know this better, so enlighten me: does the he CIA have the authorisation to create the surveillance tools it had in the first place? Who gives it such authorisation?
GB: The CIA was created in 1947 by the National Security Act of the U.S. and does two different things - it does FI (foreign intelligence) collection and it does CA - covert action. Its rules for collection of intelligence were enshrined in the law that created it, the CIA Act 110, in 1949, but the covert action part of this, where it does active measures, when it gets involved in things - all of those are covered by law. The Presidential finding had to be written, it had to be presented to the President. The President's signs off on those things. Those things are then briefed to members of Congress, or the House Permanent Subcommittee for Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee for Intelligence. We have a very rigorous process of review of the activities of our intelligence communities in the U.S.
SS: But you're talking about the activities in terms of operations. I'm just asking - does CIA need any authorisation or permission to create the tools it has in its arsenal? Or it can just go ahead
GB: Those tools and the creation of collection tools falls under the same laws that allowed the CIA to be established. And that was the 1949 Intelligence Act. And also, subsequently, the laws in 1975. Yes.
SS: So, the CIA programme names are quite colourful, sometimes wacky - "Weeping Angel", "Swamp Monkey", "Brutal Kangaroo" - is there a point to these, is there any logic, or are they completely random? I always wondered...
GB: There's absolutely no point to that, and it's random.
SS:Okay, so how do you come up with those names? Who like, one says: "Monkey" and another one says: "Kangaroo"?...
GB: I'm sure they are computer-generated.
SS: Trump accused Obama of wiretapping him during the campaign Could the CIA have actually spied on the president? It seems like the agency doesn't have the best relationship with Donald Trump - how far can they go?
GB: Let me just say this: the President used the word "wiretapping" but I think it was very clear to us that have been in the intelligence business, that this was a synonym for "surveillance". Because most people are on cellphones, people aren't using landlines anymore, so there's no "wiretapping", okay. These all fall under the Intelligence Surveillance Act, as I stated earlier, this thing existing in the U.S.. It was clear to President Trump and to those in his campaign, after they were elected, and they did a review back that the Obama Administration sought FISA authorisation to do surveillance of the Trump campaign in July and then in October. They were denied in July, they were given approval in October, and in October they did some types of surveillance of the Trump campaign. This is why the President, of course, tweeted, that he had been "wiretapped" - of course "wiretapping" being a synonym for the surveillance against his campaign, which was never heard of in the U.S. political history that I can remember, I can't recall any way of this being done. It's an outrage, and at the same time, Congressional hearings are going to be held and they are going to review all of these things, and they are going to find out exactly what happened and what was done. It's unclear right now, but all we do know - and it has been broken in the media that there were two efforts, and at the second one, the authorisation was given. That would never have been done by the CIA, because they don't do that sort of coverage in the U.S.. That would either be the FBI or the NSA, with legal authorities and those authorities the problem that the Trump administration had is they believed that the information from these things was distributed incorrectly. Any time an American - and this is according to the U.S. law - any time an American is on the wire in the U.S., their names got to be minimized from this and it clearly wasn't done and the Trump administration was put in a bad light because of this.
SS: If what you're saying is true, how does that fall under foreign intelligence? Is that more of the FBI-NSA expertise?
GB: It was FBI and NSA - it was clearly the FBI and the NSA that were involved, it would never have been the CIA doing that, they don't listen to telephones in the U.S., they read the product of other agencies that would provide those things, but clearly, there were individuals on those phone calls that they believed were foreign and were targeting those with potential communications with the Trump campaign. Let's be clear here - General Clapper, the DNI for President Obama, stated before he left office, that there was no, I repeat, no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. This has been something that has been dragged out again, and again, and again, by the media. This is a continuing drumbeat of the mainstream, left-wing media of the U.S., to paint the President in the poorest light, to attempt to discredit Donald Trump.
SS: With the intelligence agencies bringing down Trump's advisors like Michael Flynn - and you said the people behind that were Obama's loyalists - can we talk about the intelligence agencies being too independent from the White House, playing their own politics?
GB: I think part of the problem that we've seen during the handover of power from President Obama to President Trump was that there was a number of holdovers that went from political appointee to career status that had been placed in the NatSec apparatus and certain parts of the intelligence organisations. It is clear that President Trump and his team are determined to remove those people to make sure that there's a continuity of purpose and people aren't leaking information that would put the Administration into a negative light. That's the goal of the administration, to conduct itself consistent with the goals of securing the country from terrorism and other potential threats - whether they be counter-narcotics, or intelligence agencies trying to breach our you know, the information that we hold secure.
SS: Here's a bit of conspiracy theories - could it be that the domestic surveillance agencies like the NSA or the FBI orchestrated the Vault 7 leaks - to damage CIA, stop it from infringing on their turf?
GB :I really don't think so and that is conspiracy thinking. You have to understand something, in the intelligence communities in the U.S., whether it be the CIA and FBI, we've done a lot of cross-fertilizations. When I was in senior position in CIA's counterterrorism center, I had a deputy who was an FBI officer. An office in FBI HQ down in Washington had an FBI lead with a CIA deputy. There's a lot more cooperation than one would think. There are individuals that do assignments in each other's organisations to help foster levels of cooperation. I had members of NSA in my staff when I was at CIA, members of diplomatic security, members of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and it was run like a task force, so, there's a lot more cooperation than the media presents, they always think that there are these huge major battles between the organisations and that's rarely true.
SS: Generally speaking - is there rivalry between American intel agencies at all? Competition for resources, maybe?
GB: I think, sometimes, between the Bureau and the CIA - the CIA is the dominant agency abroad, and the FBI is the dominant agency in the U.S. What they do abroad, they frequently have to get cleared by us, what we do domestically, we have to get cleared by them, and sometimes there's some friction, but usually, we're able to work this out. It makes for great news, the CIA fighting FBI, but the reality is that there's a lot more cooperation than confrontation. We are all in the business of trying to secure the American homeland and American interests globally.
SS: I'm still thinking a lot about the whole point of having this hacking arsenal for the CIA since you talk on their behalf - the possibility to hack phones, computers, TVs and cars - if the actual terrorist attacks on US soil, like San Bernardino, Orlando are still missed?
GB: Look. There are hundreds of individuals, if not thousands, planning efforts against the U.S. at any time. It can be many-many things. And the U.S. security services, there's the CIA, the FBI, NSA - block many-many of these things, but it is impossible to stop them all. Remember, this is an open society here, in America, with 320 million people, here. We try to foster open economic system, we allow more immigration to America than all countries in the world combined. This is a great political experiment here, but it's also very difficult to police. There are times that the U.S. security services are going to fail. It's inevitable. We just have to try the best we can, do the best job that we can, while protecting the values that attract so many people to the U.S.
SS:The former CIA director John Brennan is saying Trump's order to temporarily ban travel from some Muslim states is not going to help fight terrorism in 'any significant way'. And the countries where the terrorists have previously come from - like Saudi Arabia, or Afghanistan, it's true - aren't on the list. So does he maybe have a point?
GB: John Brennan is acting more like a political operative than a former director of CIA. The countries that Mr. Trump had banned initially, or at least had put a partial, sort of a delay - where states like Somalia, Libya, the Sudan, Iran - places where we couldn't trust local vetting. Remember something, when someone immigrates to the U.S., we have what's called an "immigration packet": they may have to get a chest X-ray to make sure they don't bring any diseases with them, they have to have background check on any place they've ever lived, and in most of these places there are no security forces to do background checks on people that came from Damascus, because parts of Damascus are totally destroyed - there's been warfare. It is actually a very reasonable thing for President Trump to ask for delay in these areas. Look, the Crown-Prince, the Deputy Crown-Prince of Saudi Arabia was just in the United States and met with Donald Trump, and he said he didn't believe it was a "ban on Muslims". This was not a "ban on Muslims", it was an effort to slow down and to create more opportunity to vet those individuals coming from states where there's a preponderance of terrorist organisations operating. A reasonable step by President Trump, something he promised during the campaign, something he's fulfilling. But again, I repeat - America allows more immigration into the U.S., than all countries combined. So, we really don't need to be lectured on who we let in and who we don't let in.
SS: But I still wonder if the Crown-Prince would've had the same comment had Saudi Arabia been on that ban list. Anyways, Michael Hayden, ex-CIA
GB: Wait a second, Sophie - the Saudis have a reasonable form to police their society, and they provide accurate police checks. If they didn't create accurate police checks, we would've given the delay to them as well.
SS: Ok, I got your point. Now, Michael Hayden, ex-CIA and NSA chief, pointed out that the US intelligence enlists agents in the Muslim world with the promise of eventual emigration to America - is Trump's travel ban order going to hurt American intelligence gathering efforts in the Middle East?
GB: No, the question here - there were individuals that worked as translators for us in Afghanistan and Iraq and serving in such roles as translators, they were promised the ability to immigrate to the United States. Unfortunately, some of them were blocked in the first ban that was put down, because individuals who wrote that, didn't consider that. That has been considered in the re-write, that the Trump administration had submitted, which is now being attacked by a judge in Hawaii, and so it was taken into consideration, but the objective here was to help those that helped U.S. forces on the ground, especially those who were translators, in ground combat operations, where they risked their lives alongside American soldiers.
SS: You worked in Afghanistan - you were close to capturing Bin Laden back in 2001 - what kind of spying tools are actually used on the ground by the CIA to catch terrorists?
GB: The CIA as does any intelligence service in the world, is a human business. It's a business where we work with local security forces to strengthen their police and intelligence forces, we attempt to leverage them, we have our own people on the ground that speak the language, we're trying to help build transportation there. There's no "secret sauce" here. There's no super-technology that changes the country's ability to conduct intelligence collections or operations. In Afghanistan the greatest thing that the U.S. has is broad support and assistance to Afghan men and women across the country. We liberated half of the population, and for women were providing education, and when the people see what we were doing: trying to build schools, providing USAID projects - all of these things - this makes the population willing to work with and support the United States. Frequently, members of the insurgence groups will see this and sometimes they do actually cross the lines and cooperate with us. So, it's a full range of American political power, whether it's hard or soft, that is the strength of the American intelligence services - because people in the world actually believe - and correctly so - that American more than generally a force of good in the world.
SS: Gary, thank you so much for this interesting interview and insight into the world of the CIA. We've been talking to Gary Berntsen, former top CIA officer, veteran of the agency, talking about the politics of American intelligence in the Trump era. That's it for this edition of SophieCo, I will see you next time.
Just thinking here in the light of how things are unfolding with the CIA I am wondering since Federal crimes are committed can the FBI investigate the CIA acting as America Federal Law Enforcement.
RedBlowDryer -> GreenPin
I think the US intelligent agencies are harming their country more than any enemy of the US.
There is a reason why JFK wanted to dismantle the CIA. This guy is lying.
CIA needs hacking tools to make it look like it was carried out by another state simply for plausible deniability.
a "force for good in the world"?...sounds like the American white hat-black hat myth...read Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism". This is a detailed litany of America's various kinds of interventions in multiple countries that cold hardly be described as "a force for good in the world"...a force for "America's values" (read with ironically), perhaps
WHO is responsible for the outbreak of chaotic warfare in Libya and Syria?
Should we trust the Saudi vetting services...think of who the September 11 bombers were? Was there another reason they were not on Trump's banned countries list? Too big to mess with, i.e., oil and weapons sales?
Amazing how they justify their destructive behaviour in a way as they are serving America people and doing good around the wold. You can sugar count your crimes against humanity as much as you can, but the reality of today' human misery speaks for itself.
since the United States was founded in 1776, she has been at war during 214 out of her 235 calendar years of existence
interesting, but begs the question "Can we really trust what this guy tells us?" If not, what parts can we trust, and what parts can't we?
You'd have to deconstruct his talking points and I don't know how that is done. Intelligence probably knows how to do that. I noticed he was becoming more zealous on hegemony and exceptionalism as the interview neared the end.
I agree. Bernsten is almost like-ably energetic, but he is, in the end, an uncompromising warrior of the empire.
if Trump is to be controlled--they gotta have some dirt--or threat against his family --it's how they operate---
Mr. Berntsen left out the very important NSC10/2 legislation, which gave the CIA free reign with deniability as the cover. This needs to be repealed. With this legislation, the CIA answers to no one, and goes around the world wrecking havoc with the governments and people where they like. We will never have peace until that legislation is repealed.
This is why interesting books to read about the history of the CIA.
- The Dulles brothers,
- David Talbot: The Devil's Chessboard,
- Fletcher Prouty: The Secret Team.
I applaud former CIA and FBI Gary Bernstein for speaking out on the most powerful intelligence networks on the planet regarding their surveillance activities. Every nation needs intelligence to safeguard but if we go beyond the call of duty and get exposed .this leaves Pres Trump and his Adm with no option but to consider corrective measures with a visit to Langley etc.. Here again the failures of Liberalism are coming up in the wash for cleaning up.
Liberalism has not been running the country for the last 54 years. We have been under a coup government and just got used to it.
May 28, 2018 | www.wired.com
Home routers have become the rats to hackers' bubonic plague: an easily infected, untreated, and ubiquitous population in which dangerous digital attacks can spread. Now security researchers are warning that one group of sophisticated hackers has amassed a collection of malware-infected routers that could be used as a powerful tool to spread havoc across the internet, or simply triggered to implode networks across the globe.
On Wednesday, Cisco's Talos security division warned of a new breed of malware it calls VPNFilter, which it says has infected at least half a million home and small business routers, including those sold by Netgear, TP-Link, Linksys, MicroTik, and QNAP network storage devices. Talos believes that the versatile code is designed to serve as a multipurpose spy tool, and also creates a network of hijacked routers that serve as unwitting VPNs, potentially hiding the attackers' origin as they carry out other malicious activities. Perhaps most disturbingly, they note the tool also has a destructive feature that would allow the hackers behind it to immediately corrupt the firmware of the entire collection of hacked routers, essentially bricking them.
"This actor has half a million nodes spread out over the world and each one can be used to control completely different networks if they want," says Craig Williams, who leads Talos' security research team. "It's basically an espionage machine that can be retooled for anything they want."
'It's basically an espionage machine that can be retooled for anything they want.'
Craig Williams, lead for Talos' security research team
Exactly how VPNFilter infects its targets isn't yet clear. But home routers are notoriously prone to vulnerabilities that can allow remote hackers to take them over, and rarely receive software updates. "This is a set of devices that's getting targeted more and more over the years," says Michael Daniel, the head of the Cyber Threat Alliance, a security industry group that's working with Cisco's Talos to alert the industry to the VPNFilter threat and hasten its removal. "They sit outside firewalls, they don't have native antivirus, they're hard to patch."
Talos writes in a detailed blog post that the VPNFilter malware is capable of siphoning off any data that passes through the network devices it infects, and appears specifically designed to monitor credentials entered into websites. Another, largely unexplained spying feature of the tool seems to watch for communications over the ModBUS SCADA protocol that's used for controlling automated equipment and internet-of-things devices.
But Talos' Williams also points out that the mass of hacked routers can also function as a collection of proxies for other activities the hackers might engage in -- from penetrating other targets to distributed denial-of-service attacks designed to knock websites offline. Hence the VPN in its name. "We assess with high confidence that this malware is used to create an expansive, hard-to-attribute infrastructure that can be used to serve multiple operational needs of the threat actor," Talos' blog post reads.
May 27, 2018 | www.nytimes.com
The F.B.I. has several recommendations for any owner of a small office or home office router. The simplest thing to do is reboot the device, which will temporarily disrupt the malware if it is present. Users are also advised to upgrade the devices' firmware and to select a new secure password. If any remote-management settings are in place, the F.B.I. suggests disabling them. Advertisement
An analysis by Talos , the threat intelligence division for the tech giant Cisco, estimated that at least 500,000 routers in at least 54 countries had been infected by the malware, which the F.B.I. and cybersecurity researchers are calling VPNFilter. Among the affected networking equipment it found during its research were devices from manufacturers including Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear and TP-Link.
To disrupt the Sofacy network, the Justice Department sought and received permission to seize the web domain toknowall.com, which it said was a critical part of the malware's "command-and-control infrastructure." Now that the domain is under F.B.I. control, any attempts by the malware to reinfect a compromised router will be bounced to an F.B.I. server that can record the I.P. address of the affected device.
May 27, 2018 | nakedsecurity.sophos.com
Don't delay – do it today!
- Check with your vendor or ISP to find out how to get your router to do a firmware update. Many routers do receive security updates, at least from time to time, but they're often not downloaded or installed automatically. You typically need to login to the administration console and click some sort of
[Check now]button. If you live in a country with daylight savings, why not do an update check on all your IoT devices every time the clocks change? Crooks routinely scan the internet probing for routers that have unpatched security holes that they already know how to exploit. Don't make it easy for crooks to implant malware: patch early, patch often!
- Turn off remote administration unless you really need it. Many routers let you access the administration interface from the internet side as well as from the LAN side of the device. Some even come like that out of the factory. Crooks routinely scan the internet probing for login screens that aren't supposed to be visible and are thus less likely to be secured properly. Don't make it easy for crooks to find your devices and start guessing away at your password.
- Pick proper passwords. Many routers ship with a pre-set administrator password, and some routers don't force you to pick a new password when you first set them up. Crooks have extensive lists of default usernames and passwords for all sorts of internet devices. Don't give crooks the keys to your castle by sticking with a password that they can figure out easily.
- Stick to HTTPS for as much web browsing as you can. Generally speaking, web connections that show up with a padlock in your browser are encrypted end-to-end, so they can't be sniffed out along the way by an untrusted internet device, whether that's due to a malware infection on your own router, a rogue ISP in your network path, or a surveillance-hungry country that your traffic happens to traverse.
May 27, 2018 | blog.talosintelligence.com
We recommend that:
- Users of SOHO routers and/or NAS devices reset them to factory defaults and reboot them in order to remove the potentially destructive, non-persistent stage 2 and stage 3 malware.
- Internet service providers that provide SOHO routers to their users reboot the routers on their customers' behalf.
- If you have any of the devices known or suspected to be affected by this threat, it is extremely important that you work with the manufacturer to ensure that your device is up to date with the latest patch versions. If not, you should apply the updated patches immediately.
- ISPs work aggressively with their customers to ensure their devices are patched to the most recent firmware/software versions.
Due to the potential for destructive action by the threat actor, we recommend out of an abundance of caution that these actions be taken for all SOHO or NAS devices, whether or not they are known to be affected by this threat.
... ... ...The stage 2 malware first sets up the working environment by creating a modules folder (/var/run/vpnfilterm) and a working directory (/var/run/vpnfilterw). Afterward, it will run in a loop, where it first reaches out to a C2 server, and then executes commands retrieved from the C2. The command names are encrypted with the same broken RC4 function as in stage 1. Fortunately, older versions of x86 stage 2 sample were very verbose, and debug printed all the steps it performed. Newer versions of the x86 stage 2 did not contain the debug prints, nor did the MIPS sample.
The x86 sample can perform the following operations:
- kill: Overwrites the first 5,000 bytes of /dev/mtdblock0 with zeros, and reboots the device (effectively bricking it).
- exec: Executes a shell command or plugin.
- tor: Sets the Tor configuration flag (0 or 1).
- copy: Copies a file from the client to the server.
- seturl: Sets the URL of the current configuration panel.
- proxy: Sets the current proxy URL.
- port: Sets the current proxy port.
- delay: Sets the delay between main loop executions.
- reboot: Reboots the device if it has been up for more than 256 seconds, and the build name is specified in the parameter.
- download: Downloads a URL to a file. This can be applied to all devices or just a certain build name.
The MIPS sample has the following additional operations:
- stop: Terminate the malware process.
- relay: A misspelled version of the `delay` command from the x86 version.
Until the Tor module is installed, stage 2 will use one or more IPs stored in its configuration as SOCKS5 proxies to Tor and attempt to communicate with a control panel also found in its configuration. Like in stage 1, the communication between the malware and the proxy will connect over a verified SSL connection. When the Tor module is installed, it will connect to .onion domains through the local SOCKS5 proxy provided by the module over plain HTTP instead. We used a fake SOCKS5 proxy, which redirects all traffic to INetSim for analysis.
May 25, 2018 | www.siliconrepublic.com
A multistage malware variant, VPNFilter consists of three separate steps, with the second stage allowing for communication over Tor.
Symantec published a list of the identified targeted devices, which include numerous models of consumer routers:
- Linksys E1200
- Linksys E2500
- Linksys WRVS4400N
- MikroTik RouterOS for cloud core routers, versions 1016, 1036 and 1072
- Netgear DGN2200
- Netgear R6400
- Netgear R7000
- Netgear R8000
- Netgear WNR1000
- Netgear WNR2000
- QNAP TS-251
- QNAP TS-439 Pro
- Other QNAP NAS devices running QTS software
- TP-Link R600VPN
May 27, 2018 | www.agileit.com
The malware is modular, meaning that additional capabilities can be added to provide new functionalities, but also for functions to be removed, hence masking the full capabilities of the software. The VPNFilter Modules Talos has identified so far are: Stage 1
- Establishes a persistent foothold allowing the infected device to be identified
- Allows additional modules to be installed.
- Will persist after a reboot, making it difficult for home and private users to remove.
- Utilized redundant command and control systems, allowing the malware to identify new C&C servers as identified nodes are shutdown.
- Will not persist after a reboot, making it difficult to identify and analyze.
- Has file collection, command execution and device management tools
- Includes a self-destruct code set that corrupts the firmware then causes a device reboot, effectively bricking the device.
- One stage 3 module is a packet sniffer for stealing website credentials and monitoring of SCADA protocols
- A second Stage 3 module allows the device to communicate directly over TOR
- Talos maintains high certainty that other stage 3 modules exist, but they have not positively identified them yet.
VPNFilter's capabilities make it particularly dangerous, as it is more of a distributed toolkit than a single point attack.
- Infected routers can potentially become command and control servers to control other infected devices.
- Modules appear to exist that allow the monitoring and exfiltration of data, allowing its creators to identify high value networks for information gathering or further penetration.
- Compromised systems can be used as a distributed Virtual Private Network (Here the VPNFilter name) which allows them to easily mask the origin points of other attacks.
- The code also contains a module to deliberately corrupt the firmware of affected routers and start a reboot, essentially bricking them and rendering them useless.
Talos has technical response details available on its blog , including Snort signatures, known Command and Control IP addresses to block and configuration settings for Stealthwatch.Devices with known vulnerabilities
MIKROTIK CLOUD CORE ROUTERS:
Other QNAP NAS devices running QTS software
Apr 16, 2018 | www.washingtonpost.com
The unusual public warning from the White House, U.S. agencies and Britain's National Cyber Security Center follows a years-long effort to monitor the threat. The targets number in the millions, officials say, and include "primarily government and private-sector organizations, critical infrastructure providers, and the Internet service providers (ISPs) supporting these sectors."
... ... ...
These network devices make "ideal targets," said Manfra, Homeland Security's assistant secretary for cybersecurity and communications. Most traffic within a company or between organizations traverses them. So a hacker can monitor, modify or disrupt it, she said. And they're usually not secured at the same level as a network server.
"Once you own the router, you own the traffic that's traversing the router," she said.
... ... ...
Ellen Nakashima is a national security reporter for The Washington Post. She covers cybersecurity, surveillance, counterterrorism and intelligence issues. She has also served as a Southeast Asia correspondent and covered the White House and Virginia state politics. She joined The Post in 1995. Follow @nakashimae
jedediah smytheson, 3 hours ago
It is appropriate to reveal and decry misbehavior in cyberspace. What is not appropriate is our leaders ignoring their own responsibility to secure government networks. The sad fact is that senior leaders in government do not understand the issue and are unwilling to accept any inconvenience. The Federal government has lost huge amounts of very sensitive data of AT LEAST 100 million citizens. If I remember correctly, OPM lost 23 million electronic security clearance forms (SF 86s) with personal information not only of the person being processed for a clearance, but also of the members of that person's family. That's how I came up with over 100 million. And what was the result? Well, no one was held accountable or responsible for this incredible breach of security. More importantly, the networks are still not well secured. In summary, we will be hacked continuously until someone in Government takes this seriously and puts more resources into securing the networks rather than turning the public's attention away from their own incompetence and focusing on our adversaries.
bluefrog, 4 hours ago
Haha ... the U.K. who secretly tapped the fiber optic cables running under the Atlantic Ocean to record EVERYONE's private data is now advising against hackers! A degenerate country operating on the basis of lies and deceit, I don't trust them as far as I can throw them.
hkbctkny, 4 hours ago
This is really nothing new [ https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA18-106A ] - most of this has been going on forever, even skript kiddies were on it back in the day.
The only part that might be news is if there's evidence of a concerted, targeted campaign from one very organized actor. Haven't seen the evidence presented, though, and my scans are basically what they've always been: hundreds and hundreds from residential CPE and other compromised machines from all over the world.
Update your firmware - even old devices can be updated, for the most part; turn off remote mgt (!), change the password to something that YOU set.
Make it challenging, at least.
4 hours ago
Really no different from the NSA and GCHQ..........
Mar 27, 2018 | it.slashdot.org
(vice.com) The story of Azimuth Security, a tiny startup in Australia, provides a rare peek inside the secretive industry that helps government hackers get around encryption . Azimuth is part of an opaque, little known corner of the intelligence world made of hackers who develop and sell expensive exploits to break into popular technologies like iOS, Chrome, Android and Tor.
Mar 27, 2018 | it.slashdot.org
(zdnet.com) BeauHD on Monday February 12, 2018 @10:00PM from the back-to-the-drawing-board dept. ZDNet reports of a security flaw in Skype's updater process that " can allow an attacker to gain system-level privileges to a vulnerable computer ." If the bug is exploited, it "can escalate a local unprivileged user to the full 'system' level rights -- granting them access to every corner of the operating system." What's worse is that Microsoft, which owns Skype, won't fix the flaw because it would require the updater to go through "a large code revision." Instead, Microsoft is putting all its resources on building an altogether new client. From the report: Security researcher Stefan Kanthak found that the Skype update installer could be exploited with a DLL hijacking technique , which allows an attacker to trick an application into drawing malicious code instead of the correct library. An attacker can download a malicious DLL into a user-accessible temporary folder and rename it to an existing DLL that can be modified by an unprivileged user, like UXTheme.dll. The bug works because the malicious DLL is found first when the app searches for the DLL it needs. Once installed, Skype uses its own built-in updater to keep the software up to date. When that updater runs, it uses another executable file to run the update, which is vulnerable to the hijacking. The attack reads on the clunky side, but Kanthak told ZDNet in an email that the attack could be easily weaponized. He explained, providing two command line examples, how a script or malware could remotely transfer a malicious DLL into that temporary folder.
Mar 27, 2018 | tech.slashdot.org
(theguardian.com) an anonymised, aggregate dataset of 57bn Facebook friendships . From a report: Facebook provided the dataset of "every friendship formed in 2011 in every country in the world at the national aggregate level" to Kogan's University of Cambridge laboratory for a study on international friendships published in Personality and Individual Differences in 2015. Two Facebook employees were named as co-authors of the study, alongside researchers from Cambridge, Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley. Kogan was publishing under the name Aleksandr Spectre at the time. A University of Cambridge press release on the study's publication noted that the paper was "the first output of ongoing research collaborations between Spectre's lab in Cambridge and Facebook." Facebook did not respond to queries about whether any other collaborations occurred. "The sheer volume of the 57bn friend pairs implies a pre-existing relationship," said Jonathan Albright, research director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. "It's not common for Facebook to share that kind of data. It suggests a trusted partnership between Aleksandr Kogan/Spectre and Facebook."
Mar 27, 2018 | it.slashdot.org
(vice.com) spyware to everyday consumers and wiped their servers, deleting photos captured from monitored devices. A year later, the hacker has done it again . Motherboard: Thursday, the hacker said he started wiping some cloud servers that belong to Retina-X Studios, a Florida-based company that sells spyware products targeted at parents and employers, but that are also used by people to spy on their partners without their consent. Retina-X was one of two companies that were breached last year in a series of hacks that exposed the fact that many otherwise ordinary people surreptitiously install spyware on their partners' and children's phones in order to spy on them. This software has been called "stalkerware" by some.
Mar 27, 2018 | hardware.slashdot.org
(bbc.com) BeauHD on Monday February 19, 2018 @06:00AM from the crypto-cash dept. dryriver shares a report from BBC: News organizations have tried many novel ways to make readers pay -- but this idea is possibly the most audacious yet. If a reader chooses to block its advertising, U.S. publication Salon will use that person's computer to mine for Monero , a cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin. Creating new tokens of a cryptocurrency typically requires complex calculations that use up a lot of computing power. Salon told readers: "We intend to use a small percentage of your spare processing power to contribute to the advancement of technological discovery, evolution and innovation." The site is making use of CoinHive, a controversial mining tool that was recently used in an attack involving government websites in the UK, U.S. and elsewhere. However, unlike that incident, where hackers took control of visitors' computers to mine cryptocurrency, Salon notifies users and requires them to agree before the tool begins mining.
Mar 27, 2018 | yro.slashdot.org
(torrentfreak.com) Flight sim company FlightSimLabs has found itself in trouble after installing malware onto users' machines as an anti-piracy measure . Code embedded in its A320-X module contained a mechanism for detecting 'pirate' serial numbers distributed on The Pirate Bay, which then triggered a process through which the company stole usernames and passwords from users' web browsers.
Mar 27, 2018 | yro.slashdot.org
Mar 27, 2018 | it.slashdot.org
(bleepingcomputer.com) A massive survey of nearly 1,200 IT security practitioners and decision makers across 17 countries reveals that half the people who fell victim to ransomware infections last year were able to recover their files after paying the ransom demand. The survey, carried out by research and marketing firm CyberEdge Group, reveals that paying the ransom demand, even if for desperate reasons, does not guarantee that victims will regain access to their files . Timely backups are still the most efficient defense against possible ransomware infections, as it allows easy recovery. The survey reveals that 55% of all responders suffered a ransomware infection in 2017, compared to the previous year's study, when 61% experienced similar incidents. Of all the victims who suffered ransomware infections, CyberEdge discovered that 61.3% opted not to pay the ransom at all. Some lost files for good (8%), while the rest (53.3%) managed to recover files, either from backups or by using ransomware decrypter applications. Of the 38.7% who opted to pay the ransom, a little less than half (19.1%) recovered their files using the tools provided by the ransomware authors.
Mar 27, 2018 | tech.slashdot.org
(theatlantic.com) Already in 2010, it felt like a malicious attention market where people treated friends as latent resources to be optimized. Compulsion rather than choice devoured people's time. Apps like FarmVille sold relief for the artificial inconveniences they themselves had imposed. In response, I made a satirical social game called Cow Clicker. Players clicked a cute cow, which mooed and scored a "click." Six hours later, they could do so again. They could also invite friends' cows to their pasture, buy virtual cows with real money, compete for status, click to send a real cow to the developing world from Oxfam, outsource clicks to their toddlers with a mobile app, and much more. It became strangely popular, until eventually, I shut the whole thing down in a bovine rapture -- the "cowpocalypse." It's kind of a complicated story .
But one worth revisiting today, in the context of the scandal over Facebook's sanctioning of user-data exfiltration via its application platform. It's not just that abusing the Facebook platform for deliberately nefarious ends was easy to do (it was). But worse, in those days, it was hard to avoid extracting private data, for years even, without even trying. I did it with a silly cow game. Cow Clicker is not an impressive work of software. After all, it was a game whose sole activity was clicking on cows. I wrote the principal code in three days, much of it hunched on a friend's couch in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I had no idea anyone would play it, although over 180,000 people did, eventually. And yet, if you played Cow Clicker, even just once, I got enough of your personal data that, for years, I could have assembled a reasonably sophisticated profile of your interests and behavior. I might still be able to; all the data is still there, stored on my private server, where Cow Clicker is still running, allowing players to keep clicking where a cow once stood, before my caprice raptured them into the digital void.
Mar 27, 2018 | it.slashdot.org
BeauHD on Monday March 12, 2018 @08:10PM from the under-the-radar dept. An anonymous reader quotes a report from Engadget: Security researchers at Kaspersky Lab have discovered what's likely to be another state-sponsored malware strain, and this one is more advanced than most. Nicknamed Slingshot, the code spies on PCs through a multi-layer attack that targets MikroTik routers . It first replaces a library file with a malicious version that downloads other malicious components, and then launches a clever two-pronged attack on the computers themselves. One, Canhadr, runs low-level kernel code that effectively gives the intruder free rein, including deep access to storage and memory; the other, GollumApp, focuses on the user level and includes code to coordinate efforts, manage the file system and keep the malware alive. Kaspersky describes these two elements as "masterpieces," and for good reason. For one, it's no mean feat to run hostile kernel code without crashes. Slingshot also stores its malware files in an encrypted virtual file system, encrypts every text string in its modules, calls services directly (to avoid tripping security software checks) and even shuts components down when forensic tools are active. If there's a common method of detecting malware or identifying its behavior, Slingshot likely has a defense against it. It's no wonder that the code has been active since at least 2012 -- no one knew it was there. Recent MikroTik router firmware updates should fix the issue. However, there's concern that other router makers might be affected.
Mar 24, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.comYves here. Not new to anyone who has been paying attention, but a useful recap with some good observations at the end, despite deploying the cringe-making trope of businesses having DNA. That legitimates the notion that corporations are people.
By Ivan Manokha, a departmental lecturer in the Oxford Department of International Development. He is currently working on power and obedience in the late-modern political economy, particularly in the context of the development of new technologies of surveillance. Originally published at openDemocracy
The current social mobilization against Facebook resembles the actions of activists who, in opposition to neoliberal globalization, smash a McDonald's window during a demonstration.
On March 17, The Observer of London and The New York Times announced that Cambridge Analytica, the London-based political and corporate consulting group, had harvested private data from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users without their consent. The data was collected through a Facebook-based quiz app called thisisyourdigitallife, created by Aleksandr Kogan, a University of Cambridge psychologist who had requested and gained access to information from 270,000 Facebook members after they had agreed to use the app to undergo a personality test, for which they were paid through Kogan's company, Global Science Research.
But as Christopher Wylie, a twenty-eight-year-old Canadian coder and data scientist and a former employee of Cambridge Analytica, stated in a video interview , the app could also collect all kinds of personal data from users, such as the content that they consulted, the information that they liked, and even the messages that they posted.
In addition, the app provided access to information on the profiles of the friends of each of those users who agreed to take the test, which enabled the collection of data from more than 50 million.
All this data was then shared by Kogan with Cambridge Analytica, which was working with Donald Trump's election team and which allegedly used this data to target US voters with personalised political messages during the presidential campaign. As Wylie, told The Observer, "we built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons."
Following these revelations the Internet has been engulfed in outrage and government officials have been quick to react. On March 19, Antonio Tajani President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani, stated in a twitter message that misuse of Facebook user data "is an unacceptable violation of our citizens' privacy rights" and promised an EU investigation. On March 22, Wylie communicated in a tweet that he accepted an invitation to testify before the US House Intelligence Committee, the US House Judiciary Committee and UK Parliament Digital Committee. On the same day Israel's Justice Ministry informed Facebook that it was opening an investigation into possible violations of Israelis' personal information by Facebook.
While such widespread condemnation of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica is totally justified, what remains largely absent from the discussion are broader questions about the role of data collection, processing and monetization that have become central in the current phase of capitalism, which may be described as 'platform capitalism', as suggested by the Canadian writer and academic Nick Srnicek in his recent book .
Over the last decade the growth of platforms has been spectacular: today, the top 4 enterprises in Forbes's list of most valuable brands are platforms, as are eleven of the top twenty. Most recent IPOs and acquisitions have involved platforms, as have most of the major successful startups. The list includes Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, eBay, Instagram, YouTube, Twitch, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Waze, Uber, Lyft, Handy, Airbnb, Pinterest, Square, Social Finance, Kickstarter, etc. Although most platforms are US-based, they are a really global phenomenon and in fact are now playing an even more important role in developing countries which did not have developed commercial infrastructures at the time of the rise of the Internet and seized the opportunity that it presented to structure their industries around it. Thus, in China, for example, many of the most valuable enterprises are platforms such as Tencent (owner of the WeChat and QQ messaging platforms) and Baidu (China's search engine); Alibaba controls 80 percent of China's e-commerce market through its Taobao and Tmall platforms, with its Alipay platform being the largest payments platform in China.
The importance of platforms is also attested by the range of sectors in which they are now dominant and the number of users (often numbered in millions and, in some cases, even billions) regularly connecting to their various cloud-based services. Thus, to name the key industries, platforms are now central in Internet search (Google, Yahoo, Bing); social networking (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat); Internet auctions and retail (eBay, Taobao, Amazon, Alibaba); on-line financial and human resource functions (Workday, Upwork, Elance, TaskRabbit), urban transportation (Uber, Lyft, Zipcar, BlaBlaCar), tourism (Kayak, Trivago, Airbnb), mobile payment (Square Order, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Wallet); and software development (Apple's App Store, Google Play Store, Windows App store). Platform-based solutions are also currently being adopted in more traditional sectors, such as industrial production (GE, Siemens), agriculture (John Deere, Monsanto) and even clean energy (Sungevity, SolarCity, EnerNOC).
User Profiling -- Good-Bye to Privacy
These platforms differ significantly in terms of the services that they offer: some, like eBay or Taobao simply allow exchange of products between buyers and sellers; others, like Uber or TaskRabbit, allow independent service providers to find customers; yet others, like Apple or Google allow developers to create and market apps.
However, what is common to all these platforms is the central role played by data, and not just continuous data collection, but its ever more refined analysis in order to create detailed user profiles and rankings in order to better match customers and suppliers or increase efficiency.
All this is done in order to use data to create value in some way another (to monetize it by selling to advertisers or other firms, to increase sales, or to increase productivity). Data has become 'the new oil' of global economy, a new commodity to be bought and sold at a massive scale, and with this development, as a former Harvard Business School professor Shoshana Zuboff has argued , global capitalism has become 'surveillance capitalism'.
What this means is that platform economy is a model of value creation which is completely dependant on continuous privacy invasions and, what is alarming is that we are gradually becoming used to this.
Most of the time platform providers keep track of our purchases, travels, interest, likes, etc. and use this data for targeted advertising to which we have become accustomed. We are equally not that surprised when we find out that, for example, robotic vacuum cleaners collect data about types of furniture that we have and share it with the likes of Amazon so that they can send us advertisements for pieces of furniture that we do not yet possess.
There is little public outcry when we discover that Google's ads are racially biased as, for instance, a Harvard professor Latanya Sweeney found by accident performing a search. We are equally hardly astonished that companies such as Lenddo buy access to people's social media and browsing history in exchange for a credit score. And, at least in the US, people are becoming accustomed to the use of algorithms, developed by private contractors, by the justice system to take decisions on sentencing, which often result in equally unfair and racially biased decisions .
The outrage provoked by the Cambridge Analytica is targeting only the tip of the iceberg. The problem is infinitely larger as there are countless equally significant instances of privacy invasions and data collection performed by corporations, but they have become normalized and do not lead to much public outcry.
Today surveillance is the DNA of the platform economy; its model is simply based on the possibility of continuous privacy invasions using whatever means possible. In most cases users agree, by signing the terms and conditions of service providers, so that their data may be collected, analyzed and even shared with third parties (although it is hardly possible to see this as express consent given the size and complexity of these agreements -- for instance, it took 8 hours and 59 minutes for an actor hired by the consumer group Choice to read Amazon Kindle's terms and conditions). In other instances, as in the case of Kogan's app, the extent of the data collected exceeds what was stated in the agreement.
But what is important is to understand that to prevent such scandals in the future it is not enough to force Facebook to better monitor the use of users' data in order to prevent such leaks as in the case of Cambridge Analytica. The current social mobilization against Facebook resembles the actions of activists who, in opposition to neoliberal globalization, smash a McDonald's window during a demonstration.
What we need is a total redefinition of the right to privacy (which was codified as a universal human right in 1948, long before the Internet), to guarantee its respect, both offline and online.
What we need is a body of international law that will provide regulations and oversight for the collection and use of data.
What is required is an explicit and concise formulation of terms and conditions which, in a few sentences, will specify how users' data will be used.
It is important to seize the opportunity presented by the Cambridge Analytica scandal to push for these more fundamental changes.
Arizona Slim , , March 24, 2018 at 7:38 amSteve H. , , March 24, 2018 at 8:05 am
I am grateful for my spidey sense. Thanks, spidey sense, for ringing the alarm bells whenever I saw one of those personality tests on Facebook. I never took one.Annieb , , March 24, 2018 at 2:02 pm
First they came for
The most efficient strategy is to be non-viable . They may come for you eventually, but someone else gets to be the canary, and you haven't wasted energy in the meantime. TOR users didn't get that figured out.ChrisPacific , , March 25, 2018 at 4:07 pm
Never took the personality test either, but now I now that all of my friends who did unknowingly gave up my personal information too. I read an article somewhere about this over a year ago so it's really old news. Sent the link to a few people who didn't care. But now that they all know that Cambridge Analytical used FB data in support of the Trump campaign it's all over the mainstream and people are upset.HotFlash , , March 24, 2018 at 3:13 pm
You can disable that (i.e., prevent friends from sharing your info with third parties) in the privacy options. But the controls are not easy to find and everything is enabled by default.Octopii , , March 24, 2018 at 8:06 am
I haven't FB'd in years and certainly never took any such test, but if any of my friends, real or FB, did, and my info was shared, can I sue? If not, why not?Samuel Conner , , March 24, 2018 at 8:16 am
Everyone thought I was paranoid as I discouraged them from moving backups to the cloud, using trackers, signing up for grocery store clubs, using real names and addresses for online anything, etc. They thought I was overreacting when I said we need European-style privacy laws in this country. People at work thought my questions about privacy for our new location-based IoT plans were not team-based thinking.
And it turns out after all this that they still think I'm extreme. I guess it will have to get worse.Collins , , March 24, 2018 at 9:14 am
In a first for me, there are surface-mount resistors in the advert at the top of today's NC links page. That is way out of the ordinary; what I usually see are books or bicycle parts; things I have recently purchased or searched.
But a couple of days ago I had a SKYPE conversation with a sibling about a PC I was scavenging for parts, and surface mount resistors (unscavengable) came up. I suspect I have been observed without my consent and am not too happy about it. As marketing, it's a bust; in the conversation I explicitly expressed no interest in such components as I can't install them. I suppose I should be glad for this indication of something I wasn't aware was happening.Samuel Conner , , March 24, 2018 at 10:15 am
Had you used your computer keyboard previously to search for 'surface mount resistors', or was the trail linking you & resistors entirely verbal?Abi , , March 25, 2018 at 3:24 pm
No keyboard search. I never so much as think about surface mount components; the inquiry was raised by my sibling and I responded. Maybe its coincidental, but it seems quite odd.
I decided to click through to the site to generate a few pennies for NC and at least feel like I was punishing someone for snooping on me.ChiGal in Carolina , , March 25, 2018 at 10:12 am
Its been happening to me a lot recently on my Instagram, I don't like pictures or anything, but whenever I have a conversation with someone on my phone, I start seeing ads of what I spoke aboutEureka Springs , , March 24, 2018 at 8:44 am
I thought it came out a while ago that Skype captures and retains all the dialogue and video of convos using it.Pelham , , March 24, 2018 at 9:13 am
What we need is a total redefinition of the right to privacy (which was codified as a universal human right in 1948, long before the Internet), to guarantee its respect, both offline and online.
Are we, readers of this post, or citizens of the USA supposed to think there is anything binding in declarations? Or anything from the UN if at all inconvenient for that matter?
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
Platforms like facebook allow individuals to 'spy' on each other and people love it. When I was a kid i always marveled at how some households would leave a police scanner on 24/7. With the net we have this writ large with baby, puppy and tv dinner photos. Not to forget it's a narcissist paradise. I have friends who I've tried to gently over time inject tidbits of info like this article provides for many years and they still just refuse to try and get it. If they looked over their shoulder and saw how many people/entities are literally following them everywhere they go, they would become rabid gun owners (don't tread on me!) overnight, but the invisible hand/eye registers not at all.albert , , March 24, 2018 at 6:27 pm
A side note: If Facebook and other social media were to assume ANY degree of responsibility for content appearing on their platforms, they would be acknowledging their legal liability for ALL content.
Hence they would be legally responsible just as newspapers are. And major newspapers have on-staff lawyers and editors exquisitely attuned to the possibility of libelous content so they can avoid ruinous lawsuits.
If the law were applied as it should be, Facebook and its brethren wouldn't last five minutes before being sued into oblivion.PlutoniumKun , , March 24, 2018 at 9:52 am
" being sued into oblivion ." If only.
Non-liability is a product of the computer age. I remember having to agree with Microsofts policy to absolve them of -any- liability when using their software. If they had their druthers, -no- company would be liable for -anything-. It's called a 'perfect world'.
Companies that host 'social media' should not have to bear any responsibility for their users content. Newspapers employ writers and fact checkers. They are set up to monitor their staff for accuracy (Okay, in theory). So you can sue them and even their journalist employees. Being liable (and not sued) allows them to brag about how truthful they are. Reputations are a valuable commodity these days.
In the case of 'social media' providers, liability falls on the authors of their own comments, which is only fair, in my view. However, I would argue that those 'providers' should -not- be considered 'media' like newspapers, and their members should not be considered 'journalists'.
Also, those providers are private companies, and are free to edit, censor, or delete anything on their site. And of course it's automated. Some conservative Facebook members were complaining about being banned. Apparently, there a certain things you can't say on Facebook.
AFAIC, the bottom line is this: Many folks tend to believe everything they read online. They need to learn the skill of critical thinking. And realize that the Internet can be a vast wasteland; a digital garbage dump.
Why are our leaders so concerned with election meddling? Isn't our propaganda better than the Russians? We certainly pay a lot for it.
. .. . .. -- .saurabh , , March 24, 2018 at 11:43 am
It seems even Elon Musk is now rebelling against Facebook.
Musk Takes Down the Tesla and SpaceX Facebook Pages.
Today, Musk also made fun of Sonos for not being as committed as he was to the anti-Facebook cause after the connected-speaker maker said it would pull ads from the platform -- but only for a week.
"Wow, a whole week. Risky " Musk tweeted.Jim Thomson , , March 25, 2018 at 9:39 am
Musk, like Trump, knows he does not need to advertise because a fawning press will dutifully report on everything he does and says, no matter how dumb.Daniel Mongan , , March 24, 2018 at 10:14 am
This is rich.
I can't resist: It takes a con to know a con.
(not the most insightful comment)JimTan , , March 24, 2018 at 11:12 am
A thoughtful post, thanks for that. May I recommend you take a look at "All You Can Pay" (NationBooks 2015) for a more thorough treatment of the subject, together with a proposal on how to re-balance the equation. Full disclosure, I am a co-author.JCC , , March 24, 2018 at 11:29 am
People are starting to download copies of their Facebook data to get an understanding of how much information is being collected from them.oh , , March 24, 2018 at 1:44 pm
A reminder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRT9On7qie8
I saw this video back in 2007. It was originally put together by a Sarah Lawrence student who was working on her paper on social media. The ties of all the original investors to IN-Q-Tel scared me off and I decided to stay away from Facebook.
But it isn't just FB. Amazon, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Apple, Microsoft and many others do the same, and we are all caught up in it whether we agree to participate or not.
Anyone watch the NCAA Finals and see all the ads from Google about being "The Official Cloud of the NCAA"? They were flat out bragging, more or less, about surveillance of players. for the NCAA.
Platform Capitalism is a mild description, it is manipulation based on Surveillance Capitalism, pure and simple. The Macro pattern of Corporate Power subsuming the State across every area is fascinating to watch, but a little scary.HotFlash , , March 24, 2018 at 3:27 pm
Caveat Emptor: If you watch YouTube, they'll only add to the information that they already have on you!Craig H. , , March 24, 2018 at 12:21 pm
Just substitute "hook" for 'you" in the URL, you get the same video, no ads, and they claim not to track you. YMMVEd , , March 24, 2018 at 2:50 pm
Privacy no longer a social norm, says Facebook founder; Guardian; 10 January 2010
The Right to Privacy; Warren & Brandeis; Harvard Law Review; 15 December 1890
It was amusing that the top Google hit for the Brandeis article was JSTOR which requires us to surrender personal detail to access their site. To hell with that.
The part I like about the Brandeis privacy story is the motivation was some Manhattan rich dicks thought the gossip writers snooping around their wedding party should mind their own business. (Apparently whether this is actually true or just some story made up by somebody being catty at Brandeis has been the topic of gigabytes of internet flame wars but I can't ever recall seeing any of those.)Craig H. , , March 24, 2018 at 3:42 pm
" Two young psychologists are central to the Cambridge Analytica story. One is Michal Kosinski, who devised an app with a Cambridge University colleague, David Stillwell, that measures personality traits by analyzing Facebook "likes." It was then used in collaboration with the World Well-Being Project, a group at the University of Pennsylvania's Positive Psychology Center that specializes in the use of big data to measure health and happiness in order to improve well-being. The other is Aleksandr Kogan, who also works in the field of positive psychology and has written papers on happiness, kindness, and love (according to his résumé, an early paper was called "Down the Rabbit Hole: A Unified Theory of Love"). He ran the Prosociality and Well-being Laboratory, under the auspices of Cambridge University's Well-Being Institute.
Despite its prominence in research on well-being, Kosinski's work, Cadwalladr points out, drew a great deal of interest from British and American intelligence agencies and defense contractors, including overtures from the private company running an intelligence project nicknamed "Operation KitKat" because a correlation had been found between anti-Israeli sentiments and liking Nikes and KitKats. Several of Kosinski's co-authored papers list the US government's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, as a funding source. His résumé boasts of meetings with senior figures at two of the world's largest defense contractors, Boeing and Microsoft, both companies that have sponsored his research. He ran a workshop on digital footprints and psychological assessment for the Singaporean Ministry of Defense.
For his part, Aleksandr Kogan established a company, Global Science Research, that contracted with SCL, using Facebook data to map personality traits for its work in elections (Kosinski claims that Kogan essentially reverse-engineered the app that he and Stillwell had developed). Kogan's app harvested data on Facebook users who agreed to take a personality test for the purposes of academic research (though it was, in fact, to be used by SCL for non-academic ends). But according to Wylie, the app also collected data on their entire -- and nonconsenting -- network of friends. Once Cambridge Analytica and SCL had won contracts with the State Department and were pitching to the Pentagon, Wylie became alarmed that this illegally-obtained data had ended up at the heart of government, along with the contractors who might abuse it.
This apparently bizarre intersection of research on topics like love and kindness with defense and intelligence interests is not, in fact, particularly unusual. It is typical of the kind of dual-use research that has shaped the field of social psychology in the US since World War II.
Much of the classic, foundational research on personality, conformity, obedience, group polarization, and other such determinants of social dynamics -- while ostensibly civilian -- was funded during the cold war by the military and the CIA. The cold war was an ideological battle, so, naturally, research on techniques for controlling belief was considered a national security priority. This psychological research laid the groundwork for propaganda wars and for experiments in individual "mind control."
The pioneering figures from this era -- for example, Gordon Allport on personality and Solomon Asch on belief conformity -- are still cited in NATO psy-ops literature to this day .."
This is an issue which has frustrated me greatly. In spite of the fact that the country's leading psychologist (at the very least one of them -- ex-APA president Seligman) has been documented taking consulting fees from Guantanamo and Black Sites goon squads, my social science pals refuse to recognize any corruption at the core of their so-called replicated quantitative research.
I have asked more than five people to point at the best critical work on the Big 5 Personality theory and they all have told me some variant of "it is the only way to get consistent numbers". Not one has ever retreated one step or been receptive to the suggestion that this might indicate some fallacy in trying to assign numbers to these properties.
They eat their own dog food all the way and they seem to be suffering from a terrible malnutrition. At least the anthropologists have Price . (Most of that book can be read for free in installments at Counterpunch.)
Mar 23, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.comSlingshot . The malware targeted Latvian-made Internet routers popular in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
Kaspersky's reports reveal that the malware had been active since at least 2012, and speculates that it was government-made, owing to its sophistication and its use of novel techniques rarely seen elsewhere.
Those investigating the matter further have drawn the conclusion that Slingshot was developed by the U.S. government, with some reports quoting former officials as connecting it to the Pentagon's JSOC special forces. For those following the cyber security and malware sphere, this is a huge revelation, putting the U.S. government in the hot seat for deploying cyber attacks that harm a much greater range of innocent users beyond their intended targets.
Kaspersky's own findings note that the code was written in English, using a driver flaw to allow the implanting of various types of spyware. Among those mentioned by Moscow-based Kaspersky was an implant named "GOLLUM," which notably was mentioned in one of the leaked Edward Snowden documents .
Further findings suggest that Slingshot had common code with only two other known pieces of software, both malwares, which were attributed to the NSA and CIA, respectively, by analysts. Though various U.S. agencies are all denying comment, things are clearly pointing uncomfortably in their direction.
Cyberscoop , one of the first news outlets to break the story, reported a mixed reaction among officials. Some noted that Kaspersky Labs was simply doing what a security company is supposed to do. Others, however, were less agreeable, suggesting it was an intentional attempt by Kaspersky to undermine U.S. security.
The argument, as far as it goes, is that given the ostensible target areas -- the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan -- Kaspersky should have concluded it was related to the War on Terror and sat on their findings. The Trump administration already views Kaspersky as a sort of hostile actor -- banning the use of Kaspersky products by any government or civilian federal contractor in December, citing Kremlin influence (a charge that has been vehemently denied by the company). This just gives them more justification for seeing Kaspersky as an adversary in the space.
Unfortunately for the Russian company, some American retailers have even followed suit, pulling the software from the shelves on the grounds that it's Russian, and that therefore suspect.
There has been no clear evidence that Kaspersky's software was serving as a backdoor for Russian intelligence, though it was reported last fall that sensitive documents were stolen from a National Security Agency (NSA) contractor's laptop via its Kaspersky-made antivirus software . In a statement at the time, the company said, "Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage efforts." Turns out that Israeli spies, spying on the Russian spies, disclosed the intrusion to U.S. officials.
Kaspersky has consistently ranked near the top of antivirus ratings from virtually all third-party reviewers. The company has sold its products to nearly 400 million users worldwide, with 60 percent in the U.S. and Western Europe. Until now, Kaspersky was being used by several major agencies in the federal government, including the State Department and Department of Defense.
Ironically, this new Slingshot issue itself appears just to be a testament to how well the company's security works at digging up extremely dangerous malware. It also underscores the uneasy reality that the U.S. has been engaging in its own brand of cyber warfare all along.
Any claims that a specific piece of U.S. malware -- in this case, Slingshot -- was targeting only al-Qaeda or ISIS bad guys is disingenuous as well. The exploit on routers is hitting an entire region, infecting an untold number of innocent people . Internet cafés are said to have been hit in this, meaning everyone going into the cafes is at risk.
Malware is not a precision munition, it hits wide targets and spreads out to bystanders. This is particularly disturbing to note if, as some reports are indicating, this malware was Pentagon in origin.
U.S. civilian government surveillance is already doing great harm to general Internet security, and does so by remaining in denial about the balance of good to harm that is being done. The U.S. military, by contrast, has shown its willingness to inflict major harm on innocents in pursuit of any war goal. As they start hitting regions with malware, all bets are off on how far it will spread.
Security companies like Kaspersky Labs only afford the private user limited protection from all of this malware, because they're constantly playing catch-up, finding new variants and new exploits that the various pieces of software are using. Slingshot, for instance, went undetected for six solid years .
The discovery means fixes can finally be implemented for the routers and the computers. Novel exploits like this are rarely a one-time fix, however, as a slew of similar exploits from other sources tend to crop up after one gets taken out. It's a never-ending battle.
In August, President Trump made U.S. Cyber Command a formal military command , reflecting the growing view of the Internet as a military objective. Much as America's other battlefields result in collateral damage on the ground, the cyberwar is going to have a deleterious impact on day-to-day life in cyberspace. The big questions are how bad things will get, and how quickly.
Jason Ditz is news editor at Antiwar.com , a nonprofit organization dedicated to the cause of non-interventionism. In addition to TAC, his work has appeared in Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Daily Caller, Washington Times and Detroit Free Press.
Mar 21, 2018 | consortiumnews.com
JWalters , March 19, 2018 at 10:46 pmbackwardsevolution , March 19, 2018 at 4:29 pm
In a casual conversation at a party a computer science researcher from a leading university commented that the vast majority of "denial of service" attacks in this country are done by the federal government. That would probably be the CIA covert ops in service to the bankster oligarchy. The Israelis are also known to have cyber warfare capabilities, and are a central part of the oligarchy, judging by their clear control of the MSM.
It makes complete sense that the oligarchy would do everything it could to harass and slow down the opposition, even if just to frustrate them to the point of giving up. I'm glad you are reporting your experiences here; it will help the site administrators deal with the problem.
A few years ago there was a Zionist mole(s) at Disqus who deleted posts that were too informative about Israel, especially those with links to highly informative articles. After an open discussion of the problem it eventually disappeared.Realist , March 19, 2018 at 4:47 pm
Realist -- occasionally this happens to me and, yes, it is most frustrating. What I am doing more often now (but sometimes I still forget) is copying my text before hitting "Post Comment". If it disappears, at least you still have it and can try again. If this occurs, I go completely off the site, and then come back on and post again. Does this just happen on posts that took you a long time to get finished? I ask this because I've found that if I type some words, go away and start making dinner (or whatever), and my comment is not posted for several hours, then sometimes it does this.
I sure hope you get it figured out because your posts are always wonderful to read.backwardsevolution , March 19, 2018 at 6:18 pm
This has been happening systematically to anything I post today. Both long and short entries. I copy the text, then post it. When I see it appear or even see it under moderation, I have assumed it would stand and so delete the copy rather than save it -- that space goes to the next composition. So, everything "disappeared" today is gone. Most of the stuff disappeared has to do with our supposed rights of free speech and the intrusion of the intelligence agencies into our lives and our liberties. Guess who I suspect of sabotaging these calls to be vigilant against attacks on our freedoms? Good gravy, they are becoming relentless in trying to control every jot and tittle of the narrative. The entire MSM is not enough for them, even web sites with a microscopic audience are now in their sights. I don't know what else to make of a problem that has become routine, not just sporadic.Skip Scott , March 19, 2018 at 7:29 pm
You're just too good, Realist! You make too much sense! If there is a "they" out there who are censoring, of course they'd go after someone like you. Take a break, kick back, then see what happens tomorrow. If it continues, then maybe you could make a few calls.robjira , March 19, 2018 at 9:58 pm
Sorry to hear of your difficulties, Realist. Don't give up yet. Your posts are a very valuable part of this website. I do suspect outside interference. This site and ICH are both under attack, and probably others as well. I hope Nat and Tom Feeley can afford some good techies to mount a good defense.Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , March 19, 2018 at 9:59 pm
I agree with be and Skip, Realist. The same thing happened to me (and I'm not even a frequent commentator here); sometimes it takes days for a post(s) to appear. This sometime can be triggered by multiple links, extensive text formatting, etc. (you probably already know all this).
Anyway, be has it right; take a breather for a while. If something more nefarious is really happening, wear it like a medal; if your comments are disappeared, that as good as confirms you're on target. Your commentary is really insightful, and nothing freaks them out more than an informed opinion.
Peace.backwardsevolution , March 19, 2018 at 10:15 pm
To paraphrase someone: "Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to a bug in the software."Litchfield , March 20, 2018 at 9:09 am
Paul E. Merrell -- "Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to a bug in the software."
Quite true. I was having trouble going on Paul Craig Roberts' site for about a month (and another site, but I can't remember which one). I said to my son, "What the heck? Are they shutting down access to this site?" My son came onto my computer and within about two minutes he had me set right again. He said it had to do with my Internet security company. Who knew? Certainly not me! Thank goodness for tech-literate children.freedom lover , March 20, 2018 at 3:39 pm
" even web sites with a microscopic audience are now in their sights."
Maybe "microscopic," but with the potential to be magnified and multiplied. I have been puzzled as to why some posts have shown up as being in moderation and others not. But have not systematically followed up to see what happened. I assume comments at this site are moderated in some way, but why would that result in the patchy appearance of an actual "under moderation" signal?Sam F , March 19, 2018 at 8:47 pm
Not just this website but very common if you try to post anything on RT.
I also noticed several comments here that had been deleted after I refreshed the screen. They appeared to have attracted the "anti-semitism" accusation, so perhaps other hackers are involved.
Sam F , March 19, 2018 at 8:40 pmLitchfield , March 20, 2018 at 9:12 am
While at first skeptical of the hacking hypothesis, I realized its similarity to what I have seen for two months on RT.
RT is apparently being copied to "mirror sites" likely controlled by US agencies, so that they can run spy scripts when the stories are viewed. My PC runs far slower after checking any story on RT, and the browser must be restarted to regain normal speed. No other website has this problem, and certainly RT would not want to annoy their viewers by doing that themselves.
Most likely the secret agency scripts are sending files and browsing information to government spies.
It may be that CN is now being copied into hacked "mirror sites" by those who control the web DNS service that identifies the web server address for named websites. That would be a US secret agency. I have wondered whether such agencies are responsible for the trolls who have annoyed commenters here for several months. It may be that they are controlling the commentary now as well, to make political dossiers.Realist , March 20, 2018 at 5:01 pm
"My PC runs far slower after checking any story on RT, and the browser must be restarted to regain normal speed. "
I have noticed this as well. I don't check RT all that often, but one time I wanted to see what Peter Lavelle had been up to lately with CrossTalk, so went to RT. This was awhile ago so I can't recall the exact details, but I think my browser generally froze up and I had to reboot my laptop. Of course it made me a bit paranoid and I wondered what was going on at RT.Inthebyte , March 20, 2018 at 11:27 am
I've often noticed a great delay in RT loading. I'll have to focus on the effect you described. Sometimes I get a "service not available" notice for CN which usually resolves within no more than a half hour.Zachary Smith , March 20, 2018 at 12:51 pm
I agree about RT. When I log on there everything slows to a crawl, or flat doesn't navigate. Thanks for the comment. Now I know I'm being gas lighted. Another site with all of these problems is Information Clearing House who are hacked repeatedly.Sam F , March 19, 2018 at 8:42 pm
My PC runs far slower after checking any story on RT, and the browser must be restarted to regain normal speed. No other website has this problem, and certainly RT would not want to annoy their viewers by doing that themselves.
I'm running three script-blocker addons as I type this, and a fourth will be enabled again after making this post. The latter one does something to the CN site, and unless disabled any comment goes to the bottom of the page. My Firefox browser (which I'm using now) has the cache set to "0", and also to "never remember history". This slows it somewhat, but I figure the trade-off is worthwhile.
I review four "Russian" sites and have noticed they're chock-full of annoying ads and scripts. One of them I suspect is being run for income, for there is no coherent "message" along with most of the headlines being clickbait material. But I return there because sometimes they have a story worth more investigation.geeyp , March 20, 2018 at 12:28 am
While at first skeptical of the hacking hypothesis, I should note what I have seen for two months on RT.
RT is apparently being copied to "mirror sites" likely controlled by US agencies, so that they can run spy scripts when the stories are viewed. My PC runs far slower after checking any story on RT, and the browser must be restarted to regain normal speed. No other website has this problem, and certainly RT would not want to annoy their viewers by doing that themselves.
Most likely the secret agency scripts are sending files and browsing information to government spies.
It may be that CN is now being copied into hacked "mirror sites" by those who control the web DNS service that identifies the web server address for named websites. That would be a US secret agency. I have wondered whether such agencies are responsible for the trolls who have annoyed commenters here for several months. It may be that they are controlling the commentary now as well, to make political dossiers.Litchfield , March 20, 2018 at 9:13 am
Nothing much secret regarding the secret agencies. Didn't I read that Google and Face. (same company with Y.T.) have fairly recently hired 10,000 new employees for just this purpose? I ,too, have had plenty of issues with the RT.com site. It is not RT causing the issues. Truth hurts these evil P.O.S. And, also I have wondered regarding the ISP involvement. On the article topic, I was quite angered when I read his Tweet over the weekend; that punk has got nerve and needs to wear an orange jumpsuit.Sam F , March 20, 2018 at 11:50 am
What is the ISP movement?Skeptigal , March 20, 2018 at 4:26 am
The ISP may or may not be involved, but the DNS is involved in creating fake (or real) "mirror sites." DNS (distributed name service) has its own servers all over, which translate text URLs (xxx.com ) to numeric internet (IP) addresses. So when you request the site, your local DNS server gives you the address based upon its updates from other sources, including the "mirror" sites used for heavily-used websites.
I do not yet know the processes used to update DNS servers which would be tampered to create fake mirror sites, or exactly how this would be controlled, except that secret agencies would know this and would have such control. Others might be able to do this as well.Realist , March 20, 2018 at 11:23 pm
Sorry, I know you're frustrated but I couldn't help but giggle at your indignant replies. They are hilarious. Your comments may have ended up in the spam folder. If you contact them they will restore your comments. Good luck! :)
Using the British standard, I'm going to assume you are responsible for all the trouble unless you prove otherwise.
Mar 15, 2018 | www.washingtonpost.com
Julian Assange is editor of WikiLeaks.
Mike Pompeo, in his first speech as director of the CIA, chose to declare war on free speech rather than on the United States' actual adversaries. He went after WikiLeaks, where I serve as editor, as a "non-state hostile intelligence service." In Pompeo's worldview, telling the truth about the administration can be a crime -- as Attorney General Jeff Sessions quickly underscored when he described my arrest as a "priority." News organizations reported that federal prosecutors are weighing whether to bring charges against members of WikiLeaks, possibly including conspiracy, theft of government property and violating the Espionage Act.
All this speech to stifle speech comes in reaction to the first publication in the start of WikiLeaks' "Vault 7" series. Vault 7 has begun publishing evidence of remarkable CIA incompetence and other shortcomings. This includes the agency's creation, at a cost of billions of taxpayer dollars, of an entire arsenal of cyber viruses and hacking programs -- over which it promptly lost control and then tried to cover up the loss. These publications also revealed the CIA's efforts to infect the public's ubiquitous consumer products and automobiles with computer viruses.
When the director of the CIA, an unelected public servant, publicly demonizes a publisher such as WikiLeaks as a "fraud," "coward" and "enemy," it puts all journalists on notice, or should. Pompeo's next talking point, unsupported by fact, that WikiLeaks is a "non-state hostile intelligence service," is a dagger aimed at Americans' constitutional right to receive honest information about their government. This accusation mirrors attempts throughout history by bureaucrats seeking, and failing, to criminalize speech that reveals their own failings.
President Theodore Roosevelt understood the danger of giving in to those "foolish or traitorous persons who endeavor to make it a crime to tell the truth about the Administration when the Administration is guilty of incompetence or other shortcomings." Such "endeavor is itself a crime against the nation," Roosevelt wrote. President Trump and his officials should heed that advice .
Mar 08, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
David Habakkuk , 08 March 2018 at 10:28 AMPT and all,
More material on the British end of the conspiracy.
Commenting on an earlier piece by PT, I suggested that a key piece of evidence pointing to 'Guccifer 2.0' being a fake personality created by the conspirators in their attempt to disguise the fact that the materials from the DNC published by 'WikiLeaks' were obtained by a leak rather than a hack had to do with the involvement of the former GCHQ person Matt Tait.
(See http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/02/pieces-of-the-coup-puzzle-fall-into-place-by-publius-tacitus.html .)
To recapitulate: Back in June 2016, hard on the heels of the claim by Dmitri Alperovitch of 'CrowdStrike' to have identified clinching evidence making the GRU prime suspects, Tait announced that, although initially unconvinced, he had found a 'smoking gun' in the 'metadata' of the documents released by 'Guccifer 2.0.'
A key part of this was the use by someone modifying a document of 'Felix Edmundovich' – the name and patronymic of Dzerzhinsky, the Lithuanian-Polish noble who created the Soviet secret police.
As I noted, Tait was generally identified as a former GCHQ employee who now ran a consultancy called 'Capital Alpha Security.' However, checking Companies House records revealed that he had filed 'dormant accounts' for the company. So it looks as though the company was simply a 'front', designed to fool 'useful idiots' into believing he was an objective analyst.
As I also noted in those comments, Tait writes the 'Lawfare' blog, one of whose founders, Benjamin Wittes, looks as though he may himself have been involved in the conspiracy up to the hilt. Furthermore, a secure income now appears to have been provided to replace that from the non-existent consultancy, in the shape of a position at the 'Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law', run by Robert Chesney, a co-founder with Wittes of 'Lawfare.'
A crucial part of the story, however, is that the notion of GRU responsibility for the supposed 'hacks' appears to be part of a wider 'narrative' about the supposed 'Gerasimov Doctrine.' From the 'View from Langley' provided to Bret Stephens by CIA Director Mike Pompeo at the 'Aspen Security Forum' last July:
'I hearken back to something called the Gerasimov doctrine from the early 70s, he's now the head of the – I'm a Cold War guy, forgive me if I mention Soviet Union. He's now the head of the Russian army and his idea was that you can win wars without firing a single shot or with firing very few shots in ways that are decidedly not militaristic, and that's what's happened. What changes is the costs; to effectuate change through cyber and through RT and Sputnik, their news outlets, and through other soft means; has just really been lowered, right. It used to be it was expensive to run an ad on a television station now you simply go online and propagate your message. And so they have they have found an effective tool, an easy way to go reach into our systems, and into our culture to achieve the outcomes they are looking for.'
(See https://aspensecurityforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/The-View-from-Langley.pdf .)
What has however become clear in recent days is that the 'Gerasimov Doctrine' was not invented by its supposed author, but by a British academic, Mark Galeotti, who has now confessed – although in a way clearly designed to maintain as much of the 'narrative' as possible.
Three days ago, an article by Galleoti appeared in 'Foreign Policy' entitled 'I'm Sorry for Creating the "Gerasimov Doctrine": I was the first to write about Russia's infamous high-tech military strategy. One small problem: it doesn't exist.'
(See http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/03/05/im-sorry-for-creating-the-gerasimov-doctrine/ .)
A key paragraph:
'Gerasimov was actually talking about how the Kremlin understands what happened in the "Arab Spring" uprisings, the "color revolutions" against pro-Moscow regimes in Russia's neighborhood, and in due course Ukraine's "Maidan" revolt. The Russians honestly – however wrongly – believe that these were not genuine protests against brutal and corrupt governments, but regime changes orchestrated in Washington, or rather, Langley. This wasn't a "doctrine" as the Russians understand it, for future adventures abroad: Gerasimov was trying to work out how to fight, not promote, such uprisings at home.'
The translation of the original article by Gerasimov with annotations by Galeotti which provoked the whole hysteria turns out to be a classic example of what I am inclined to term 'bad Straussianism.'
(See https://inmoscowsshadows.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/the-gerasimov-doctrine-and-russian-non-linear-war/ .)
What Strauss would have called the 'exoteric' meaning of the article quite clearly has to do with defensive strategies aimed at combatting the kind of Western 'régime change' projects about which people like those who write for 'Lawfare' are so enthusiastic. But Galeotti tells us that this is, at least partially, a cover for an 'esoteric' meaning, which has to do with offensive actions in Ukraine and similar places.
Having now read the text of the article, I can see a peculiar irony in it. In a section entitled 'You Can't Generate Ideas On Command', Gerasimov suggests that 'The state of Russian military science today cannot be compared with the flowering of military-theoretical thought in our country on the eve of World War II.'
According to the 'exoteric' meaning of the article, it is not possible to blame anyone in particular for this situation. But Gerasimov goes on on to remark that, while at the time of that flowering there were 'no people with higher degrees' or 'academic schools or departments', there were 'extraordinary personalities with brilliant ideas', who he terms 'fanatics in the best sense of the word.'
Again, Galeotti discounts the suggestion that nobody is to blame, assuming an 'esoteric meaning', and remarking: 'Ouch. Who is he slapping here?'
Actually, Gerasimov refers by name to two, utterly different figures, who certainly were 'extraordinarily personalities with brilliant ideas.'
If Pompeo had even the highly amateurish grasp of the history of debates among Soviet military theorists that I have managed to acquire he would be aware that one of the things which was actually happening in the 'Seventies was the rediscovery of the ideas of Alexander Svechin.
Confirming my sense that this has continued on, Gerasimov ends by using Svechin to point up an intractable problem: it can be extraordinarily difficult to anticipate the conditions of a war, and crucial not to impose a standardised template likely to be inappropriate, but one has to make some kinds of prediction in order to plan.
Immediately after the passage which Galeotti interprets as a dig at some colleague, Gerasimov elaborates his reference to 'extraordinary people with brilliant ideas' by referring to an anticipation of a future war, which proved prescient, from a very different figure to Svechin:
'People like, for instance, Georgy Isserson, who, despite the views he formed in the prewar years, published the book "New Forms Of Combat." In it, this Soviet military theoretician predicted: "War in general is not declared. It simply begins with already developed military forces. Mobilization and concentration is not part of the period after the onset of the state of war as was the case in 1914 but rather, unnoticed, proceeds long before that." The fate of this "prophet of the Fatherland" unfolded tragically. Our country paid in great quantities of blood for not listening to the conclusions of this professor of the General Staff Academy.'
Unlike Svechin, whom I have read, I was unfamiliar with Isserson. A quick Google search, however, unearthed a mass of material in American sources – including, by good fortune, an online text of a 2010 study by Dr Richard Harrison entitled 'Architect of Soviet Victory in World War II: The Life and Theories of G.S. Isserson', and a presentation summarising the volume.
Ironically, Svechin and Isserson were on opposite sides of fundamental divides. So the former, an ethnic Russian from Odessa, was one of the 'genstabisty', the former Tsarist General Staff officers who sided with the Bolsheviks and played a critical role in teaching the Red Army how to fight. Meanwhile Isserson was a very different product of the 'borderlands' – the son of a Jewish doctor, brought up in Kaunas, with a German Jewish mother from what was then Königsberg, giving him an easy facility with German-language sources.
The originator of the crucial concept of 'operational' art – the notion that in modern industrial war, the ability to handle a level intermediate between strategy and tactics was critical to success – was actually Svechin.
Developing the ambivalence of Clausewitz, however, he stressed that both the offensive and the defensive had their places, and that the key to success was to know which was appropriate when and also to be able rapidly to change from one to the other. His genuflections to Marxist-Leninist dogma, moreover, were not such as to take in any of Dzerzhinsky's people.
By contrast, Isserson was unambiguously committed to the offensive strand in the Clausewitzian tradition, and a Bolshevik 'true believer' (although he married the daughter of a dispossessed ethnically Russian merchant, who had their daughter baptised without his knowledge.)
As Harrison brings out, Isserson's working through of the problems of offensive 'operational art' would be critical to the eventual success of the Red Army against Hitler. However, the specific text to which he refers was, ironically, a warning of precisely one of the problems implicit in the single-minded reliance on the offensive: the possibility that one could be left with no good options confronting an antagonist similarly oriented – as turned out to be the case.
As Gerasimov intimates, while unlike Svechin, executed in 1938, Isserson survived the Stalin years, he was another of the victims of Dzerzhinsky's heirs. Arrested shortly before his warnings were vindicated by the German attack on 22 June 1941, he would spend the war in the Gulag and only return to normal life after Stalin's death.
So I think that the actual text of Gerasimov's article reinforces a point I have made previously. The 'evidence' identified by Tait is indeed a 'smoking gun.' But it emphatically does not point towards the GRU.
Meanwhile, another moral of the tale is that Americans really should stop being taken in by charlatan Brits like Galeotti, Tait, and Steele.
Mar 07, 2018 | www.thegatewaypundit.com
Paul Tibbets • a day agoBrennan is a scum bag, he over saw the CIA as they sought to become the premier Gov. Agency.
Since 2001 the CIA has gained political and budgetary preeminence over the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). The CIA found itself building not just its now infamous drone fleet, but a very different type of covert, globe-spanning force -- its own substantial fleet of hackers. The agency's hacking division freed it from having to disclose its often controversial operations to the NSA (its primary bureaucratic rival) in order to draw on the NSA's hacking capacities.
By the end of 2016, the CIA's hacking division, which formally falls under the agency's Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI), had over 5000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other "weaponized" malware. Such is the scale of the CIA's undertaking that by 2016, its hackers had utilized more code than that used to run Facebook. The CIA had created, in effect, its "own NSA" with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified.
Feb 20, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca
US-UK Accuse Russia of "NotPetya" Cyberattack, Offer Zero Evidence By Ulson Gunnar Global Research, February 19, 2018 Region: Europe , Russia and FSU , USA Theme: Intelligence , Media Disinformation
The US and European press have both published stories accusing the Russian government, and in particular, the Russian military, of the so-called "NotPetya" cyberattack which targeted information technology infrastructure in Ukraine.
The Washington Post in an article titled, " UK blames Russian military for 'malicious' cyberattack ," would report:
Britain and the United States blamed the Russian government on Thursday for a cyberattack that hit businesses across Europe last year, with London accusing Moscow of "weaponizing information" in a new kind of warfare. Foreign Minister Tariq Ahmad said "the U.K. government judges that the Russian government, specifically the Russian military, was responsible for the destructive NotPetya cyberattack of June 2017." The fast-spreading outbreak of data-scrambling software centered on Ukraine, which is embroiled in a conflict with Moscow-backed separatists in the country's east. It spread to companies that do business with Ukraine, including U.S. pharmaceutical company Merck, Danish shipping firm A.P. Moller-Maersk and FedEx subsidiary TNT.
British state media, the BBC, would report in its article, " UK and US blame Russia for 'malicious' NotPetya cyber-attack ," that:
The Russian military was directly behind a "malicious" cyber-attack on Ukraine that spread globally last year, the US and Britain have said.
The BBC also added that:
On Thursday the UK government took the unusual step of publicly accusing the Russia military of being behind the attack. "The UK and its allies will not tolerate malicious cyber activity," the foreign office said in a statement. Later, the White House also pointed the finger at Russia.
Yet despite this "unusual step of publicly accusing the Russian military of being behind the attack," neither the US nor the British media provided the public with any evidence, at all, justifying the accusations. The official statement released by the British government would claim:
The UK's National Cyber Security Centre assesses that the Russian military was almost certainly responsible for the destructive NotPetya cyber-attack of June 2017. Given the high confidence assessment and the broader context, the UK government has made the judgement that the Russian government – the Kremlin – was responsible for this cyber-attack.
Claiming that the Russian military was "almost certainly responsible," is not the same as being certain the Russian military was responsible. And such phrases as "almost certainly" have been used in the past by the United States and its allies to launch baseless accusations ahead of what would otherwise be entirely unprovoked aggression against targeted states, in this case, Russia. The White House would also release a statement claiming:
In June 2017, the Russian military launched the most destructive and costly cyber-attack in history. The attack, dubbed "NotPetya," quickly spread worldwide, causing billions of dollars in damage across Europe, Asia, and the Americas. It was part of the Kremlin's ongoing effort to destabilize Ukraine and demonstrates ever more clearly Russia's involvement in the ongoing conflict. This was also a reckless and indiscriminate cyber-attack that will be met with international consequences.
Considering claims that this is the "most destructive and costly cyber-attack in history, " it would seem imperative to establish evidence beyond doubt of who was responsible. No Evidence From Governments Confirmed to Possess the Means to Fabricate Attribution Yet, so far, this has not been done. Claims that Russia's military was behind the attacks seems to be built solely upon private analysts who have suggested the attacks appear to have originated in Russia.
However, as it was revealed by Wikileaks in its Vault 7 release , exposing cyber hacking tools used by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the origin of attacks can be forged. USA Today in an article titled, " WikiLeaks: CIA hacking group 'UMBRAGE' stockpiled techniques from other hackers ," would admit:
A division of the Central Intelligence Agency stockpiled hacking techniques culled from other hackers, giving the agency the ability to leave behind the "fingerprints" of the outside hackers when it broke into electronic devices, the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks alleges as it released thousands of documents Tuesday.
The article continues by pointing out:
The documents also suggest that one of the agency's divisions – the Remote Development Branch's UMBRAGE Group – may have been cataloguing hacking methods from outside hackers, including in Russia, that would have allowed the agency to mask their identity by employing the method during espionage. "With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types, but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the 'fingerprints' of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from," Wikileaks said in a statement.
Not only does this ability allow the CIA to carry out espionage that if discovered would be attributed to other parties, it also allows the CIA to conduct attacks the US government and its allies can then blame on foreign states for the purpose of politically maligning them, and even justifying otherwise indefensible acts of aggression, either militarily, or in the realm of cyberspace.
Evidence provided by the UK and US governments would have to establish Russia's role in the "NotPetya" cyberattack beyond mere attribution, since this is now confirmed to be possible to forge. The UK and US governments have failed to provide any evidence at all, likely because all it can offer is mere attribution which skeptics could easily point out might have been forged. NATO Had Been Preparing "Offensive" Cyber Weapons
As previously reported , NATO had been in the process of creating and preparing to deploy what it called an "offensive defense" regarding cyber warfare. Reuters in an article titled, " NATO mulls 'offensive defense' with cyber warfare rules ," would state:
A group of NATO allies are considering a more muscular response to state-sponsored computer hackers that could involve using cyber attacks to bring down enemy networks, officials said.
Reuters would also report:
The doctrine could shift NATO's approach from being defensive to confronting hackers that officials say Russia, China and North Korea use to try to undermine Western governments and steal technology.
It has been repeatedly pointed out how the US, UK and other NATO members have repeatedly used false pretexts to justify military aggression carried out with conventional military power. Examples include fabricated evidence of supposed "weapons of mass destruction (WMD)" preceding the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and the so-called "humanitarian war" launched against Libya in 2011 built on fabricated accounts from US and European rights advocates.
With UMBRAGE, the US and its allies now possess the ability to fabricate evidence in cyberspace, enabling them to accuse targeted nations of cyber attacks they never carried out, to justify the deployment of "offensive" cyber weapons NATO admits it has prepared ahead of time. While the US and European media have warned the world of a "cyber-911″ it appears instead we are faced with "cyber-WMD claims" rolled out to justify a likewise "cyber-Iraq War" using cyber weapons the US and its NATO allies have been preparing and seeking to use for years. Were Russia to really be behind the "NotPetya" cyberattack, the US and its allies have only themselves to blame for decades spent undermining their own credibility with serial instances of fabricating evidence to justify its serial military aggression. Establishing that Russia was behind the "NotPetya" cyberattack, however, will require more evidence than mere "attribution" the CIA can easily forge.
Ulson Gunnar is a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine " New Eastern Outlook ".
All images in this article are from the author.
Feb 19, 2018 | www.unz.com
renfro, February 19, 2018 at 7:38 am GMTPoor Russia cant get a break, neither can Americans get a break from this USA 'get Russia' monkey circus. The monkeys now reach back a year ago to get Russia on a cyber attack.
White House blames Russia for 'reckless' NotPetya cyber attack
https://www.reuters.com/ russia /white-house-blames-russia-for-reckless-notpetya-c… ;
3 days ago -- WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) -- The White House on Thursday blamed Russia for the devastating 'NotPetya' cyber attack last year , joining the British government in condemning Moscow for unleashing a virus that crippled parts of Ukraine's infrastructure and damaged computers in countries across the
Best advice for Americans believe nothing, trust nothing that issues from a government.
John McAfee, founder of an anti-virus firm, said: "When the FBI or when any other agency says the Russians did it or the Chinese did something or the Iranians did something -- that's a fallacy," said McAfee.
"Any hacker capable of breaking into something is extraordinarily capable of hiding their tracks. If I were the Chinese and I wanted to make it look like the Russians did it I would use Russian language within the code. "I would use Russian techniques of breaking into organisations so there is simply no way to assign a source for any attack -- this is a fallacy."
I can promise you -- if it looks like the Russians did it, then I can guarantee you it was not the Russians."
Wikileaks has released a number of CIA cyber tools it had obtained. These included software specifically designed to create false attributions.
Feb 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Kim Dotcom: "Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn't Even A Hack"
by Tyler Durden Mon, 02/19/2018 - 07:51 3.4K SHARES
Kim Dotcom has once again chimed in on the DNC hack, following a Sunday morning tweet from President Trump clarifying his previous comments on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
In response, Dotcom tweeted " Let me assure you, the DNC hack wasn't even a hack. It was an insider with a memory stick. I know this because I know who did it and why," adding "Special Counsel Mueller is not interested in my evidence. My lawyers wrote to him twice. He never replied. 360 pounds! " alluding of course to Trump's "400 pound genius" comment.
Dotcom's assertion is backed up by an analysis done last year by a researcher who goes by the name Forensicator , who determined that the DNC files were copied at 22.6 MB/s - a speed virtually impossible to achieve from halfway around the world, much less over a local network - yet a speed typical of file transfers to a memory stick.
The local transfer theory of course blows the Russian hacking narrative out of the water, lending credibility to the theory that the DNC "hack" was in fact an inside job, potentially implicating late DNC IT staffer, Seth Rich.
John Podesta's email was allegely successfully "hacked" (he fell victim to a phishing scam ) in March 2016, while the DNC reported suspicious activity (the suspected Seth Rich file transfer) in late April, 2016 according to the Washington Post.
On May 18, 2017, Dotcom proposed that if Congress includes the Seth Rich investigation in their Russia probe, he would provide written testimony with evidence that Seth Rich was WikiLeaks' source.
On May 19 2017 Dotcom tweeted "I knew Seth Rich. I was involved"
Three days later, Dotcom again released a guarded statement saying "I KNOW THAT SETH RICH WAS INVOLVED IN THE DNC LEAK," adding:
"I have consulted with my lawyers. I accept that my full statement should be provided to the authorities and I am prepared to do that so that there can be a full investigation. My lawyers will speak with the authorities regarding the proper process.
If my evidence is required to be given in the United States I would be prepared to do so if appropriate arrangements are made. I would need a guarantee from Special Counsel Mueller, on behalf of the United States, of safe passage from New Zealand to the United States and back. In the coming days we will be communicating with the appropriate authorities to make the necessary arrangements. In the meantime, I will make no further comment."
While one could simply write off Dotcom's claims as an attention seeking stunt, he made several comments and a series of tweets hinting at the upcoming email releases prior to both the WikiLeaks dumps as well as the publication of the hacked DNC emails to a website known as "DCLeaks."
In a May 14, 2015 Bloomberg article entitled "Kim Dotcom: Julian Assange Will Be Hillary Clinton's Worst Nightmare In 2016 ": "I have to say it's probably more Julian," who threatens Hillary, Dotcom said. " But I'm aware of some of the things that are going to be roadblocks for her ."
Two days later, Dotcom tweeted this:
Around two months later, Kim asks a provocative question
Two weeks after that, Dotcom then tweeted "Mishandling classified info is a crime. When Hillary's emails eventually pop up on the internet who's going to jail?"
It should thus be fairly obvious to anyone that Dotcom was somehow involved, and therefore any evidence he claims to have, should be taken seriously as part of Mueller's investigation. Instead, as Dotcom tweeted, "Special Counsel Mueller is not interested in my evidence. My lawyers wrote to him twice. He never replied. "
chunga Sun, 02/18/2018 - 21:59 PermalinkSethPoor -> chunga Sun, 02/18/2018 - 22:00 Permalink
Pffft...this guy sounds like the reds with their "blockbuster" memo. Honest Hill'rey is laughing!Bes -> J S Bach Sun, 02/18/2018 - 22:17 Permalink
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_8VaMbPjUUbigkahuna -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 09:58 Permalink
All fucking Kabuki. All of it.
The Deep State (Oligarchs and the MIC) is totally fucking loving this: they have Trump and the GOP giving them everything they ever wanted and they have the optics and distraction of an "embattled" president that claims to be against or a victim of the "deep state" and a base that rally's, circles the wagons around him, and falls for the narrative.
Meanwhile they keep enacting the most Pro Deep State/MIC/Police State/Zionist/Wall Street agenda possible. And they call it #winning
pathetic.StarGate -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:23 Permalink
"Had to be a Russian mole with a computer stick. MSM, DNC and Muller say so."
They know exactly who it was with the memory stick, there is always video of one form or another either in the data center or near the premises that can indicate who it was. They either have a video of Seth Rich putting the stick into the server directly, or they at least have a video of his car entering and leaving the vicinity of the ex-filtration.
This would have been an open and shut case if shillary was not involved. Since it was involved, you can all chalk it up to the Clinton body count. I pray that it gets justice. It and the country, the world - needs justice.KuriousKat -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 13:26 Permalink
Don't forget the "hack" analysis of Russian owned "Crowdstrike" since the FBI did and continues to, refuse to analyze the DNC computers.wildbad -> IntercoursetheEU Mon, 02/19/2018 - 03:05 Permalink
Isn't Alperovitch the Only Russian in there?.. When you rule out the impossible...whatever remains probable.. probably is..NumberNone -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 10:04 Permalink
Kim is great, Assange is great. Kim is playing a double game. He wants immunity from the US GUmmint overreach that destroyed his company and made him a prisoner in NZ.
Good on ya Kim.
His name was Seth Rich...and he will reach out from the grave and bury Killary who murdered him.Socratic Dog -> Buckaroo Banzai Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:09 Permalink
There are so many nuances to this and all are getting mentioned but the one that also stands out is that in an age of demands for gun control by the Dems, Seth Rich is never, ever mentioned. He should be the poster child for gun control. Young man, draped in a American flag, helping democracy, gunned down...it writes itself.
They either are afraid of the possible racial issues should it turn out to be a black man killing a white man (but why should that matter in a gun control debate?) or they just don't want people looking at this case. I go for #2.verumcuibono -> Buckaroo Banzai Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:26 Permalink
Funny that George Webb can figure it out, but Trump, Leader of the Free World, is sitting there with his dick in his hand waiting for someone to save him.
Whatever he might turn out to be, this much is clear: Trump is a spineless weakling. He might be able to fuck starlets, but he hasn't got the balls to defend either himself or the Republic.verumcuibono -> NumberNone Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:41 Permalink
Webb's research is also...managed. But a lot of it was/is really good (don't follow it anymore) and I agree re: SR piece of it.
I think SR is such an interesting case. It's not really an anomaly because SO many Bush-CFR-related hits end the same way and his had typical signatures. But his also squeels of a job done w/out much prior planning because I think SR surprised everyone. If, in fact, that was when he was killed. Everything regarding the family's demeanor suggests no.KJWqonfo7 -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:15 Permalink
MANY patterns in shootings: failure in law enforcement/intelligence who were notified of problem individuals ahead of time, ARs, mental health and SSRIs, and ongoing resistance to gun control in DC ----these are NOT coincidences. Nor are distractions in MSM's version of events w/ controlled propaganda.
Children will stop being killed when America wakes the fuck up and starts asking the right questions, making the right demands. It's time.verumcuibono -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:28 Permalink
Kim is awesome to watch, I remember his old website of pics of him on yachts with hot girls and racing the Gumball Rally.StarGate -> Billy the Poet Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:48 Permalink
I don't think you know how these hackers have nearly ALL been intercepted by CIA--for decades now. DS has had backdoor access to just about all of them. I agree that Kim is great, brilliant and was sabotaged but he's also cooperating. Otherwise he'd be dead.
Bes is either "disinfo plant" or energy draining pessimist. Result is the same - to deflate your power to create a new future.
Trump saw the goal of the Fed Reserve banksters decades ago and spoke often about it. Like Prez Kennedy he wants to return USA economy to silver or gold backed dollar then transition to new system away from the Black Magic fed reserve/ tax natl debt machine.
The Globalist Cabal has been working to destroy the US economy ever since they income tax April 15th Lincoln at the Ford theater. 125 years. But Bes claims because Trump cannot reverse 125 years of history in one year that it is kabuki.
Pessimism is its own reward.
Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com
Lee Anderson , February 17, 2018 at 4:32 pmJoe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 5:08 pm
Your link to the Giraldi piece is appreciated, however, Giraldi starts off on a false premise: He claims that people generally liked and trusted the FBI and CIA up until or shortly after 9/11. Not so! Both agencies were complicit in the most infamous assassinations and false flag episodes since the Kennedy/MLK Vietnam days. Don't forget Air America CIA drug running and Iran/Contra / October Surprise affairs.
The Dulles brothers, with Allan as head of Sullivan and Cromwells' CIA were notorious facilitators for the international banksters and their subsidiary corporations which comprise the largest oil and military entities which have literally plainly stated in writing, need to occasionally "GALVANIZE" the American public through catastrophic and catalyzing events in order for Americans to be terrified into funding and fighting for those interlocked corporations in their quest to spread "FULL SPECTRUM DOMINANCE," throughout the globe.
The political parties are theatre designed to fool the people into believing we are living in some sort of legitimate, representative system, when it's the same old plutocracy that manages to get elected because they've long figured out the art of polarizing people and capitalising on tribal alignments.
We should eliminate all government for a time so that people can begin to see that corporations really do and most always have run the country.
It's preposterous to think the stupid public is actually discussing saddling ourselves and future generations with gargantuan debt through a system designed and run by banksters!
it should be self evident a sovereign nation should maintain and forever hold the rights to develop a monetary/financial system that serves the needs of the people, not be indentured servants in a financial system that serves the insatiable greed of a handful of parasitic banksters and corporate tycoons!Annie , February 17, 2018 at 5:56 pm
You are so right, in fact Robert Parry made quite a journalistic career out of exposing the CIA for such things as drug running. I gave up on that agency a longtime ago, after JFK was murdered, and I was only 13 then. Yeah maybe Phil discounts the time while he worked for the CIA, but the CIA has many, many rooms in which plots are hatched, so the valiant truth teller Giraldi maybe excused this one time for his lack of memory .I guess, right?
Good comment Lee. JoeGregory Herr , February 17, 2018 at 6:42 pm
Yes, but he's referring to the public's opinion of these agencies, and if they didn't continue to retain, even after 9/11, a significant popularity in the public's mind how would we have so many American's buying into Russia-gate? In my perception of things they only lost some ground after 9/11, but Americans notoriously have a short memory span.Skeptigal , February 17, 2018 at 7:19 pm
And films that are supposed to help Americans feel good about the aims and efficacy of the agencies like Zero Dark Thirty and Argo are in the popular imagination.
The book by Peter Dale Scott, "The American Deep State Wall Street, Big Oil And the Attack on American Democracy" covers in detail some of the points you mention in your reply. It is a fascinating book.
Feb 16, 2018 | consortiumnews.com
Russians Spooked by Nukes-Against-Cyber-Attack Policy February 16, 2018
New U.S. policy on nuclear retaliatory strikes for cyber-attacks is raising concerns, with Russia claiming that it's already been blamed for a false-flag cyber-attack – namely the election hacking allegations of 2016, explain Ray McGovern and William Binney.
By Ray McGovern and William Binney
Moscow is showing understandable concern over the lowering of the threshold for employing nuclear weapons to include retaliation for cyber-attacks, a change announced on Feb. 2 in the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR).
A nuclear test detonation carried out in Nevada on April 18, 1953.
Explaining the shift in U.S. doctrine on first-use, the NPR cites the efforts of potential adversaries "to design and use cyber weapons" and explains the change as a "hedge" against non-nuclear threats. In response, Russia described the move as an "attempt to shift onto others one's own responsibility" for the deteriorating security situation.
Moscow's concern goes beyond rhetoric. Cyber-attacks are notoriously difficult to trace to the actual perpetrator and can be pinned easily on others in what we call "false-flag" operations. These can be highly destabilizing – not only in the strategic context, but in the political arena as well.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has good reason to believe he has been the target of a false-flag attack of the political genre. We judged this to be the case a year and a half ago, and said so. Our judgment was fortified last summer – thanks to forensic evidence challenging accusations that the Russians hacked into the Democratic National Committee and provided emails to WikiLeaks. (Curiously, the FBI declined to do forensics, even though the "Russian hack" was being described as an "act of war.")
Our conclusions were based on work conducted over several months by highly experienced technical specialists, including another former NSA technical director (besides co-author Binney) and experts from outside the circle of intelligence analysts.
On August 9, 2017, investigative reporter Patrick Lawrence summed up our findings in The Nation. "They have all argued that the hack theory is wrong and that a locally executed leak is the far more likely explanation," he explained.
As we wrote in an open letter to Barack Obama dated January 17, three days before he left office, the NSA's programs are fully capable of capturing all electronic transfers of data. "We strongly suggest that you ask NSA for any evidence it may have indicating that the results of Russian hacking were given to WikiLeaks," our letter said. "If NSA cannot produce such evidence – and quickly – this would probably mean it does not have any."
A 'Dot' Pointing to a False Flag?
In his article, Lawrence included mention of one key, previously unknown "dot" revealed by WikiLeaks on March 31, 2017. When connected with other dots, it puts a huge dent in the dominant narrative about Russian hacking. Small wonder that the mainstream media immediately applied white-out to the offending dot.
Lawrence, however, let the dot out of the bag, so to speak: "The list of the CIA's cyber-tools WikiLeaks began to release in March and labeled Vault 7 includes one called Marble Framework that is capable of obfuscating the origin of documents in false-flag operations and leaving markings that point to whatever the CIA wants to point to."
If congressional oversight committees summon the courage to look into "Obfus-Gate" and Marble, they are likely to find this line of inquiry as lucrative as the Steele "dossier." In fact, they are likely to find the same dramatis personae playing leading roles in both productions.
Two Surprising Visits
Last October CIA Director Mike Pompeo invited one of us (Binney) into his office to discuss Russian hacking. Binney told Pompeo his analysts had lied and that he could prove it.
In retrospect, the Pompeo-Binney meeting appears to have been a shot across the bow of those cyber warriors in the CIA, FBI, and NSA with the means and incentive to adduce "just discovered" evidence of Russian hacking. That Pompeo could promptly invite Binney back to evaluate any such "evidence" would be seen as a strong deterrent to that kind of operation.
Pompeo's closeness to President Donald Trump is probably why the heads of Russia's three top intelligence agencies paid Pompeo an unprecedented visit in late January. We think it likely that the proximate cause was the strategic danger Moscow sees in the nuclear-hedge-against-cyber-attack provision of the Nuclear Posture Statement (a draft of which had been leaked a few weeks before).
If so, the discussion presumably focused on enhancing hot-line and other fail-safe arrangements to reduce the possibility of false-flag attacks in the strategic arena -- by anyone – given the extremely high stakes.
Putin may have told his intelligence chiefs to pick up on President Donald Trump's suggestion, after the two met last July, to establish a U.S.-Russian cyber security unit. That proposal was widely ridiculed at the time. It may make good sense now.
Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years, was chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and briefed the President's Daily Brief one-on-one from 1981-1985. William Binney worked for NSA for 36 years, retiring in 2001 as the technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and reporting; he created many of the collection systems still used by NSA.
mike k , February 16, 2018 at 5:36 pmMild-ly -Facetious , February 16, 2018 at 5:42 pm
Those Russians had a strange mission coming to CIA headquarters to try to negotiate with soulless mass murderers in the name of maintaining a precarious semblance of peace, knowing full well that these men's words and assurances were worth less than nothing. Ah well, I guess in a mad situation one is reduced to making desperate gestures, hoping against hope .Anna , February 16, 2018 at 6:46 pm
F Y I :> Putin prefers Aramco to Trump's sword dance
Hardly 10 months after honoring the visiting US president, the Saudis are open to a Russian-Chinese consortium investing in the upcoming Aramco IPO
By M.K. BHADRAKUMAR
FEBRUARY 16, 2018
In the slideshow that is Middle Eastern politics, the series of still images seldom add up to make an enduring narrative. And the probability is high that when an indelible image appears, it might go unnoticed – such as Russia and Saudi Arabia wrapping up huge energy deals on Wednesday underscoring a new narrative in regional and international security.
The ebb and flow of events in Syria – Turkey's campaign in Afrin and its threat to administer an "Ottoman slap" to the United States, and the shooting down of an Israeli F-16 jet – hogged the attention. But something of far greater importance was unfolding in Riyadh, as Saudi and Russian officials met to seal major deals marking a historic challenge to the US dominance in the Persian Gulf region.
The big news is the Russian offer to the Saudi authorities to invest directly in the upcoming Aramco initial public offering – and the Saudis acknowledging the offer. Even bigger news, surely, is that Moscow is putting together a Russian-Chinese consortium of joint investment funds plus several major Russian banks to be part of the Aramco IPO.
Chinese state oil companies were interested in becoming cornerstone investors in the IPO, but the participation of a Russia-China joint investment fund takes matters to an entirely different realm. Clearly, the Chinese side is willing to hand over tens of billions of dollars.
Yet the Aramco IPO was a prime motive for US President Donald Trump to choose Saudi Arabia for his first foreign trip. The Saudi hosts extended the ultimate honor to Trump – a ceremonial sword dance outside the Murabba Palace in Riyadh. Hardly 10 months later, they are open to a Russian-Chinese consortium investing in the Aramco IPO.
Riyadh plans to sell 5% of Saudi Aramco in what is billed as the largest IPO in world history. In the Saudi estimation, Aramco is worth US$2 trillion; a 5% stake sale could fetch as much as $100 billion. The IPO is a crucial segment of Vision 2030, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's ambitious plan to diversify the kingdom's economy.
MORE : http://www.atimes.com/article/putin-prefers-aramco-trumps-sword-dance/
"Last October CIA Director Mike Pompeo invited one of us (Binney) into his office to discuss Russian hacking. Binney told Pompeo his analysts had lied and that he could prove it."
That was about some Dm. Alperovitch for CrowdStrike fame, who had discovered the "hacking" in 10 sec. Guess Alperovitch, as an "expert" at the viciously Russophobic Atlantic Council (funded by the State Dept., NATO, and a set of unsavory characters like Ukrainian oligrach Pinchuk) decided to show his "understanding" of the task. The shy FBI did not even attempt to look at the Clinton's server because the bosses "knew better."
Alperovitch must be investigated for anti-American activities; the scoundrel has been sowing discord into the US society with his lies while endangering the US citizenry.
Feb 16, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Late last night the White House accused the Russian military of having launched the destructive "NotPetya" malware which in June 2017 hit many global companies:Statement from the Press Secretary
In June 2017, the Russian military launched the most destructive and costly cyber-attack in history.
The attack, dubbed "NotPetya," quickly spread worldwide, causing billions of dollars in damage across Europe, Asia, and the Americas. It was part of the Kremlin's ongoing effort to destabilize Ukraine and demonstrates ever more clearly Russia's involvement in the ongoing conflict. This was also a reckless and indiscriminate cyber-attack that will be met with international consequences.
The statement has the same quality as earlier statements about Spain sinking the Maine or about Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction had.
Neither the U.S. nor anyone else has presented ANY evidence of ANY Russian involvement in the creation or distribution of the NotPetya malware. The U.S. is simply asserting this while presenting nothing to back it up.
There is, in general, no attribution possible for any such cyber attack. As John McAfee, founder of an anti-virus firm, said :"When the FBI or when any other agency says the Russians did it or the Chinese did something or the Iranians did something – that's a fallacy," said McAfee.
" Any hacker capable of breaking into something is extraordinarily capable of hiding their tracks. If I were the Chinese and I wanted to make it look like the Russians did it I would use Russian language within the code. "I would use Russian techniques of breaking into organisations so there is simply no way to assign a source for any attack – this is a fallacy."
I can promise you – if it looks like the Russians did it, then I can guarantee you it was not the Russians ."
I agree with McAfee's statement. The CIA must likewise agree. Wikileaks has released a number of CIA cyber tools it had obtained. These included software specifically designed to create false attributions:The CIA's Remote Devices Branch's UMBRAGE group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques 'stolen' from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation.
With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the "fingerprints" of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from.
Nearly all "attributes" used for attributing a cyber attack can be easily faked to accuse a party not involved in the attack.
The British National Cyber Security Center, part of the British computer spying organisation GCHQ, also claims that the Russian military is " almost certainly " responsible for the NotPetya attack. Canada and the Australians also chipped in .
But note - these are NOT independent sources. They are, together with New Zealand, part of the of the " Five Eyes " spying alliance. From NSA files released by Edward Snowden we know that the Five Eyes are practically led by the U.S. National Security Agency:One internal document quotes the head of the NSA, Lieutenant General Keith Alexander, on a visit to Menwith Hill in June 2008, asking: "Why can't we collect all the signals all the time? Sounds like a good summer project for Menwith."
Menwith Hill is a Royal Airforce spying station and part of the GCHQ infrastructure. That the head of the NSA can assign "summer projects" to it shows where the real power lies.
The Russian government strongly rejects the accusations.
NotPetya was a destructive virus that masked as ransomware. It was based on attacking tools which originally had been developed by the NSA but were later anonymously published by someone calling himself Shadow-Broker. One of several attack vectors NotPetya used was the update mechanism of some tax accounting software which is common in Ukraine and Russia. But the attack soon spread globally :The attack hit Ukraine central bank, government computers, airports, the Kiev metro, the state power distributor Ukrenergo, Chernobyl's radiation monitoring system, and other machines in the country. It also affected Russian oil giant Rosneft, DLA Piper law firm, U.S. biopharmaceutical giant Merck, British advertiser WPP, and Danish shipping and energy company Maersk, among others.
The biggest damaged through NotPetya occurred at the Danish shipping company Maersk which had to completely reboot its entire infrastructure and lost some $250-300 million due to the attack.
The question one must always ask when such accusations are made is: Why would the accused do this?
In January the U.S. attribution claims about the NotPetya malware were prelaunched through the Washington Post :The CIA has attributed to Russian military hackers a cyberattack that crippled computers in Ukraine last year, an effort to disrupt that country's financial system amid its ongoing war with separatists loyal to the Kremlin.
The GRU military spy agency created NotPetya, the CIA concluded with "high confidence" in November, according to classified reports cited by U.S. intelligence officials.
The hackers worked for the military spy service's GTsST, or Main Center for Special Technology, the CIA reported. That unit is highly involved in the GRU's cyberattack program, including the enabling of influence operations.
What could have been the motive of the "Russian military" to release a (badly written) malware that destroys computer-files of random companies all over the world including at the all important Russian oil-giant Rosneft . To assume that Ukraine's financial system was the target is almost certainly wrong. There is also no evidence that this was the case. Ukraine's Central Bank was just one of thousands of victims of the attack.
Only some 50% of the affected companies were in Ukraine. Most of them were not financial firms. The attack was initiated through an update mechanism of an accounting software that is also used in Russia. That original attack vector was probably chosen simply because it was easy to use. The accounting software company had a lousy security protection. The first infected computers then applied a different mechanism to spread the malware to other machines. The attack was launched on a Ukrainian national holiday which is not optimal if one wants to spread it as wide as possible throughout the Ukraine.
That the Ukraine and Russia were hit first by the malware was also likely just a time-of-day question. The timeline shows that the U.S. and most of western-Europe were still asleep when the virus started to proliferate. The anti-virus organizations, the Russian company Kaspersky among them , took only a few hours to diagnose the attacking software. A solution to prevent further damage was found within some twelve hours. By the time the U.S. working day started anti-virus companies were already releasing advise and protective code against it. If the attack had not been stopped by protective software it would have effected many more computers. Most of these would not have been in the Ukraine.
The U.S. attribution of the NotPetya attack to some Russian organization is extremely doubtful. In general a certain attribution of any such cyber attack is impossible. It is easy for any sophisticated virus writer to modify the code so that it looks as if it was written by some third party. The CIA even develops tools to do exactly that.
The attacking software seemed to be of relatively low quality. It was a badly designed mishmash created from earlier known malware and spy tools. It was not confined to a certain country or target. It can at best be described as an act of random vandalism on a global scale. There is no discernible motive for any Russian state organizations to release such nonsense.
In 2009 Russia offered an international treaty to prohibit cyber attacks. It was the U.S. under Obama which rejected it as "unnecessary" while it was expanding its own attack capabilities.
The U.S. government has launched a Cold War 2.0 against Russia. The motive for that seems to be mostly monetary. Hunting a few 'terrorists' does not justify big military budgets, opposing a nuclear power does.
The now released accusations against Russia have as much foundation in reality as the claims of alleged Iraqi WMDs. We can only hope that these new accusations will have less severe consequences.
Posted by b on February 16, 2018 at 04:30 AM | Permalink
uncle tungsten , Feb 16, 2018 4:53:27 AM | 1Trump has made a fool of himself by agreeing to be the mouth for some looney security briefing. Why the White House releasing this? why not the NSA or some slightly distant body so the president can be kept clear of blowback if the accusation is proven to be wrong (as it has and was at the time of its spread). A gullible fool is spouting at the behest of the five anuses. They certainly aren't eyes with that sh!t coming out.igybundy , Feb 16, 2018 5:44:44 AM | 2Some of the smartest hackers I seen are Russians, although a lot of kids will just do it for kicks, professionals would have a target rather than random targets that can back fire aka how the US does things as we seen off their Iranian attack.Jen , Feb 16, 2018 5:55:09 AM | 3
Kaspersky being the best of the best, Kremlin would know and would make great effort to make sure they stay as far away from them as possible. To give it a fighting chance. That Kaspersky found it so fast shows it was not Russian. Since you want them to be last on the list to know about it. Kaspersky for some strange reason also works with their partners in the US/UK etc sharing information. So Russians themselves would work to defeat a Russian attack even if its made. Which any smart cookie would say is self defeating and they would not waste the effort to try.
Could the attack have been co-ordinated by parties in different countries but in the same time zone or in neighbouring time zones, with one or two of these being the same time zones that European Russia is in?Ian , Feb 16, 2018 6:11:01 AM | 4
It seems possible that at least one of these parties might be based in Ukraine. For Ukrainian-based pro-Maidan cyber-hackers to release the virus on a Ukrainian public holiday, when most major public and private institutions and businesses are closed, but Russian ones are not, would make sense. Another party could be based in a different country with sophisticated cyber-technology and experience in creating and spreading cyber-viruses that is in the same time zone as Ukraine. Israel comes to mind.I don't believe anything will come of it. I see these accusations as petty attempts to get under Russia's skin. Frankly, I can't see anybody believing the crap that comes out of Washington's mouth, especially after what Snowden/Wikileaks has revealed to the public.Me , Feb 16, 2018 6:30:32 AM | 5These Russians are so badass!Partisan , Feb 16, 2018 6:35:18 AM | 6
I'm beginning to wish to be a Russian. :)
"Some of the smartest hackers I seen are Russians, ....."Red Ryder , Feb 16, 2018 6:49:23 AM | 7
I am curious where have you seen them?
Second thing which I've never understood about hacking is, why all this noise about it. It is like a pc and network infrastructures are like holly grail and untouchable. The fetishization of this particular technology which comes from the west is unbearable, it is like the life on earth depend on it. Than can not be further from the truth. The US behaves as the owner and guardian of the IT sector, and they handsomely profited from it.
If someone leave its nodes exposed or on the Internet than it is their fault, why not hack it. To hell with them. If someone leave sensitive documents on server than again that's the owner problem, and so on. It is not a bigger crime than "regular" spying activity.
The Russian hacking is beyond the point. Two big powers, capitalist countries with almost identical political structure are competing in the world arena. One of them in decline big time, the second one resurgent but stagnant in development and to gain wider influence. The USA is clearly unable to bribe (as used to) Russia although countries such North Korea still suffer from their collusion in the Security council.
Hacking someone's IT infrastructure is mature skill and there is nothing new in it so just like everything else everything the US and its organs are saying is plain lie. Now, the problem is that after a lie follow some kind of coercion. It that doesn't work - if you are small and defenseless country - than they will kill you.There are at least two tactics in cyberwarfare (which this is).Partisan , Feb 16, 2018 7:01:48 AM | 8
First, to attack and destroy infrastructure of an enemy or opponent or resistant vassal.
Second, to place blame on others for the use of cyber as a weapon.
The US is at cyber war with Russia and China. This is not Cold War.
Neither was Stuxnet. That was cyber war on Iran. It got out beyond Iran because its careless design sought Seimens equipment everywhere on the Internet. It went to many other countries far beyond Iran and attacked the equipment there.
This malware was not well-designed either. It may have been meant for Russian targets. Rosneft is a huge economic target.
But this campaign using NotPetya had the value of being a Tactic #1 attack + #2 failure against Russia. The CIA got to blame Russia even though the intended damage was quickly reversed by Kaspersky. The irony is they attacked a nation with the best resources to combat and defend against the weapon they used.
But make no mistake, the CyperWars are well underway. The US is sloppy, just like all their Hegemon efforts are seriously flawed in classic terms of execution. The Russians are far more elegant with cyber, as anyone who knows their software experts or products over the years."But make no mistake, the CyperWars are well underway."Partisan , Feb 16, 2018 7:14:33 AM | 9
I doubt, I doubt very much. If there is a one than it is manufactured.
No vital and nationally sensitive or strategic IT nodes are exposed to the public net. All this is bizarre and narrative created by the Deep State for idiots. Probably ~60% of drugs infested Amerikkans do no care. The rest: https://medium.com/incerto/the-intellectual-yet-idiot-13211e2d0577 are somewhat interested. We can argue whether for domestic (in the light of another shooting, if true) or international purposes (Syria, Iraq, Iran), or both.The Class War is the Marx's term that is taboo and forbidden in capitalist's world everywhere and in particular in the US where is social oppression and inequality is the greatest in the world by far.Partisan , Feb 16, 2018 7:33:59 AM | 10
Maintain all kind of spins and propaganda along with political oppression i.e. help of political police the American version of the Nazi's Gestapo is crucial for the ruling class and regime.
While the looting of the drugged and non-drugged Americans continue unabated.I would say that only 10% of the Amerikkans have clue what's hacking about, and very small percentage understand in technical terms and details. Sadly, it is NOT important and even more important those question should not be asked! Questioning the highest authority is no, no. The more convoluted the better.integer , Feb 16, 2018 8:02:09 AM | 11
Now when the statement is out of the WH we might except refined follow up by the National Security organs, TNYT, TWP, etc. An intended audience are https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Eichmanns
It is very good that you posted that photo of Collin Powell in the context of the article. It says it a lot, if not all.In a Euromaidan Press article dated November 2nd, 2016, the hackers state enthusiastically "Ukrainian hackers have a rather high level of work. So the help of the USA I don't know, why would we need it? We have all the talent and special means for this. And I don't think that the USA or any NATO country would make such sharp movements in international politics."Christian Chuba , Feb 16, 2018 8:15:13 AM | 12
From: Untying PropOrNot: Who They Are and a Look at 2017's Biggest Fake News StoryOn the Tucker Carlson Show an FBI agent defended the fact that they could not identify the school shooter, prior to the event, even after he was reported, because his one post did not identify himself explicitly. Also, the threat was not enough to open an investigation.Partisan , Feb 16, 2018 8:23:03 AM | 13
So now the same group of people claim the ability to discover that people are 'Russian Trolls' from a specific building in St. Petersburg simply based on the content of purely political posts to facebook and twitter.By following, little bit, the US National Security operation called Cryptocurrency (ies), allegedly based in South Korea and Japan I noticed numbers of hacking of the companies' web sites that are in this, let-call-it-business.Partisan , Feb 16, 2018 9:06:43 AM | 14
The most famous hacking was one of Mt.Gox (Japan based) one, where the French nationals was the business' principal. A money never was recovered, and hacker is still unknown!? I guess the place of business and the CEO meant (all US' client states) to give legitimacy to cryptocurrency and lure fools into buying the "fog". But where did "investors" money goes? Not to brilliant Russians...and how could that be? There is a lot of money in game, real money.
Is the National Security State agencies has transfered looting from the domestic soil to international one with help of the virtual reality. No trace of hackers, none!?I use the term The US National Security State (or Deep State) and its apparatus as synonymous to the Nazi Reich Main Security Office. Both of them, while differ in the methods and size, the goals and objectives are the same.integer , Feb 16, 2018 9:12:50 AM | 15Having just had a quick look into the NotPetya attack, it appears to have began on the morning of the day before Ukraine's Constitution Day, and originated from the update server of a Ukrainian tax accounting program called MeDoc. I expect this was another Ukrainian false flag; a cyber warfare version of MH17. Sharp movements in international politics indeed.Partisan , Feb 16, 2018 9:23:02 AM | 16integer | Feb 16, 2018 9:12:50 AM | 15susetta , Feb 16, 2018 9:53:35 AM | 17
Meaning what? A client state was forced into this in order (to blame Russkies) to get another tranches of loan from the IMF?Well that may mean that, under the new dictact (now the Unites States will not just use its nuclear weapons as a response if the other party used them; now the United States has declared that it will use nuclear weapons if, say, there should be a virus attack on its networks), that the United States is about to declare war on Russia and proceed to nuke it.AriusArmenian , Feb 16, 2018 11:59:07 AM | 20"We can only hope that these new accusations will have less severe consequences."Petri Krohn , Feb 16, 2018 12:01:35 PM | 21
The russophobic fake news push is not letting up and now the Trump administration has jumped on board. And on top of targeting Iran has also ramped up targeting China.
This is how the last Cold War ramped up. The public was softened up by the media to fear the USSR. It's a symptom of a disease in its psyche spreading throughout the West.
We see through this nonsense but I fear we underestimate the danger. This Cold War v2 is already much hotter then v1. The West is approaching the throat of the East (Russia, China, Iran, and others), and unfortunately for the world the West feels (it has limited capability to think) it must prevail over the East or faces extinction. And what does that suggest might happen?CrowdStrike said Russians known as Fancy Bear hacked the DNC. U.S. Department of Homeland Security identified one of the "Russian" malware tools used and named it "Grizzly Steppe" or "PAS tool PHP web kit". Later it was also found to attack U.S. power utilities.james , Feb 16, 2018 12:04:41 PM | 22
I tracked down the creator of the malware and found out that he was a 23-year old Ukrainian university student at the Poltava National Technical University.Did a Ukrainian University Student Create Grizzly Steppe?
3) The profexer site presents a SSL certificate that identifies it as pro-os.ru and gives an email address...
Almost a year later the New York Times reported the same story, but did not name the Ukrainian hacker.In Ukraine, a Malware Expert Who Could Blow the Whistle on Russian Hacking
But while Profexer's online persona vanished, a flesh-and-blood person has emerged: a fearful man who the Ukrainian police said turned himself in early this year, and has now become a witness for the F.B.I.
Mr. Gerashchenko described the author only in broad strokes, to protect his safety, as a young man from a provincial Ukrainian city. He confirmed that the author turned himself in to the police and was cooperating as a witness in the D.N.C. investigation. "He was a freelancer and now he is a valuable witness," Mr. Gerashchenko said.
"Fancy Bear" is not the Russian military intelligence agency GRU or any other Russian government agency. It is simply a collection of hacking tools available online on Runet , the Russian language part of the Internet and the Russian language darknet.thanks b.. more of the same bullshit.. "The U.S. is simply asserting this while presenting nothing to back it up."Shakesvshav , Feb 16, 2018 12:13:40 PM | 24
from b's post - "In 2009 Russia offered an international treaty to prohibit cyber attacks. It was the U.S. under Obama which rejected it as "unnecessary" while it was expanding its own attack capabilities."
this from the link in the above quote..
"The United States argues that a treaty is unnecessary. It instead advocates improved cooperation among international law-enforcement groups. If these groups cooperate to make cyberspace more secure against criminal intrusions, their work will also make cyberspace more secure against military campaigns, American officials say."
5 eyes is doing such a great job of being like some stupid chorus line in a bad movie... all of them are beholden to the usa and the usa, as noted above - doesn't need any proof... what does that say about the usa?
willful blindness...A small cause for celebration here in the UK: https://www.hackread.com/british-hacker-lauri-love-will-not-be-extradited-to-usa/james , Feb 16, 2018 12:18:58 PM | 25@24 shakesvshav - it's a good thing they weren't caught up in some allegation based in sweden which the swedes wanted to drop, but the uk/usa discouraged them from doing... i am thinking of julian assange here - stuck in the eqaudor embassy in the uk.. craig murray did a couple of articles on this the past few days which kind of makes one want to puke especially if one lives in the uk...J Swift , Feb 16, 2018 12:22:15 PM | 26
nice to see an opportunity for celebration come your way!
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/@integer 15 " I expect this was another Ukrainian false flag; a cyber warfare version of MH17"
Not as crazy as it sounds. Hell, the CIA and SBU literally share a building! And this code apparently does not have the hallmark elegance of Russian hackers. Why not get a good swipe at Russian businesses, while destroying enough data (evidence) in Ukraine to cover a multitude of sins (just like at least one of the ammo dump explosions is strongly suspected as having been intentionally set to cover up missing inventory which now no doubt resides in Syria). And then the icing on the cake is to get to blame Russia and try to bolster rapidly failing support for sanctions. A lot more plausible than a half-baked Russian attack.
Feb 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Mueller charges "defendants knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other (and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury) to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016."
The indictment adds that the Russians " were instructed to post content that focused on 'politics in the USA' and to 'use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump -- we support them)' ."
It gets better: the defendants reportedly worked day and night shifts to pump out messages, controlling pages targeting a range of issues, including immigration, Black Lives Matter, and they amassed hundreds of thousands of followers. They set up and used servers inside the U.S. to mask the Russian origin of the accounts.
Ultimately, and this is the punchline, the goal was to disparage Hillary Clinton and to assist the election of Donald Trump.
In other words, anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election.
The Russian organization named in the indictment - the Internet Research Agency - and the defendants began working in 2014 - so one year before the Trump candidacy was even announced - to interfere in U.S. elections, according to the indictment in Washington. They used false personas and social media while also staging political rallies and communicating with "unwitting individuals" associated with the Trump campaign, it said.
The Russians "had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system," according to the indictment in Washington.
The Russians also reportedly bought advertisements on U.S. social media, created numerous Twitter accounts designed to appear as if they were U.S. groups or people, according to the indictment. One fake account, @TEN_GOP account, attracted more than 100,000 online followers.
The Russians tracked the metrics of their effort in reports and budgeted for their efforts. Some, as described below, traveled to the U.S. to gather intelligence for the surreptitious campaign. They used stolen U.S. identities, including fake driver's licenses, and contacted news media outlets to promote their activities.
The full list of named defendants in addition to the Internet Research Agency, as well as Concord Management and Consulting and Concord Catering, include:
- MIKHAIL IVANOVICH BYSTROV,
- MIKHAIL LEONIDOVICH BURCHIK,
- ALEKSANDRA YURYEVNA KRYLOVA,
- ANNA VLADISLAVOVNA BOGACHEVA,
- SERGEY PAVLOVICH POLOZOV,
- MARIA ANATOLYEVNA BOVDA,
- ROBERT SERGEYEVICH BOVDA,
- DZHEYKHUN NASIMI OGLY ASLANOV,
- VADIM VLADIMIROVICH PODKOPAEV,
- GLEB IGOREVICH VASILCHENKO,
- IRINA VIKTOROVNA KAVERZINA,
- VLADIMIR VENKOV
- YEVGENIY VIKTOROVICH PRIGOZHIN
Mueller's office said that none of the defendants was in custody.
So how is Trump involved? Well, he isn't, as it now seems that collusion narrative is dead, and instead Russian involvement was unilateral. Instead, according to the indictment, the Russian operations were unsolicited and pro bono, and included " supporting Trump... and disparaging Hillary Clinton,' staging political rallies, buying political advertising while posing as grassroots U.S. groups. Oh, and communicating " with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities. "
Defendant ORGANIZATION had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants' operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump ("Trump Campaign") and disparaging Hillary Clinton .
Defendants made various expenditures to carry out those activities, including buying political advertisements on social media in the names of U.S. persons and entities. Defendants also staged political rallies inside the United States, and while posing as U.S. grassroots entities and U.S. persons, and without revealing their Russian identities and ORGANIZATION affiliation, solicited and compensated real U.S. persons to promote or disparage candidates. Some Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities.
Furthermore, the dastardly Russians created fake accounts to pretend they are Americans:
Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and creating false U.S. personas, operated social media pages and groups designed to attract U.S. audiences. These groups and pages, which addressed divisive U.S. political and social issues, falsely claimed to be controlled by U.S. activists when, in fact, they were controlled by Defendants. Defendants also used the stolen identities of real U.S. persons to post on ORGANIZATION-controlled social media accounts. Over time, these social media accounts became Defendants' means to reach significant numbers of Americans for purposes of interfering with the U.S. political system, including the presidential election of 2016
Mueller also alleges a combination of traditional and modern espionage...
Certain Defendants traveled to the United States under false pretenses for the purpose of collecting intelligence to inform Defendants' operations. Defendants also procured and used computer infrastructure, based partly in the United States, to hide the Russian origin of their activities and to avoid detection by U.S. regulators and law enforcement.
Mueller also charges that two of the defendants received US visas and from approximately June 4, 2014 through June 26, 2014, KRYLOVA and BOGACHEVA " traveled in and around the United States, including stops in Nevada, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, Texas, and New York to gather intelligence, After the trip, KRYLOVA and BURCHIK exchanged an intelligence report regarding the trip."
* * *
The indictment points to a broader conspiracy beyond the pages of the indictment, saying the grand jury has heard about other people with whom the Russians allegedly conspired in their efforts.
Joe Davola -> Pandelis Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:02 PermalinkNever One Roach -> Joe Davola Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:03 Permalink
Concord Catering - what, were they offering chicken wings and pigs ears at the polling places?Billy the Poet -> Never One Roach Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:05 Permalink
So how often does Mueller hear those demon voices in his head?Belrev -> Billy the Poet Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:07 Permalink
I wonder if any of these Russians were behind the anti-Trump rallies of November 2016? Thousands attended protest organized by Russians on Facebook.
Thousands of Americans attended a march last November organized by a Russian group that used social media to interfere in the 2016 election.
The demonstration in New York City, which took place a few days after the election, appears to be the largest and most successful known effort to date pulled off by Russian-linked groups intent on using social media platforms to influence American politics.
Sixteen thousand Facebook users said that they planned to attend a Trump protest on Nov. 12, 2016, organized by the Facebook page for BlackMattersUS, a Russian-linked group that sought to capitalize on racial tensions between black and white Americans. The event was shared with 61,000 users.
As many as 5,000 to 10,000 protesters actually convened at Manhattan's Union Square. They then marched to Trump Tower, according to media reports at the time .
The BlackMattersUS-organized rally took advantage of outrage among groups on the left following President Trump's victory on Nov. 8 to galvanize support for its event. The group's protest was the fourth consecutive anti-Trump rally in New York following election night, and one of many across the country.
"Join us in the streets! Stop Trump and his bigoted agenda!" reads the Facebook event page for the rally. "Divided is the reason we just fell. We must unite despite our differences to stop HATE from ruling the land."
http://thehill.com/policy/technology/358025-thousands-attended-protest-SamAdams -> Belrev Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:08 Permalink
13 Russians can influence US elections meanwhile US CIA and State Department spend $1 BIllion every year on opposition groups inside Russia without success.Belrev -> SamAdams Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:10 Permalink
Indict AIPAC. That is the real foreign interference in ALL US elections. Such hypocrisy. At the very least, make them register as a foreign operation! Information warfare using social media ? What, you mean like the Israeli students who are paid to shape public opinion thru social media? This is no secret and has been in the news. I fail to find the difference? Psychologists call this projection, that is where you accuse others of the crimes you commit .IH8OBAMA -> Belrev Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:21 Permalink
That is a regime change in DC proposition.Shillinlikeavillan -> IH8OBAMA Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:24 Permalink
If Mueller is going outside the Trump organization to indict Russians, when is he going to indict some equally criminal Democraps?
I also see that one of the 13 Russians was Valdimir. ( VLADIMIR VENKOV ) LOLoverbet -> Shillinlikeavillan Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:34 Permalink
They basically indicted the $100,000 facebook ad russian group... Bravo! Ur really on the path to impeaching trump now!
LULZ!El Vaquero -> overbet Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:44 Permalink
Boy Hillary sure didnt get her money's worth. She shoulda hired these people.
Is it ok for MSM for to make all of their disparaging commentary, but not ok for people to do the same? Mueller mustve forgot about the craigslist ads hiring protesters to attack Trump rallies. What a fucking clown show.
I guess that's it Mueller gets his indictments to save face and Trump is pleased its over.spanish inquisition -> El Vaquero Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:56 Permalink
This ties directly into the October 31, 2017 testimony from Facebook, Twitter and Google regarding Russian media presence on social media. Mueller is grasping here, and given that it talks about visas granted for short visits, I'm led to believe that most of these people are actually not on US soil to be arrested. This means political grandstanding via an indictment that is never going to see a courtroom where the evidence can be examined and witnesses can be cross examined. It looks like Mueller would have these people for identity theft if he had them in the US, which he probably doesn't.
I'm going to get called a Russian bot over this elsewhere. Well, maybe facetiously here. #WeAreAllRussianBotsNowFoggyWorld -> spanish inquisition Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:59 Permalink
Deep state pivot to keep the Russian hate alive.Shemp 4 Victory -> FoggyWorld Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:10 Permalink
And set us up for war.pods -> Shemp 4 Victory Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:22 Permalink
Fucking hilarious - Mueller has indicted an anti-Russian CIA operation that was run out of St. Petersburg. http://thesaker.is/a-brief-history-of-the-kremlin-trolls/stizazz -> pods Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:30 Permalink
Wow, I am going to have to keep the radio off for a couple of days. They are going to be wall to wall on this. Maybe even bump the stories where fakely sympathetic reporter cunts (FSRC) ask mother's if they miss their dead kids.
This is a fucking clownshow anymore. Jesus, THIS is what the investigation brought home? Holy fuckshit, this is a joke. Some guy had 100k followers? Really? Like anyone GAF about that? We have AIPAC making candidates kneel before them and yet some guys on Tweeter fucked around. I think that is even bullshit. If Russians really did that, they wouldn't "work in shifts" they would program some fucking bots to do this.
I can just imagine the fake outrage that that worthless kike from NY Chuckie "don't get between me and a camera" Schumer has to say about this.
This is a Matrix alright, and a cheap ass one at that.
Mueller should be taken out and horsewhipped for bringing this shit home.
Hey Mueller, I read a comment on Yahoo news that was in broken English. Go get um!
podsBennyBoy -> pods Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:38 Permalink
They HATE Russia because PUTIN OPENLY derided the American Empire.BennyBoy -> BennyBoy Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:42 Permalink
The Russians duped me.
I was gonna vote for Hillary then I read tweets where she bullied the woman her husband raped to keep quiet. And how her foundation got hundreds of $millions from countries with business before her at the state dept. ALEKSANDRA YURYEVNA KRYLOVA mislead me.ThanksChump -> BennyBoy Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:50 Permalink
Its probably nothing....
CHINESE STATE-OWNED CHEMICAL FIRM JOINS DARK MONEY GROUP POURING CASH INTO U.S. ELECTIONS
Lee Fang February 15 2018, 10:10 a.m.
WANHUA CHEMICAL, A $10 billion chemical company controlled by the Chinese government, now has an avenue to influence American elections.
On Monday, Wanhua joined the American Chemistry Council, a lobby organization for chemical manufacturers that is unusually aggressive in intervening in U.S. politics.
The ACC is a prominent recipient of so-called dark money -- that is, unlimited amounts of cash from corporations or individuals the origins of which are only disclosed to the IRS, not the public. During the 2012 , 2014 , and 2016 election cycles, the ACC took this dark money and spent over $40 million of it on contributions to super PACs, lobbying, and direct expenditures. (Additional money flowed directly to candidates via the ACC's political action committee.).....
https://theintercept.com/2018/02/15/chinese-state-owned-chemical-firm-jJimmyJones -> ThanksChump Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:59 Permalink
Duped by facts and truth is no way to go through life, son.Theosebes Goodfellow -> pods Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:42 Permalink
Obama, "I can do more after I'm reelected" to Putin caught on a hot mic.
I always knew Hillary was as pure as the first winter's snow.rwe2late -> Theosebes Goodfellow Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:09 Permalink
~" In other words, anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election. "~
Wait, does this mean that "disparaging Hillary" was just for the witless? I've been doing that for years, (without any Russian influence at all), and have found it to be rather witty virtually all the time.
Can we NOW get to the point where we appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary?rwe2late -> rwe2late Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:36 Permalink
not yet ...
any of us who spread "fake news" are now "conspirators" who gave "support" to foreign agents with the goal of undermining the "democratic process" by denying Hillary the presidency.
ignorance can be no excuse for such wanton lawlessness.Boxed Merlot -> rwe2late Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:46 Permalink
I almost forgot. "conspirators" were blatantly "sowing discord" obvious "proof" of "cooperating" with the RussiansSquid Viscous -> pods Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:57 Permalink
..."conspirators" were blatantly "sowing discord"...
Yep, so on top of being "Deplorable", I'm also without wit.
His name was Seth.Machbet -> pods Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:32 Permalink
well said pods, i wish i could upvote you like, 13 timessixsigma cygnu -> spanish inquisition Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:01 Permalink
Well said, my brother. "A fucking clownshow..." A clownshow run by juvenile, idiotic fallen angels.BigCumulusClouds -> sixsigma cygnu Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:06 Permalink
I'm just relieved they didn't get Boris. Not this time.
Telling people the truth makes one a very desirable target.eatthebanksters -> spanish inquisition Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:10 Permalink
The bigger question is "when is Mueller going to be indicted for covering up the controlled demolition of the WTC buildings on nine eleven??"Bubba Rum Das -> Citizen in 1984 Fri, 02/16/2018 - 16:08 Permalink
So this is all they have?Boxed Merlot -> eatthebanksters Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:48 Permalink
Yes, Mueller is a clown show, but he came up w/ this crap in an attempt to divert media attention away from his & McCabes direct involvement in trying to cover up Uranium 1 for Hillary...The Truth!DosZap -> El Vaquero Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:05 Permalink
...all they have?...
Sure hope they weren't bettin' the farm.
jmo.eclectic syncretist -> DosZap Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:43 Permalink
He has to INDICT someone,since he can't get Trump except on adultery.(the only thing NOT under his purview)
I see a distant MELANIA in his near future.ebear -> El Vaquero Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:17 Permalink
The FBI going DEEP (#sarc) into its playbook for this one.
Simultaneously distracting from their incompetencies with regards to domestic threats (school shooters/government collusion to subvert presidential election), and exonerating Hillary AGAIN.
"Using lies and deception to cover our lies and deceptions, so that we can enslave the populace to our will" (visualize Meuller/Comey/Strzok/Page/Ohr/Rosenstein/Obama/Rice/ with left hands on Satanic Bible and right arms extended giving oath in Temple of Mammon before upside down American flag).agNau -> overbet Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:59 Permalink
Ich bin ein Russe!BigCumulusClouds -> overbet Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:04 Permalink
Hillary hired the entire Russian government with the Uranium one deal.IH8OBAMA -> Shillinlikeavillan Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:37 Permalink
Protestors?? HRC hired thugs who beat people up at Trump rallies. That's a felony. Some people got hurt real bad.giovanni_f -> IH8OBAMA Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:56 Permalink
I wonder if Mueller is going to indict Obama for interfering in the Israeli election?
rwe2late -> giovanni_f Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:46 Permalink
1. CNN can now say Russian interference is a "proven fact".
2. "13 individuals" and "3 companies" - this is a casus belli even for the most pacifist peaceniks on ZH
3. US can now continue to meddle in Russian elections as they did since 1919 pointing to the existential thread those 13 individuals posed.
caconhma -> IH8OBAMA Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:08 Permalink
worse than 3.meddling in Russian elections,
anyone who objects to US military and economic aggression,
will be further branded/dismissed (prosecuted?)
as a "proven dupe" of Russia/Putin.commiebastid -> IH8OBAMA Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:21 Permalink
The US Constitution. RIP
The DoJ and Miller activities are anti-American. What else is new in occupied America?
Note Trump does nothing about this unprecedented assault on Freedom of Speech and Assembly in the USA. Therefore, Trump is a willing player in these criminal activities.DownWithYogaPants -> Shillinlikeavillan Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:44 Permalink
and Brexit and the French election and Venezuela election and The Ukraine; Libya; Palestinian Territories..... lmaoMEFOBILLS -> Shillinlikeavillan Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:50 Permalink
Ohhh fake social accounts.........the horror!
( If I had known they were the equivalent of Harry Potters magic wand I would have opened a few long ago! )
Seems like Mr Mueller is in face saving mode.
What is Rod Rosenstein doing still at the FBI. He should be in prison.Endgame Napoleon -> carni Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:26 Permalink
Mueller is going to go until he gets some meat. Maybe this lean and stringy meat is enough to satisfy. Of course, nobody will look at AIPAC and all of the foreign influence money funneling into senators coffers.
He said they stole identities, posting anti-Hillary remarks on Russian-controlled sites, using the stolen identities. They must do that through hacking, which is illegal.
They also organized rallies, he said. There were ads on job sites, advertising for paid [leftist] protestors, long before Trump emerged as a candidate. People posted them on American sites. Some attribute it to Soros. I am a little skeptical that Soros controls the world, anymore than Russians, but that is what people often believe, when it is leftist ads.
Advertisements are all over the Internet. Is that illegal? He called it fraud, referring to the misrepresentation of identity, I guess. They should not be manipulating unknowing people.
But, I wonder if he has the same vigilance when illegal aliens use fake SS cards to acquire jobs, while their girlfriends use real SS cards of US-born kids to get $450 on average in EBT food assistance, in addition to other welfare, making it easy for illegal aliens to undercut American citizens in jobs. Using a fake SS number -- i.e. posing as an American to get a job -- is fraud.
As long as the illegal aliens have sex after illegal border crossings, reproduce and say they misrepresent their identities for the good of their kids, this is legal and deserving of pay-per-birth welfare / child-tax-credit freebies and citizenship, whereas these Russians are committing fraud.
They should not be doing that in either case, but the double standard is interesting.
And if people cannot post freely on the internet without revealing their real names, a lot of internet activity (and a lot of related commerce) will cease. Many people post anonymously, often due to jobs or other factors that have nothing to do with elections.
In fact, FBI agents post under identities (personas) that are not their own. There are many articles, describing how police agencies use fake identities on the internet to track down criminals, including those who abuse children. They do the same thing to monitor terrorists; they use fake identities.
Feb 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Vote up! 2 Vote down! 0
Mike Masr Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:41 Permalink
Where are these indictments ? Obama, Hillary Clinton, Victoria Nuland, Geoffrey Pyatt and John McCain.
The US has been meddling and interfering in other countries elections and internal affairs for decades. Not only does the US meddle and interfere in other countries elections it overthrows democratically elected governments it simply doesn't like, and then installs its own puppet leaders. Our deep-state MIC owned neocons casually refer to this as "regime change".
I can only imagine the hell that would break loose if Russia fomented, paid for, and assisted in a violent overthrow of the legitimately and democratically elected government in Mexico. Imagine Russian spymasters working from the Russian Embassy in Mexico City training radicals how to use social media to bring out angry people and foment violent pubic unrest. Then Russian Duma members in Mexico City handing out tacos, and tamales emboldening and urging these angry people to riot, and overthrow the government and toss the bums out. Then Putin's executive group hand picking all the new (anti-USA) drug cartel junta puppet leaders and an old senile Russian senator in Mexico City stating at a podium on RT, there are no drug cartels here, that's all propaganda!
On the other side of the world Obama's neocon warmongers spent billions doing exactly this. Instead of drug cartels it was Banderist Neo-Nazis. Obama and our neocons, including John McCain intentionally caused all of this fucking mess, civil war and horrific death in Ukraine on Russia's border and then placed the blame on Putin and Russia.
Thanks to John McCain and our evil fucking neocons - the regime change policy implemented by Obama, Clinton and Nuland's minions, like Geoffrey Pyatt, the Ukraine today is totally fucked. It is now a corrupt banana republic embroiled in a bloody civil war. For the US and NATO the golden prize of this violent undemocratic regime change was supposed to be the Crimea. This scheme did not play out as intended. No matter what sanctions the warmongering neocons place on Russia they will NEVER give back the Crimea!
Our neocon fuck heads spent billions of our hard earned taxpayer dollars to create pain, suffering, death and a civil war in Ukraine on the border with Russia.
This is a case of don't do what we do, only do what we tell you to do. It's perfectly okay when we meddle. We don't like it when we think it may have been done to us. It's hypocrisy and duplicity at its finest!
Tech Camp NGO - operating out of US Embassy in Kiev
(using social media to help bring out radicals-and cause civil war-pre Maidan 2013)
Nuland talks about $5 billion spent on Ukraine
Nuland plotting(on intercepted phone call) the new handpicked puppet leaders.
US Support of Banderist Neo-Nazis in Ukraine 2014
Lavrov reminds the UN a West-inspired coup d'ιtat started Ukraine crisis, not Russia