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Fighting Spyware

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Anti-spyware forums Softpanorama Malware Defense Strategy Spyware Scanners Malicious Web Sites Windows Defender Fighting PopUps with toolbars

Blocking lists

Sirefef.AV Win32/Tracur.AV W32/Sdbot-AAQ Win32-Rbot TDL4 Cryptolocker (Win32/Crilock.A) Flame
Trojan-GameThief.
Win32.OnLineGames2.an
Geraam Password Stealing Trojan Win32 Alureon Win32/Morto.A Duqu Trojan Flame Web Browsers Insecurity
Data Recovery Trojan XP Antivirus 2012 Dr Guard Antivirus System Pro Cryptolocker (Win32/Crilock.A AbetterInternet BHO
Identity theft Adding sites to the hosts file Phishing Fighting
HomePage Hijacking
History Humor Etc

Introduction

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.

Some potentially useful methods in protection

Spyware is a more serious problem than just a simple annoyance.  Your privacy is being invaded. That's why you should never store your taxes and banking data on the PC you use for browsing Internet.  Use a separate PC. This additional $300 investment is probably the best investment we can make to protect ourselves from viruses and trojans stealing our financial data.  If you have enough technical knowledge you can use two different virtual machine images on the same computer.  I also would not recommend to store copies of your bank account password in the browser.  Spyware has the ability to install additional software in your machine without your consent that can download this information and decrypt it.  Also just the fact that you are doing on your computer is being watched by unknown third party right now does not provides any comfort. although you need to understand that browsing Internet is no longer anonymous activity, unless you use VPN or similar methods.  Now logs of all your visits are stored somewhere, at least temporary.  And usually not only of the sites that you visited. Advertizing plugins such as used by Google also store this information unless you disable Javascript from running or block them in some other way.  And advertizing vendors developed sophisticated methods to track your identity even if you disable or periodically destroy all cookies. Just try to change your browsing session from one computer to another and see that advertizing reflect you previous activity.

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:

  1. Do not upgrade to versions of Microsoft OS higher then Windows 7. After Windows 7 Microsoft itself went into spyware business in full force. for example now they want to to authenticate to your Pc using hotmail account. Which essentially gives them free information when and how you use your PC. Although you can enhance your privacy using specific privacy settings windows 10 (see for example 5 Tips to Increase Your Privacy With Windows 10  Matthew Held or just serach "how to enhance windows 10 privacy" in any search engine you use) it is definitely more intrusive "by design" then Windows 7. Probably by at least a factor.
  2. Treat your C drive as disposable. Learn to periodically wipe out your Windows C drive and restore it from "trusted" backup kept on write protected harddrive or USB drive. This idea of periodic wipe out and reinstallation of some trusted image is simple, and very effective method of fighting complex spyware including government sponsored spyware (as this would destroy Microsoft brand, Microsoft brass probably will try to avoid allowing using Microsoft updates for installing government spyware, unless this is the case connected with national security (which is a very brad notion those days); but government agencies (and not only them) can definitely use update channels of other vendors -- typical windows installation usually contains at least a dozen of commercial programs each with its own update channel. Which easily can be compromised making such computer one big security hole, no matter which AV program you use.  This method is  especially attractive for small companies, who do not have dedicated security staff to watch for windows threats. And it eliminates the need to spend money on commercial AV (free Microsoft Security Essentials are "good enough" in this case). Also in this case you do not need to worry about unending, stupid and dangerous patches of Adobe Reader and other crapware.   Microsoft will reapply patches and if you use drive other then C for your files there is not much to do after the reinstallation. Other patches can be ignored as shelf-life of this instance is limited. If they are needed apply it to trusted image first.  Minimal adjustments required can be scripted using PowerShell or whatever tool you are comfortable with.
  3. Use two virtual instances of OS or at least two browsers with Microsoft IE set to high security level and used for browsing of unknown sites. The key in protections of  your browser against new web threats is disabling JavaScript and ActiveX.  there are aos some utilities that can enhance level of securyt in this area but I do not follow this area closely. Long ago Trend Micro USA provided Browser Guard -  a free utility which uses advanced heuristics and emulation technologies to detect Javascript exploits. But it is better to disable Javascript altogether for "grey areas" browsing. The latest version (2011) included detection enhancement for Web Trojans, and for tracing infection chains. But using a virtual machine is a much better deal.
  4. Use DNS server that protects from "new and hot" sites -- many malware distribution sites are less then 6 months old despite the fact that they are high in Google searches for certain keywords. Just blocking sites which are "younger" then six month stop a lot of Trojans cold. One possibility is OpenDNS
  5. Install a router based firewall with Internet filter or free K9 Web ProtectionIt you know Linux you can use Linux based router and tune it to prevent any re-infections. 
  6. If you have Linux know-how, install and use squid proxy on a separate PC. 
  7. Practice "separation of duties" policy with a cheap Chromebook laptop or separate instance of virtual OS launched as virtual machine. You should use virtual machine capabilities of Windows 7  and install "disposable" version of windows XP. You can do all the browsing in it.  It does not prevent you from getting spyware (and encryption malware still can encrypt your data) but 99% level achieved by wiping out your "used" image is good enough level to make this a worthwhile technique. If you know Linux you can use a Linux instance for browsing instead of XP. Linux has its own exploits but it stops dead all Windows exploits without any patching. Both GUI and browser (Firefox) are quite usable.   You can also downgrade your Windows to Windows 2000. Modern exploits react badly on such an old version of OS.
  8. Never do "leisure" browsing from the account with admin privileges. Create yet another account and use only it for browsing the Web. When you browsing unknown sites run IE only under some regular user account that can't write to the registry (use "Switch user" option -- it's really fast and convenient, although most users never tried it). Starting with Windows Vista and Windows 7, Microsoft introduced User Account Control (UAC), which, when enabled, allowed users to run with least user privileges. This scenario limits the possibility of attacks by malware and other threats that require administrative privileges to run. 

    You can configure UAC in your computer to meet your preferences:

  9. Add all sites that you deem suspicious to Restricted zone in IE. You can do it before clicking on the link in Google by creating a macro with a programmable keyboard  such as Logitech G510s gaming keyboard  or Sidewinder X4.

    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

  10. If you install trial version of software use "Try and Forget" software to eliminate those guest as they not always deinstall themselves completely.  Avoid "trial" versions as they can overburden you computer with unnecessary or harmful components and might not de-install cleanly, presenting the same danger as spyware (hidden channel to the vendor). There are a couple vendors that provide "try and forget" environment. One such environment is provided by Acronis True Image Try&Decide feature

    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.

  11. Install Microsoft Security Essentials which are free and contain some real time protection components. While this gives you a minimal level of protection is better then nothing and actually not much worse (and probably has less harmful components) then paid version of MacAfee, Symantec and such. Being mostly signature based tool like any signature based tool they are not very effective and you can be infected with any spyware that is not yet in their database, but still they are better then nothing and in my opinion are better than many of commercial AV tools. Also with time even new spyware became old and will be detected and hopefully correctly disinfected. 

High level of paranoia about spyware in mainstream press

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 too greedy AV vendors

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.

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

Factory installed image as a spyware protection tool

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.

Signs that you are infected

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:

  • changed search results
  • changed advertisements of pages that you browse
  • IE periodically crashes
  • Computer freezes and keyboard became irresponsive.
  • Loss of Internet connectivity

Prominent groups of spyware

There are several prominent groups of spyware:

Scanner based methods of detecting spyware

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.

Non-scanner-based Detection Strategies

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:

  1. Hijackthis and similar tools which can provide a useful baseline that includes integrated list of relevant registry entries and a process map,   but currently I do not know how to run it in a batch mode (other then via Expect).   Still this is the simplest way of manual creation of a useful baseline. It you are reading this page and do not yet have a problem, please create at least a process baseline. It might turn to be extremely helpful in the future. using. You cannot overestimate the value of  the baseline in fighting complex Spyware beasts.
     
  2. Integrity checkers that provide snapshot of critical directories on you C-drive after each reboot. There are several such directories such as C:\windows  C:\Windows\System32, etc.  
  3. Using internet proxy.  Those who have Linux skill can use Squid proxy.

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Old News ;-)

[Jul 21, 2021] U.S. Takes Down Israeli Spy Software Company

The US does not like competition in spyware business ;-)
Jul 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Prof , Jul 19 2021 18:09 utc | 1

A number of international papers report today on the Israeli hacking company NSO which sells snooping software to various regimes. The software is then used to hijack the phones of regime enemies, political competition or obnoxious journalists. All of that was already well known but the story has new legs as several hundreds of people who were spied on can now be named.

How that came to pass is of interest :

The phones appeared on a list of more than 50,000 numbers that are concentrated in countries known to engage in surveillance of their citizens and also known to have been clients of the Israeli firm, NSO Group, a worldwide leader in the growing and largely unregulated private spyware industry, the investigation found.

The list does not identify who put the numbers on it, or why, and it is unknown how many of the phones were targeted or surveilled. But forensic analysis of the 37 smartphones shows that many display a tight correlation between time stamps associated with a number on the list and the initiation of surveillance, in some cases as brief as a few seconds.

Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based journalism nonprofit, and Amnesty International, a human rights group, had access to the list and shared it with the news organizations, which did further research and analysis. Amnesty's Security Lab did the forensic analyses on the smartphones.

The numbers on the list are unattributed, but reporters were able to identify more than 1,000 people spanning more than 50 countries through research and interviews on four continents.

Who might have made such a list and who would give it to Amnesty and Forbidden Stories?

NSO is one of the Israeli companies that is used to monetize the work of the Israel's military intelligence unit 8200. 'Former' members of 8200 move to NSO to produce spy tools which are then sold to foreign governments. The license price is $7 to 8 million per 50 phones to be snooped at. It is a shady but lucrative business for the company and for the state of Israel.

NSO denies the allegations that its software is used for harmful proposes with a lot of bullshittery :

The report by Forbidden Stories is full of wrong assumptions and uncorroborated theories that raise serious doubts about the reliability and interests of the sources. It seems like the "unidentified sources" have supplied information that has no factual basis and are far from reality.

After checking their claims, we firmly deny the false allegations made in their report. Their sources have supplied them with information which has no factual basis, as evident by the lack of supporting documentation for many of their claims. In fact, these allegations are so outrageous and far from reality, that NSO is considering a defamation lawsuit.

The reports make, for example, the claim that the Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has used the NSO software to spy on the leader of the opposition party Rahul Gandhi.

How could NSO deny that allegation? It can't.

Further down in the NSO's statement the company contradicts itself on the issues:

Cont. reading: U.S. Takes Down Israeli Spy Software Company

How do you explain the suspiciously-timed, and simultaneous, Five Eyes denunciation of China for alleged hacking of Microsoft? Is it a way of deflecting too much wrath on Israel? Or, is b wrong and the China story serves as real distraction.

james , Jul 19 2021 18:17 utc | 2

thanks b.. it is an interesting development which seems to pit the usa against israel... i am having a hard time appreciating this... maybe... interesting conundrum snowden paints himself into... @ 1 prof... there are plenty of distractions to go around.. hard to know...
karlof1 , Jul 19 2021 18:31 utc | 3
Prof @1--

In our day-and-age, all "Spectacular Stories" serve as distractions, although some are genuine scoops illuminating criminal behavior involving state actors. Ultimately, this scoop provides much more leverage for Putin's ongoing insistence that an International Treaty dealing with all things Cyber including Cyber-crime be convened ASAP.

Mar man , Jul 19 2021 18:34 utc | 4
"Who has an interest in shutting NSO down or to at least make its business more difficult?
The competition I'd say. And the only real one in that field is the National Security Agency of the United States."

There is at least one other possibility.

The leak could be from a highly sophisticated state actor that needs to "blind" US and especially Israeli intelligence services temporarily.

That could very easily be China, Russia or even Iran. Some of their assets could be on the list.

Exposing the service weakens, or possibly destroys, it until another workaround is found.

China might do this to push customers towards some of their cellphones that are supposedly immune to this.

Russia and Iran might need to blind Mossad, NSA and CIA or upcoming operations in Syria, Iraq and possibly Afghanistan.

Who knows?

Down South , Jul 19 2021 18:36 utc | 5
Weird to have the US burn an Israeli spy operation (I'd be surprised if they didn't build back doors into their own software) in such a public manner.

The only reason I can think of for the US to shut NSO down is if they refused to share information they had gathered with the NSA and so they were put out of business.

Snowden didn't have a problem with the NSA et al spying on foreign adversaries. He had a problem when the NSA was spying illegally on US citizens.

ld , Jul 19 2021 19:07 utc | 8
JUSA: Blackmailing and Bribing Politicians; it's what they do.
div> No marriage can survive financial problems. This is just capitalism eating itself for scarce profits.

Posted by: vk , Jul 19 2021 19:11 utc | 9

No marriage can survive financial problems. This is just capitalism eating itself for scarce profits.

Posted by: vk | Jul 19 2021 19:11 utc | 9

Brendan , Jul 19 2021 19:13 utc | 10
This is an old story going back years.
https://citizenlab.ca/2018/09/hide-and-seek-tracking-nso-groups-pegasus-spyware-to-operations-in-45-countries/
The question is: Why is it being investigated so closely now?

The 'West' could be using it as a weapon to rein in Israel, which it sees as getting more and more out of control. Netanyahu might be gone but the policies that he represents will not just disappear.

The mass media didn't like Israel's destruction of the building in Gaza where the Associated Press had its offices. How are the media supposed to publish reports from places where they don't have anywhere to work?

Western governments are exasperated that Israel doesn't even pretend to have any respect for international law and human rights. Nobody in power in the West cares about those things either, and they really want to support Israel, but doing that is a lot harder when Israel makes it so obvious that it is a colonial aggressor.

As the Guardian reported yesterday, "The Israeli minister of defence closely regulates NSO, granting individual export licences before its surveillance technology can be sold to a new country."

The attack on NSO looks like a message to the Israeli state.

chet380 , Jul 19 2021 19:24 utc | 11
Can we expect US sanctions against Israel, whose intelligence agency sponsored this, and against the Various Israeli companies involved?
m , Jul 19 2021 19:42 utc | 13

I think you are very wrong in your assessment that this is about business and getting rid of the competition. Information isn`t about money. It is about power.

The people at MoA might not have noticed it because of ideological bias but Netanyahu and Biden (and before him Obama) were quite hostile towards each other. To a degree they were almost waging a kind of undercover cold war against each other (culminating in United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334).

In this context I don`t believe the "former" Israelis spies at NSO are just Isrealis. They are a specific kind of Israelis. Namely extreme-right Israelis/Likud loyalists. Netanyahu created his own private unit 8200 - outside of the Israeli state. The profit that NSO made were just the "former" spies regular payment.

The USA - with the consent and probably active assistance of the new Israeli government - took Netanyahus private intelligence service down.

Stonebird , Jul 19 2021 19:47 utc | 15
The US has found out that the NSO spyware can be used BY the "other regimes" against US leaders. Or at least against US assets.

The Israelis would sell their wares to anyone with a buck (or shekel, as the buck is getting rather uncertain as a money).

IE. Saudi buys a section of numbers and then decides to track and eliminate "opposants". BUT if there are CIA personnel implanted with a good cover story, then OOOPS, "another one bites the dust".

Max , Jul 19 2021 19:47 utc | 16
What laws exist in your nation to prevent illegal snooping?

How about profiling by the digital companies? Nations need to pass laws making it a CRIMINAL offense to conduct snooping or hacking without a warrant. What happened to Apple's claims about its devices' superior security and privacy?

Let's see what sanctions or criminal ACTIONS are taken against NSO, its executives and other companies. Is any of the information captured by NSO shared with Israel &/or Five Eyes? Are their financial accounts frozen? Let's see how they're treated compared to Huawei.

Are Dark web sites linked to the REvil ransomware gang operating? Shutdown all illegal snooping and cyber crimes entities.

A rule or law isn't just and fair if it doesn't applies to everyone, and they can't be applied at the whims of powerful. Laws and rules applied unequally have no credibility and legitimacy.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
– Martin Luther King Jr.

Stonebird , Jul 19 2021 20:02 utc | 17

Max | Jul 19 2021 19:47 utc | 16

"A rule or law isn't just and fair if it doesn't applies to everyone, and they can't be applied at the whims of powerful. Laws and rules applied unequally have no credibility and legitimacy."

Max, are you sure you have got your feet on this planet earth? If there is one factor that is common to his era, is that "Justice" is no longer blindfolded, but is looking out for the best interests of "friends".

Can you name a few countries where your ideal is the norm?

*****
PS. Don't bother, as I won't reply, I'm off to bed to dream of a perfect world. Much easier, and I can do it lying down.

Yul , Jul 19 2021 20:08 utc | 18
@b

Edifying Twitter thread :
https://twitter.com/YousefMunayyer/status/1417169505747341318

check this article from 6 yrs ago:
Innocent people under military rule exposed to surveillance by Israel, say 43 ex-members of Unit 8200, including reservists

c1ue , Jul 19 2021 20:35 utc | 19
Another possible scenario is that the NSO has been poaching people and/or techniques from US intel agencies for use in its for-profit schemes.
That is one thing which is guaranteed to get a negative reaction - regardless of who is doing it and which party is in power.
We do know that NSO has been very active on the exploit buying dark webs since their inception...

Also, I would point out that US entity action against NSO didn't just start today: Facebook sued them even before COVID, in 2019

And earlier 2016 NSO mention in Apple exploit

The above article also notes that NSO was acquired by Francisco Partners in 2010...

Thus maybe all this is purely a capability play: The US is falling behind and so wants to bring in house, more capability. One way is to squeeze an existing successful player so that they have to cooperate/sell out...

All I can be sure of, is that none of the present foofaraw has anything to do with the truth.

thewokendead , Jul 19 2021 20:39 utc | 20

"In fact, these allegations are so outrageous and far from reality, that NSO is considering a defamation lawsuit."

Ya..Right. That's not remotely gonna happen!

The NSO 'Group" would have to provide a substantial amount of their very sensitive 'operational' & 'proprietary' internal documents - which would most certainly be requested in discovery - to any of the possible defendants should NSO be stupid/arrogant enough to actually file a formal suit of "defamation" in a any US court.

Talk about a "defamation" legal case that would get shut down faster than Mueller's show indictment of 13 'Russian' agents and their related businesses that were reportedly part of the now infamous "Guccifer 2.0" "Hack"

When these "Russian" hackers simply countered by producing a surprise Washington based legal team that publically agreed to call Mueller's bluff and have the all of the 'indicted' defendants actually appear in court, they immediately "requested" - via the discovery process - all relevant documents that the Mueller team purportedly had that confirmed that their was any actual or attempted (hacking) criminality.

VIA POLITICO:

The 13 people charged in the high-profile indictment in February are considered unlikely to ever appear in a U.S. court. The three businesses accused of facilitating the alleged Russian troll farm operation -- the Internet Research Agency, Concord Management, and Concord Catering -- were also expected to simply ignore the American criminal proceedings.

Last month, however, a pair of Washington-area lawyers suddenly surfaced in the case, notifying the court that they represent Concord Management. POLITICO reported at the time that the move appeared to be a bid to force Mueller's team to turn over relevant evidence to the Russian firm and perhaps even to bait prosecutors into an embarrassing dismissal in order to avoid disclosing sensitive information.

The NSO Group is never going to even considering this "defamation" route, but their threatening legal bluster is pure... Hutzpa!

thewokendead

Mark Thomason , Jul 19 2021 20:55 utc | 22
In a world in which this can be done, the worst of governments will do it, and in the worst ways.

The US and other governments have promoted this. Their own intelligence services use it. They actively oppose efforts to block it, as happened with private encryption ideas.

We can't both make it possible and prevent the bad guys from doing it.

We have deliberately made it possible, and opposed serious efforts to protect private life against it. Now we are surprised?

Max , Jul 19 2021 21:07 utc | 23
@ Stonebird (#17), you missed the pun in those words. Maybe you're sleeping while reading.

The Financial Empire and its lackeys want a "rules-based international order" and China-Russia... want a "rule of international laws". Both are meaningless and worthless as they're applied unequally. I am awake and in sync with REALITY. Just playing with these two ideas. We have the law of the jungle. However, Orcs (individuals without conscience – dark souls) are worse than animals in greed, deceits and killing.

"The Black Speech of Mordor need to be heard in every corner of the world!"

Antibody , Jul 19 2021 22:42 utc | 26
Interesting story but I agree that the hype is overblown because nothing much will change even if this NSO outfit has a harder time flogging its spyware to all and sundry.

The NSA, CIA, MI5/6, Mossad and the 5 Lies spies will continue spying on friend and foe alike and tech companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google will likewise continue their unethical surveillance practices and will keep passing on private citizen's data to government spy agencies. So it goes.

For a dissident Snowden is a lightweight. His beef wasn't, as b points out, with the NSA itself, he just didn't like them spying on Americans within the USA. He had no problem spying on people in other countries as long as the proper 'rules' were followed. That, almost by definition, makes him a limited hangout.

Sam F , Jul 19 2021 22:47 utc | 27
The AI report notes that this software was abandoned in 2018 for cloud implementations to help hide responsibility;
Having Amazon AWS dump services naming NSO probably has no effect at all, as NSO will just use other names;
Antibody , Jul 19 2021 22:53 utc | 28
@Max 23

" However, Orcs (individuals without conscience – dark souls) are worse than animals in greed, deceits and killing."

Non-human animals operate on a genetically programmed autopilot and are not responsible for their actions.

Humans are partially engineered by genetics but unlike the "lower" animals they have the power to choose which actions they will take and they are therefore responsible for their choices.

A bear or a mountain lion will attack a human when it is injured or when protecting its young, but one can't blame these animals for exercising their survival instincts.

Human beings are the only mammal, indeed the only animal, that is capable of evil, i.e. deliberately choosing to harm or kill other humans for profit or personal gain.

Paul , Jul 19 2021 23:06 utc | 29

On this subject, I suggest barflies read the excellent post on the previous MoA Week in Review thread by:

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jul 19 2021 1:36 utc | 71

My reply @167 and Uncle T's further comment.

The book on this criminal conduct is called 'Murdoch's Pirates.' The detestable Amazon have it at 'unavailable' however it is available at Australian bookseller Booktopia.


Sushi , Jul 20 2021 0:24 utc | 30
How do you explain the suspiciously-timed, and simultaneous, Five Eyes denunciation of China for alleged hacking of Microsoft? Is it a way of deflecting too much wrath on Israel? Or, is b wrong and the China story serves as real distraction.

Posted by: Prof | Jul 19 2021 18:09 utc | 1

If the US navy were to purchase leaky boats would it not be absurd for it to then blame Russia or China for the influx of water?

If the US government, and US industry, purchase software full of holes is it not equally absurd for them to blame a foreign entity for any resulting leaks?

In answering these questions it is worthwhile to remember that US government entities support the insertion of backdoors in US commercial software. Such backdoors can be identified and exploited by 3rd parties.

Debsisdead , Jul 20 2021 1:37 utc | 33
If this somewhat limp-wristed takedown of NSO did not have the support of apartheid Israel's intelligence services, the graun would not be pushing the story.

It is that simple, the guardian is run by rabid zionists such as Jonathon Freedland deputy editor, who retains editorial control from the second seat rather than #1 simply because the zionist board wanted to stroke the fishwrap's woke credentials by having a female editor.
Foreign news and england news all have many zionist journos.
Now even the sports desk features stories by a bloke called Jacob Steinberg 'n sport is not generally an interest of jews.
Also if NSO a corporation born to advance particular media interests were in fact a tool of apartheid israel's intelligence establishment, it is unlikely that it would have tried to sue the graun back in 2019.

None of that precludes Mossad plants working at NSO, in fact the move against it would suggest that zionist intelligence has wrung the organisation dry.
This 'takedown' suggests to me that these services will continue, but not for everyone as before. ME governments will never again gain full access, no matter how friendly they may claim to be. All future contracts with whatever entity follows will only proceed if permitted by FukUSi.

div> Since the software is licensed by the number of phones it's installed on, NSO must have a means of determining the device ID/phone number of each phone (You wouldn't trust some shady third-world regime to be honest, would you?

Posted by: J2 , Jul 20 2021 1:44 utc | 34

Since the software is licensed by the number of phones it's installed on, NSO must have a means of determining the device ID/phone number of each phone (You wouldn't trust some shady third-world regime to be honest, would you?

Posted by: J2 | Jul 20 2021 1:44 utc | 34

Christian J. Chuba , Jul 20 2021 1:49 utc | 35
The Israeli connection just read an account on AC by Rod Dreher and so far, writers are downplaying the connection to Israel. If it was a Chinese or Russian company we would be blaming Putin.

We blame Putin for every criminal in Russia but I don't see anyone blaming Israel for a product they they authorized for export. Wow.

It does take two to tango, so I do understand talking about the clients who bought the product but if they have the export version of the spyware the it's obvious that Israel has the super-duper lethal version but that's okay. No biggie. But Iran having any weapons to defend their own country is a scandal.

Boss Tweet , Jul 20 2021 1:56 utc | 36
US taxpayers subsidize the Israeli military industry. The zionists then developed tools which they use against palestinians and their adversaries. The same technologies are later sold at a profit to various United states security agencies. A wonderful self licking ice cream cone of christian zionism, so much winning... Paying up the wazoo for our own eslavement. Last I checked, the chosen one's were never held accountable for their role prior to 911 operations.

Fox News Series on Israeli Spying on US Telecommunications:
https://cryptome.org/fox-il-spy.htm

Biswapriya Purkayast , Jul 20 2021 2:12 utc | 38
The Amerikastani Con-serve-ative manages to write a whole article about this without mentioning the name of the "country" that created and exported this software.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/pegasus-end-of-privacy/

This same Amerikastani Con-serve-ative pretends to champion free speech but doesn't permit the slightest criticism of this same "nation", the racist fascist apartheid zionist settler colony in Occupied Palestine. In fact the very mention of the word "zionist" will get your comment removed.

MrChristian , Jul 20 2021 3:11 utc | 39
I'm of the school of thought that Snowden is still an active CIA asset used to assist in discrediting government agencies, such as the NSA, to allow private corporations to take their place in data collection and dissemination. Alphabet, and it's AI/quantum computers should not be ignored in this particular scenario
Max , Jul 20 2021 3:15 utc | 40
@ Antibody (#28), good points, thanks.

Human beings with conscience are INNER directed. Those without strong conscience (Orcs) are OUTER directed and thereby easily captured, corrupted and controlled. Human beings with great conscience (soul/spirit), strong mind and healthy body are PARAGONS.

Orcs were once elves. They got programmed by the dark forces of Saruman & Sauron (Sin). Sauron's EYE is for intimidation. Seeing it sends fear into the hearts of people and sucks away their courage. "When did we let evil become stronger than us?" Communicate reality, truth and expose power freely!

There is still light to defeat the darkness. May your light light others 🕯🕯🕯

uncle tungsten , Jul 20 2021 3:32 utc | 41
karlof1 #3
Ultimately, this scoop provides much more leverage for Putin's ongoing insistence that an International Treaty dealing with all things Cyber including Cyber-crime be convened ASAP.

Israel and the UK will never sign such a protocol. The USA? only if it is worthless.

Mar man #4

The leak could be from a highly sophisticated state actor that needs to "blind" US and especially Israeli intelligence services temporarily.

That could very easily be China, Russia or even Iran. Some of their assets could be on the list.

pssst - UK

Sarcophilus , Jul 20 2021 5:28 utc | 45

"Snowden's opinion on this is kind of strange". Snowden's task, almost a decade ago now, was to facilitate the passage of CISPA. Greenwald was the PR guy. Remember Obama saying we need to have a conversation about privacy versus security? Well, Snowden and Greewald helped him to have the conversation on his terms. And the media giants will be forever grateful. Greenwald even got his own website. So no, nothing strange about what Snowden said. It was in his script. Was, is and always will be an asset.

Linus , Jul 20 2021 6:35 utc | 47
In a broader context:
"In a corporatist system of government, where there is no separation between corporate power and state power, corporate censorship is state censorship. The actual government as it actually exists is censoring the speech not just of its own people, but people around the world. If US law had placed as much emphasis on the separation of corporation and state as it had on the separation of church and state, the country would be unrecognizably different from what we see today."
"It's A Private Company So It's Not Censorship"
Stonebird , Jul 20 2021 8:05 utc | 48
Sanctions? Sanctions, did anybody mention sanctions for those carrying out Cyber attacks? (Particularly ones that target "Freedom of speech" and Journalists.)


.............Just waiting.

Joe B , Jul 20 2021 10:11 utc | 51

Apple is also zionist controlled, so not surprising that NSO had all internal details to hack their iPhones, via tribal leakers or approved connections. So is Amazon, so their cloud service for NSO continues under other cover.

Those in danger should not use Apple or Amazon-based or other zionist-controlled products or services. A catalog of those might help.

BM , Jul 20 2021 13:00 utc | 55
U.S. Takes Down Israeli Spy Software Company

I don't buy it. It doesn't sound plausible to me as presented.

One possibility is that it is a camouflaged operation to take down non-attributably spy software that has fallen into the wrong hands, and thereby contrary to US interests. For example, the new Myanmar government is sure to be using the software to observe the US-sponsored miscreants from the Aung San Su Kyi regime who are bombing schools, hospitals and government offices, and to seek out wanted criminals in hiding. The NSO take-down could be an operation to take those licences out of operation. In that scenario those NSO customers who are not anti-US might get support to continue operations as usual. As another example it could also be used as a warning to the Saudis not to get too close to the Russians and Chinese or ditch the US dollar, and not to accommodate to Iran.

Or maybe NSO just had the wrong political connections in the USA.

Whatever it may seem on the surface, that is what it surely is not.

div> I certainly can't compete on tech savvy as I have none, but doesn't this perhaps line up with the summit decision between Putin and Biden to cooperate in terms of policing cybercrime? Maybe that's too obvious, but I don't see that Snowden is contradicting his own positions in that case. And of course, b, you are correct that the main culprit on these matters is the US. Throwing the spotlight elsewhere however, doesn't mean it can't circle around. Spotlights have a way of doing that.

Posted by: juliania , Jul 20 2021 14:54 utc | 56

I certainly can't compete on tech savvy as I have none, but doesn't this perhaps line up with the summit decision between Putin and Biden to cooperate in terms of policing cybercrime? Maybe that's too obvious, but I don't see that Snowden is contradicting his own positions in that case. And of course, b, you are correct that the main culprit on these matters is the US. Throwing the spotlight elsewhere however, doesn't mean it can't circle around. Spotlights have a way of doing that.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 20 2021 14:54 utc | 56

Simplicius , Jul 20 2021 15:15 utc | 57
The interesting backdrop to all this is that Israel has a *huge* presence in all things associated with cybersecurity and have for years. The IDF's Talpiot plan no doubt enviously eyed the NSA tapping into everyone's internet/cellphone traffic and wanted a piece of the action. The financial intelligence alone would make it hugely valuable, not to mention blackmail opportunities and the means to exercise political control.

I wonder if the Intel's Haifa design bureau was behind the infamous "management engine" installed on *every* Intel chip since 2008 (to, of course, "make administration easier")?

The discover of this "feature" precipitated a huge scandal not too many years back if you recall...

This "feature" gave anyone who could access it the ability to snoop or change the code running on the main CPU... anyone want to guess whether the Mossad knows how to get to it?

Mar man , Jul 20 2021 15:37 utc | 58
@Simplicius | Jul 20 2021 15:15 utc | 57
"I wonder if the Intel's Haifa design bureau was behind the infamous "management engine" installed on *every* Intel chip since 2008 (to, of course, "make administration easier")?"

I remember 30 years ago there was controversy over the NSA requiring hardware backdoors in all phones. At the time, it was called the "Clipper chip". Reportedly, the program failed and was never adopted. Apparently, as this article exposed, that is false and something like it is installed in all phones and possibly computers manufactured for sale in the western world.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipper_chip

Supposedly, the real story behind Huawei sanctions and kidnapping of their executive, is Huawei phones have no NSA backdoor since the Chinese flatly refuse to cooperate with NSA.

vk , Jul 20 2021 15:40 utc | 59

Turns out the Microsoft hacking accusation against China wasn't a distraction against the NSO scandal, but a capitalist reaction against the CPC's growing containment of their own big tech capitalists:

The Crackdown in China Is a Hot Mess, and It's Coming for Us

For people who don't know: this Kara Swisher is clearly an USG asset (or behaves exactly like one). Every column she writes is an unashamed apology to all the USG policies on big tech and on all decisions of American big tech.


Max , Jul 20 2021 18:26 utc | 63
@ vk (#59), Your conclusion about Kara Swisher is good one. However, cast the net wider to understand the NETWORK that she represents and find additional media Orcs. Most likely she is an asset of the Global Financial Syndicate, acting as a gatekeeper/porter/lobbyist in the technology arena. Her mentor Walter Mossberg was an asset too? It is easy to identify Orcs!

Work Experience: WSJ, The Washington Post, New York Times, ... Who did she sell Recode to? Who are financiers of Vox Media?
Education: Georgetown, Columbia University (many assets come from here)

Piotr Berman , Jul 20 2021 19:05 utc | 64
While the theory from m at #13 about it being a personal tiff between Biden and Netanyahu has some appeal I tend to believe it is more complex than that.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 20 2021 5:14 utc | 44

While Dems could accumulate some grudges against Netanyahu, they can be pretty thick skinned on that. On the other hand, if Netanyahu used his budget to dig the dirt against his opponents like Bennet, with NSO as the took, the grudge against NSO could be very strong on the side of the current government of Israel. Internal strife between Likudniks is intense. And the mantle of the ruler of Israel comes with perks, like the ability to plant stories in WP and NYT.

Jackrabbit , Jul 20 2021 23:33 utc | 65
CIA 'takedown' of NSO? or an orchestrated 'crackdown' on press freedoms?

UK journalists could be jailed like spies under proposed Official Secrets Act changes

The Government said the reform was needed as the existing acts, with the last update in 1989, are no longer enough to fight the "discernible and very real threat posed by state threats".

The Home Office said it does "not consider that there is necessarily a distinction in severity between espionage and the most serious unauthorised disclosures, in the same way that there was in 1989".

[More at the link.]


If it was Russia or Iran that was selling such spyware, would FUKUS react with measures against the press or with sanctions and efforts to protect the press?

!!

BM , Jul 21 2021 7:14 utc | 66
On the other hand, if Netanyahu used his budget to dig the dirt against his opponents like Bennet, with NSO as the took, the grudge against NSO could be very strong on the side of the current government of Israel. Internal strife between Likudniks is intense. And the mantle of the ruler of Israel comes with perks, like the ability to plant stories in WP and NYT.
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 20 2021 19:05 utc | 64

Ah, you've nailed it, Piotr!

m , Jul 21 2021 9:41 utc | 67
@64 Piotr Berman
This goes much deeper than just personal animosity.

For several years now there had been some kind of cultural war waging in Israel with the populist leader - Netanyahu - on the one side and and most of the Israeli establishment - the Mossad, the generals and the High Court - against him. The generals eventually acted by founding their own party (with the former TV presenter Lapid at it`s head) and deposed Netanyahu.

This cultural war in Israel is not only very similar to the cultural war in the USA. The two countries are so intervened with one another that both conflicts have kind of merged.

Bemildred , Jul 21 2021 10:19 utc | 68
Posted by: m | Jul 21 2021 9:41 utc | 67

"This cultural war in Israel is not only very similar to the cultural war in the USA. The two countries are so intervened with one another that both conflicts have kind of merged."

Posted by: m | Jul 21 2021 9:41 utc | 67

Yes, not unrelated to the purge Biden seems to be planning here. Bibi made a big mistake getting so cozy with Trump. I would wager Trump is going to be in the crosshairs too. And that is likely to be divisive, in both places.

[Jul 19, 2021] Leak Exposes Global Abuse Of Cyber-Spying Weapon To Target Politicians, Activists, Journalists

A smartphone is a spying device from which one also can make phone calls. After Prism is should be clear to anybody that goverments intercepts your email messages and record your phone calls just because they can.
"..reporters identified more than 1,000 people spanning more than 50 countries. They included several Arab royal family members, at least 65 business executives, 85 human rights activists, 189 journalists and more than 600 politicians and government officials – including several heads of state and prime ministers." -- and all those idiots use plain vanilla Anroid or IOS. Nice. They probably have no money to buy a basic phone for $14 or so. That does not save from wiretapping but at least saves from such malware.
Jul 19, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Southfront reports that an Israeli company's spyware was used in attempted and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to journalists, government officials and human rights activists around the world, according to an investigation by 17 media organizations, published on July 18th.

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One of the organizations, The Washington Post, said the Pegasus spyware licensed by Israel-based NSO Group also was used to target phones belonging to two women close to Jamal Khashoggi, a Post columnist murdered at a Saudi consulate in Turkey in 2018.

One of them was his fiancee, and she and the other woman were targeted both before and after his death.

The Guardian, another of the media outlets, said the investigation suggested "widespread and continuing abuse" of NSO's hacking software , described as malware that infects smartphones to enable the extraction of messages, photos and emails; record calls; and secretly activate microphones.

The investigation highlights widespread and continuing abuse of NSO's hacking spyware called 'Pegasus' which the company confirms is only intended for use against terrorist groups, drug and human traffickers, and criminals.

Pegasus is a very advanced malware that infects iOS and Android devices to allow operators of the spyware to copy messages, photos, calls and other data, including secretly activate microphones and cameras.

Based on the investigation, the leak contains a list of 50,000 phone numbers that have been identified as those of people of interest by clients of NSO since 2016.

The list includes many close family members of one country's ruler, suggesting he might have instructed the country's intelligence agencies to explore the possibility of tracking and spying on their own relatives.


anti-bolshevik 8 hours ago (Edited)

Two articles from Motherboard Vice:

Is Israel EXEMPT from the ' rules-based order ' that Biden / Blinken / Yellen constantly affirm?

Any incoming Sanctions? Any Treasury asset-seziures?

NSO Group Impersonated Facebook to Help Clients Hack Targets May 20, 2020

Motherboard uncovered more evidence that NSO Group ran hacking infrastructure in the United States.

A former NSO employee provided Motherboard with the IP address of a server setup to infect phones with NSO's Pegasus hacking tool. Motherboard granted the source anonymity to protect them from retaliation from the company.

Amazon Shuts Down NSO Group Infrastructure July 19, 2021

The move comes as activist and media organizations publish new findings on the Israeli surveillance vendor.

Amazon has previously remained silent on NSO using its infrastructure . In May 2020 when Motherboard uncovered evidence that NSO had used Amazon infrastructure to deliver malware , Amazon did not respond to a request for comment asking if NSO had violated Amazon's terms of service.

Southern_Boy 10 hours ago (Edited) remove link

The licensor of software is not the user of the software. An Israeli company developed it and may have used it.

In weapons terms, an Israeli company was the arms developer.

However, there are the licensees and users of the software. The factions and individuals who actually used this weapon of war and political coercion.

In weapons terms, there are others, like the US and other country intelligence communities who will be the ones who pulled the trigger.

The "trigger pullers include the Bolshevik Democrat party and the Biden campaign, which used it to control citizens through intelligence gathering (remember Judge Roberts?) and extract political donations from corporations and rich individuals. Don't forget the Globalist GOP RINOs and Tech monopolists, who have used this weapon to control and subvert anyone that they need to subjugate.

Bye bye Apple, Xiomi and Google Android. You just lost your market of brainwashed sheep for new mobile phones. Even the unwashed Joe Six-Packs of this world now know they are being manipulated with the phones that are so expensive.

MASTER OF UNIVERSE 11 hours ago

I've spent many years studying Experimental Psychology & Personality Theory and can honestly state that malware can't determine appropriate behavioural signals intelligence enough to act responsibly, or judiciously.

Algos are dependent upon Behavioural Science & human analytics. They are crude tools that employ hit & miss techniques that hardly ever work accurately.

Israeli intelligence tries to look state of the art, but they are just as dimwitted as the CIA.

WorkingClassMan 10 hours ago

They might be dimwitted and hamfisted but like an elephant with a lobotomy they can still do a lot of damage flailing around. Worst part about it is them not caring about the consequences.

NAV 10 hours ago remove link

It's amazing how the "dimwits" control the entire apparatus of the most powerful Empire in the world and the entire world media.

2banana 12 hours ago (Edited)

It's not just some politicians and journalists.

It's everyone.

Your phone spys on you in every possible way.

Pegasus is a very advanced malware that infects iOS and Android devices to allow operators of the spyware to copy messages, photos, calls and other data, including secretly activate microphones and cameras.

gregga777 12 hours ago (Edited)

It's been widely for at least a decade that carrying a smart phone is really like wiring oneself up for 24/7/365 audio and/or video surveillance. They only have themselves to blame if they've been spied upon by the world's so-called secret intelligence agencies.

[Ed. The next time in a crowded public space, turn on Wi-Fi and count the number of unlocked phones under the "Other Networks" menu.]

truth or go home 12 hours ago

If you have no phone, and no facebook, then you are likely immune from prosecution. My neighbor the Fed agent told me 10 years ago that these two sources are 90% of every investigation. That number has only gone up. They track you with it, they find out your contacts with it. They find out your secrets with it. Just try to get either of those things anonymously. You can't.

philipat 11 hours ago remove link

Land of the Free....

Ura Bonehead PREMIUM 7 hours ago

'truth or go home', 'having no Facebook' doesn't help you as FB secures the same information via data-sharing arrangements with any number of apps you may download, that came on your phone, or are embedded deep on your phone. Just a fact.

Steeley 4 hours ago

A friend that lives in Pahrump, NV reports that every time he crosses into California a smart phone Covid Health Tracking App activates and he starts getting notifications. Can't turn it off or find where it resides. When he crosses back into Nevada it stops.

E5 10 hours ago

"After checking their claims, we firmly deny the false allegations made in their report,"

Really? So if 99 claims are true and one false? Never did they say there was truth to the accusation that they hacked phones.

If you are going to commit a crime I suppose you want to "issue a statement" that you didn't. I guess we have to ask them 2 more times: then it is a rule that you must tell all. No minion can resist the same question three times.

zzmop 9 hours ago (Edited)

Keyword -'Israeli', Not Russian, Israeli, Not 'Russian hackers', Israeli hackers

eatapeach 9 hours ago

This is old news. Congresswoman Jane Harman was all for spying/eavesdropping until she got busted selling her power to Israel, LOL.

consistentliving PREMIUM 7 hours ago

Not USA fake paper pushers but Mexican journalists deserve mention here

Revealed: murdered journalist's number selected by Mexican NSO client

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/jul/18/revealed-murdered-journalist-number-selected-mexico-nso-client-cecilio-pineda-birto

not just journalists either (i know SLATE but hey) https://slate.com/technology/2019/09/mit-media-lab-jeffrey-epstein-joi-ito-moral-rot.html

vova_3.2018 10 hours ago

A smart phone is a spying device .....

Spying & .... Israeli cybersecurity firm "NSO Group" has been selling surveillance software Pegasus, enabling the murder of dissident journalist.

Snowden: Israeli Spyware Used By Governments to Pursue Journalists Targeted for Assassination
https://www.mintpressnews.com/snowden-israeli-spyware-used-by-governments-to-pursue-journalists-targeted-for-assassination/251612/

Israel: Snowden accuses Israeli cybersecurity firm of enabling Khashoggi murder
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LeOt4HCI-M

Israeli cybersecurity firm "NSO Group" Which Sold Pegasus Spyware, paid Biden's political advisers in SKDKnickerbocker consulting firm.
https://sputniknews.com/world/202107191083412056-biden-advisers-consulting-firm-got-paid-by-israeli-nso-group-which-sold-pegasus-spyware-report/

Israel doesn't respect human rights!. Israel has been killing defenseless people in Palestine for more than 50 years. The sad thing is that US support these genocidal sick sycophats.

wizteknet 10 hours ago

Where's a list of infected software?

vova_3.2018 9 hours ago (Edited)

Where's a list of infected software?

If they take yr phone under control they'd have access to everything & then they can use the info against you or anybody else in the info.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuBuyv6kUKI

Israeli spy-wear "Candiru" works a little bet different than Pegasus but is also used to hack & track journalists and activists.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWEJS0f6P6k

The magic number of "6 million" will be the Get out of Jail Card once again.

And, these idiots keep preaching about the great risk China poses...

Steeley 4 hours ago

Embedded in the OS...

Kugelhagel 12 hours ago (Edited)

Is that article an attempt to get some sympathy for "politicians", "journalists" and "activists"? Try again.

HippieHaulers 11 hours ago

Exactly. Don't forget Kashogi was CIA. And they're using another asset (Snowden) to roll this out. This story stinks.

WhiteCulture 7 hours ago (Edited)

I installed Nice Systems onto 600 desk tops in 2003 at 3 separate call centers, a call monitoring and a PC, mainframe CICS, or email, screen scrape capability. When the call audio was recorded we also captured whatever was on the screen. No doubt the government has been doing this on our phones and all personal computers for over a decade.

TheInformed 7 hours ago

Your example shows that people are dumb, it's not evidence of some grand 'government backdoor' conspiracy. Don't conflate the two.

two hoots 10 hours ago (Edited)

Forget the petty herd/individual surveillance, this is a "super power" tool for investment opportunities, negotiation advantage, strategic decisions, military/covert decisions, etc. you can be sure that the most improved (undisclosed) versions are in use in the usual suspect country. Likely spying on the spy's that bought the software from them. These are those steps beyond Nietzsche's amoral supra-man.

Globalist Overlord 12 hours ago

Whitney Webb was writing about this in 2018.

Snowden: Israeli Spyware Used By Governments to Pursue Journalists Targeted for Assassination

https://www.mintpressnews.com/snowden-israeli-spyware-used-by-governments-to-pursue-journalists-targeted-for-assassination/251612/

tunetopper 12 hours ago

If Pegasus is used against Human Traffic-ers, then why didnt they get Jeffrey Epstein earlier?

Occams_Razor_Trader 11 hours ago

Why 'get' people when you can 'use' these people ........................?

RasinResin 11 hours ago

I use to be in IT and worked in association with Radcom. Now you may ask who is that? They are the Israeli company that is truly behind all monitoring and spying of your phones in America

https://radcom.com/

EVIL incarnate

CryptoingTheLightFantastic 11 hours ago

"Reuters' spokesman Dave Moran said, "Journalists must be allowed to report the news in the public interest without fear of harassment or harm, wherever they are. We are aware of the report and are looking into the matter."

I love the sanctimonious clutching of pearls, wringing of hands, and bleating from the purveyors of CCP propaganda, woketardness, and globalism whenever the velvet hand that feeds them punishes them with a throat punch instead.

donebydoug 11 hours ago

Journalists can't be spies, right? That would never happen.

Watt Supremacist 12 hours ago

Yes but do the people working for Reuters know all that?

nowhereman 11 hours ago

Just look at the signature on your paycheck.

Grumbleduke 11 hours ago

they're in the news business - of course they don't!

You know the adage "when your livelihood depends on not knowing" or something....

Enraged 10 hours ago

Listening in on calls is a distraction story by the propaganda media.

The real story is the blackmailing of politicians, judges, corporate executives, etc. for many years by the intelligence agencies with tapes of them with underage girls and boys. This was included in the Maxwell/Esptein story.

These people are compromised, which is the reason for the strange decisions they make, as they support the globalist elite.

There is no reason to spy on journalists, as they are part of the intelligence agency operations.

Max21c 10 hours ago (Edited)

There is no reason to spy on journalists, as they are part of the intelligence agency operations.

True the press are either spies or puppets and vassals of Big Brother and the secret police. They're all mostly agents of the Ministry of Truth. But sometimes they get the weather report right.

Wayoutwilly 12 hours ago remove link

Bet they have sh!t on Roberts, Kavanaugh and Barrett too.

Brushy 11 hours ago

Wait a minute, you mean the tracking spy device that you carry around and put all of your personal information on is actually tracking and spying on you?!!

Dis-obey 10 hours ago remove link

They have data on everyone but not enough eyes to look at everyone all the time. So when you get flagged then they can open all the data on your device to investigate u.

ay_arrow
Yog Soggoth 10 hours ago

Khashoggi was not a journalist. While interesting, this is not the story of the year.

Lawn.Dart 10 hours ago

Almost every intellegence agent is a writer of some kind.

Max21c 10 hours ago

NOS is just one company out of many. They have the willing complicity of the security services of other countries including the CIA, FBI, NSA, DOJ, in the USA and similar per UK. Secret police use these special contractors to help them engage in crimes and criminal activities and it does not matter whether the secret police use a foreign or domestic secret police agency or contractor as they're all in on it together. It's just a criminal underworld of secret police, secret police bureaus & agencies, and "intelligence" agencies. They're all crooked. They're all crooks and criminals and thieves that rob and persecute innocent civilians just like the Bolsheviks, Nazis, Gestapo, Waffen SS, Viet Kong, Khmer Rouge, Red Guards, ISIS, Stasi, KGB, etc. It's all the same or similar secret police, police state tactics, state security apparatus abuses of power, absolute power & its abuses, and spy agencies and intelligence agencies... and those that go along with it and collaborate. It's all just criminal enterprises and crime agencies.

The 3rd Dimentia 9 hours ago

one other tentacle- https://archive.4plebs.org/dl/pol/image/1590/02/1590026057592.jpg

Dis-obey 10 hours ago

So you can solve the 10,000 open murder investigations in Chicago with this. That's how its being used right...

Bostwick9 10 hours ago

"We are deeply troubled to learn that two AP journalists, along with journalists from many news organizations, are among those who may have been targeted by Pegasus spyware," said Director of AP Media Relations Lauren Easton.

OMG . Not journalists !!!!!!!!!!

Guess NSO is a "buy", then.

NAV 11 hours ago remove link

To believe that the Israelis will not use the information that they have is absurd.

Here's one example:

The American Anti-Defamation League under Abe Foxman long made it a practice for decades to tail all Congressmen – liberal or conservative -- as was brought out in allegations in the San Francisco trial of its head operative Roy Bullock on charges of buying blackmail information from members of the San Francisco Police Department as reported by the San Francisco Examiner. Bullock had collected information and provided it to the ADL as a secretly-paid independent contractor for more than 32 years.

Can it be that there's a connection between data of this kind and the unbelievable unification of almost every congressman behind every Israeli position?

Of course, the San Francisco Examiner no longer is in existence. But Israeli trolls continue to gather like wasps upon meat to destroy any information that might reveal their nefarious purposes.

Norseman_Aura 10 hours ago

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fbi-files-reveal-adls-long-history-spying-on-peace-pro-palestinian-and-arab-diplomat-groups-207706361.html

In 1993 the FBI interviewed 40-year undercover ADL operative Roy Bullock , who had improperly obtained social security numbers and drivers licenses from San Francisco Police Department officer Tom Gerard. Gerard and Bullock infiltrated and obtained information on California Pro-Palestinian and anti-Apartheid groups as paid agents of both the ADL and South African intelligence services. The ADL paid tens of thousands in damages over the incident and promised not to collect confidential information in the future.

SARC '

novictim 8 hours ago

What do you want to bet that Orange Hitler and associates along with MAGA Republicans, their attorneys, friendly patriot reporters, etc, have had their phones widely hacked going all the way back to 2016?

Because when you are a "progressive" in power, anyone who wants to unseat you is a terrorist threat and you can do just about anything you want to them because you are saving the world.

Sarrazin 8 hours ago

unseat you is a terrorist threat and you can do just about anything you want to them because you are saving the world.

Funny, it's the same formula US foreign policy applies to all it's victims nations around the world. Fighting terrorists in the name of saving the world.

LEEPERMAX 9 hours ago (Edited)

💥BOOM !!!

In 2020 alone, Facebook and Amazon spent more money on lobbyists than did Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing -- major players in the defense-industrial complex !!!

Let that sink in.

OldNewB 11 hours ago

"Journalists must be allowed to report the news in the public interest without fear of harassment or harm, wherever they are."

This hasn't happened in ages. What the large majority of MSM operatives (so called "journalists" ) convey to the public is propaganda and agenda driven misinformation and disinformation.

SummerSausage PREMIUM 12 hours ago

Obama spying on Trump and Fox reporters - meh.

Same Obama intelligence services spying on WaPo & leftist reporters - FASCIST

Mute Button 11 hours ago

We're supposed to be outraged even though Trump & co. know they're being "spied" on.

Its just a game of the uniparty.

Ivy Mike 8 hours ago

Yawn. Smart phones have swiss cheese security. Who knew.

If you have a secret that you really don't want people to know, don't put in on a device that ever touches the internet. Don't talk about important stuff on a phone call. Any mob boss from the 70's could tell you that.

MeLurkLongtime 5 hours ago

I would add if you have Alexa, don't converse on any sensitive topics in front of her, either.

_0000_ 9 hours ago remove link

" Pegasus is a very advanced malware that infects iOS and Android devices to allow operators of the spyware to copy messages, photos, calls and other data, including secretly activate microphones and cameras."

This is a non-story. Lots of smoke, lots of brew-ha-ha.

Why is THIS a jaw dropping story now when the NSA/CIA have been doing this to ALL iOS and Android devices years ago? RE: CALEA , signed into law in 1996 by Bill Clinton.

Just more misdirection... meant to distract from something else. What?

Rectify77 PREMIUM 10 hours ago

Isn't it odd that Iran, Russia and China are not on the map? Who are the Israelis playing?

NAV 10 hours ago

Isn't is amazing that Russia is giving asylum to Edward Snowden who will be arrested and inflicted with only God knows what if captured by the USA?

Market Pulse 13 hours ago

And we are surprised, why??? Everyone's phones are spied upon with all the data collected. All part and parcel of the NWO and the "Information Age". How else are they going to get all that information to control everything. And just think, once upon a time, there were no cell phones and the people were fine. They also were happier and much more free. Hint - ditch the phone!

dog breath 4 hours ago

Hello? This stuff has been going on for two decades. Bill Binney, former NSA, been talking about this since after 911. Five eyes is a way over going around internal rules. Every country does this. Russia, China, EU, USA, Australia, etc. are all spying on their own citizens. This world is turning into a corrupt crap pile and I'm waiting for the Lord to come.

[Jul 15, 2021] Microsoft, Google, Citizen Lab blow lid off zero-day bug-exploiting spyware sold to governments

Windows is zero security operating system, if we are taking about sophisticated attackers. Walways was and always will be. If somebody with sensitive information use for storage of such information Internet connected Windows desktop he is an idiot. Plain and simple. Use of private segment with youw own firewall might hel a little bit. But generally to use Windows to store sensitive information you need disconnected from internet computer; you need an air gap for machines that store such information and use writable CD or read-only switch on SD card to transmit it. And even this might not be enough.
Jul 15, 2021 | www.theregister.com
Microsoft, Google, Citizen Lab blow lid off zero-day bug-exploiting spyware sold to governments 100+ dissidents, politicians, journos targeted by Israeli espionage toolkit Iain Thomson in San Francisco Fri 16 Jul 2021 // 00:57 UTC

ANALYSIS Software patches from Microsoft this week closed two vulnerabilities exploited by spyware said to have been sold to governments by Israeli developer Candiru.

On Thursday, Citizen Lab released a report fingering Candiru as the maker of the espionage toolkit, an outfit Microsoft code-named Sourgum. It is understood the spyware, code-named DevilsTongue by Microsoft, exploited at least a pair of zero-day holes in Windows to infect particular targets' machines.

Redmond said at least 100 people – from politicians, human rights activists, and journalists, to academics, embassy workers and political dissidents – have had their systems infiltrated by Sourgum's code; about half are in Palestine, and the rest dotted around Israel, Iran, Lebanon, Yemen, Spain, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Armenia, and Singapore.

Once it has comprehensively compromised a Windows PC, DevilsTongue can exfiltrate the victim's files, obtain their login credentials for online and network accounts, snoop on chat messages, and more. Candiru also touts spyware that can infect and monitor iPhones, Android devices, and Macs, as well as Windows PCs, it is claimed. The products are said to be on sale to government agencies and other organizations, which then use the espionage software against their chosen targets.

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"Candiru's apparent widespread presence, and the use of its surveillance technology against global civil society, is a potent reminder that the mercenary spyware industry contains many players and is prone to widespread abuse," Citizen Lab, part of the University of Toronto, said in its report.

"This case demonstrates, yet again, that in the absence of any international safeguards or strong government export controls, spyware vendors will sell to government clients who will routinely abuse their services."

We're told that at least 764 domain names were found that were likely used in some way to push Candiru's malware to victims: websites using these domains typically masqueraded as legit sites belonging to Amnesty International and refugee organizations, the United Nations, government websites, news outlets, and Black Lives Matter communities. The idea being, it seems, to lure visitors to webpages that exploited browser, Microsoft Office, and Windows bugs to not only infect PCs with DevilsTongue but also grant the spyware admin-level access.

How's that patching going?

Microsoft was able to fix the operating system flaws exploited by Candiru's software in this month's Patch Tuesday after Citizen Lab obtained a hard drive from "a politically active victim in Western Europe," it said. Redmond reverse-engineered the spyware to figure out the infection process.

The Windows goliath saw that two privilege-escalation vulnerabilities, CVE-2021-31979 and CVE-2021-33771 , were being exploited, and patched them this week.

"The weapons disabled were being used in precision attacks targeting more than 100 victims around the world including politicians, human rights activists, journalists, academics, embassy workers and political dissidents," said Cristin Goodwin, GM at Microsoft's Digital Security Unit.

In Redmond's technical rundown of the spyware, it said the DevilsTongue malware would gain a foothold on a system by exploiting flaws in, for example, the user's browser when they visited a booby-trapped site, and then use the aforementioned elevation-of-privilege holes to get into the kernel and gain total control of the box.

The software nasty, once on a Windows PC, is capable of gathering all session cookies and passwords from browsers, and can take control of social media accounts and third-party apps. It sported several novel features designed to avoid detection, leading Microsoft to conclude that the "developers are very professional, have extensive experience writing Windows malware, and have a good understanding of operational security."

Chocolate Factory comes in, warns it's not over

Google, meanwhile, this week detailed a bunch of bugs it detected being exploited by malicious webpages and documents to gain code execution on netizens' machines.

It would appear DevilsTongue exploited CVE-2021-21166 and CVE-2021-30551 in Chrome, and CVE-2021-33742 in Internet Explorer's MSHTML scripting engine – used by Microsoft Office, for instance – and chained them with the above Windows bugs to install itself on the victim's PC and gain admin-level access to data and applications. All a victim would need to do is surf to a booby-trapped page in Chrome, or open a maliciously crafted document in Office.

Those flaws have been patched by now. "Based on our analysis, we assess that the Chrome and Internet Explorer exploits ... were developed and sold by the same vendor providing surveillance capabilities to customers around the world," Googlers Maddie Stone and Clement Lecigne noted, adding: "Citizen Lab published a report tying the activity to spyware vendor Candiru."

Google also documented an unrelated remote-code execution flaw in Safari's Webkit engine for good measure.

We're told the Chrome flaws were spotted being exploited to commandeer Windows computers in Armenia. Marks would be lured to websites that analyzed their screen resolution, timezone, supported languages, browser plugins, and available MIME types to decide whether or not to compromise their browser.

"This information was collected by the attackers to decide whether or not an exploit should be delivered to the target," said Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG). "Using appropriate configurations, we were able to recover two zero-day exploits."

Further probing revealed that Armenian Windows users were being targeted via the aforementioned Internet Explorer flaw. This would be triggered by opening a Office document that contained either a malicious ActiveX object or VBA macro. Microsoft fixed that issue last month.

Make it rain

Candiru has been in operation since 2014 and reminds us of another Israeli surveillanceware outfit: NSO Group . It's a lucrative business, judging by a contract obtained by Citizen Lab.

The deal, valued at €16.85m ($20m), offers unlimited malware injection attempts but only the ability to surveil ten devices in one country directly. An extra €1.5m ($1.8m) gets access to another 15 devices, and for €5.5m ($6.5m) buyers can snoop on 25 handsets in up to five countries.

There are also paid-for optional extras to access specific accounts. If you want a target's Signal messages, that'll cost another €500,000 ($590,000). Candiru also offers access to a victim's Twitter, Viber, and WeChat for around half that amount. Training for four admins and eight operators is included in the price.

Citizen Lab said Candiru appears to have changed its name five times in the past seven years, and maintains a very low profile. An ex-employee suing the company for lost commission claimed that it had $30m in revenue in 2017, and business is good thanks to the organization's export license.

"Israel's Ministry of Defense -- from whom Israeli-based companies like Candiru must receive an export license before selling abroad -- has so far proven itself unwilling to subject surveillance companies to the type of rigorous scrutiny that would be required to prevent abuses of the sort we and other organizations have identified," Citizen Lab said.

"The export licensing process in that country is almost entirely opaque, lacking even the most basic measures of public accountability or transparency."

One wonders how this spyware would fly in America. Facebook is suing the NSO Group , accusing it of unlawfully compromising users' phones to snoop on them via a security hole in WhatsApp.

NSO's lawyers have used a variety of legal arguments, saying that it only licenses its software to governments for criminal or anti-terrorist work and so has sovereign immunity, that it has no presence in the US market, and claiming Facebook itself tried to buy the company's Pegasus snoopware but was turned down. At one stage NSO didn't even bother to turn up in court.

The case is ongoing. US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has called for an investigation into NSO products being touted to law enforcement. ®

[Jul 14, 2021] Modern ransomware attacks involve a network intrusion first. For example: do you use a wifi router? If so, you have ZERO security. WiFi

Jul 13, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

c1ue , Jul 12 2021 0:03 utc | 101

routers are crackable trivially with proximity

@erelis #45
PC anti-ransomware software is nothing but virus scanner software repackaged.
I've repeatedly said: modern ransomware attacks involve a network intrusion first. They do not involve getting someone to click on a bad attachment or what not.

If someone capable knew who and where you were - you are not stopping them unless you REALLY know what you're doing.

For example: do you use a wifi router? If so, you have ZERO security. WiFi routers are crackable trivially with proximity. Most of them are built on open source software which is rarely updated. And most importantly: if you don't even know if/when they're being targeted, how can you possibly be secure?

elkern , Jul 12 2021 18:33 utc | 120

I agree with Norwegian and One Too Many, though I haven't gotten around to switching to Linux yet.

IMO, MS has been building stupid dangerous interrupts into Window O/S, presumably because it's more profitable than building saner, safer systems. I'm Old School - I want my computer to do what I tell it to do, even when I'm stupid. These days, Windows products are built to prioritize instructions from Big Momma in Seattle (MS) over my keystrokes & mouse-clicks. Of course, the techniques they created to manage this become the tricks used by malevolent hackers to steal control of computers remotely.

Yes, Cryptocurrencies ("Dunning-Kruegerrands") make it easier for profit-oriented hackers to get paid. But the underlying problem is baked into Operating Systems designed to give control to someone other than the user.

[Jul 14, 2021] Ransomware- Stop Blaming Russia And Tackle The Real Villains - Cryptocurrencies

Jul 13, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ransomware attacks continue to disrupt many businesses. Earlier this month an attack through Kaseya VSA , a remote managing software, disabled several managed service provider and some 1,500 of their customers. Their data was encrypted and will only be restored if they pay the demanded ransom.

Such attacks are increasing because they are easy to do and carry little risk. The basic platforms for specific attacks can simply be rented from underground providers :

"I think what most people think about when they think of a stereotypical hacker is somebody that's in-depth into coding," the officer said. "It has changed now in that it used to be that you had to be very technically adept to be a hacker, but the way the cyber market or cyber underground has evolved is a lot of those things have become services now."

The industry has diversified, he said.

"Those network attackers, instead of profiting themselves, are now renting out their services and their expertise to others and that's where we see this amplification," the officer said. "It's others renting out the services now. It unlocks another class of folks that can be opportunistic and take advantage of bad cyber hygiene."

Some of the rentable ransomware services, like REvil, are run by Russian speaking groups. But that does not mean that the people who use it are from Russia or that the attacks take place from Russian grounds. The last big bust that hit the command and control severs of the alleged 'Russian' Emotet cyber crime service took place in the Ukrainian capital Kiev. While those criminals spoke Russian they neither were Russians nor was Russia involved at all.

Despite that U.S. media blame all recent attacks on Russia and use them to incite the Biden administration to respond by attacking the Russian nation.

Setting the tone in this is the New York Times and its warmongering White House and national security correspondent David Sanger. On Wednesday he wrote Biden Weighs a Response to Ransomware Attacks which he topped by Friday with Biden Warns Putin to Act Against Ransomware Groups, or U.S. Will Strike Back .

Those headlines and pieces are misleading in that they set expectations which the Biden administration is for good reasons unwilling or unable to deliver on.

The first piece, for example, says :

Mr. Biden is under growing pressure to take some kind of visible action" perhaps a strike on the Russian servers or banks that keep them running" after delivering several stark warnings to Moscow that he would respond to cyberattacks on the United States with what he has called "in-kind" action against Russia.

The 'growing pressure' are Sanger's writeups all by themselves. The piece then quotes a number of anti-Russian hawks who suggest some very unreasonable 'retaliation options':

Dmitri Alperovitch, a founder of the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, and now the founder of the Silverado Policy Accelerator think tank, has argued that until Mr. Biden moves to cut significantly into Russia's oil revenue, he will not get Mr. Putin's attention.
...
In recent days, however, a growing number of experts have argued that the United States is now facing such a barrage of attacks that it needs to strike back more forcefully, even if it cannot control the response.

"You don't want escalation to get out of control, but we can't be so afraid of that that we bind our own hands," Mr. Painter said.

William Evanina, who recently left a top counterintelligence post in the U.S. government and now advises companies, said he would advise Mr. Biden "to be bold."
...
If Moscow wanted to stop Russia's cybercriminals from hacking American targets, experts say, it would. That is why, some Russia experts argue, the United States needs take aim at Russia's kleptocracy, either by leaking details of Mr. Putin's financials or by freezing oligarchs' bank accounts.

"The only language that Putin understands is power, and his power is his money," said Garry Kasparov, the Russian chess grandmaster and a Putin critic. "It's not about tanks; it's about banks. The U.S. should wipe out oligarchs' accounts, one by one, until the message is delivered."

Sure, lets blow up the international banking system by manipulating accounts of private Russian people even though we do not even know if the criminal cyberattacks are run by Russians or from Russia.

The lede to Sanger's most recent piece is likewise dripping with belligerence :

President Biden warned President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Friday that time was running out for him to rein in the ransomware groups striking the United States, telegraphing that this could be Mr. Putin's final chance to take action on Russia's harboring of cybercriminals before the United States moved to dismantle the threat.

In Mr. Biden's starkest warning yet, he conveyed in a phone call to Mr. Putin that the attacks would no longer be treated only as criminal acts, but as national security threats" and thus may provoke a far more severe response, administration officials said. It is a rationale that has echoes of the legal justification used by the United States and other nations when they cross inside another country's borders to rout terrorist groups or drug cartels.

Sure, U.S. special forces will parachute into Moscow to nab some cybercriminals who may or may not be there.

The warning that Sanger implies Biden allegedly made was never given. Biden himself is quoted in the next paragraph (emph. add.):

"I made it very clear to him that the United States expects, when a ransomware operation is coming from his soil, even though it's not sponsored by the state, we expect them to act if we give them enough information to act on who that is ," Mr. Biden told reporters.

There is the crucial point. The U.S. does not know who made those attacks or where they were actually controlled from. It has not given Russia any names or evidence that Russia could act on. The Kremlin readout of Biden's call with Putin explicitly makes that point :

In the context of recent reports on a series of cyberattacks ostensibly made from Russian territory, Vladimir Putin noted that despite Russia's willingness to curb criminal manifestations in the information space through a concerted effort, no inquiries on these issues have been received from US agencies in the last month. At the same time, considering the scale and seriousness of the challenges in this area, Russia and the US must maintain permanent, professional and non-politicised cooperation. This must be conducted through specialised information exchange channels between the authorised government agencies, through bilateral judicial mechanisms and while observing the provisions of international law.

The leaders emphasised the need for detailed and constructive cooperation in cybersecurity and for the continuation of such contacts.

Russia has long suggested to set up deeper talks and a treaty about cybersecurity issues. In a short interlude with the media President Biden said that meetings about these will now take place:

Q: Sir, what are the consequences for Putin if he does not step up against cyberattacks?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we set up a committee" joint committee. They're meeting on, I think, the 16th. And I believe we're going to get some cooperation. Thank you.

Q: Mr. President, what do you expect President Putin (inaudible)" what do you expect him to do? What are those actions?

THE PRESIDENT: It's not appropriate for me to say what I expect him to do now. But we'll see.

Those responses seemsfar from the belligerence the NYT 's Sanger tries to convey.

The problem of crippling ransomware attacks will only increase and blaming Russia for them will not change that fact. The most basic tool that enables such criminal cyberattacks is the exchange medium through which ransom payments are made :

Let me paint a picture of a bleak future, that seems to be racing towards us much faster than the public may know about. It's a future in which ransomware and mass data theft are so ubiquitous they've worked their way into our daily lives.
...
[W]hat is new is that the level of these attacks has gone parabolic in the last few years because of one simple fact. With the addition of bitcoin to the problem it's insanely profitable, low-risk, and almost the perfect crime. It's also a very real economic tool that nation states can use to disrupt each other's infrastructure.

The singular reason why these attacks are even possible is due entirely to rise of cryptocurrency. Consider the same situation on top of the existing international banking system. Go to your local bank branch and try to wire transfer $200,000 to an anonymous stranger in Russia and see how that works out. Modern ransomware could not exist without Bitcoin, it has poured gasoline on a fire we may not be able to put out.

It is not only bitcoin but also a number of other cryptocurrencies which have no real justification to exist. But there are transition points from real money to cryptocurrencies and back where the problem can be tackled:

Cryptocurrency exchanges are the channel by which all the illicit funds in this epidemic flow. And it is the one channel that the US government has complete power to rein in and regulate. The free flow of money from US banks to cryptocurrency exchanges is the root cause of this pandemic and needs to halt. Through sanctions, control of the SWIFT network, and our allies in NATO the federal government has all the tools to put a stop to these illicit flows. Nothing of value would be lost by shutting off the spigot of dark money and darknet trade. Cryptocurrencies are almost entirely used for illicit activity, gambling and investment frauds, and on the whole have no upside for society at large while also having unbounded downside and massive negative externalities.

A shut down of cryptocurrencies would disable the safe payment media that criminal ransomware attackers currently use. All other payment methods require some physical interaction or in person verification. Using those would increase the risk for cyberattackers immensely.

The good news is that the Biden administration has caught on to this. Last week the Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology Anne Neuberger remarked on it :

Neuberger described the Administration's ransomware strategy which includes several lines of effort: disruption of ransomware infrastructure and actors by working closely with the private sector; international cooperation to hold countries who harbor ransom actors accountable; expanding cryptocurrency analysis to find and pursue criminal transactions ; and the federal government's review to build a cohesive and consistent approach towards ransom payments.

A background briefing about yesterday's Biden-Putin call also touched on this :

This is more than just a conversation that's taking place between the two leaders, President Biden and President Putin. This is really about our own resilience, as a nation, in the face of these attacks, and strengthening that. That's what the cybersecurity executive order was largely about.

It's about addressing the challenges posed by cryptocurrency, which provides fuel for these sorts of transactions.

A ransomware attacker may sit in Kyrgyzstan, use a Swiss proxy network to access rented servers in Canada from which a ransomware cyberattack is launched by using tools that were developed in Estonia but are managed from Spain. There are ways and means to hide such routes and to fake the involved nationalities. To then blame Russia or any other country for such attacks or to threaten a response against nation state assets is warmongering nonsense.

The Kaseya VSA attack shut down 800 local food shop of the Swedish chain Coop for over a week. Millions of people were affected by that in their daily life. With more and more information technology involved in our daily lives we no longer have the ability to avoid ransomware attacks and their consequences.

What can be done is to disable the cryptocurrency payment channel that is used by attackers with little to no risk. While this may not completely solve the problem of widespread ransomware attacks it will at least make it more manageable.

Posted by b on July 10, 2021 at 16:54 UTC | Permalink


c1ue , Jul 10 2021 17:22 utc | 1

next page Â" Yet another argument that banning cryptocurrencies will somehow prevent ransomware.
I vehemently disagree.
I previously wrote that check kiting still exists: there is absolutely nothing preventing traditional money laundering services from being used by ransomware gangs.
Furthermore, the cryptocurrency ban argument is only 1 step removed from the original "Never pay ransoms" tripe and 2 steps removed from the subsequent "terrorist financing" tripe.
Let me be clear:
we are talking about business continuity interruption value in the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars.
As I wrote back in 2016 - it would only be a matter of time before attackers starting realizing just how much value they were holding hostage.

If a business is doing $100M a year in revenue - a major ransomware attack takes at least 1 week to recover and usually longer.
And no, backups make zero difference to this figure.

Restoring large databases, complex systems and/or customer facing portals takes at least that long - and this excludes the work needed to verify if persistence (i.e. leave behind back doors or what not) exists.

Then there's the work of understanding how the attack began, how it proliferated, etc etc.

$100M revenue vs. 2 weeks of BCI - the loss is $4M plus the security review/forensics analysis. The latter is going to cost at least 6 digits and could easily go into the 7 digits, if done by a top tier professional firm.

Now compare this to a $100K ransom.

Now consider: would the lack of cryptocurrency really matter?

Yes, it would drive operating costs up by 25% to 35% on the money laundering (mule) side, but so what? Charge $150K instead.
This doesn't even take into account the "mitigation" firm angle: at least 1 outfit has already been caught doing almost nothing but negotiating directly with the ransomware attacker for the decode.

The way to reduce ransomware attacks is to drive up the risk factor - not attempt (and fail) to drive down the profitability.

Tom_Q_Coll8ns , Jul 10 2021 17:26 utc | 2
Cryptocurrency isn't the problem. The argument in favor of banning it (whatever immensely draconian measures that would entail) is an argument in favor of inverted totalitarianism with government or private spy agencies and mitary/police forces doing the enforcement.

It's also an argument in favor of SWIFT and similar systems in service to the financial and corporate elites. Many of whom are in fact adding crypto to their portfolios and accepting payments.

Think of it this way. The only reason these hackers (using NSA tools) don't just ask for a cash drop of various currencies of unmarked non-sequential bills a remote place is that the USA, UK and Five Eyes can police any ransom payments. Same with SWIFT. The majority of them have no Russian ties.

Ban the NSA.

the pair , Jul 10 2021 18:07 utc | 3
ransomware - along with stuxnet - is the main reason i started reverse engineering. it's just as easy to install as any other malware since most payloads get dropped due to PICNIC s.

i actually recall seeing one that was almost entirely javascript and operated from RAM. one click in a browser without script protection and that's it.

apple and microsoft (and to a degree android) have succeeded in dumbing down the average user and no amount of "compliance meetings" will fix that any time soon.

as for crypto, it appeals to the segment of the population with too much money and is worse than useless for those with too little. it's just like the VC idiots who have reaped the benefits of QE (and ridiculous overvaluations ) and use their ill-gotten gains to keep garbage like uber on life support.

they shit their pants at the thought of paying $0.00000001 in taxes but will flush $40,000 down the toilet on "NFTs" and imaginary digital monopoly money. assholes.

norecovery , Jul 10 2021 18:12 utc | 4
@ c1ue 1 -- "And no, backups make zero difference to this figure."

I don't pretend to understand the intricacies of this, but why wouldn't it be possible to have two servers (or server banks) set up with identical data, then if one of them is attacked (illegally encrypted and locked out), IT personnel could migrate access to the data in the second server and wipe the first one? Seems simple enough.

Per/Norway , Jul 10 2021 18:25 utc | 5
Posted by: the pair | Jul 10 2021 18:07 utc | 3

😂ðŸ'Œ
you must have read my mind the pair, i agree 100%.

the pair , Jul 10 2021 18:29 utc | 6
i usually ignore other comments but the above is a bit annoying and i've seen this "argument" from many otherwise smart people (e.g. greenwald).
Cryptocurrency isn't the problem. The argument in favor of banning it (whatever immensely draconian measures that would entail) is an argument in favor of inverted totalitarianism

1. yes it is a problem. nothing is "the" problem unless you want to get down to the philosophical bones of capitalism and such.

2. "banning" it might not be practical (we've had bans on child porn for quite a while and it still exists...and is usually paid for with crypto). but banning the mining of it will de facto take it down a few pegs.

3. let's drop the "derp imma freedom fighter cuz i has dogecoin" crap. the people with the most ability to buy and manipulate coin are the people with the least reason to tamper even slightly with the "system". but then some people (usually soulless white yuppie guys) act like musk is a "genius" so i guess making him and other cointards out to be digital che guevaras wouldn't be a huge leap.

4. we already live under "inverted totalitarianism". and it smells a bit of ayn rand's verbal feces to equate "i can't have 100% freedom all the time with my vapor money" with "derp here come the stalins!" maybe try to think about something immaterial for 5 seconds a day.

5. crypto is the BLM of currency. it looks all freedomy and changey but will eventually be co-opted and absorbed into the blob. or have goldman and the other parasitic "masters of the universe" suddenly embraced competition?

6. it's also the "free range beef" of currency. just as that dumb fuck yuppie marketing campaign ignores the vast amount of land it takes to feed the cows, crypto lovers have yet to explain how something that already uses as much electricity as goddamn EGYPT can be scaled out to cover everyday use by billions (or even millions) of people.

circumspect , Jul 10 2021 18:43 utc | 7
Cryptocurrencies are almost entirely used for illicit activity, gambling and investment frauds, and on the whole have no upside for society at large while also having unbounded downside and massive negative externalities

Bah Humbug. Lots of normal people with some excess cash use crypto, trade crypto, and pay their taxes. Almost everything blamed on crypro can be blamed on the USD as well.

It is another avenue that can be used for illicit activities. These exploits against these systems would go on without crypto albeit at a lesser extent. Organizations will learn to harden their weak systems and move on with life.

I work with people who have mad some damm good clean money playing crypto. They talked me into dabbling with some spare cash and I have done quite well. If I lose its on me and no one else. I do not need the Empires bureaucrats breathing hot air down my neck on this one.

Down South , Jul 10 2021 18:43 utc | 8
Klaus Schwab and his friends at the WEF are currently running Cyber Polygon which simulates a cyber pandemic (electricity grids shutdown, banking systems, hospitals etc) due to cyber attacks which will disrupt and impact society worse than anything Covid did.

A cyber-attack with COVID-like characteristics?

Giving the welcoming remarks at Cyber Polygon for the second year in a row, Schwab spoke at length about the World Economic Forum's (WEF) desire to tackle cybersecurity by bringing together a closer merger of corporations, small businesses, and governments.

Last year, Schwab warned, "We all know, but still pay insufficient attention to, the frightening scenario of a comprehensive cyber attack, which would bring a complete halt to the power supply, transportation, hospital services, our society as a whole."

"˜Lack of cybersecurity has become a clear & immediate danger to our society': Klaus Schwab, Cyber Polygon 2021

Steve , Jul 10 2021 18:47 utc | 9
A ransomware attacker may sit in Tel Aviv.... I'm convinced that the Zionists are involved in this. As for the American's sabre-rattling, that's just empty nonsense. The NATO gang has been deploying cyber attacks on Russian infrastructure for a long time, to no avail.
Perimetr , Jul 10 2021 19:07 utc | 10
Let's make it safe for FedCoin and the Banksters by eliminating all non-sanctioned non-governmental cryptos, as well as cash.
Only programable, traceable, instantly confiscatable "money" issued by the Central Banks and Governments will be allowed.
Take it straight from the Bank for International Settlements General Manager Agustín Carstens in October 2020, telling you exactly where the central bankers intend to go

. "In cash we don't know for example who's using a 100 bill today, we don't know who's using a 1000 peso bill today, a key difference with the CBDC is that a central bank will have absolute control on the rules and regulations that will determine the use of that expression of central bank liability and also we will have the technology to enforce that. Makes a huge difference to what cash is."

Stonebird , Jul 10 2021 19:18 utc | 11
OK, attack corporations for crypto or cash. What is next is that attacks could be extended to attacks on Nations and infrastructure. ie. The Iranian transport system has just been hacked. (The supreme Leaders telephone number appeared on all the railway Bulletin boards.).

Not forgetting all the other Styxnets etc.

This may be one thing on which the Biden/US and the Putin/Russians could agree to cooperate. Self protection is a valid motive.

****
Crypto? The Banks won't let it go.

Tom_Q_Collins , Jul 10 2021 19:26 utc | 12
Cryptocurrency exchanges are the channel by which all the illicit funds in this epidemic flow. And it is the one channel that the US government has complete power to rein in and regulate. The free flow of money from US banks to cryptocurrency exchanges is the root cause of this pandemic and needs to halt.

I'm sorry but this is absolute nonsense. Any American (or European or Japanese or anyone else) is required to submit to various KYC protocols (Know Your Customer) in the same manner as setting up a bank account at a bank that participates in the SWIFT system.

A government ID (which can be faked, more on that in a bit) is required to set up an account on any of the exchanges that the US government has the power to regulate in traditional ways (i.e., not by simply shutting down the internet or seizing domains like they did to Iranian and Houthi media).

Money flowing from US banks to exchanges and back the other way is not the problem, sorry. In fact I'd be willing to bet that the money easily recovered by the FBI from the Colonial ransomware attack must have been transferred in this manner, hence the ease with which it was recouped.

As far as a fake identity, one would have to obtain or generate a fake government ID, a fake social security number (or the equivalent in EU, Japan, Korea, etc.), establish a bank account with this fake identity and only then could they use the system in the manner that Diehl presupposes. Is this a possibility for a very small number of racketeers and extortionists? Sure, but it doesn't make crytocurrencies somehow unique for this type of criminal to operate.

rjb1.5 , Jul 10 2021 19:30 utc | 14
if they can disable crypto, they can disable stuff that's a whole lot worse than crypto.

people do recognize at times than we can solve problems simply by not doing certain things.

Isn't the Western banking system heavily invested in global criminality, and didn't this state of affairs exist before the arrival of crypto? why would the USG change now, since crypto creates the need for more policing and surveillance, whose manipulation nurtures another excuse to blame the Rooskies?

jo6pac , Jul 10 2021 19:37 utc | 15
It's the cia. They're in need because they're losing the Afgan Poppie $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
gottlieb , Jul 10 2021 19:40 utc | 17
Crytpos are new securities that invest in technologies that will run the new world. Some technologies are foundational and some are fads. Buyer beware.

911 was a psychological warfare operation. Russia-gate is a psy-war operation. Pandemic 2020 the same. And so too is this latest fear mongering BS about cyber-security. All of it in service to ever-increasing compliance and control for 1984 2.0.

To believe what you're told is folly.

jsanprox , Jul 10 2021 19:57 utc | 19
What evidence is there that this even happened at all? Seems like the same as the poisoning events, just empty claims and refusal to provide evidence neither to Russian authorities nor the public. A bunch of nonsense.
Osa Kim , Jul 10 2021 20:01 utc | 20
I feel the same way about cocaine use and the American dollar, lol. Years ago researchers reported that most US $100 bills had cocaine residue on them.

Also, check out during the 2008 crash that the big drug cartels bailed out EU banks to the tune of approximately $900 million US. Nothing to see here, move along now.

Gordog , Jul 10 2021 20:07 utc | 21
Wow! What a chasm between Biden's quite reasonable and measured comments, that even hint at increasing, not decreasing cooperation between himself and Putin...and the literal mouthfoaming of the New York Slimes!

Appreciate this really informative article! Some years back I decided to buy one bitcoin for the price of 500 Euros. I found a guy [don't recall how, maybe by want ads in local paper] who met me at a McDonalds and I gave him the cash in hand, while I checked on my laptop to see the bitcoin deposited.

Somehow, I misplaced that silly password or wallet or whatever, and that bitcoin is gone in the coin fountain forever, lol! Kind of stings a little to see these things going now for something like 50 k, lol!

I had never heard of these crypto-markets, where I guess you can just buy them online in some way. I suppose they didn't exist back when I wanted to buy one?

Piotr Berman , Jul 10 2021 20:23 utc | 23
... why wouldn't it be possible to have two servers (or server banks) set up with identical data, then if one of them is attacked (illegally encrypted and locked out), IT personnel could migrate access to the data in the second server and wipe the first one? Seems simple enough.

Posted by: norecovery | Jul 10 2021 18:12 utc | 4

Data replication is a standard tool for massive data bases, but they require high throughput communication channel. So what you want is a system that can only receive and store, with no processing whatsoever -- without an authorized user physically present. Otherwise the remote rider of the mother side can instruct the mirror to encrypt the content in the same way as the mother site.

That may be a simplification but you probably need an operating system for the mirror that lacks any of the garbage invented and planted in operating system in the last 30 years. No way to run java etc. Totally against the current software "philosophy".

Bart Hansen , Jul 10 2021 20:34 utc | 24
Next time you read a Sanger piece (so I don't have to), notice that comments are not enabled. He is immune to criticism from the reading public.
thewokendead , Jul 10 2021 20:35 utc | 25
Sanger is one of the Time's veteran war whores as well as being a favored propagandist for the "intelligence" cosa nostra and their frequent disinformation campaigns that originate at his ol' grey bag.

I just picked up the rights to the domain: "TheRussiansDidIt.com ..seeing that no matter who what or where any kind of real or perceived cyber attack occurs.....within milliseconds, "propornot" rags like the Times screeches as loud as their typeset allows: the Russians did it...with of course a mandatory inclusion that Vlad the Evil Impaler is the ultimate " mastermind" behind it all.

karlof1 , Jul 10 2021 20:36 utc | 26
The escalating warmongering by David Sanger is the real danger here followed by the lack of an international Cyber-Security Treaty, which is something the Outlaw US Empire doesn't at all want because it would apply reigns to its unilateralism and continual breaking of the UN Charter.

Putin and Russia have asked for such negotiations for over a decade with zilch response from NATO/Outlaw US Empire. Think of all the attempts to provide a casus belli since Putin became president/PM that are completely devoid of any evidence, then add all Sanger's crap to that list as it's no different. He's being paid by a faction that wants war with Russia regardless the cost, but he doesn't give a damn about all that since he writes lies for a living while also living a lie.

10 to 1 , Jul 10 2021 20:38 utc | 27
All Bitcoin transactions are public, traceable, and permanently stored in the Bitcoin network. Since users usually have to reveal their identity in order to receive services or goods, Bitcoin addresses cannot remain fully anonymous.
vk , Jul 10 2021 20:48 utc | 28
"The only language that Putin understands is power, and his power is his money," said Garry Kasparov, the Russian chess grandmaster and a Putin critic. "It's not about tanks; it's about banks. The U.S. should wipe out oligarchs' accounts, one by one, until the message is delivered."

For the sake of the argument, let's assume Kasparov's assessment of Russia is true (that's already a big "if").

Then, we have two possibilities:

1) the USA is not an oligarchy, and has a system that is superior to an oligarchy, i.e. a system that is worth spreading around Russia and is capable of crushing the Russian system;

2) the USA is an oligarchy, but a better oligarchy than Russia's.

We can discard #1 outright, as it is notorious and self-evident fact that the USA is an oligarchy. Even Bernie Sanders has just stated that , it's already common knowledge.

So, we have #2 left to analyze.

Taking #2 as the premise of the real world, and also going from the premise Garry Kasparov is not a complete idiot or crazy (Plato's presupposition for a political debate to take place), then we can only conclude Mr. Kasparov is openly asking the help of the American oligarchy to crush the Russian oligarchy. Putting in another way, he's asking oligarchy to defeat oligarchy.

The problem here is that using an oligarchy to crush another oligarchy would not result in the extinction of oligarchy, but, on the contrary, in the strengthening of the oligarchy. In this concrete example, the Russian Federation would just be governed by the American oligarchy, in the same system, but much harder to defeat than before.

Garry Kasparov, therefore, is a pro-oligarchy militant. A Russian far-rightist could even demagogically claim he's anti-Russia.

There's an idealist scenario where you could argue abstractly #1 could be held true: that the Russian Federation is a "kleptocracy", i.e. an oligarchy where the State dominates the bourgeoisie. In that case, the USA would not be an oligarchy because the bourgeoisie uses the politicians to their own end, and not the inverse. That is, it is an oligarchy only when the politicians dominate the capitalists, but not the inverse - the inverse would be (liberal) democracy.

But that's a liberal fantasy. Either Putin is all-powerful or he isn't - he can't be both at the same time. If Putin dominates the oligarchs, then the oligarchs are not oligarchs - they're mere shells of Putin's (and, therefore, the Russian State) power and wealth. If Putin is dominated by the oligarchs, then, by liberal standards, Russia is not an oligarchy either, just a traditional liberal democracy.

One Too Many , Jul 10 2021 20:51 utc | 30
Posted by: the pair | Jul 10 2021 18:07 utc | 3

In all of these ransomware attacks the one factor that is NEVER discussed is that the vast majority of them occur on Microsoft Windows. When will people learn to start using a real operating system.

Gordog , Jul 10 2021 20:56 utc | 31
Cryptoman says:
Technologists and those who follow their lead (Venture Capitalists, angel investors, etc) are often wayyyy ahead of the curve, and as such, become mega-rich from their financial bets on new technologies

OR:

They are the 21'st century snake-oil salesmen---endlessly touting some zoomy, spiffy technology whose 'greatness' the proles are just too dumb to comprehend, lol! And in 99.999 percent, it all turns out to be VAPOR! But the sheeple's fleece that is collected is very very real, and comes from your wallet, lol!

PS: just had a look at this supersmart-looking Andreeson fellow. And his striking sister.

Jen , Jul 10 2021 21:14 utc | 32
I should think the real villains involved in a lot of these ransomware attacks attributed to Russia are the SBU and their CIA bosses in Kiev. (The SBU and the CIA share the same offices.) The Ukrainian security services, and the people they use or contract work to, most likely also have the tools to attach faked Russian-language metadata to their hacking activities.

Add also the possibility that these Nazi crazies in Kiev are working with Israeli-affiliated agents or agencies with cyber-hacking experience and knowledge in getting access to major networks and we have one Hell of a global problem indeed.

No doubt the SBU and the CIA are using crypto to finance their activities. Even Bellingcat uses crypto to pay for information hacked from private mobile phone databases. Of course the sooner crypto currencies can be regulated properly, the better. But banning them outright cannot be the solution; the activities crypto helps to drive will migrate to another source of funding.

Max , Jul 10 2021 21:23 utc | 33
Is it easy to cash out cryptocurrencies? One can't fool all the people all the time.

Currencies are constantly MONITORED

Reality is in details and deeds. Please list all the cash out steps for cryptocurrencies. Do you know the payment space? Usually within the U$A and other regions, deposits and withdrawals worth $5,000-10,000 are monitored for tax evasion and money laundering. Try to cash out $25,000 from your bank account. Majority (98+%) of money is fully monitored and traceable. What % of the US$ are in the physical form? How much cash does a typical bank branch carry? Cryptocurrencies are not the problem as they are constantly monitored. How does one buy a bitcoin or cash out a bitcoin?

Which intelligence agencies are driving this DECEPTION?

It is currently harder for those looking to cash out cryptocurrencies while not being watched by the eyes of tax collectors, administrations and intelligence agencies. So which Orcs are DRIVING this ransomware attacks? It looks like some intelligence agencies group is leading this ploy of attacks. Why? They want to protect the existing payment and financial system? Create FUD about their competitive digital currencies? Launch attacks worldwide to DISRUPT operations as they're losing, cyber proxy wars? Someone is using these ploys to carry out attacks and create a mist to hide their future malicious crimes.

Ransomware services can be easily STOPPED

Why are administrations letting rentable ransomware services, like REvil, operate? This is like letting mafia operate. Why let web services companies rent them their services? If AWS suspends Parler, then web services can do the same thing to ransomware services which are a criminal operation. Similarly, Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies can be asked to prevent these transactions. Remember, all these cryptocurrency companies operate under a CORPORATE CHARTER. Who controls the corporate charter? Governments have enough tools to prevent these crimes. Why aren't they pursuing it proactively and stopping it? Who BENEFITS?

Russia isn't making a strong stand. Why?

On the tenth day of the Cuban missile crisis, the U$A UN ambassador Stevenson dressed down Valerian Zorin, the Soviet ambassador, in a UN Security Council meeting as Americans watched on television. Stevenson went for the jugular: "I want to say to you, Mr. Zorin, that I do not have your talent for obfuscation, for distortion, for confusing language, and for doubletalk. And I must confess to you that I am glad that I do not!" Stevenson went on to denounce the Soviets for lying, treating Zorin in a way that the Soviet ambassador likened to an American prosecutor browbeating a defendant.

Why isn't Russia raising the issue of these false accusations and provocations regarding manifestations in the information space at the UN? Where are Russia's ambassadors? Why be a wimpy?

Paul , Jul 10 2021 21:44 utc | 34
Posted by Steve @ 9
Who observed:
'A ransomware attacker may sit in Tel Aviv.... I'm convinced that the Zionists are involved in this. As for the American's sabre-rattling, that's just empty nonsense. The NATO gang has been deploying cyber attacks on Russian infrastructure for a long time, to no avail.'

I agree.

I recommend the book Murdochs Pirates, currently 'unavailable' at the detestable Amazon [wonder why?] but now available at Australian online bookseller Booktopia. Here is a brief and sanitised review of the book from Amazon:

"The inside story of the skullduggery at the heart of one the Murdoch empire's subsidiaries, NDS.

What happens when one of the biggest media groups in the world sets up its own private security force? What happens when part of this operation goes rogue?

News of the World is not the first Murdoch company to be accused of skullduggery. Murdoch's Pirates is about the dark deeds of a secret division of News Corp, based in Jerusalem, operating in a combustible world of ambitious ex Scotland Yard men and former French and Israeli secret service agents, who have one thing in common - they have all left their previous employment under controversial circumstances.

Reading like a thriller, Murdoch's Pirates is set in the arcane world of hackers and pirates. There are mysterious deaths, break-ins and wild chases. Some of the individuals involved may well be amongst the brightest minds on the planet, but sometimes their rivalry can get out of hand and their impulsive behaviour can defy logic.

Neil Chenoweth recounts this clandestine war with his customary lucidity, drollery and brio."

My synopsis of the allegations in the book: The Murdoch empire created a clandestine beyond the law cyber unit, based in Jerusalem, using , among others, skilled Israeli hackers, to hack and pirate the codes of rival satellite TV companies. The hacked codes were then used to manufacture millions of 'cloned cards' which were distributed world wide. Children were selling these cards in schools. This gave the holders of the 'cloned' cards free access to various satellite TV channels, but not Murdoch owned channels. Why pay a subscription for satellite TV access when you can buy 'cloned' cards for a few dollars? Various rival TV channels then went broke. This left Fox and Sky to pick up the customers. The Murdoch empire, allegedly, knocked out the competition.

So much for copyright law. Take note Kim Dot Com, awaiting extradition from NZ to the US for his, alleged, 'file sharing' antics.

The Murdoch empire, allegedly, is very litigious and, allegedly, has deep pockets.

ak74 , Jul 10 2021 22:01 utc | 36
These American accusations about Russian ransomware and cyberwarfare are part of the USA's broader Hybrid War against Russia.

Namely, America accuses Russia of what "Leader of the Free World" is massively guilty of so as to extract concessions from Russia on other unconnected concerns.

This is an umpteenth example of how Goebbelsian psychological projection is fundamental to the American national character.

It's long overdue that Russia and other nations like China and Iran, who are the targets of US smear campaigns, give the Americans a taste of their own medicine and demand that the United States cease and desist its cyberterrorism and attacks on other nations.

We can start with Edward Snowden's revelations of the American NSA spying on and hacking civilian institutions and leaders of other nations.

Then move on to the joint American-Israeli creation of the Stuxnet Virus deployed against Iran and even North Korea.

Add on the Wikileaks Vault 7 leaks exposing how the American CIA and its UMBRAGE unit stage *false-flag* cyber attacks, which the USA will blame on other nations.

And then demand that America terminate its 60,000-member strong covert (cyber) army called Signature Reduction.

After that, tell the USA that its Echelon "Five Eyes" global spy network must be completely and irrevocably be destroyed.

Or Else.

This list is by no means comprehensive but only a very abridged version of what should be called American cyberterrorism.

U.S. Operating 60,000-Troop Strong Secret Army, Claims Newsweek report
https://www.greanvillepost.com/2021/05/18/u-s-operating-60000-troop-strong-secret-army-claims-newsweek-report/

Did the Israeli-American Stuxnet Virus Launch a Cyber World War?
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-did-stuxnet-launch-a-cyber-world-war-1.5410099

Outposts of the U.S. Surveillance Empire: Denmark and Beyond
https://covertactionmagazine.com/2020/12/10/outposts-of-the-u-s-surveillance-empire-denmark-and-beyond/

Wikileaks Vault7: CIA Umbrage team, the factory of false flag ops
https://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/56983/intelligence/wikileaks-vault7-cia-umbrage-team.html

WIKILEAKS: CIA HACKING PHONES, TVS, CARS, AND USING FALSE FLAG ATTACKS
https://shadowproof.com/2017/03/08/wikileaks-reveals-cia-hacking-iphones-tvs-using-false-flag-attacks/

Abe , Jul 10 2021 22:15 utc | 38
I am following some parties that really do crypto in dirty deeds and/or really *really* want to stay off the governments radar, and I have to say none of them is using bitcoin as they know it is traceable with little work. So, no real hacker pirate would ever ask for ransom in bitcoin.

So, seems these recent ransom ware "attacks" are orchestrated by parties:

1. not afraid to get traced by US government (cause.. they won't bother them?)
2. conveniently not worried by the facts these acts will serve as 100% reason to ban crypto currencies themselves

Hm, which organizations/groups of people/3 letter agencies match these two criteria...

Charles Peter Peters , Jul 10 2021 22:19 utc | 39
The close reading of Biden alone was worth the price of admission to this post. The whole affair is reminiscent of the invasion of Afghanistan when Taliban offered to send OBL upon receiving evidence, which was never provided (and probably didn't exist).

I'd rate the conclusions as reasonably well established. Worthy of sending to all my friends who hate Russia. Considering the nature of the oligopolus that rules the world and that crypto is as useful to them as anyone in evading taxes and accountability, I wouldn't expect any changes. However I'd like to hear about each case cracked open, which is hard to find in the NYTimes.

Lozion , Jul 10 2021 23:18 utc | 40
@8

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2021/07/10/661962/Iran-cyber-attack-transportation-ministry

Lozion , Jul 10 2021 23:35 utc | 42
Not sure why my post isn't showing, I was replying to #8 post regarding a current cyber attack on Iran's transport network, just do a search..
Roger , Jul 10 2021 23:56 utc | 43
Title: "Stop blaming Russia and stop blaming bitcoin" there fixed it for you B.

Just how did all those drug dealers, extortion rackets etc. hide their billions before cryptocurrencies???!!!!

Roger

Christian Chuba , Jul 11 2021 0:25 utc | 44

>>>If Moscow wanted to stop Russia's cybercriminals from hacking American targets, experts say, it would.<<<

Who are these experts, how would Putin do that, why is it easier for Putin to do this than any ... us?

The attacks are taking place on our IT networks. It is funny that these 'experts' are so insistent that Putin can control all of the LANs in Russia but we can't. I want these experts to explain how this works.

erelis , Jul 11 2021 0:32 utc | 45
I am not up on crypto or the innards of ransonware except it was released to the world in Vault 7 I believe. But there is a pattern by US private and public so called cyber experts. When an attack or breach happens, the US knows exactly who did it and even the language they speak. However, these super duper experts and their organizations are powerless to stop the (Russian!!) hackers armed with the most detailed facts. With the private companies of course for a hefty price they can (maybe) protect you. More than anything these events show how utter incompetent the US is in cyber protection and avoidance at both the government and corporate levels.

My personal cyber security software installation on my PC for pennies a day offers ransomware protection and has for several years.

wp007 , Jul 11 2021 1:03 utc | 46
The step does not work like this and has a problem:
1) Especially in the case of attacks that are blamed on Russia, one must see that the perpetrators are located in Ukraine and neighboring countries and are paid and operated by their intelligence services.

The now occurring increase of the accusation against Russia must be seen simultaneously with the current NATO exercise in the Black Sea. The warmongers are looking for a reason (or Russia's mistake) that will give them the position of the defender in the eyes of the Western public and thus a legitimate right for military action. We are there 5 minutes before a war with NATO, which is fiercely demanded by Ukraine, among others.

2) Interfering with SWIFT would be a declaration of war for Russia, as it is impossible to ensure that legitimate Russian transactions are not affected.

3) The only solution, besides a real cooperation between the USA and Russia, is to close all non-supervisable "exchange offices" and at the same time to monitor - as with cash - every transaction of these offices, i.e. the same as is already being done for money laundering (but even there not consistently).

How little this works, however, when one or more of these states undermine governments themselves, can be seen in the financing of terrorism. Those who shout "Stop thief" the loudest are those who finance their "friends", who are the "good" terrorists.

So: All wishful thinking, far from the reality of the hypocrisy of the services. The only protection is the companies' own. If they are too stingy to invest in security, which reduces profits, they have to pay. If you leave your car with the engine running and the key in the ignition and walk away, you are to blame if your car is stolen.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

karlof1 , Jul 11 2021 1:04 utc | 47
I should remind barflies that Trump floated the idea of nuking Russia in response to a cyber attack. Do see my comment on the rocket thread linking to Martyanov's blog.
vk , Jul 11 2021 1:21 utc | 49
Don't understand why so many people here are defending the private cyptocurrencies. They're not and never will be money. The libertarian utopia where there are no banks and everybody will be paying directly with crypto is impossible, will never happen.
GoverntheMente , Jul 11 2021 1:40 utc | 50
According to Klaus Schwab(World Economic Forum/Davos) the next big crisis the world will have to face is a Cyber pandemic. And judging by the scale he is talking about they got some great crisis for us in store.

Klaus Schwab: "We all know, but still pay insufficient attention to, the frightening scenario of a comprehensive cyber attack, which would bring a complete halt to the power supply, transportation, hospital services, our society as a whole.
The COVID-19 crisis would be seen in this respect as a small disturbance in comparison to a major cyber attack, he added."

source: https://sociable.co/technology/supply-chain-events-pandemic-prophecies-great-reset/

snake , Jul 11 2021 2:12 utc | 51
Perimetr @ 10 =>Only programmable, traceable, instantly confiscatable "money" issued by the Central Banks and Governments will be allowed. <= this is the last thing Americans want to see, the elimination of non traceable cash.. so the USA will do its best to make it happen..

by: Stonebird @ 11 Crypto? The Banks won't let it go. <=neither will anyone governed by a nation that allows its private monopoly powered corporations to spy on the population and to use the government itself as an agency which facilitates corporate private exploitation against those the government governs.

Conflict seems to be developing between the governments and those the governments govern? Its about trust. Global humanity no longer trust any one in government, for any reason or at any time. Everyone has learned the private corporate powers used by corporations to exploit the governed, were given to the corporations by the governments; and everyone has seen the exploitation government imposed on humanity will soon destroy it.

Tom_Q_Collins @ 12 identifies the following statement as absolute nonsense. "Cryptocurrency exchanges are the channel by which all the illicit funds in this epidemic flow. And it is the one channel that the US government has complete power to rein in and regulate. The free flow of money from US banks to cryptocurrency exchanges is the root cause of this pandemic and needs to halt.

I'm sorry but this is absolute nonsense. " <= I agree completely, Governments are the mother of illicit funds; the issue that has the governments and their monopoly powered corporations so upset, is competition to their private party land.

<= Corporations want the corrupt governments, the corporations control, to
outlaw competition so the protected corporations can control everything?
Good luck..

<= Eight billion people sorted into 256 different government governed cages, have lost faith in the integrity of those who run the governments.

<= I believe, something different, more human oriented is coming to the world. Cryptcurrency is interesting to watch because it inverts the foundation into a root top.


by: circumspect @ 7 says: "I work with people who have mad some damm good
clean money playing crypto. They talked me into dabbling with some spare
cash and I have done quite well. If I lose its on me and no one else.
I do not need the Empires bureaucrats breathing hot air down my neck
on this one. <=exactly..

Down South @ 8 says
"˜Lack of cybersecurity has become a clear & immediate danger to our society': Klaus Schwab, Cyber Polygon 2021 <=bull shit.

posted by rjb1.5 @ 14 ..
"Isn't the Western banking system heavily invested in global criminality, and didn't this state of affairs exist before the arrival of crypto? why would the USG change now, since crypto creates the need for more policing and surveillance, whose manipulation nurtures another excuse to blame the Rooskies? <=exactly..


Abe @ 35 =>which organizations/groups of people/3 letter agencies match these two criteria...<= CIA comes to mind..

William Gruff , Jul 11 2021 2:14 utc | 52
Osa Kim @20: "Years ago researchers reported that most US $100 bills had cocaine residue on them."

Yes, "92% of the bills were positive for cocaine"

But it should also be noted that most Americans have never even seen a "benjamin" (a $100 dollar bill) before. Common Iraqis or Colombians are much more likely than a regular American to have seen a US $100 bill. Isn't that weird?

col from OZ , Jul 11 2021 2:21 utc | 53
It's Russian military doctrine and policy to launch all nuclear weapons in the case of cyber operations attack interfering with Russian Nuclear Forces computer infrastructure -- message is launch straight away, should be a hoot and a bang. These people are insane Sanger and co. The courts should jail them for life, for proffering advice that leads to the total destruction of Earths biosphere. (incl, Humans)
bobzibub , Jul 11 2021 2:59 utc | 54
b, your beef is not with crypto currency, but cryptography for one cannot ban crypto currency without crippling cryptography.
This was tried in the US. But the downside of weakening cryptography is that it weakens the entire financial system and put every financial transaction at greater risk.

Why not simply ban insurance against cyber crime? At least then, companies would take security seriously enough for the current environment.

Kudos to you and all here for your insights!

circumspect , Jul 11 2021 3:25 utc | 55
Martin Armstrong just posted a piece about crypto where a BIS official talks about how it will be used to ultimately control every transaction by them and their ilk. They will tell you what you can and cannot spend your money on.

Just like the internet it was let to run free but crypto, the internet, smartphones and Starlink will ultimately control every person on the planet. Internet passports in in their hoped for plans as well. We do not like you we kick you off. You cannot give money to those people becasue we do not like them.

Enjoy it while you can; I know I will. They will ultimately gain total control over it. Proof of stake may be the next step.
Cryptocurrency "" 100% Control of the Great Unwashed

aquadraht , Jul 11 2021 4:12 utc | 56
While I am not fully convinced that a crypto crackdown will terminate ransomware attacks (but might help to reduce) just a sidenote:
Some of the rentable ransomware services, like REvil , are run by Russian speaking groups.

Funny name, but immediately Guccifer2.0 and his "Russian breadcrumbs" jump in my mind. So these guys are "Russian speaking", more exactly, writing, ok. But the pun "REvil" is definitely an English, more exactly American English pun. No Russian, German, French, or Chinese speaker without a background in spoken/written American English would have that idea in the first place.

Max , Jul 11 2021 4:23 utc | 57
@ circumspect (#51),

The administration already has information of over at least 90+% of (> $1,000) transactions and 99+% on big (> $50,000) transactions. Digital currencies are good for international trade!

What % of your transactions are in cash? What % of your amount spent is in cash? Even if you pay your cellphone, broadband, electricity,... bills in cash, they are reported. What information is collected by the credit scoring companies? If you're using a smartphone they know your favorite places, work location, visited places... How to prevent the ABUSE of data?

Most individuals are sleeping. What % of people are awakened? What % have integrity? Interesting world.

NemesisCalling , Jul 11 2021 4:27 utc | 58
Not only do I view cryptocurrency's rise as a relief-valve to placate the masses and "shoo" them away from precious metals (read: sound money), but also along the same lines as a 401k. When the SHTF, you won't be able to hold it, so you won't own it. 1s and 0s are not physical and therefore entirely speculative (the stuff of vapor). You can only feel its breath on you when the game is afoot. When the music stops, it is gone.

What is Russia and China doing? They are buying pms. When the greenback dies its inglorious death, cryptos will be abadoned and forgotten faster than you can say "Sears."

psychohistorian , Jul 11 2021 4:50 utc | 59
@ GoverntheMente | Jul 11 2021 1:40 utc | 46 with the reminder of the potential for Intertube outage...thanks

I agree that loss of the Intertubes for a day would be tragic for the Plato's Cave Display worshipers but some of us remember life without technology coming out your ass as nice....I was on-call for over 20 years...

What this social control effort does though is make the sale for money that is only soft and not hard much more difficult. It will remind the proles that electricity does not come out of the ground and maybe it would be good to have coinage or paper backed by thing(s) to give it intrinsic value.

Given the ignorance I am reading lets review a bit about money.

Hard Money is money that has intrinsic value. It could be represented by coinage, paper or a permissioned block chain cryptocurrency. How that Hard Money establishes and maintains its relationship to the value of things is a separate subject but needs to be recognized as an event and ongoing process. The relationship that Hard Money has to value is different than the relationship that Soft Money has to value.

Soft Money is any form of money that has no intrinsic value but is currently given a faith based relationship to value of things. In 1971, when Nixon took the US dollar, as Hard Money Reserve Currency, off the gold conversion standard it became Soft Money, or more clearly, a measure of debt passed around to others of faith in its ongoing value. Cryptocurrenies are other examples of Soft Money but the concept is not new. For decades there have been ongoing local "currency" programs all over the world (the Hours program) but marketing has now used block chain technology to help birth sexy digital "currencies".

Lets digress at this point and discuss what money is for....used for medium of exchange and as a store of value if available as such. In those roles there is the assumption of the established/maintained relationship to value over time.

What kids of things get this value relationship? Labor, raw materials, FOOD, property, finished goods and services, etc.

How is this value relationship established and maintained? That is where this get tricky. In the past that responsibility was executed by the governments or religions of the day. Over the past few hundred years in the West that responsibility has been held by what could be considered a religion, the God of Mammon religion. That said the bottom line is that the resource allocation and risk management decisions that come with that authority are and have been decided by a historically elite cult of humans that have brought humanity to this level of environment and human abuse. That control is being challenged by the China/Russia axis and the totally sovereign PBOC.

The shit show continues until it doesn't and ransomeware is a sideshow

Seer , Jul 11 2021 6:56 utc | 60
Hm... Could this be the new opium market? CIA has to have a means of off-the-books financing of their black ops...
KamNam , Jul 11 2021 7:08 utc | 61
"" What can be done is to disable the cryptocurrency payment channel that is used by attackers with little to no risk. While this may not completely solve the problem of widespread ransomware attacks it will at least make it more manageable."" The only effective way to do the above is to stut down the entire internet. There are many other ways that Ransom can be made via the dark web which do not involve crypto.
Jörgen Hassler , Jul 11 2021 7:25 utc | 62
Crypto 'currencies' aren't currencies, they are the most stupid objects of speculation ever invented.
You don't have to ban them, just make shure they can't be traded in or exchanged for real money.

(If you want to know whether something is a currency or not, there's only one simple question you need to ask: can you use it to pay your taxes? If the answer is 'no', it's not a currency.)

Mat , Jul 11 2021 7:25 utc | 63
The blockchain is an accounting of all transactions. Every single Crypto/Bitcoin transaction is public. Not only to the merchant and the customer, but to the world.
Let's assume you buy something with Crypto. Then I see the sender and can look in the database, where he has paid. So if the Cops/CIA/NSA see that you bought drugs on Darknet, but they don't know who you are, then they just have to go through all the other payments from the same sender until they find someone they know, let's say a Pizza service or something, and then seize the files there, and there's your delivery address in there.


Yeah, Right , Jul 11 2021 7:40 utc | 64
Some CIA shill: ..."the attacks would no longer be treated only as criminal acts, but as national security threats"...

Even thought these are clearly criminal acts.

Yeah, OK, and if my neighbor calls me names then I will treat that as a deadly threat against my life, and create accordingly.

Where does this "logic" take Sanger?

Can the USA react with force when some foreign company uses bribery to win a contract?
Can the USA kill people because they have copied something that is under a copyright?
Can the USA let loose the dogs of war when some overseas distributor dumps stuff below cost?

I mean, honestly, have the Americans really thought this through?

Norwegian , Jul 11 2021 7:44 utc | 65
@One Too Many | Jul 10 2021 20:51 utc | 30
In all of these ransomware attacks the one factor that is NEVER discussed is that the vast majority of them occur on Microsoft Windows. When will people learn to start using a real operating system.

While ransomware attacks are not just a function of the operating system (stupidity on the receiving end is also a factor), I absolutely agree that people should start using a proper operating system like Linux. Personally, I use Linux Kubuntu https://kubuntu.org/ which is very user friendly and with KDE it looks familiar to Windows users. Underneath it is exactly the same operating system as the well known Ubuntu, it is just a different GUI desktop.

It is very easy to install a system like Kubuntu, in fact easier to install than Windows. But most people never install the operating system they use, so they don't know. So the answer to your question is they will start to use a real operating system when it is available pre-installed on machines they buy. Obviously, companies like M$ will do their part to prevent that happening to any significant degree.

Debsisdead , Jul 11 2021 7:52 utc | 66
I've been following the ransomware actions throufgh Ars Technica for a while now and for some time it has seemed to me to be obvious that if amerikan intelligence needs untraceable cash, which may be doubtful since the cocaine/crack running occured at a particular time in the 80's where following Carter and a dem congress' bill preventing tax revenue from being used to destabilise Nicaragua and reagan still having a dem congress determined to hold that position, the CIA in particular decided coke dealing was seen as an obvious work around.
As far as I know there are few if any controls on what CIA, defense intelligence and NSA chooses to spend money on currently, the Church committee after effects have long passed, but if they truly need black money gathered in a manner that is essentially untraceable because the poachers are also the game keepers, then ransomware would be a much tidier and more profitable option than dope dealing.

This is particularly the case when one considers that Monero is the cryptocurrency of choice for many ransomware payouts.

While bitcoin leaves a visible trail of transactions on its underlying blockchain, the niche "privacy coin" monero was designed to obscure the sender and receiver, as well as the amount exchanged.

As a result, it has become an increasingly sought-after tool for criminals such as ransomware gangs, posing new problems for law enforcement.

The primary benefits for intelligence are 1) the seeming russian connection plays into the hands of the cold war resurrection nonsense which forms the basis for amerikan intelligence's empire building and 2) the same intelligence agencies can select corporations to be 'taxed' on the basis of which corporations haven't been cooperative with agency beat ups about Russian copyright 'theft' or have whined about particular sanctions etc.

These ransomware attacks are major projects requiring all sorts of social hacking as well as digital hacking to obtain access. I cannot imagine any band of arseholes better equipped & trained for social hacking than the CIA or one better placed for digital hacks than the NSA.
That said if these types can't access crypto currencies it is naive to imagine thay will just down tools & give the game away. An alternative payment route will be adopted.

Norwegian , Jul 11 2021 8:02 utc | 67
@A | Jul 10 2021 21:57 utc | 35
The whole point of cryptocurrencies is to combat authoritarianism. I know it's hard for an old mindset to realize what it means, but more than half of today's population were raised with Internet. They no longer accept authoritarianism like those from the 20th century.

I would like to say you are right (and I do hope you are), but it looks to me that the population raised with Internet are extremely susceptible to accept authoritarianism of the 21st century variant, and it is frightening.
Norwegian , Jul 11 2021 8:08 utc | 68
@erelis | Jul 11 2021 0:32 utc | 45
My personal cyber security software installation on my PC for pennies a day offers ransomware protection and has for several years.

Does that mean they offer to protect you from ransom as long as you pay them money?
Smith , Jul 11 2021 8:08 utc | 69
Likely yet another Israeli false flag attacks, they know the system, they built and maintain it so hacking them is pie.
Norwegian , Jul 11 2021 8:17 utc | 70
@Jörgen Hassler | Jul 11 2021 7:25 utc | 62
Crypto 'currencies' aren't currencies, they are the most stupid objects of speculation ever invented.
You don't have to ban them, just make shure they can't be traded in or exchanged for real money.

This sounds like the same idea that the west has with Russia: Sanction it so it cannot trade with you. Obviously, the result is that it becomes more independent and starts trading with someone else. It might continue until the west starts to feel isolated. Your idea could have the same effect on USD, even if it is a way to go before you get there. But eventually, you will.
Rutherford82 , Jul 11 2021 8:37 utc | 71
I use whatever currency my government says is legal tender.

Cryptocurrencies are interestimg, but I would only start using them if I thought they had some sort of military willing to fight for their worth. Otherwise, they could become worthless overnight.

Perhaps I would feel differently if I understood computer languages and secure banking systems better, but for the time being it is much easier for me to lose all of my bitcoin than all of the legal tender I have stored in a bank.

Crypto does seem like a very profitable way to speculate on currency if you are in to that.

Biswapriya Purkayast , Jul 11 2021 8:47 utc | 72
One of the unstated results of digitalisation at the expense of common sense, including backup. This is one of many reasons I have consistently refused to digitalise my practice.
Bemildred , Jul 11 2021 9:16 utc | 73
"One of the unstated results of digitalisation at the expense of common sense, including backup. This is one of many reasons I have consistently refused to digitalise my practice."

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jul 11 2021 8:47 utc | 72

Yes. It was always stupid to put everything on the internet. They did it like sheep because it was cheap and they thought it help would help screw the public and their own employees. If you want to avoid being hacked, don't put anything worth hacking on the internet. Job done. Not only that, when you improve internet herd immunity.

Norwegian , Jul 11 2021 9:27 utc | 74
@Bemildred | Jul 11 2021 9:16 utc | 73
Yes. It was always stupid to put everything on the internet.

There is soon no difference between fiat currencies and crypto currencies in this regard. Over here, they used "covid" to fraudulently eliminate physical cash. If it hasn't come to you yet, it will.

Both kinds of money can go "poof" in an instant.

GMC , Jul 11 2021 11:44 utc | 75
This all about setting the stage for some huge false flag Cyber attacks , to be blamed on Russia or some other chump. The US, Israel, the Brits and others from the West are working with WEF- PAC in order to continue their One World Order Agendas. Whether its financial, infrastructure or sabotage - it's all being done by the same evil cabal.
gary , Jul 11 2021 12:02 utc | 76
I find it very troublesome that israel is leading Israel Moves to Seize Bitcoin to attack the resistant and any live support send to Gaza.
Counter Terror Financing today issued a seizure order against 84 crypto addresses believed to be controlled by Hamas.
The bankers dont need proof, just a honest economic terrorist:
I, Christopher Janczewski, a Special Agent with the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal
Investigations, declare under penalty of perjury, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746, that the foregoing
Verified Complaint for Forfeiture In Rem is based upon reports and information known to me
and/or furnished to me by other law enforcement representatives and that everything represented
herein is true and correct.

Jörgen Hassler , Jul 11 2021 12:35 utc | 77
Norwegian @70:

If you can't trade them in real money, where are you gonna go? I'm not just talking about USD, I'm talking about money.

If the actually are currency, they will stand on their own. Don't hold your breath...


Bemildred , Jul 11 2021 12:42 utc | 78
Both kinds of money can go "poof" in an instant.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 11 2021 9:27 utc | 74

I call them "faith-based currencies". I retain faith in the US $$ mainly in that it will pay off my mortgage (legal tender). I remember when we at least pretended to have real money here, about 50 years. Now it is all based on the notion the government will make you take it.

Crypto-currencies look like a great racket. I read Cryptonomicon back in the day, and I can see the anti-authoritarian point of it, but you still are trusting the purveyor, unless you have recourse when the "money" fails to perform.

Mar man , Jul 11 2021 13:07 utc | 79
My thoughts on crypto currencies:

I find it strange when people dismiss crypto currencies as a fad, a scam or pyramid scheme just because it is purely digital.

One should realize the US Federal Reserve notes are almost completely digital. The amount of physical coins and paper currency is only a fraction of total money supply.

Look into M0, M1, M2 money supplies and the monetary base to verify this yourself.

Whenever you have your income direct deposited, pay with a credit card and pay bills online, that is all digital currency.

Why people that transact with digital US dollars all day, every day have such a problem with any other digital currency boggles my mind.

Jörgen Hassler , Jul 11 2021 13:15 utc | 80
Mar man @79:

The problem isn't that they are digital. I haven't used paper or metal for over a decade.

The problem is that these currencies aren't currencies at all.

Jörgen Hassler , Jul 11 2021 13:19 utc | 81
Bemildred @78:

You're right. I made a strong case in the past that BTC is a ponzi. But given all the falsehoods peddled by their backers, cryptos really are more of a scam.

Mar man , Jul 11 2021 13:30 utc | 82
Jörgen Hassler @80

Ok, that brings into the question of currency definitions.

From a quick google search one finds this: "Currency is a medium of exchange for goods and services. In short, it's money, in the form of paper or coins, usually issued by a government and generally accepted at its face value as a method of payment."

Now, currency issued by government is usually called "fiat" currency. It has no intrinsic value and only derives value as a medium of exchange by law.

Why is that the only acceptable form? Are people not free to design, create and use their own private decentralized medium of exchange?

If so, and this private currency becomes widespread and readily acceptable, is it not a legitimate medium of exchange.

The question really becomes whether people should have the freedom to use whatever medium of exchange to barter they choose without any government interference.

I say yes.

Jörgen Hassler , Jul 11 2021 14:29 utc | 83
Mar man @82:

Well, yes. Don't know where you found that definition, but I find it ahistorical and shallow.

All functional currencies have always been tied to states. Actually, money was created thousands of years ago so that you could pay your taxes. (In the form of land rent, to the palace or temple.) https://michael-hudson.com/2018/04/palatial-credit-origins-of-money-and-interest/

The reason you have 'fiat' in the USD (I guess you are from the US) is because you know you can use them to pay tax. And if you don't, you go to jail.

So all currencies are ultimately based on violence; the unquestioned state monopoly.

That's why I gave the question 'can you use it to pay your taxes' as a litmus test to whether something is a currency or not.

The text you quoted sounds much like something taught to children in school, to spare them an uncomfortable truth.

Could we imaging that there was a currency that was not controlled by a state? Yes, if the state doesn't have a monopoly on violence. We call that 'civil war'. Historical example of that are abundant. The latest being ISIS issuing their own, I think.

Violence is a natural monopoly. We want it to be a state one; some states (not least the US) might not use it very wisely, but all alternatives are worse.

vk , Jul 11 2021 15:19 utc | 84
@ Posted by: Mar man | Jul 11 2021 13:07 utc | 79

Currency is not synonymous with money. They're completely different things. You don't even need currency to exchange products (barter).

In capitalism, in order for something (anything, digital or not, being digital is immaterial to Economics in this case) to be money, it has to have three functions at the same time: 1) means of payment, 2) unit of accountancy and 3) reserve of value.

Cryptocurrency serves only as #1, never serves as #2 (you only know you how much you really have and is paying by observing its price in USDs in the stock exchange market) and doesn't really serve as #3 (just look at its volatility) even though many insist that it does, but ok, its doable in favorable environment.

The thing is: even when crypto can do the function of #3, it cannot do the rest. When, e.g. Bitcoin goes to the roof (and you can only know that in USD terms), some rich speculators hoard it and, because it is not fiat, circulation diminishes. That means it sees a proportional lowering of its function as #1. That means that, even in a good day, cryptocurrency can never serve as both reserve of value and as means of payment at the same time: hoarded Bitcoin is the same as hoarded gold.

But what astonishes me is the volatility: even the best crypto (Bitcoin) is as volatile as any other dubious financial asset available in New York. It is a complete myth it is a safe/promising investment, on par with gold. It walks like a financial asset, smells like a financial asset and looks like a financial asset, and some people simply choose to ignore the data and keep claiming it is the future of financial security and stability.

aqualech , Jul 11 2021 15:25 utc | 85
After reading about the problems at Kaseya, at least in that case the problem is negligence in regards to software quality and perhap even bad corporate security. A group of insiders well familiar with their security flaws might have pulled that off.
james , Jul 11 2021 15:55 utc | 86
thanks b... a fascinating and polarizing topic! i like @ 3 the pair's post... i have only skimmed the comments...
Jörgen Hassler , Jul 11 2021 16:25 utc | 87
VK @84:

"But what astonishes me is the volatility: even the best crypto (Bitcoin) is as volatile as any other dubious financial asset available in New York."

It's a lot worse than other assets, just look at the last few weeks. Last time we had this discussion some bar flies told us BTC would never crash. Now the crash has clearly happened. BTC's still the best, though.

The reason it's so volatile is that it's nothing. Literally. Even the worst object of speculation in NY is backed by some kind of real asset, how ever far back in the chain of instruments. Heck, even when the tulip bulb market crashed in Holland in 1637 you could still use the darned things to grow beautiful flowers. That's not just an asset, that's a real value!

Rob , Jul 11 2021 17:01 utc | 88
Crypto is like a wet dream for criminals and libertarians (and speculators). Eventually, they will have to awaken to the real world.
blues , Jul 11 2021 19:05 utc | 89
Usually near the center of your 'modern' computer's motherboard (and presumably in your smartphone) there is a relatively large square component called the 'CPU package', which is the thing that does the computing. It contains one or more 'CPU cores' on a 'silicon wafer'. Unknown to most of us, it also contains a small 'MiniMe' 'management engine' core that runs half as fast, but has the final say in everything that goes on in the rest of the package. It starts up its own operating system before any it allows the big cores to start and load the user's operating system, and it talks to the Internet, although we don't know who it talks to. It can listen to everything that happens inside the package, and report it back to someone. Maybe this has something to do with cryptocurrencies. Just a wild guess.
Stonebird , Jul 11 2021 19:15 utc | 90
gary | Jul 11 2021 12:02 utc | 76

Thanks for being one of the very few people who mention, or even know about the situation in Gaza.

**
Israel has also seized $180 million in tax revenues (per year) that it calculates are paid to families of "militants" killed by themselves. ie. generally those that are left with no other resources. Then Israel will destroy their houses as well, leaving kids and complete families to sleep in the streets.

That is pure monetary theft with brutality added.

Continue with the fact that it is estimated it will cost nearly half a billion to rebuild Gaza (and there are no longer any supporters as this is the fourth time this has happened, about $486+millions). Again the rebuilding and it's access to finance is controlled by Israel.

91% of Gazan children suffer from PTSD, from the latest killings.
****

However your second link seems to be about US civil forfeiture from a scam based in Turkey selling masks. They do use Bitcoin. The link to ISIS is tenuous at best, but habitually "civil forfeiture" goes to pay for luxury item for US law-"makers".

****

Note that the ongoing genocide-ethnic cleaning, which is covered up by the MSM, has reached a stage where long lasting physical effects due to starvation, deprivation, resulting in life-long sequels (rachitism etc) and despair, are war crimes. If there is a war. Which is why a hidden genocide is conveniently based on accusing Hamas or any other group. Without Hamas as cover, the real aggression would be plain to see.

The continuous accent on "arresting" children as young as seven, is terrorism of the weakest.

****

The seizure of 84 sites (?) is not just about bitcoin, but is a massive clampdown on any means of describing the conditions in Gaza today, by eliminating news outlets (censorship) and actual access to Gaza...... and using "Bitcoin" as the excuse.

So Hamas has managed to get a few millions by using cryptos? They don't have much choice.

One Too Many , Jul 11 2021 22:48 utc | 91
Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 11 2021 7:44 utc | 65

You're speaking to the choir. I'm been using Ubuntu on all my machines since Breezy, which was released in 2005. I tried other distros, but always came back to Ubuntu due to packages. There are ALWAYS packages available for Ubuntu.

c1ue , Jul 11 2021 23:12 utc | 92
@norecovery #4
The problem with "mirrored" servers - i.e. fully parallel systems - is that you have to pass data back and forth.
The more you pass this data, the more visible the mirror is to anyone in the system.
The state of the art in ransomware attacks - the very first thing the attacker does is look for hardware backups, software backup programs and cloud backups. And then poison them.
This isn't just talk: I had a customer, a mid-size accounting firm that did exactly that - 2 fully parallel systems which they switched on/off every few days. The attacker took down the other system just as it was rotating out/offline, then took down the online one.
Keep in mind - as much time as it takes to decrypt - so too is the attacker taking the time to encrypt. A ransomware attack doesn't happen in minutes or even hours - it occurs over days, weeks and sometimes months.
c1ue , Jul 11 2021 23:22 utc | 93
@the pair #6
Let's examine your arguments one by one:

You said:

1. yes it is a problem. nothing is "the" problem unless you want to get down to the philosophical bones of capitalism and such.

no, it isn't the problem. Should we ban online bank accounts because they are used for money laundering (which they are)?
Should we ban credit cards because they're used for crime (which they are)?

This is a risible argument based on the idea that a magical ban on cryptocurrency would stop ransomware.

It. Would. Not.

You said:

2. "banning" it might not be practical (we've had bans on child porn for quite a while and it still exists...and is usually paid for with crypto). but banning the mining of it will de facto take it down a few pegs.

No it wouldn't. Mining doesn't need to happen in the US. Unless you have a global China-style internet control bureaucracy - you cannot stop mining.

You said:

3. let's drop the "derp imma freedom fighter cuz i has dogecoin" crap. the people with the most ability to buy and manipulate coin are the people with the least reason to tamper even slightly with the "system". but then some people (usually soulless white yuppie guys) act like musk is a "genius" so i guess making him and other cointards out to be digital che guevaras wouldn't be a huge leap.

I have no idea what you're trying to say here. Dogecoin is a joke coin that has been used by Lone Skum to literally pump and dump. But then again, this guy has done the same to actual companies, so what?

You said:

4. we already live under "inverted totalitarianism". and it smells a bit of ayn rand's verbal feces to equate "i can't have 100% freedom all the time with my vapor money" with "derp here come the stalins!" maybe try to think about something immaterial for 5 seconds a day.

Again, no idea how this is relevant to cryptocurrency. You do understand that the 2nd most common criminal currency are gift cards, right? We should ban those too?

You said:

5. crypto is the BLM of currency. it looks all freedomy and changey but will eventually be co-opted and absorbed into the blob. or have goldman and the other parasitic "masters of the universe" suddenly embraced competition?

Cryptocurrency is not money. It is not value. It provides no real benefits. But then again, neither does art or 99.9% of philosophy degrees.

So what?

You said:

6. it's also the "free range beef" of currency. just as that dumb fuck yuppie marketing campaign ignores the vast amount of land it takes to feed the cows, crypto lovers have yet to explain how something that already uses as much electricity as goddamn EGYPT can be scaled out to cover everyday use by billions (or even millions) of people.

I've noted the electricity consumption of bitcoin is a problem going back for many years.
But so what? Does anyone care about the carbon footprint of the NYSE? This is a stupid and irrelevant argument.

A more relevant argument would be: bitcoin and other mined currencies are actually far more fiat than fiat currencies. The percentage of total value they give away to miners in order to get mining done is enormous compared to fiat currencies - but is invisible because they're being given away from "stock" and not from supply. What happens when the stock ends, as is architected in Bitcoin and really isn't so far away?

In any case, you have focused overmuch on the libertarian idiots pushing cryptocurrencies. Those are irrelevant.

The reality is that rich people are buying it. US and European and Japanese banks are CUSIP holding crypto for wealthy clients.

It ain't going away and any talk about doing so is deluded.

c1ue , Jul 11 2021 23:26 utc | 94
@Tom_Q_Collins #12
KYC and AML are starting to get implemented in 1st world exchanges, but this is irrelevant.
Criminals have had no problems turning drug/sanction proceeds into cash - why would cyber crime be different?
c1ue , Jul 11 2021 23:29 utc | 95
@gottlieb #17
Nope.
Cryptocurrencies have no real use except to hold value, evade currency controls and get paid for .

I have been watching the space for over a decade now, including hundreds of startups. Not a single for profit use case could not be done trivially some other way.
There are a few use cases for institutions, but anyone who thinks crypto is going to democratize anything is seriously deluded.

c1ue , Jul 11 2021 23:46 utc | 96
@10 to 1 #27
Untrue. Only if a user connect a wallet with the real world in some way: buying a physical product, converting to fiat, etc is the chain traceable.
However, the error is that the virtual wallets are literally unlimited.
The further down the chain the "bad" crypto is - the more uncertain who actually controls it and/or benefited from it.
A simple example: a ransomware attacker gets paid 5 bitcoin.
Those 5 bitcoin weren't created - they came from somewhere. Rarely, they are newly mined but usually there's a terrorist wallet, a thief wallet, a legit owner etc in the chain already.
So who is the legit owner after the 5 bitcoin get split into 20 wallets and then proceed downstream from there?
There is nothing but software required to take the 5 bitcoin and process through 50,000 wallets in 20-long chains - yes, you can trace all you desire but just how accurate do you think the results are?
Thus the "transparency" is a lie just like those radio and TV stations who are open to anyone looking at who pays for ads...if they go in person and dig through the deliberately obfuscatory paper trail. And not always even then.
The software companies that say they can handle this: they lie. What they are actually doing is taking known datapoints from participatory exchanges and using that to ascertain beneficial ownership and/or control - but this in turn makes all manner of assumptions which will certainly not hold up well in court vs. a knowledgeable other side.
c1ue , Jul 11 2021 23:49 utc | 97
@One Too Many #30
Idiotic.
The main reason ransomware attacks occur on windows machines is because the majority of compute used by companies are on windows machines.
If a modern Mac laptop or computer is encrypted - you are literally SOL. The OS, if security precautions are set up, is literally tied to the physical CPU. It is only a matter of time before someone figures out how to hose that check routine - at which point ransoming masses of Macs will be on the table.
Nor is Linux any better. Encryption performance in Linux is so much faster that it would actually be harder to stop, once in.
Ultimately the green field nature of IT today is such that the criminals go for the easy stuff first.
As Windows improves, that changes the equation which Linux and Mac users have been counting on.
c1ue , Jul 11 2021 23:55 utc | 98
@Jen #32
Possible but not likely.
The reality is that the Ukraine has been a haven for cyber criminals - independent of the present or past governments - for a long time.
1 of the 4 guys behind the first dark web stolen credit card forum escaped to Ukraine; the Darth Vader political candidate - he founded/funded that party.
c1ue , Jul 11 2021 23:57 utc | 99
@Max #33
Wrong.
Here's a very common cashout method:
1) exchange crypto for Apple gift cards on Paxful
2) Buy iPhone with gift card.
3) Sell iPhone for up to 40% off retail prices in most countries that have import taxes

Try and stop that.

c1ue , Jul 11 2021 23:59 utc | 100
@Abe #38
Do these people use cell phones? If so, then they're penny wise and pound foolish.
It doesn't matter what cryptocurrency you use, if you're accessing it via a cell phone or American ISP. With legal or illegal access to the telco operator - they ain't hiding diddly.

[May 28, 2021] Colonial Pipeline Paid Hackers Nearly $5 Million in Ransom

May 13, 2021 | it.slashdot.org

(bloomberg.com) 141

paid nearly $5 million to Eastern European hackers on Friday, contradicting reports earlier this week that the company had no intention of paying an extortion fee to help restore the country's largest fuel pipeline, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing two people familiar with the transaction. From the report:

The company paid the hefty ransom in untraceable cryptocurrency within hours after the attack, underscoring the immense pressure faced by the Georgia-based operator to get gasoline and jet fuel flowing again to major cities along the Eastern Seaboard, those people said. Once they received the payment, the hackers provided the operator with a decrypting tool to restore its disabled computer network. The tool was so slow that the company continued using its own backups to help restore the system, one of the people familiar with the company's efforts said.

[May 28, 2021] 'Significant' Ransomware Attack Forces Ireland's Health Service To Shut Down IT Systems

May 27, 2021 | tech.slashdot.org

(therecord.media) 53 Ireland's national health service, the Health Service Executive (HSE), temporarily shut down its IT systems today after suffering a ransomware attack overnight. The organization, which is in the mid of its COVID-19 vaccination program, said the attack did not impact its ability to provide urgent medical care but that some routine checks and services might be delayed or canceled. The HSE described the ransomware incident as "significant" and "human-operated," a term used to describe high-end sophisticated ransomware groups which orchestrate targeted attacks against carefully big organizations. In a morning radio show with public broadcaster RTE, HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid said the agency's IT teams are currently investigating the incident to find out its breadth. In a different radio show, Reid identified the ransomware gang behind the attack as Conti, a ransomware gang that started operating in the summer of 2020.

[May 28, 2021] How Should a Company Handle a Ransomware Attack?

The key here is backup op the data, not how the attack is handled
May 26, 2021 | it.slashdot.org

(itwire.com) 68

how Norwegian firm Volue Technology handled a ransomware attack that began on May 5th: The company has set up a Web page with information about the attack and also links to frequent updates about the status of its systems. There was no obfuscation about the attack, none at all. The company said: "The ransomware attack on Volue Technology ('Powel') was caused by Ryuk, a type of malware usually known for targeting large, public-entity Microsoft Windows systems."

What is even more remarkable about this page is that it has provided the telephone number and email address of its chief executive, Trond Straume, and asked for anyone who needs additional information to contact him. Not some underling.
ITWire argues this response "demonstrated to the rest of the world how a ransomware attack should be handled."

[May 28, 2021] Hacker Group Behind Colonial Pipeline Attack Claims It Has Three New Victims

May 27, 2021 | it.slashdot.org

(cnbc.com) 56 BeauHD on Thursday May 13, 2021 @09:00AM from the there's-more-where-that-came-from dept. PolygamousRanchKid shares a report from CNBC: The hacker group DarkSide claimed on Wednesday to have attacked three more companies , despite the global outcry over its attack on Colonial Pipeline this week, which has caused shortages of gasoline and panic buying on the East Coast of the U.S. Over the past 24 hours, the group posted the names of three new companies on its site on the dark web, called DarkSide Leaks. The information posted to the site includes summaries of what the hackers appear to have stolen but do not appear to contain raw data. DarkSide is a criminal gang, and its claims should be treated as potentially misleading.

The posting indicates that the hacker collective is not backing down in the face of an FBI investigation and denunciations of the attack from the Biden administration. It also signals that the group intends to carry out more ransom attacks on companies, even after it posted a cryptic message earlier this week indicating regret about the impact of the Colonial Pipeline hack and pledging to introduce "moderation" to "avoid social consequences in the future." One of the companies is based in the United States, one is in Brazil and the third is in Scotland. None of them appear to engage in critical infrastructure. Each company appears to be small enough that a crippling hack would otherwise fly under the radar if the hackers hadn't received worldwide notoriety by crippling gasoline supplies in the United States. In a separate report from The Associated Press, the East Coast pipeline company was found to have "atrocious" information management practices and "a patchwork of poorly connected and secured systems," according to an outside audit from three years ago. Slashdot reader wiredmikey shares an excerpt from the report: "We found glaring deficiencies and big problems," said Robert F. Smallwood, whose consulting firm delivered an 89-page report in January 2018 after a six-month audit. "I mean an eighth-grader could have hacked into that system." Colonial said it initiated the restart of pipeline operations on Wednesday afternoon and that it would take several days for supply delivery to return to normal.

[May 28, 2021] Was the Colonial Pipeline Co. ransomware attack a false flag operation ?

Probably it was not a false flag. First of all the state of IT security at Colonial Pipeline was so dismal that it was strange that this did not happened before. And there might be some truth that they try to exploit this hack to thier advantage as maintenance of the pipeline is also is dismal shape.
Notable quotes:
"... "As for the money-nobody really knows where it really went." If you are right about the perpetrators, my guess would be that it went into the black-ops fund, two birds one stone. ..."
"... I have become so used to false flags, I am going to be shocked when a real intrusion happens! ..."
"... an in depth article researching solarwinds hack - looks like it was Israel, not a great leap to see that colonial was a false flag https://unlimitedhangout.com/2021/01/investigative-reports/another-mega-group-spy-scandal-samanage-sabotage-and-the-solarwinds-hack/ ..."
"... Regarding the ownership of Colonial Pipeline: 'IFM Investors, which is owned by 27 Australian union- and employer-backed industry superannuation funds, owns a 16 per cent stake in Colonial Pipeline, which the infrastructure manager bought in 2007 for $US651 million.' ..."
"... 'The privately held Colonial Pipeline is valued at about $US8 billion, based upon the most recent sale of a 10 per cent stake to a unit of Royal Dutch Shell in 2019.' ..."
May 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Blackhat , May 19 2021 18:51 utc | 6

The Colonial Pipeline Co.,ransomware attack was a false flag. They wanted to blame Russian hackers so they could derail Nordstream II

It is common knowledge that the only real hackers that are able of such sabotage is CIA and Israeli. It's the same attack types they do to Iranian infrastructure on a regular basis.

The Russians are not that stupid to do something they know will be blamed on them and is of no political use to them. And could derail Nordstream2.

As for the money-nobody really knows where it really went. CEO is ultra corrupt. They never ever invested in their infrastructure so when it went down they came up with a profitable excuse. Just look at their financials/balance sheet over the years. No real investment in updating and maintaining infrastructure. Great false flag. Corruption and profiteering.


MarkU , May 19 2021 19:04 utc | 7

@ Blackhat | May 19 2021 18:51 utc | 6

"As for the money-nobody really knows where it really went." If you are right about the perpetrators, my guess would be that it went into the black-ops fund, two birds one stone.

james , May 19 2021 19:08 utc | 9

@ 6 blackhat..

I have become so used to false flags, I am going to be shocked when a real intrusion happens!

abee , May 19 2021 19:21 utc | 10

@ blackhat 6

an in depth article researching solarwinds hack - looks like it was Israel, not a great leap to see that colonial was a false flag https://unlimitedhangout.com/2021/01/investigative-reports/another-mega-group-spy-scandal-samanage-sabotage-and-the-solarwinds-hack/

vinnieoh , May 19 2021 20:05 utc | 15

Blackhat | May 19 2021 18:51 utc | 6

I'm not familiar with your handle - hello. IMO, it would be counterproductive for Russia to initiate such a hack. What really affects and debilitates US oil and gas interests is low prices, both at the pump and on the stock exchange. The hack helped jack up prices (which were already being jacked-up despite demand still lagging behind supply) which only HELPS those energy interests. It has long been known, the math isn't complicated, what level crude must trade at for US domestic oil & gas operations to be profitable. Remember that just as the pandemic was emerging Russia and Saudi Arabia once again sent the global crude market into the depths of despair.

I do agree the hack can be interpreted in light of the desperation of US energy interests to try to kill NS2. I have not yet read the recent articles discussing Biden's recent moves in that regard. If these moves are a recognition that US LNG to Europe (and elsewhere) are diametrically opposed to climate responsibility, I'd welcome those moves. As is usually the case though, environmental responsibility is probably the least likely reason.

vk , May 19 2021 22:31 utc | 35

Colonial Pipeline CEO confirms paying $4.4 million ransom to hackers, says he did it for America

This is USSR-of-the-1980s level of propaganda. Either way, give that man a statue in D.C.!

P.S.: this is the quotation of what the CEO really said, so you don't accusing me of just reading the headline:

"[it was very hard, difficult to me etc. etc.] But it was the right thing to do for the country," Blount, who leads the company since 2017, added.

--//--

No shit, Sherlock:

Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine hasn't been approved by EU due to political pressure from top officials – Moscow's spy chief

Paul , May 19 2021 23:42 utc | 42

Posted By Oldhippy @28

Thanks for your comment.

Regarding the ownership of Colonial Pipeline: 'IFM Investors, which is owned by 27 Australian union- and employer-backed industry superannuation funds, owns a 16 per cent stake in Colonial Pipeline, which the infrastructure manager bought in 2007 for $US651 million.'

also

'The privately held Colonial Pipeline is valued at about $US8 billion, based upon the most recent sale of a 10 per cent stake to a unit of Royal Dutch Shell in 2019.'

see Australian Financial Review 6 days ago.

Koch may well own another multi million $ stake.

[May 28, 2021] Cryptocurrency Miners Are Now Abusing the Free Tiers of Cloud Platforms

May 26, 2021 | news.slashdot.org

(therecord.media) 73

Posted by EditorDavid on Saturday May 22, 2021 @10:34AM from the cloud-kingdoms dept. An anonymous reader shares a report:

Over the course of the last few months, some crypto-mining gangs have switched their modus operandi from attacking and hijacking unpatched servers to abusing the free tiers of cloud computing platforms .

Gangs have been operating by registering accounts on selected platforms, signing up for a free tier, and running a cryptocurrency mining app on the provider's free tier infrastructure.

After trial periods or free credits reach their limits, the groups register a new account and start from the first step, keeping the provider's servers at their upper usage limit and slowing down their normal operations...

The list of services that have been abused this way includes the likes of GitHub, GitLab, Microsoft Azure, TravisCI, LayerCI, CircleCI, Render, CloudBees CodeShip, Sourcehut, and Okteto.

GitLab and Sourcehut have published blog posts detailing their efforts to curtail the problem, with Sourcehut complaining cryptocurrency miners are "deliberately circumventing our abuse detection," which "exhausts our resources and leads to long build queues for normal users."

In the article an engineer at CodeShip acknowledges "Our team has been swamped with dealing with this kind of stuff."

[May 11, 2021] Complexity and connectivity are the Achilles heel of industrial civilization

May 11, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

HOLE IN HEAD IGNORED 05/09/2021 at 2:09 pm

Too add ,
https://www.zerohedge.com/technology/clocks-ticking-colonial-pipeline-restart-after-72-hours-it-gets-really-tough
Complexity and connectivity are the Achilles heel of industrial civilization . REPLY STEPHEN HREN IGNORED 05/09/2021 at 8:36 pm

Good BBC article

Biden declares state of emergency over fuel cyber-attack https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57050690 REPLY LONGTIMBER IGNORED 05/10/2021 at 12:36 pm

Who are the Vendors for the SCADA systems? Rockwell, Honeywell, Siemens? Think twice about public facing gear from publicly listed companies, it's too costly to be honest about many exploits. I deploy routers from MikroTik, Tools built in to watch connections/traffic live. Simple to re-flash everything if you get suspicious. Lessons learned from the latest exploits of Solarwinds and M$ Exchange is the more you know you realize the wider the net. Blaming nation states for your own stupidity could result TEOTWAWKI. Building fault tolerant systems can reduce downtime, but who holds the keys? Covid wars is now ramping up into I N F R A W A R S REPLY LONGTIMBER IGNORED 05/10/2021 at 12:43 pm

"Complexity and connectivity are the Achilles heel of industrial civilization ."
How about foolish interdependence?
-Using Grid Power for refinery & pipelines
-UL1741 Grid Inter-tie Prevents most Solar Customers from using his own "System"
Fukushima survived the events just fine. The Final outcome was due to loss of power.

[Apr 13, 2021] Stuxnet sibling theory surges after Iran says nuke facility shut down by electrical fault The Register

Apr 13, 2021 | www.theregister.com

Evidence is thin, but Natanz enrichment facility is offline Simon Sharwood, APAC Editor Mon 12 Apr 2021 // 06:57 UTC SHARE


Iran has admitted that one of its nuclear facilities went offline over the weekend, and a single report claiming Israeli cyber-weapons were the cause has been widely accepted as a credible explanation for the incident.

Iran on Sunday published this announcement that said an "accident" impacted the "electricity distribution network" at its Natanz enrichment facility.

The facility was inaugurated the previous day, and is thought to have the capability to enrich Uranium and to represent capacity for uses prohibited under the US/Iran nuclear deal. The Trump administration tore up that deal, but the Biden administration hoped to revisit the pact.

Iranian officials have said that whatever hit Natanz was an act of "nuclear terrorism". The Register can find no indication that any radioactive material has been exposed.

Few nations like the idea of anyone in the Gulf region obtaining nuclear capabilities, but Israel is implacably opposed to the idea. In 1981 Israel bombed a nuclear plant in the early stages of construction in Iraq and is thought to have collaborated on the Stuxnet worm, discovered in 2010, that eventually damaged centrifuges used to refine nuclear materials at Iran's Natanz.

Iranian contractor named as Stuxnet 'patient zero' READ MORE

Not long after the news of this weekend's electrical incident, the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation reported that intelligence sources had told its reporters the accident was in fact a cyber-attack. The corporation is an independent public broadcaster.

But the say-so of just one of the corporation's shows is all the evidence that Israel had any hand in the attack. While Israel does not comment on such matters officially, Israeli politicians have claimed that Natanz was more badly damaged than Iran is letting on. And now the New York Times reports the event was a "detonation of explosives."

Iran says it is investigating the cause of the incident and will announce its findings in due course. ®

[Feb 14, 2021] A Windows Defender vulnerability lurked undetected for 12 years

Feb 14, 2021 | arstechnica.com

Just because a vulnerability is old doesn't mean it's not useful. Whether it's Adobe Flash hacking or the EternalBlue exploit for Windows , some methods are just too good for attackers to abandon, even if they're years past their prime. But a critical 12-year-old bug in Microsoft's ubiquitous Windows Defender antivirus was seemingly overlooked by attackers and defenders alike until recently. Now that Microsoft has finally patched it, the key is to make sure hackers don't try to make up for lost time.

The flaw, discovered by researchers at the security firm SentinelOne, showed up in a driver that Windows Defender -- renamed Microsoft Defender last year -- uses to delete the invasive files and infrastructure that malware can create. When the driver removes a malicious file, it replaces it with a new, benign one as a sort of placeholder during remediation. But the researchers discovered that the system doesn't specifically verify that new file. As a result, an attacker could insert strategic system links that direct the driver to overwrite the wrong file or even run malicious code.

Windows Defender would be endlessly useful to attackers for such a manipulation, because it ships with Windows by default and is therefore present in hundreds of millions of computers and servers around the world. The antivirus program is also highly trusted within the operating system, and the vulnerable driver is cryptographically signed by Microsoft to prove its legitimacy. In practice, an attacker exploiting the flaw could delete crucial software or data, or even direct the driver to run their own code to take over the device.

"This bug allows privilege escalation," says Kasif Dekel, senior security researcher at SentinelOne. "Software that's running under low privileges can elevate to administrative privileges and compromise the machine."

SentinelOne first reported the bug to Microsoft in mid-November, and the company released a patch on Tuesday. Microsoft rated the vulnerability as a "high" risk, though there are important caveats. The vulnerability can only be exploited when an attacker already has access -- remote or physical -- to a target device. This means it isn't a one-stop shop for hackers and would need to be deployed alongside other exploits in most attack scenarios. But it would still be an appealing target for hackers who already have that access. An attacker could take advantage of having compromised any Windows machine to bore deeper into a network or victim's device without having to first gain access to privileged user accounts, like those of administrators.

SentinelOne and Microsoft agree there is no evidence that the flaw was discovered and exploited prior to the researchers' analysis. And SentinelOne is withholding specifics on how the attackers could leverage the flaw to give Microsoft's patch time to proliferate. Now that the findings are public, though, it's only a matter of time before bad actors figure out how to take advantage. A Microsoft spokesperson noted that anyone who installed the February 9 patch, or has auto-updates enabled, is now protected.

[Dec 21, 2020] Boomerang returns: methods pioneered in Stuxnet and Flame return and bite the USA in the butt

CISA is an agency full of bureaucrats, not computer specialists. So any judgement is highly suspect. In my view "computer security bureaucrat" is typically a parasite or a charlatan. Traditionally computer security departments in large corporations often serve as a place to exile incompetent wannabes. I do not think the government is different. Real high quality programmers usually prefer to write their own software not to spend their time analyzing some obtuse malware code. Often high level honchos in such department are so obviously incompetent that it hurts. This is the same agency that declared Presidential election 2020 to be the most secure in history. So their statements are not worth the electrons used to put them on the screen, so say nothing about a ppar , if they manage to get into such rags as NYT or WaPo.
We need clear-eyed assessment from a real Windows OS specialists like for Stuxnet was Mark Russinovich , which is difficult in current circumstances.
Dec 21, 2020 | arstechnica.com

The supply chain attack used to breach federal agencies and at least one private company poses a "grave risk" to the United States, in part because the attackers likely used means other than just the SolarWinds backdoor to penetrate networks of interest, federal officials said on Thursday. One of those networks belongs to the National Nuclear Security Administration, which is responsible for the Los Alamos and Sandia labs, according to a report from Politico .

"This adversary has demonstrated an ability to exploit software supply chains and shown significant knowledge of Windows networks," officials with the Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency wrote in an alert . "It is likely that the adversary has additional initial access vectors and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) that have not yet been discovered." CISA, as the agency is abbreviated, is an arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

Elsewhere, officials wrote: "CISA has determined that this threat poses a grave risk to the Federal Government and state, local, tribal, and territorial governments as well as critical infrastructure entities and other private sector organizations."

Reuters, meanwhile, reported that the attackers breached a separate major technology supplier and used the compromise to get into high-value final targets. The news services cited two people briefed on the matter.

FURTHER READING Premiere security firm FireEye says it was breached by nation-state hackers The attackers, whom CISA said began their operation no later than March, managed to remain undetected until last week when security firm FireEye reported that hackers backed by a nation-state had penetrated deep into its network . Early this week, FireEye said that the hackers were infecting targets using Orion, a widely used network management tool from SolarWinds. After taking control of the Orion update mechanism, the attackers were using it to install a backdoor that FireEye researchers are calling Sunburst. Advertisement

me title=

FURTHER READING Russian hackers hit US government using widespread supply chain attack Sunday was also when multiple news outlets, citing unnamed people, reported that the hackers had used the backdoor in Orion to breach networks belonging to the Departments of Commerce, Treasury, and possibly other agencies. The Department of Homeland Security and the National Institutes of Health were later added to the list. Bleak assessment

Thursday's CISA alert provided an unusually bleak assessment of the hack; the threat it poses to government agencies at the national, state, and local levels; and the skill, persistence, and time that will be required to expel the attackers from networks they had penetrated for months undetected.

"This APT actor has demonstrated patience, operational security, and complex tradecraft in these intrusions," officials wrote in Thursday's alert. "CISA expects that removing this threat actor from compromised environments will be highly complex and challenging for organizations."

The officials went on to provide another bleak assessment: "CISA has evidence of additional initial access vectors, other than the SolarWinds Orion platform; however, these are still being investigated. CISA will update this Alert as new information becomes available."

The advisory didn't say what the additional vectors might be, but the officials went on to note the skill required to infect the SolarWinds software build platform, distribute backdoors to 18,000 customers, and then remain undetected in infected networks for months.

"This adversary has demonstrated an ability to exploit software supply chains and shown significant knowledge of Windows networks," they wrote. "It is likely that the adversary has additional initial access vectors and tactics, techniques, and procedures that have not yet been discovered."

Among the many federal agencies that used SolarWinds Orion, reportedly, was the Internal Revenue Service. On Thursday, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig asking that he provide a briefing on whether taxpayer data was compromised.

Advertisement

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They wrote:

The IRS appears to have been a customer of SolarWinds as recently as 2017. Given the extreme sensitivity of personal taxpayer information entrusted to the IRS, and the harm both to Americans' privacy and our national security that could result from the theft and exploitation of this data by our adversaries, it is imperative that we understand the extent to which the IRS may have been compromised. It is also critical that we understand what actions the IRS is taking to mitigate any potential damage, ensure that hackers do not still have access to internal IRS systems, and prevent future hacks of taxpayer data.

IRS representatives didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment for this post.

The CISA alert said the key takeaways from its investigation so far are:

This is a patient, well-resourced, and focused adversary that has sustained long duration activity on victim networks The SolarWinds Orion supply chain compromise is not the only initial infection vector this APT actor leveraged Not all organizations that have the backdoor delivered through SolarWinds Orion have been targeted by the adversary with follow-on actions Organizations with suspected compromises need to be highly conscious of operational security, including when engaging in incident response activities and planning and implementing remediation plans

What has emerged so far is that this is an extraordinary hack whose full scope and effects won't be known for weeks or even months. Additional shoes are likely to drop early and often.

[Dec 21, 2020] PowerPoint Presentation

Dec 21, 2020 | video.ch9.ms

video.ch9.ms /sessions/teched/na/2013/ATC-B308_Russinovich.pptx Stuxnet . Discovered June 2010 after it had spread for year. Exploited 4 zero day Windows vulnerabilities. Print spooler for remote code execution. ... Written by Mark Russinovich andAaron Margosis. Full chapters on the major tools: Process Explorer. Process Monitor. Autoruns.

[Dec 20, 2020] Siemens was ntimately involved in sabotage of Iran centrifuges

Dec 20, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

chu teh , Dec 18 2020 22:49 utc | 116

Canadian Cents | Dec 17 2020 21:00 utc | 38

Just WOW.Thanks referral to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgzB4_Zw3RE

I worked electrical/nuclear with early Programmable controllers/and at maintenance at Nuc Pwr Generators and alongside Westinghouse and Alstom personnel, etc. and could not make sense of , for example,

1. Big rush job to "upgrade" nuc electrical control and s/ware at a pwr plant
2.Suddenly GE buys Alstom
3. Siemens intimately involved in sabotage of Iran centrifuges ;[BTW was at U. when Jesse Beams was spinning at 1 million rps., so I paid attention]

Well, reference link just explained a whole lot!

chu teh , Dec 18 2020 23:09 utc | 117

add to my # 116, above, a point "4."...

4. Mitsubishi Heavy Ind. sells 4 unique steam generators to US nuc plant, , they all fail, and 2 operating nuc pwr plants are suddenly shut down...forever [SONGS]. The entire reasons for failure are true, but absurd in how the failures were "allowed" to happen. E.g., the certification process was grossly inept and failure was invited, if not assured.

[Dec 17, 2020] Media Blame Russia For Cyber Intrusions Without Providing Evidence

Reminds me the attack on Iranian uranium enrichment infrastructure, which also used patches as the way to inject malware into the system. And who were the players in this attack?
Notable quotes:
"... Moon of Alabama ..."
"... Next to the NSA and Britain's GHCQ there are at least Israel, China and maybe Russia which do have such capabilities. But whoever had the chutzpah to intrude the cybersecurity company FireEye ..."
"... 'People familiar with the issue' say 'Russia is believed to be responsible'. Well, some kids familiar with wobbly teeth believe in the tooth fairy. What is that 'believe' based on? ..."
"... Associated Press ..."
"... Atlantic Council ..."
Dec 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
To keep Moon of Alabama up and running is a significant effort. Please help me to sustain it . - b

As soon as someone hacked something the media start to blame Russia. This even when there is no evidence that Russia hacked anything.

On Tuesday, December 8, the network security company FireEye reported of a recent attack on its network :

Based on my 25 years in cyber security and responding to incidents, I've concluded we are witnessing an attack by a nation with top-tier offensive capabilities. This attack is different from the tens of thousands of incidents we have responded to throughout the years. The attackers tailored their world-class capabilities specifically to target and attack FireEye. They are highly trained in operational security and executed with discipline and focus. They operated clandestinely, using methods that counter security tools and forensic examination. They used a novel combination of techniques not witnessed by us or our partners in the past.

We are actively investigating in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other key partners, including Microsoft. Their initial analysis supports our conclusion that this was the work of a highly sophisticated state-sponsored attacker utilizing novel techniques.

Intruding a cybersecurity company is a mistake as the chance of getting caught is significantly higher that during an intrusion into other environments. The intruders allegedly made off with some tools which likely can also be found in the wild.

On Sunday FireEye updated its analysis and provided technical details . This really was a sophisticated operation that must have cost significant resources :

We have identified a global campaign that introduces a compromise into the networks of public and private organizations through the software supply chain. This compromise is delivered through updates to a widely-used IT infrastructure management software -- the Orion network monitoring product from SolarWinds . The campaign demonstrates top-tier operational tradecraft and resourcing consistent with state-sponsored threat actors.

Based on our analysis, the attacks that we believe have been conducted as part of this campaign share certain common elements:

Based on our analysis, we have now identified multiple organizations where we see indications of compromise dating back to the Spring of 2020, and we are in the process of notifying those organizations. Our analysis indicates that these compromises are not self-propagating; each of the attacks require meticulous planning and manual interaction.

Neither FireEye nor Microsoft named any suspected actor behind the 'difficult-to-attribute' intrusion effort. Next to the NSA and Britain's GHCQ there are at least Israel, China and maybe Russia which do have such capabilities. But whoever had the chutzpah to intrude the cybersecurity company FireEye also blew up their own operation against many targets of much higher value. Years of work and millions of dollars went to waste because of that one mistake.

Despite the lack of evidence that points to a specific actor 'western' media immediately blamed Russia for the spying attempt.

As Reuters reported on Sunday :

Hackers believed to be working for Russia have been monitoring internal email traffic at the U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments, according to people familiar with the matter, adding they feared the hacks uncovered so far may be the tip of the iceberg.

The hack is so serious it led to a National Security Council meeting at the White House on Saturday, said one of the people familiar with the matter.
...
The U.S. government has not publicly identified who might be behind the hacking , but three of the people familiar with the investigation said Russia is currently believed to be responsible for the attack . Two of the people said that the breaches are connected to a broad campaign that also involved the recently disclosed hack on FireEye, a major U.S. cybersecurity company with government and commercial contracts.

In a statement posted here to Facebook, the Russian foreign ministry described the allegations as another unfounded attempt by the U.S. media to blame Russia for cyberattacks against U.S. agencies.

'People familiar with the issue' say 'Russia is believed to be responsible'. Well, some kids familiar with wobbly teeth believe in the tooth fairy. What is that 'believe' based on?

The Associated Press reported on the wider aspect of the intrusions and also blamed Russia:

Hackers broke into the networks of the Treasury and Commerce departments as part of a monthslong global cyberespionage campaign revealed Sunday, just days after the prominent cybersecurity firm FireEye said it had been breached in an attack that industry experts said bore the hallmarks of Russian tradecraft.

I have read FireEye's and Microsoft's detailed technical analysis of the intrusion and took a look at the code . As a (former) IT professional very familiar with network management, I have seen nothing in it that points to Russia. Who are those 'industry experts' who make such unfounded claims?

In response to what may be a large-scale penetration of U.S. government agencies, the Department of Homeland Security's cybersecurity arm issued an emergency directive calling on all federal civilian agencies to scour their networks for compromises.

The threat apparently came from the same cyberespionage campaign that has afflicted FireEye, foreign governments and major corporations, and the FBI was investigating.

"This can turn into one of the most impactful espionage campaigns on record," said cybersecurity expert Dmitri Alperovitch .

Ah - the AP talked to Alperovitch, the former chief technical officer of the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike . The company which in 2016 claimed that Russia had stolen emails from the Democratic National Council but could not provide any evidence of that to the FBI. The company that admitted in Congress testimony that it did not see any exfiltration of emails from the DNC and had no evidence that Russia was involved. Alperovitch is also the 'industry expert' who falsely claimed that Russia hacked into an application used by the Ukrainian artillery. The same Alperovich who is a Senior Fellow of the anti-Russian lobbying organization Atlantic Council . Alperovitch apparently has never seen a software bug or malware that was not made by Russia.

Quoting an earlier version of the above AP story Max Abrams predicted:

Max Abrahms @MaxAbrahms - 3:20 UTC · Dec 14, 2020

"The U.S. government did not publicly identify Russia as the culprit behind the hacks, first reported by Reuters, and said little about who might be responsible."

You know this story will be retold as all 17 intel agencies 100% certain Putin is behind it.

That is indeed likely to happen.

Even while there is no hint in the intrusion software where it might have come from the media all started to blame Russia.

On Sunday, in its first report on the attack, the New York Times headlined:

Russian Hackers Broke Into Federal Agencies, U.S. Officials Suspect

Its chief propagandist David Sanger wrote:

The Trump administration acknowledged on Sunday that hackers acting on behalf of a foreign government -- almost certainly a Russian intelligence agency, according to federal and private experts -- broke into a range of key government networks, including in the Treasury and Commerce Departments, and had free access to their email systems.
...
News of the breach, reported earlier by Reuters , came less than a week after the National Security Agency, which is responsible for breaking into foreign computer networks and defending the most sensitive U.S. national security systems, issued a warning that "Russian state-sponsored actors" were exploiting flaws in a system broadly used in the federal government.

That warning by the NSA was about a known vulnerability in VMware, a software issue that is completely unrelated to the intrusions FireEye had detected and which targeted multiple government agencies.

Not bothering with facts the NYT continued its insinuations :

At the time, the N.S.A. refused to give further details of what had prompted the urgent warning. Shortly afterward, FireEye announced that hackers working for a state had stolen some of its prized tools for finding vulnerabilities in its clients' systems -- including the federal government's. That investigation also pointed toward the S.V.R., one of Russia's leading intelligence agencies. It is often called Cozy Bear or A.P.T. 29, and it is known as a traditional collector of intelligence.

No, the investigation by FireEye does not point in any direction. The company did not name a suspected actor and it did not mention Russia or the S.V.R. at all. The intrusion is also in no way similar to those phishing attempts that some have named Cozy Bear or APT 29.

The Times then further discredits itself by quoting the anti-Russian nutter Alperovich.

On Monday another NYT piece, co-written by Sanger, describes the wider attack and includes the word 'Russia' 23 times! But it does not provide any evidence for any Russian involvement in the case. This is the nearest it comes to:

The early assessments of the intrusions -- believed to be the work of Russia's S.V.R., a successor to the K.G.B. -- suggest that the hackers were highly selective about which victims they exploited for further access and data theft.

'Believed to be' the tooth fairy?

The piece also falsely insinuates that FireEye has linked the attack to Russia:

FireEye said that despite their widespread access, Russian hackers exploited only what was considered the most valuable targets.

Nowhere did FireEye say anything about Russian hackers. It only stated that the intrusions were specifically targeted. The implication of Russia only happened in the NYT writers' heads.

Reuters reports today :

On Monday, SolarWinds confirmed that Orion - its flagship network management software - had served as the unwitting conduit for a sprawling international cyberespionage operation. The hackers inserted malicious code into Orion software updates pushed out to nearly 18,000 customers.

And while the number of affected organizations is thought to be much more modest, the hackers have already parlayed their access into consequential breaches at the U.S. Treasury and Department of Commerce.

Three people familiar with the investigation have told Reuters that Russia is a top suspect, although others familiar with the inquiry have said it is still too early to tell.

As of now no one but the people behind the intrusion know where it has come from.

SolarWinds , the company behind the network management software that was abused to intrude agencies and companies, is known for a lack of security:

SolarWinds' security, meanwhile, has come under new scrutiny.

In one previously unreported issue, multiple criminals have offered to sell access to SolarWinds' computers through underground forums, according to two researchers who separately had access to those forums.

One of those offering claimed access over the Exploit forum in 2017 was known as "fxmsp" and is wanted by the FBI "for involvement in several high-profile incidents," said Mark Arena, chief executive of cybercrime intelligence firm Intel471. Arena informed his company's clients, which include U.S. law enforcement agencies.

Security researcher Vinoth Kumar told Reuters that, last year, he alerted the company that anyone could access SolarWinds' update server by using the password "solarwinds123"

"This could have been done by any attacker, easily," Kumar said.

And that's it.

Any significant actor with the necessary resources could have used the publicly known SolarWinds' password to sneak some malware into the Orion software update process to thereby intrude SolarWinds' customers and spy on them. Without further definitive evidence there is no reason to attribute the intrusions to Russia.

If anyone is to blame it is surely SolarWinds which has learned nothing from the attack. Monday night, days after it was warned, its infected software was still available on its servers . It seems that the SolarWinds people were busy with more important issues than their customers' security:

Top investors in SolarWinds, the Texas-based company whose software was breached in a major Russian cyberattack, sold millions of dollars in stock in the days before the intrusion was revealed.

The timing of the trades raises questions about whether the investors used inside information to avoid major losses related to the attack. SolarWinds's share price has plunged roughly 22 percent since the company disclosed its role in the breach Sunday night.

Note the casual use of 'Russian cyberattack', for which there is no evidence, in the very first sentence.

Silver Lake, a Silicon Valley investor with a history of high-profile tech deals including Airbnb, Dell and Twitter, sold $158 million in shares of SolarWinds on Dec. 7 -- six days before news of the breach became public. Thoma Bravo, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, also sold $128 million of its shares in SolarWinds on Dec. 7.

Together, the two investment firms own 70 percent of SolarWinds and control six of the company's board seats, giving the firms access to key information and making their stock trades subject to federal rules around financial disclosures.

Well, grifters are gonna grift.

And 'western' mainstream writers will blame Russia for anything completely independent of what really happened.

Posted by b on December 16, 2020 at 19:07 UTC | Permalink


Hoyeru , Dec 16 2020 19:24 utc | 1

since when has USA needed evidence? They blamed Saddam for years that he had "weapons of mass distraction". And back in 1990, they created the famous "Iraq solders took babies out fo incubators " lies. Some of us have lived longer than 30 years and we remember all the lies USA has said.

all part of the plan to cut Russia from the SWIFT in 2021.
once Biden becomes a president, he will call on all "democracies" to stand up to Russia. He and other "Western democracies" will hold a joint meeting sometime in 2021 where they will "condemn Russia for all the malign things Russia has done" and will press Belgium to cut Russia fro the SWIFT.
Whats wore, instead of doing anything, Russia is just sitting and watching them instead of warming Europe that this will mean Europe will freeze their collective asses next winter when they won't be able to get Russia gas. Even Iran is warning Russia that they will be cut off from the SWIFT.
Putin is getting old and sick, Russia desperately needs a leader who will stand up to those assholes and warn them to stop. Oh well, it's NOT my problem. Russia better get its asshole oiled up, it will need it. Putin is a weak and inefficient leader, and the SAker IS full of shit.

TH , Dec 16 2020 19:24 utc | 2
I believe that there are a few golden rules that can be applied to news stories:

1) If the first sentence contains a variation of the words "according to," then the story is at least partially bullsh*t
2) If a variation of "according to" is in the headline, then every word of the story is a lie

Roger , Dec 16 2020 19:39 utc | 3
@Hoyeru,

I have to agree with you, the deep state just cannot get over losing Russia to Putin and nationalism after the thought that they had turned it into their playground in the 1990s. They are hot to trot to take out Russia and make it bend the knee, whatever the risks are. Would not put it past them to pull the SWIFT option, although that would have huge implications for the Europeans who buy so much oil and gas from Russia.

It could end up as an own goal, as the Europeans join the Russian payments network and start paying in Euros convertible directly into Rubles (especially with Nordstream 2 in place). The Indians and Chinese are already setup for payments in local currencies. Right now China needs Russia as an ally, so they would also probably re-source oil imports to take more from Russia.

Russia has already made itself self sufficient in food etc., and has been working on payments in local currencies. They are not stupid, and see such a move coming.

iv> Since Wikileaks first publicised its hacking of the infamous Vault 7 emails demonstrating that the CIA had the ability to attach certain metadata to its own hacking activities, to insinuate that Russian or Chinese hackers were responsible (and thus put future investigators on a wrong trail away from the actual culprits), I don't rule out that the CIA and possibly other intel agencies chummy with it may have penetrated FireEye. Especially as these hacking attempts appear to have specific targets and some investors in the companies affected by these hacking attempts seem to employ crystal ball gazers so they were able to divest themselves of huge numbers of shares and make tidy profits before news of the hacking came out which would have sent these hacked companies' share prices down into an abyss. Could some of the hackers themselves be shareholders in the hacked firms?

Posted by: Jen , Dec 16 2020 19:44 utc | 4

Since Wikileaks first publicised its hacking of the infamous Vault 7 emails demonstrating that the CIA had the ability to attach certain metadata to its own hacking activities, to insinuate that Russian or Chinese hackers were responsible (and thus put future investigators on a wrong trail away from the actual culprits), I don't rule out that the CIA and possibly other intel agencies chummy with it may have penetrated FireEye. Especially as these hacking attempts appear to have specific targets and some investors in the companies affected by these hacking attempts seem to employ crystal ball gazers so they were able to divest themselves of huge numbers of shares and make tidy profits before news of the hacking came out which would have sent these hacked companies' share prices down into an abyss. Could some of the hackers themselves be shareholders in the hacked firms?

Posted by: Jen | Dec 16 2020 19:44 utc | 4

William Gruff , Dec 16 2020 19:46 utc | 5
Meanwhile in East Flatrock Tennessee a group of teens is laughing.

"They said our hack was 'an attack by a nation with top-tier offensive capabilities'! You hear that? We're a nation now! With 'top-tier offensive capabilities' at that! How awesome is that?"

gottlieb , Dec 16 2020 19:46 utc | 6
The CIA remains firmly in charge of US policy and the mainstream media.
Jen , Dec 16 2020 19:51 utc | 7
Hoyeru @ 1:

I believe the Russian President's annual Q&A session is taking place on 17 December 2020. It will be televised and probably videos of it will be uploaded to Youtube and other platforms over the next few days. The President's own website will feature transcripts of the session in Russian and English, and probably sevetal other languages. The Q&A session is usually a marathon affair running several hours. If you watch it, you will find out how ill Putin appears to be.

james , Dec 16 2020 19:54 utc | 8
b - master propaganda buster, lol... go get em b! i am surprised they aren't coming after you! maybe they figure you are a relatively obscure presence that will remain irrelevant for all intensive purposes... and they haven't figured out how to pull an assange or snowden on you - yet.... you better have some protection with the kgb and know how to speak a little russian!
vk , Dec 16 2020 19:55 utc | 9
Based on my 25 years in cyber security and responding to incidents, I've concluded we are witnessing an attack by a nation with top-tier offensive capabilities.

Translation: we fucked up and we're gonna blame either China or Russia, depending on the customer's preference (Republican or Democrat), in order to avoid blame and keep our stock prices from falling.

If you go to Fox News et al, I'm sure they'll be blaming China.

karlof1 , Dec 16 2020 20:14 utc | 10
If you've followed Lavrov's trail for the month of December, he's been in top form in his denunciations of the United States of Voldemort and its neverending illegalities and immoral actions. For the curious, the most recent are on the week in review thread. IMO, what constitutes the Outlaw US Empire's mainstream media lacks credibility across the spectrum of potential topics just as does the federal government. The planet will be a happier place if those two entities are just cast away and allowed to drift upon the endless sea of filth they generate daily.
JohninMK , Dec 16 2020 20:21 utc | 11
From what I have read there does not appear to be any malicious intent at any of the targeted organisations, but that might be wrong.

Maybe the attack on FireEye was an intentional way of exposing what they had done. It created some interesting press.

fyi , Dec 16 2020 20:24 utc | 12
Dear All:

The Russian Federation can annihilate the United States and US has no defenses against that.

So they indulge in such self-propaganda exercise, puffing up themselves and their population, and then they go home, knowing that RF can destroy them.

On the other hand, US can annihilate Iran and Iran cannot do anything about that either.

So they indulge in such self-propaganda exercise, puffing up themselves and their population, and then they go home, knowing that US can destroy them.

The only difference between Iran and Russia is that Iran is not a nuclear-armed state, targeting US cities.

I wonder what percentage of Americans are willing to nuke the Russian Federation - in contradistinction to the 59% who are willing to nuke Iran - per this M.I.T. report

https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/ISEC_a_00284.

Framarz , Dec 16 2020 20:24 utc | 13
SL Ayatollah Khamenei by audience of General Soleimani family

"Ayatollah Khamenei said: The funeral of millions of martyrs of Soleimani was the first severe slap in the face to the Americans, but the more severe slap is "software overcoming the absurd hegemony of arrogance" and "expelling the United States from the region". It is definite whenever possible." Fars News Agency 16.12.20

iv> To be honest, this isn't even worth talking about. A non-story that doesn't deserve any oxygen at all.

Posted by: Clifton , Dec 16 2020 20:29 utc | 14

To be honest, this isn't even worth talking about. A non-story that doesn't deserve any oxygen at all.

Posted by: Clifton | Dec 16 2020 20:29 utc | 14

fyi , Dec 16 2020 20:31 utc | 15
Mr. Framarz

The funerals of the late Abu Mehdi Mohandess, the late Brigadier General Solimani and their companions have been unprecedent in the history of Shia Islam - to my knowledge.

Americans carried out an act that betrayed the extent of their hatred for Iran (as a country) and Shia (as a religion).

It was not the act of a sane sovereign - but as I have maintained for a long time - those of a Mad King.

That action, in my opinion, ended the possibility of the United States staying in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Syria, or in Lebanon.

I wonder how the Shia would react, overtime, in the Azerbaijan Republic, in Kuwait, in Bahrain to the United States in the future.

powerandpeople , Dec 16 2020 20:34 utc | 16
"Neither FireEye nor Microsoft named any suspected actor behind the 'difficult-to-attribute' intrusion effort. Next to the NSA and Britain's GHCQ there are at least Israel, China and maybe Russia which do have such capabilities. But whoever had the chutzpah to intrude the cybersecurity company FireEye also blew up their own operation against many targets of much higher value. Years of work and millions of dollars went to waste because of that one mistake."

Well if software+SolarWind+elections = manipulation => proven[before date]

then a country, either from the list of those with 'capabilities', or another whose capablities were until now unknown, will have invalidated the US election.

BIG - IF true.

A big IF.

fyi , Dec 16 2020 20:34 utc | 17
Mr. Clifton

Perhaps it may be not worthwhile to discuss the main topic of this thread but I think it is worthwhile to note it as an indication of the unwillingness to face the World as it is by many in the United States at all levels.

willie , Dec 16 2020 20:56 utc | 18
Now der spiegel,le monde and le figaro have info from Bellingcat about a team of eight FSB spies and chemical specialist following Navalny for years to take him out,yet not succeeding.Even the most gullible "Russia,Russia,Russia" consumers start to find this ridiculous,judging by the comments.Some indeed start to have concerns about a new war on russia ,that will obviously obliterate all of western-europe.

https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/fall-alexej-nawalny-mutmassliche-taeter-eines-geheimdienstkommandos-enttarnt-a-19e6378b-1726-4fce-9058-f78adb197828

https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/alexej-nawalny-der-kreml-und-der-anschlag-auf-wladimir-putins-angstgegner-a-00000000-0002-0001-0000-000172728796

https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/alexej-nawalny-kreml-medien-verschweigen-neue-erkenntnisse-zum-giftanschlag-a-1f9bcbec-c454-48fd-9ed7-e9021e74651d

They had four articles about this in two days.Mockingbird in full speed.It is very clear to me now that Spiegel ex-journo Udo Ulfkotte was "heartattacked" for outing CIA mastering der Spiegel in his book.

Mao Cheng Ji , Dec 16 2020 21:04 utc | 19
"This attack is different from the tens of thousands of incidents we have responded to throughout the years.[...] ...this was the work of a highly sophisticated state-sponsored attacker utilizing novel techniques"

"Incidents we have responded to"? Meh. Also, this "attack" may or may not be different from the (likely) tens of thousands of incidents that they've never detected.

willie , Dec 16 2020 21:13 utc | 20
Facebook discovered and neutralized a troll farm's accounts related to the french army in Central African Republic and Mali,working against russian st.petersburg related trollfarm accounts,that they neutralized as well.This is all about the french countering russians (and chinese) getting foothold amongst africans,you know the people they threw napalm on in the fifties,like they did in Vietnam way before the americans,to pacify those people.

https://www.01net.com/actualites/facebook-demantele-un-reseau-de-trolls-de-l-armee-francaise-en-afrique-2019443.html

https://www.lefigaro.fr/secteur/high-tech/afrique-facebook-ferme-de-faux-comptes-de-desinformation-lies-a-l-armee-francaise-20201216


https://www.lefigaro.fr/international/l-ombre-des-services-secrets-russes-derriere-l-affaire-navalny-20201215

Norwegian , Dec 16 2020 21:14 utc | 21
Their initial analysis supports our conclusion that this was the work of a highly sophisticated state-sponsored attacker utilizing novel techniques.

So just fake or the CIA.

This is getting boring.

willie , Dec 16 2020 21:20 utc | 22
And of course Navalny is such a hot item that bellingcats's video on youtube got 10 million viewers within 48 hours.War on Russia,who is marching on Moscou,any volunteers?The germans and the french were not very lucky with that in the past,let the united americans have a try,after all its only europe that is meant for destruction either way.The Rotschilds will be proud of you.
Framarz , Dec 16 2020 21:21 utc | 23
@Norwegian 21

For me it was enough to read in the news that U.S. Treasury and Commerce department was among the targets to know who stand behind this operation. It must be very humiliating for US government, that's why the synchronous chorus about the "Russian Cyberattack", they know well that it was not Russia ...

U.S. Treasury and Commerce department is the driving force behind "maximum pressure" sanctions against Iran, terrorizing the Iranian population even blocking trade of medicine necessary for the treatment of kids with chronically illness.

Now Iranians sit with a complete list of U.S. Treasury and Commerce executives and their secrets, that would make it difficult for these economical terrorists to have a relaxing sleep at night. The extra bonus is what Iran got from all other US departments, useful for the future.
US need to restructure a whole lot of their IT network. protocols, hardware, even administrators at government and security level to repair at least part of the damage done.

Khameneie calls it a "sever slap" for the assassination of general Soleimani, one must agree a mind-blowing one indeed ...

uncle tungsten , Dec 16 2020 21:28 utc | 24
b reports FireEye saying
"We are actively investigating in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other key partners, including Microsoft. Their initial analysis supports our conclusion that this was the work of a highly sophisticated state-sponsored attacker utilizing novel techniques."

Interpreted as "we screwed up, that Microsoft Defender software is a POS and to think FireEye AND FBI relied on their crap upgrades - we had better blame Russia and save our total embarrassment.

uncle tungsten , Dec 16 2020 21:36 utc | 25
willie #18
They had four articles about this in two days.Mockingbird in full speed.It is very clear to me now that Spiegel ex-journo Udo Ulfkotte was "heartattacked" for outing CIA mastering der Spiegel in his book.

Thank you and I fully agree - 'heartbreaker herb' is native to a few eastern countries and known as an end of life choice of tea that is used by malign actors for centuries. Hard to find a reference to it these days as most search engines have hidden it. One used to be able to read of it.

karlof1 , Dec 16 2020 21:36 utc | 26
willie @22--

The "united americans" had their try during Russia's Civil War but didn't get very far. Then they tried carpetbagging neoliberal parasites, and they failed too, although they did considerable damage. Currently within the Outlaw US Empire, about as many people are out of work as reside within all of Russia, and their government cares not a whit what happens to them. On the other hand, President Putin has made it clear on many occasions that every Russian life is treasured by him and the Russian government, with more support given Russians than at any previous time by the USSR.

karlof1 , Dec 16 2020 21:41 utc | 27
Framarz @23--

The Outlaw US Empire is woeful when it comes to IT. Medicare today still runs on DOS, and it's likely many other departments do as well.

William Gruff , Dec 16 2020 21:42 utc | 28
Just so that everyone knows that what this => Framarz @23 poster says is entirely possible, back in the olden days when I was helping with Linux kernel space stuff Iran was one of the top five countries where code was being submitted from. Iran has more than just a few very sharp codesmiths.
Rob , Dec 16 2020 21:50 utc | 29
Regarding the David Sanger fantasy piece published in the NYT, I commented on the Times's website that Sanger made the claim of Russian culpability without providing a shred of actual evidence. Much to my surprise, my comment was accepted for publication. Shortly thereafter, it mysteriously vanished into the ether, no doubt having been read and removed by some editor or even by slimeball Sanger himself. Now that was not a surprise.
Framarz , Dec 16 2020 21:53 utc | 30
Thanks for your contribution but it's crystal clear that Khamenei took the responsibility for this operation today, looking at the eyes of Soleimani's daughter and saying what he said: (english text)

fna(dot)ir/f1cm2o

- looks like use of (ir) domain causing the text to be blocked, convert the dot

c1ue , Dec 16 2020 22:21 utc | 31
Indeed - if there's anything to be learned, it is that cyber security even in government intel agencies (Snowden), the military (Manning), political parties (Clinton emails) and now FireEye plus numerous other Solarwinds customers - is marked more for what it isn't than for what it is.
This on top of the damage caused by NotPetya and WannaCry - both of which did so much damage because clearly even Fortune 50 companies don't bother to segment their networks even between countries.
Incompetence and CYA rules the day.
iv> framarz link might show up later.. i just posted it, but it is in the cue to be released later, or not..

Posted by: james , Dec 16 2020 22:58 utc | 32

framarz link might show up later.. i just posted it, but it is in the cue to be released later, or not..

Posted by: james | Dec 16 2020 22:58 utc | 32

gm , Dec 16 2020 23:05 utc | 33
Re: They had four articles about this in two days.Mockingbird in full speed.It is very clear to me now that Spiegel ex-journo Udo Ulfkotte was "heartattacked" for outing CIA mastering der Spiegel in his book.

-Posted by: willie | Dec 16 2020 20:56 utc | 18

Didn't know that until you shared just now. Really terrible if true, but not that surprising given recent events. Wikipedia sez he died 13 January 2017 (aged 56). That would have happened during the Obama/Brennan period.

Lurk , Dec 16 2020 23:11 utc | 34
@ uncle tungsten | Dec 16 2020 21:36 utc | 25

If I understand correctly what you're hinting at, then I'll add that the alps and the nordic countries are also rife with it. It's principle active alkaloid is easily to determine port-mortem and if you're lucky, a good clinician will also diagnose it correctly before it's too late..

Less easy to pinpoint are the effects of targeted exposure with masers.

Peter AU1 , Dec 16 2020 23:37 utc | 35
"But whoever had the chutzpah to intrude the cybersecurity company FireEye also blew up their own operation against many targets of much higher value. Years of work and millions of dollars went to waste because of that one mistake."

yankistan propaganda always inserts a clause to show that hackers are bumblers. Reading the very short one sentence report in Reuters, the yanks got hit hard. pompus had to fly home and cut short his cold/hot war rabble rousing efforts.

arby , Dec 16 2020 23:56 utc | 36
Peter AU1 @ 35

I read that sentence as well and I assumed that b wrote that.

Michael , Dec 17 2020 0:31 utc | 37
@35 Peter

Thank you so much for "Yankistan". That sums it up nicely.

b's observation also gives a clue that it may very well be a white hat attack by the NSA. Lucky for us they could go the extra mile and give it some "positive" spin. Snark.

Bemildred , Dec 17 2020 0:34 utc | 38
The Register has some info on the hack:

US Treasury, Dept of Commerce hacks linked to SolarWinds IT monitoring software supply-chain attack

chu teh , Dec 17 2020 0:44 utc | 39
[This post not appear, so here it is without links]

Whatever is the definition of "intelligence", certainly it must be inclusive of this example, from Khamenei:

"Lifting sanctions is up to the enemy, but nullifying them is up to us'"

Also, he said "We must be strong in all areas, including economy, science, technology and defense, because as long as we do not grow strong, the enemies will not give up greed and aggression."

Now, compare that last to JV Stalin's 1931 speech in the run-up to WW 2:

"One feature of the history of old Russia was the continual beatings she suffered because of her backwardness. ... All beat her -- because of her backwardness, because of her military backwardness, cultural backwardness, political backwardness, industrial backwardness, agricultural backwardness. They beat her because it was profitable and could be done with impunity..."

Interesting, eh?

Hat-tip to Framarz | Dec 16 2020 21:53 utc | 30 for Khamenei link.
Stalin's speech link to follow...if it posts.

chu teh , Dec 17 2020 0:48 utc | 40
Here is link to JV Stalin speech in #40, above.


https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1931/02/04.htm

_K_C_ , Dec 17 2020 0:53 utc | 41
This cyber attack has NSA written all over it. Either that or the attackers had access to the tools that were leaked from the NSA trove. The tactics at least are very similar in some ways.

@willie - I posted a link to CNN's joint investigation with Bellingcat, Der Spiegel, and "The Insider" the other day in the open thread. Nobody seemed to have noticed. Looks like Russia has responded to them.

Quote: This report is funny to read.

I didn't have time to delve into all the different pages that comprise Bellingcat's allegations nor did I see anywhere in their stated methodology how they got access to these phone records that they're claiming correspond to the agents tailing Navalny. At least they didn't call him "opposition leader" this time - just "opposition activist" or something like that. LOL I'll be interested to see b's take on this affair once he's had time to digest it - and there is a lot to digest.

Clifton , Dec 17 2020 1:14 utc | 42
What is so cynical is that during the last three years of fake "Russian Collusion" certain politicians were colluding with the Chinese CCP, ie in actuality doing what they were accusing Trump of doing. Inevitable now that there is big trouble brewing in the US, I don't see how all the fraud evidence on every level can be disregarded, let alone apparent foreign involvement in the voting machines.
iv> Russians get blamed for everything:
https://fair.org/home/a-cia-officer-has-a-headache-media-blame-russia/
and via the lobster,
https://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/free/lobster80/lob80-view-from-the-bridge.pdf?cache=228
the killing of Gareth Williams of MI6
< https://tinyurl.com/y4t3dmuj>
We are very close to the point at which the lies http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/56040.htm
become so ridiculous that they lose their power to confuse.
And there is bellingcat who now leads the front page of The Guardian with his fairy tales.
Luckily in addition to b we have http://johnhelmer.net/

Posted by: bevin , Dec 17 2020 1:30 utc | 43

Russians get blamed for everything:
https://fair.org/home/a-cia-officer-has-a-headache-media-blame-russia/
and via the lobster,
https://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/free/lobster80/lob80-view-from-the-bridge.pdf?cache=228
the killing of Gareth Williams of MI6
< https://tinyurl.com/y4t3dmuj>
We are very close to the point at which the lies http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/56040.htm
become so ridiculous that they lose their power to confuse.
And there is bellingcat who now leads the front page of The Guardian with his fairy tales.
Luckily in addition to b we have http://johnhelmer.net/

Posted by: bevin | Dec 17 2020 1:30 utc | 43

bevin , Dec 17 2020 1:32 utc | 44
Sorry KC@41 I missed your comment which puts the point much better
snake , Dec 17 2020 1:40 utc | 45
western' mainstream writers will blame Russia for anything completely independent of what really happened.

can we get a list of these writers.. and store their names and aliases somewhere. a db.. is needed.


b - master propaganda buster, lol... go get em b! i am surprised the oligarch wealth and its minions haven't
figured out how to pull an assange or snowden on you - yet.... you better have some protection with the kgb
and know how to speak a little russian! by: james @ 8

James I think the propaganda monsters have discovered how to take b down, they
probably plan to ask B to self inject himself with one of their Gene Modifying
Vaccines(GMVs) with expectation that a mental giant will vegetate to a wimp.
.....
The CIA remains firmly in charge of US policy and the mainstream media. by: gottlieb @ 6

Not really, the people who support and control the CIA have firm control over politics,
finance, CIA, and media, remember the nine layers of control consist of but two layers
that are public. The CIA is the leg breaker arm of that oligarch cartel. .. .. but mr gottlieb
please list who in the CIA is the leg breaker in charge over US Policy and explain
how US Policy, CIA leg breaking, mainstream media, wall street execution are financed
marketed and coordinated. I suggest to you these are not government people but private
party marketers.

Just saying a bunch of puppets dressed in CIA suits are in charge is useless.. I will
bet when you identify to us, who it is you are talking about, it will be discovered the
person you think is in charge is not, but instead that person is executing orders given
by a private party someone else. Its the private party some one else that needs media exposure.

who (by name) do the puppets work for,
how can the string pullers be identified, and
Ill bet because the string pullers are not government at all, but private exploitative
persons, that can be legally tracked?

To Norwegian @ 21 fascinating The private parties most likely responsible (PPMLR) for the
cyber attack have been asked to investigate the victim of the cyber attack. The PPMLR's
initial findings support the victim pre investigation conclusion made before the investigation
was complete that the cyber attack was the work of a highly sophisticated state
sponsored attacker utilizing novel techniques? Not all of us were born yesterday?

psychohistorian , Dec 17 2020 2:14 utc | 46
What I haven't seen reported yet is that the voting machine company Dominion is a Solarwinds customer.....
....
....
think of the implications of that
J W , Dec 17 2020 2:41 utc | 47
If the Russians did it, usual sore loser antics by the US.
If the Russians didn't, usual propaganda lies by the US.

Either way, Yankistan still sucks.

gottlieb , Dec 17 2020 2:45 utc | 48
Snake@45..

You're not wrong... points taken. The nexus between the moneyed elite and 'intelligence' has always been there. Cheers.

[Jun 23, 2020] CIA's massive 'Vault 7' leak resulted from 'woefully lax' security protocols within the agency's own network by Sonam Sheth

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on ..."
"... most of the CIA's sensitive cyberweapons "were not compartmented, users shared systems administrator-level passwords, there were no effective removable media [thumb drive] controls, and historical data was available to users indefinitely," the report said ..."
"... The Center for Cyber Intelligence also did not monitor who used its network, so the task force could not determine the size of the breach. However, it determined that the employee who accessed the intelligence stole about 2.2 billion pages -- or 34 terabytes -- of information, the Post reported. ..."
Jun 20, 2020 | taskandpurpose.com

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider .

The Central Intelligence Agency's elite hacking team "prioritized building cyber weapons at the expense of securing their own systems," according to an internal agency report prepared for then-CIA director Mike Pompeo and his deputy, Gina Haspel, who is now the agency's director.

The Washington Post first reported on the document , which said the hacking unit's failure to secure the CIA's systems resulted in the theft of highly classified cyberweapons in 2016.

In March 2017, US officials discovered the breach when the radical pro-transparency group WikiLeaks published troves of documents detailing the CIA's electronic surveillance and cyberwarfare capabilities. WikiLeaks dubbed the series of documents "Vault 7," and officials say it was the biggest unauthorized disclosure of classified information in the agency's history.

The internal report was introduced in criminal proceedings against former CIA employee Joshua Schulte, who was charged with swiping the hacking tools and handing them over to WikiLeaks.

The government brought in witnesses who prosecutors said showed, through forensic analysis, that Schulte's work computer accessed an old file that matched some of the documents WikiLeaks posted.

Schulte's lawyers, meanwhile, pointed to the internal report as proof that the CIA's internal network was so insecure that any employee or contractor could have accessed the information Schulte is accused of stealing.

A New York jury failed to reach a verdict in the case in March after the jurors told Judge Paul Crotty that they were "extremely deadlocked" on many of the most serious charges, though he was convicted on two counts of contempt of court and making false statements to the FBI.

Crotty subsequently declared a mistrial, and prosecutors said they intended to try Schulte again later this year.

The report was compiled in October 2017 by the CIA's WikiLeaks Task Force, and it found that security protocol within the hacking unit that developed the cyberweapons, housed within the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence, was "woefully lax," according to the Post.

The outlet reported that the CIA may never have discovered the breach in the first place if WikiLeaks hadn't published the documents or if a hostile foreign power had gotten a hold of the information first.

"Had the data been stolen for the benefit of a state adversary and not published, we might still be unaware of the loss," the internal report said.

It also faulted the CIA for moving "too slowly" to implement safety measures "that we knew were necessary given successive breaches to other U.S. Government agencies." Moreover, most of the CIA's sensitive cyberweapons "were not compartmented, users shared systems administrator-level passwords, there were no effective removable media [thumb drive] controls, and historical data was available to users indefinitely," the report said .

The Center for Cyber Intelligence also did not monitor who used its network, so the task force could not determine the size of the breach. However, it determined that the employee who accessed the intelligence stole about 2.2 billion pages -- or 34 terabytes -- of information, the Post reported.

More from Business Insider:

[Jan 08, 2020] Something is really fishy with Paul Krugman: he complained that someone used his IP address to download child porn

Something is really fishy here. Dynamic IP address is reassigned only if you do not switch on you computer on for several days, which is not very probable for Krugman. Otherwise it is glued to this device and is difficult to highjack without installing malware on the computer or router. and he should have static IP anyway, he is not some poor shmuck and can afford extra $10 a month to have.
Two devices with the same IP on the network are usually automatically detected and it is difficult to use them for download, as during this time the second device will lose Internet connection completely and the problem will be detected by the ISP support.
So the only option is that somebody installed backdoor malware on Krugman computer and used his harddrive for storage. That's an extremely improbable scenario, unless he visited some grey site himself.
Jan 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Death2Fiat , 5 minutes ago link

No doubt Krugman has dirt on him for blackmail. No one gets his kind of job without being compromised.

The Last Sasquatch , 12 minutes ago link

These aren't my pants

Johann Gelbwesten , 25 minutes ago link

Probably happened when he clicked on an email from Prince Andrew.

theWHTMANN , 25 minutes ago link

C'mon that guy's face screams...

CosmoJoe , 31 minutes ago link

Getting ahead of it quickly eh Paul?

WP82 , 32 minutes ago link

Gee. Maybe it's nobody other than Krugman using His IP address.

Covering his a$$?

Captain Phoebus , 33 minutes ago link

Don't we believe him?

Jackprong , 35 minutes ago link

Typical ... to blame his actions on his perceived enemies.

[Dec 20, 2019] Did John Brennan's CIA Create Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Gossufer2.0 and CrowdStrike are the weakest links in this sordid story. CrowdStrike was nothing but FBI/CIA contractor.
So the hypothesis that CrowdStrike employees implanted malware to implicate Russians and created fake Gussifer 2.0 personality is pretty logical.
Notable quotes:
"... Not one piece of corroborating intelligence. It is all based on opinion and strong belief. There was no human source report or electronic intercept pointing to a relationship between the GRU and the two alleged creations of the GRU--Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com. Now consider the spin that Robert Mueller put on this opinion in his report on possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Mueller bluffs the unsuspecting reader into believing that it is a proven fact that Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks were Russian assets. But he is relying on a mere opinion from a handpicked group of intel analysts working under the direction of then CIA Director John Brennan ..."
"... In October 2015 John Brennan reorganized the CIA . As part of that reorganization he created a new directorate--DIRECTORATE OF DIGITAL INNOVATION. Its mission was to "manipulate digital footprints." In other words, this was the Directorate that did the work of creating Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks. One of their specialties, creating Digital Dust. ..."
"... We also know, thanks to Wikileaks, that the CIA was using software specifically designed to mask CIA activity and make it appear like it was done by a foreign entity. Wikipedia describes the Vault 7 documents : ..."
"... Exhibit A in the case is this document created and later edited in the ubiquitous Microsoft Word format. Metadata left inside the file shows it was last edited by someone using the computer name "Феликс Эдмундович." That means the computer was configured to use the Russian language and that it was connected to a Russian-language keyboard. More intriguing still, "Феликс Эдмундович" is the colloquial name that translates to Felix Dzerzhinsky, the 20th Century Russian statesman who is best known for founding the Soviet secret police. (The metadata also shows that the purported DNC strategy memo was originally created by someone named Warren Flood, which happens to be the name of a LinkedIn user claiming to provide strategy and data analytics services to Democratic candidates.) ..."
"... Why would the CIA do this? The CIA knew that Podesta's emails had been hacked and were circulating on the internet. But they had no evidence about the identity of the culprit. If they had such evidence, they would have cited it in the 2017 ICA. ..."
"... The U.S. intelligence community became aware around May 26, 2016 that someone with access to the DNC network was offering those emails to Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Julian Assange and people who spoke to him indicate that the person was Seth Rich. Whether or not it was Seth, the Trump Task Force at CIA was aware that the emails, which would be embarrassing to the Clinton campaign, would be released at some time in the future. Hence the motive to create Guccifer 2.0 and pin the blame on Russia. ..."
"... The only source for the claim that Russia hacked the DNC is a private cyber security firm, CrowdStrike. ..."
"... Time for the common sense standard again. Crowdstrike detected the Russians on the 6th of May, according to CEO Dimitri Alperovitch, but took no steps to shutdown the network, eliminate the malware and clean the computers until 34 days later, i.e., the 10th of June. That is 34 days of inexcusable inaction. ..."
"... The actions attributed to DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 should be priority investigative targets for U.S. Attorney John Durham's team of investigators. This potential use of a known CIA tool, developed under Brennan with the sole purpose to obfuscate the source of intrusions, pointing to another nation, as a false flag operation, is one of the actions and issues that U.S. Attorney John Durham should be looking into as a potential act of "Seditious conspiracy. It needs to be done. To quote the CIA, I strongly assess that the only intelligence agency that evidence indicates was meddling via cyber attacks in the 2016 Presidential election was the CIA, not the GRU. ..."
"... LJ bottom line: "The only intelligence agency that evidence indicates was meddling via cyber attacks in the 2016 Presidential election was the CIA, not the GRU." ..."
"... ICA which seemed to have been framed to allow journalists or the unwary to link the ICA with more rigorous standards used by more authentic assessments? ..."
"... With the Russians not having the advantages that the NSA does (back doors in all US-designed network hardware/software and taps all over the internet), would Russia reveal anything unless it involved an immediate major national security threat. I doubt that would cover Trump. ..."
Dec 20, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report insists that Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks were created by Russia's military intelligence organization, the GRU, as part of a Russian plot to meddle in the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election. But this is a lie. Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks were created by Brennan's CIA and this action by the CIA should be a target of U.S. Attorney John Durham's investigation. Let me explain why.

Let us start with the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment aka ICA. Only three agencies of the 17 in the U.S. intelligence community contributed to and coordinated on the ICA--the FBI, the CIA and NSA. In the preamble to the ICA, you can read the following explanation about methodology:

When Intelligence Community analysts use words such as "we assess" or "we judge," they are conveying an analytic assessment or judgment

To be clear, the phrase,"We assess", is intel community jargon for "opinion". If there was actual evidence or source material for a judgment the writer of the assessment would state, "According to a reliable source" or "knowledgeable source" or "documentary evidence."

Pay close attention to what the analysts writing the ICA stated about the GRU and Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks:

We assess with high confidence that the GRU used the Guccifer 2.0 persona, DCLeaks.com, and WikiLeaks to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets.

We assess with high confidence that the GRU relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks. Moscow most likely chose WikiLeaks because of its self-proclaimed reputation for authenticity. Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries.

Not one piece of corroborating intelligence. It is all based on opinion and strong belief. There was no human source report or electronic intercept pointing to a relationship between the GRU and the two alleged creations of the GRU--Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com. Now consider the spin that Robert Mueller put on this opinion in his report on possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Mueller bluffs the unsuspecting reader into believing that it is a proven fact that Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks were Russian assets. But he is relying on a mere opinion from a handpicked group of intel analysts working under the direction of then CIA Director John Brennan.

Here's Mueller's take (I apologize for the lengthy quote but it is important that you read how the Mueller team presents this):

DCLeaks

"The GRU began planning the releases at least as early as April 19, 2016, when Unit 26165 registered the domain dcleaks.com through a service that anonymized the registrant.137 Unit 26165 paid for the registration using a pool of bitcoin that it had mined.138 The dcleaks.com landing page pointed to different tranches of stolen documents, arranged by victim or subject matter. Other dcleaks.com pages contained indexes of the stolen emails that were being released (bearing the sender, recipient, and date of the email). To control access and the timing of releases, pages were sometimes password-protected for a period of time and later made unrestricted to the public.


Starting in June 2016, the GRU posted stolen documents onto the website dcleaks.com, including documents stolen from a number of individuals associated with the Clinton Campaign. These documents appeared to have originated from personal email accounts (in particular, Google and Microsoft accounts), rather than the DNC and DCCC computer networks. DCLeaks victims included an advisor to the Clinton Campaign, a former DNC employee and Clinton Campaign employee, and four other campaign volunteers.139 The GRU released through dcleaks.com thousands of documents, including personal identifying and financial information, internal correspondence related to the"Clinton Campaign and prior political jobs, and fundraising files and information.140


GRU officers operated a Facebook page under the DCLeaks moniker, which they primarily used to promote releases of materials.141 The Facebook page was administered through a small number of preexisting GRU-controlled Facebook accounts.142


GRU officers also used the DCLeaks Facebook account, the Twitter account @dcleaks__, and the email account dcleaksproject@gmail.com to communicate privately with reporters and other U.S. persons. GRU officers using the DCLeaks persona gave certain reporters early access to archives of leaked files by sending them links and passwords to pages on the dcleaks.com website that had not yet become public. For example, on July 14, 2016, GRU officers operating under the DCLeaks persona sent a link and password for a non-public DCLeaks webpage to a U.S. reporter via the Facebook account.143 Similarly, on September 14, 2016, GRU officers sent reporters Twitter direct messages from @dcleaks_, with a password to another non-public part of the dcleaks.com website.144


The dcleaks.com website remained operational and public until March 2017."

Guccifer 2.0

On June 14, 2016, the DNC and its cyber-response team announced the breach of the DNC network and suspected theft of DNC documents. In the statements, the cyber-response team alleged that Russian state-sponsored actors (which they referred to as "Fancy Bear") were responsible for the breach.145 Apparently in response to that announcement, on June 15, 2016, GRU officers using the persona Guccifer 2.0 created a WordPress blog. In the hours leading up to the launch of that WordPress blog, GRU officers logged into a Moscow-based server used and managed by Unit 74455 and searched for a number of specific words and phrases in English, including "some hundred sheets," "illuminati," and "worldwide known." Approximately two hours after the last of those searches, Guccifer 2.0 published its first post, attributing the DNC server hack to a lone Romanian hacker and using several of the unique English words and phrases that the GRU officers had searched for that day.146

That same day, June 15, 2016, the GRU also used the Guccifer 2.0 WordPress blog to begin releasing to the public documents stolen from the DNC and DCCC computer networks.

The Guccifer 2.0 persona ultimately released thousands of documents stolen from the DNC and DCCC in a series of blog posts between June 15, 2016 and October 18, 2016.147 Released documents included opposition research performed by the DNC (including a memorandum analyzing potential criticisms of candidate Trump), internal policy documents (such as recommendations on how to address politically sensitive issues), analyses of specific congressional races, and fundraising documents. Releases were organized around thematic issues, such as specific states (e.g., Florida and Pennsylvania) that were perceived as competitive in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Beginning in late June 2016, the GRU also used the Guccifer 2.0 persona to release documents directly to reporters and other interested individuals. Specifically, on June 27, 2016, Guccifer 2.0 sent an email to the news outlet The Smoking Gun offering to provide "exclusive access to some leaked emails linked [to] Hillary Clinton's staff."148 The GRU later sent the reporter a password and link to a locked portion of the dcleaks.com website that contained an archive of emails stolen by Unit 26165 from a Clinton Campaign volunteer in March 2016.149 "That the Guccifer 2.0 persona provided reporters access to a restricted portion of the DCLeaks website tends to indicate that both personas were operated by the same or a closely-related group of people.150

The GRU continued its release efforts through Guccifer 2.0 into August 2016. For example, on August 15, 2016, the Guccifer 2.0 persona sent a candidate for the U.S. Congress documents related to the candidate's opponent.151 On August 22, 2016, the Guccifer 2.0 persona transferred approximately 2.5 gigabytes of Florida-related data stolen from the DCCC to a U.S. blogger covering Florida politics.152 On August 22, 2016, the Guccifer 2.0 persona sent a U.S. reporter documents stolen from the DCCC pertaining to the Black Lives Matter movement.153"

Wow. Sounds pretty convincing. The documents referencing communications by DCLeaks or Guccifer 2.0 with Wikileaks are real. What is not true is that these entities were GRU assets.

In October 2015 John Brennan reorganized the CIA . As part of that reorganization he created a new directorate--DIRECTORATE OF DIGITAL INNOVATION. Its mission was to "manipulate digital footprints." In other words, this was the Directorate that did the work of creating Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks. One of their specialties, creating Digital Dust.

We also know, thanks to Wikileaks, that the CIA was using software specifically designed to mask CIA activity and make it appear like it was done by a foreign entity. Wikipedia describes the Vault 7 documents :

Vault 7 is a series of documents that WikiLeaks began to publish on 7 March 2017, that detail activities and capabilities of the United States' Central Intelligence Agency to perform electronic surveillance and cyber warfare. The files, dated from 2013–2016, include details on the agency's software capabilities, such as the ability to compromise cars, smart TVs,[1] web browsers (including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera Software ASA),[2][3][4] and the operating systems of most smartphones (including Apple's iOS and Google's Android), as well as other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux[5][6

One of the tools in Vault 7 carries the innocuous name, MARBLE. Hackernews explains the purpose and function of MARBLE:

Dubbed "Marble," the part 3 of CIA files contains 676 source code files of a secret anti-forensic Marble Framework, which is basically an obfuscator or a packer used to hide the true source of CIA malware.
The CIA's Marble Framework tool includes a variety of different algorithm with foreign language text intentionally inserted into the malware source code to fool security analysts and falsely attribute attacks to the wrong nation.

Marble is used to hamper[ing] forensic investigators and anti-virus companies from attributing viruses, trojans and hacking attacks to the CIA," says the whistleblowing site.

"...for example by pretending that the spoken language of the malware creator was not American English, but Chinese, but then showing attempts to conceal the use of Chinese, drawing forensic investigators even more strongly to the wrong conclusion," WikiLeaks explains.

So guess what gullible techies "discovered" in mid-June 2016? The meta data in the Guccifer 2.0 communications had "Russian fingerprints."

We still don't know who he is or whether he works for the Russian government, but one thing is for sure: Guccifer 2.0 -- the nom de guerre of the person claiming he hacked the Democratic National Committee and published hundreds of pages that appeared to prove it -- left behind fingerprints implicating a Russian-speaking person with a nostalgia for the country's lost Soviet era.

Exhibit A in the case is this document created and later edited in the ubiquitous Microsoft Word format. Metadata left inside the file shows it was last edited by someone using the computer name "Феликс Эдмундович." That means the computer was configured to use the Russian language and that it was connected to a Russian-language keyboard. More intriguing still, "Феликс Эдмундович" is the colloquial name that translates to Felix Dzerzhinsky, the 20th Century Russian statesman who is best known for founding the Soviet secret police. (The metadata also shows that the purported DNC strategy memo was originally created by someone named Warren Flood, which happens to be the name of a LinkedIn user claiming to provide strategy and data analytics services to Democratic candidates.)

Just use your common sense. If the Russians were really trying to carry out a covert cyberattack, do you really think they are so sloppy and incompetent to insert the name of the creator of the Soviet secret police in the metadata? No. The Russians are not clowns. This was a clumsy attempt to frame the Russians.

Why would the CIA do this? The CIA knew that Podesta's emails had been hacked and were circulating on the internet. But they had no evidence about the identity of the culprit. If they had such evidence, they would have cited it in the 2017 ICA.

The U.S. intelligence community became aware around May 26, 2016 that someone with access to the DNC network was offering those emails to Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Julian Assange and people who spoke to him indicate that the person was Seth Rich. Whether or not it was Seth, the Trump Task Force at CIA was aware that the emails, which would be embarrassing to the Clinton campaign, would be released at some time in the future. Hence the motive to create Guccifer 2.0 and pin the blame on Russia.

It is essential to recall the timeline of the alleged Russian intrusion into the DNC network. The only source for the claim that Russia hacked the DNC is a private cyber security firm, CrowdStrike. Here is the timeline for the DNC "hack."

Here are the facts on the public record. They are at odds with the claims of the Intelligence Community:

  1. It was 29 April 2016 , when the DNC claims it became aware its servers had been penetrated. No claim yet about who was responsible. And no claim that there had been a prior warning by the FBI of a penetration of the DNC by Russian military intelligence.
  2. According to CrowdStrike founder , Dimitri Alperovitch, his company first supposedly detected the Russians mucking around inside the DNC server on 6 May 2016. A CrowdStrike intelligence analyst reportedly told Alperovitch that:
    • Falcon had identified not one but two Russian intruders: Cozy Bear, a group CrowdStrike's experts believed was affiliated with the FSB, Russia's answer to the CIA; and Fancy Bear, which they had linked to the GRU, Russian military intelligence.
  3. The Wikileaks data shows that the last message copied from the DNC network is dated Wed, 25 May 2016 08:48:35.
  4. 10 June 2016 --CrowdStrike waited until 10 June 2016 to take concrete steps to clean up the DNC network. Alperovitch told Esquire's Vicky Ward that: 'Ultimately, the teams decided it was necessary to replace the software on every computer at the DNC. Until the network was clean, secrecy was vital. On the afternoon of Friday, June 10, all DNC employees were instructed to leave their laptops in the office."
  5. On June 14, 2016 , Ellen Nakamura, a Washington Post reporter who had been briefed by computer security company hired by the DNC -- Crowdstrike--, wrote:
    • Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach.
    • The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC's system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts.
    • The intrusion into the DNC was one of several targeting American political organizations. The networks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were also targeted by Russian spies, as were the computers of some Republican political action committees, U.S. officials said. But details on those cases were not available.
  6. 15 June, 2016 , an internet "personality" self-described as Guccifer 2.0 surfaces and claims to be responsible for the hacks but denies being Russian. The people/entity behind Guccifer 2.0:

The only thing that the Guccifer 2.0 character did not do to declare its Russian heritage was to take out full page ads in the New York Times and Washington Post. But the "forensic" fingerprints that Guccifer 2.0 was leaving behind is not the only inexplicable event.

Time for the common sense standard again. Crowdstrike detected the Russians on the 6th of May, according to CEO Dimitri Alperovitch, but took no steps to shutdown the network, eliminate the malware and clean the computers until 34 days later, i.e., the 10th of June. That is 34 days of inexcusable inaction.

It is only AFTER Julian Assange announces on 12 June 2016 that WikiLeaks has emails relating to Hillary Clinton that DCLeaks or Guccifer 2.0 try to contact Assange.

The actions attributed to DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 should be priority investigative targets for U.S. Attorney John Durham's team of investigators. This potential use of a known CIA tool, developed under Brennan with the sole purpose to obfuscate the source of intrusions, pointing to another nation, as a false flag operation, is one of the actions and issues that U.S. Attorney John Durham should be looking into as a potential act of "Seditious conspiracy. It needs to be done. To quote the CIA, I strongly assess that the only intelligence agency that evidence indicates was meddling via cyber attacks in the 2016 Presidential election was the CIA, not the GRU.

Posted at 02:13 PM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink


Factotum , 20 December 2019 at 02:45 PM

LJ bottom line: "The only intelligence agency that evidence indicates was meddling via cyber attacks in the 2016 Presidential election was the CIA, not the GRU."
Paul Damascene , 20 December 2019 at 02:54 PM
Larry, thanks -- vital clarifications and reminders. In your earlier presentation of this material did you not also distinguish between the way actually interagency assessments are titled, and ICA which seemed to have been framed to allow journalists or the unwary to link the ICA with more rigorous standards used by more authentic assessments?
walrus , 20 December 2019 at 03:51 PM
Thank you Larry. You have discovered one more vital key to the conspiracy. We now need the evidence of Julian Assange. He is kept incommunicado and He is being tortured by the British in jail and will be murdered by the American judicial system if he lasts long enough to be extradited.

You can be sure he will be "Epsteined" before he appears in open court because he knows the source of what Wikileaks published. Once he is gone, mother Clinton is in the clear.

Ghost Ship , 20 December 2019 at 04:04 PM
I can understand the GRU or SVR hacking the DNC and other e-mail servers because as intelligence services that is their job, but can anyone think of any examples of Russia (or the Soviet Union) using such information to take overt action?

With the Russians not having the advantages that the NSA does (back doors in all US-designed network hardware/software and taps all over the internet), would Russia reveal anything unless it involved an immediate major national security threat. I doubt that would cover Trump.

[Jul 09, 2019] So what does a cybersecurity company that is hemorrhaging money and can't protect it's clients do? It does an IPO

Notable quotes:
"... So in the past three years Crowdstrike: ..."
"... a) detected the DNC server hack, but failed to stop it b) falsely accused the Russians of hacking Ukrainian artillery c) failed to prevent the NRCC from being hacked, even though that was why they were hired ..."
"... In other words, Crowdstrike is really bad at their job. In addition, Crowdstrike is really bad at business too. CrowdStrike recorded a net loss last year of $140 million on revenue of $249.8 million, and negative free cash flow of roughly $59 million. ..."
Jul 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

So in the past three years Crowdstrike:

a) detected the DNC server hack, but failed to stop it
b) falsely accused the Russians of hacking Ukrainian artillery
c) failed to prevent the NRCC from being hacked, even though that was why they were hired

In other words, Crowdstrike is really bad at their job. In addition, Crowdstrike is really bad at business too. CrowdStrike recorded a net loss last year of $140 million on revenue of $249.8 million, and negative free cash flow of roughly $59 million.

So what does a cybersecurity company that is hemorrhaging money and can't protect it's clients do? It does an IPO .

It just goes to show that "getting it right" is not the same thing as "doing a good job." If you tell the right people what they want to hear, the money will take care of itself.

[Jul 09, 2019] Crowdstrike mode of operation:

Jul 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Whoops, you got hacked? Gee, nothing we could have done. More money please!

I think this is most of the IT biz right here

It just goes to show that "getting it right" is not the same thing as "doing a good job."

If you tell the right people what they want to hear, the money will take care of itself.

It's all about making the people at the top feel smart for having hired you and assuring them they don't need to waste their beautiful minds trying to understand what it is you do.

Whoops, you got hacked? Gee, nothing we could have done. More money please!

[Jun 18, 2019] Wikileaks CIA Stole Russian Malware, Uses It to Misdirect Attribution of Cyber Attacks

Notable quotes:
"... So perhaps the DNC was hacked by the CIA and it was blamed on the Russians. ..."
"... How can we trust any investigation when the investigation can be doctored to scapegoat Russia? This is embarrassing. ..."
"... Clapper is a known perjurer. ..."
"... Of course it was the Obama CIA, pros like the Russians or Chinese, never leave behind "fingerprints" they are smart enough to cover their tracks. As a cyber analyst I can tell you that when you see "fingerprints or breadcrumbs" leading to a source, it's usually deceptive and intentional. Let that sink in! ..."
Jun 12, 2019 | russia-insider.com

From the Wikileaks "Year Zero" dump:

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.

UMBRAGE components cover keyloggers, password collection, webcam capture, data destruction, persistence, privilege escalation, stealth, anti-virus (PSP) avoidance and survey techniques.

Everyone knew it. Now we have proof. "Fingerprints" are meaningless. It's now clear that the CIA is able to "pose" as "Russian hackers" whenever it so chooses. Just something to think about. All allegations of "digital fingerprints" left behind by Russian hackers must now be dismissed as either fake or meaningless


ChasMoDee • 2 years ago ,

So perhaps the DNC was hacked by the CIA and it was blamed on the Russians.

Disco Obama ChasMoDee • 2 years ago ,

How can we trust any investigation when the investigation can be doctored to scapegoat Russia? This is embarrassing.

disqus_ayvQwhvS6h Disco Obama • 2 years ago ,

Since 2002. You sheep have had the wool pulled over since 2002. It's been 15 years. Imagine how much you won't find out til the next 15.

Tom • 2 years ago ,

So the CIA obtained FISA Warrants for the millions of devices hacked? Guess we now know how Trump Tower was wiretapped when DNI Clapper said there was no such order given.

JackBootedThug✓ Tom • 2 years ago ,

Clapper is a known perjurer.

American Freeman • 2 years ago ,

Now we know how Obama's administration got through the FISA Court to tape Trump.

4ever&anon • 2 years ago ,

So! It now becomes clear what Obama and the Democrats were planning for the Trump Administration. They could hack away at anything and everything and leave Russian "fingerprints" to make it appear that the Russians did it. It's really no telling what is already planted. Thst's why some Democrat's seem so supremely confident that Trump will be impeached.

I don't think that it's really sunk in for most people that this was a plan for World Domination by a force more evil than the average person could ever imagine. We're still in grave danger but thank Heaven for Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Not only have they saved America but perhaps the whole world from domination that heretofore couldn't even be imagined except in science fiction.

Our problem will now be how to build enough gallows to accomodate the traitors and seditionists who have participated in this dark plan.

Mike John Elissen • 2 years ago ,

Hysteria in Oceania. The same goons blaming Russia for robbing the local candy store (without producing evidence) are robbing the candy factory 24/7. All of a sudden, the MSM has found issues and terms like `non-verified documents` and `non-verifiable, anonymous sources` to be of the utmost importance, in contrast to when they were copy-pasting the ` information` about Russian hacking. I wonder how much time it takes for the Ministries of Information and their docile press-clowns to (again) turn the story around and blame WikiLeaks for being a `Russian tool` to discard their own obvious crimes.

Elevator2TheTop • 2 years ago ,

This whole Russian hacking thing is sounding more and more like the anti-Muslim video that sparked the Benghazi attacks.

Bad Hombre • 2 years ago ,

They wiretapped the entire Trump team thinking they would come up with an October surprise...and found NOTHING. If they had ANYTHING, it would have been used prior to the election. And, since Hillary was supposed to win, the illegal wire taps would never have been disclosed.

Now Trump has exposed the Obama admin and democrats are hyperventilating over Russia to deflect from the crimes they committed.

ruadh Bad Hombre • 2 years ago ,

We always knew that, were told we were crazy, now we have proof. The MSM has been gas-lighting us. I wonder how many red pills you have to swallow to get to the other side of this Rabbit Hole?

middleclasstaxpayer • 2 years ago ,

It seems our government really is the most corrupt entity on this planet.

lou Guest • 2 years ago ,

Well BO moved to Washington so it will be easy for the Press to shout these questions at him at his home or a restaurant or a ballgame. We need answers BO, and right now. No BS. anymore. Or go back to Indonesia and hide out.

Peter Shoobridge ن ruadh • 2 years ago ,

It's really not fun. The intelligence agencies are unaccountable and cloak their criminality with the secrecy of national security. They're not going to back down. They're ruthless. And they kill people for sport. This will not end well unless the military is called in to round them up, which has huge risks of its own...

TGFD • 2 years ago ,

TGFD here.
As far as I'm concerned. death becomes anyone in the effing CIA. Same goes for their parasitic family members. Death's image would look good on them.
There is NO secret in the CIA that I would not expose if I could.

I never heard of the term, "Deep State" prior to 2 months ago, and I don't like what I hear, either. I pray that somehow, God will enable TRUMP to vanquish all the filth in the deep state.

William Dickerson • 2 years ago ,

I knew it - the documents I looked over, the IP addresses I checked, the supposed "malware" that the US said "was the same as we know Russia had used" and more - and it just did not add up.

Now to be sure the American population is dumb when it comes to technology - and they usually blindly believe what the CIA, and media, tells them. But me - being in IT for some decades and having worked with Russian people for 6 years (in an electronics engineering company founded by a Russian immigrant to the U.S.) and being a network security administrator for a small government agency, something smelled odd.

The IP addresses - hahaha - really? Try again - up until the spring of 2016 American company Verizon routed 1 million stolen IP addresses - used by cyber-criminals in the USA........ so guess where some of those IP addresses REALLY belonged. Further, the "CIA" and other spooks included - honestly? TOR exit node addresses. If you use TOR browser, you will find some of those same addresses in your own logs (unless you are smart and either purge or don't log, etc.)
So try again, U.S. spooks - the malware? HAHA - what a JOKE. Really. I mean older software that John Q. Public can download for FREE? Sorry, Russians are far far smarter and they'd not use OLD software that works on WordPress based on PHP servers when the target isn't based on blogging software.

Sorry, silly Americans - including and especially McCain and others in our congress who are, say what? members of INTELLIGENCE committees? Really?

You help guide the intelligence and security operations of a major country and you fall for the BS that was presented to you? Did you not ask questions? I did - I did my own research and I guess that proves I'm as smart or smarter than any member of and house or Senate intelligence committee. Do these people even know where the power button is on their computer? Smart - they hire unvetted IT people to take care of congressional computers....... and some of the equipment ends up missing, and these people have full free access as admins to computers used by congressional members of armed services committees and more!

That's how smart our U.S. congress is. Hire your brother-in-laws IT geek, give 'em full admin access, let them come and go freely........... and fall for intelligence reports about Russian hacking...... all the while our own CIA is doing MORE and WORSE.

While this topic is still fresh (thanks to the Democrats) - election interference - Election or campaign interference scores according to political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University: Russia - 36 times, U.S.A - 81 times

The USA's score number doesn't include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn't like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring.

So who exactly is it that interferes or "Helps" with elections? Yeah, I thought so.

President Vladimir Putin must go home each night shaking his head in disbelief at how gullible we are here.

By the way - Podesta was NOT HACKED. He fell for a simple phishing scam. Yes, the email wasn't even very well done. It appeared more like it came out of Nigeria than any professional group, it was lame, didn't even look real, didn't sound real and the URL or link was so obvious, geesh, a fool could have seen it was phishing. Oh, wait, we're talking Podesta here. The man gave away his password (which for a while was indeed 'password'. Worse - he used what for his campaign work? Did you say GMAIL? You have to be kidding! A free consumer email, based in the cloud, and not only that, at least 3 others had account access to his Gmail. He kept documents, calendar, task lists and more in it. The phishing scammer got access to his Gmail inbox, sent items, attachments, calendar, Google Drive, Google Docs, you name it! No hacking needed since this is CLOUD BASED. No one had to touch his computer or iPad.

I really laughed when I found in those emails the admin credentials for his Wi-Fi, and even more funny - the admin credentials for his building security system. Yes, all that in his cloud-based Gmail account. As Bugs Bunny would say- what a maroon!

No wonder he's mad and trying to blame everyone else. He has to know he was scammed and he fell for it and it was all HIS FAULT, no one else but him. Using Gmail for such important work is STUPID as it is - but then to fall for phishing. He got what he deserved, and if it was Russians, tell those teenagers congratulations! That's all it took to phish Podesta - the skill set of KIDS in their early teens.

I could go on about the stupidity involved in all of this, but won't (I hear a collective sigh of relief!)

rayg • 2 years ago ,

So, did the Russians hack the election? Or did the Obama CIA hack the election and just did a pizz-poor job of it? Or perhaps Obama really did not want Hillary to win.

This might make those congressional investigations into the alleged hacking of the election by Russians a lot more interesting. That is, of course, assuming that the investigations are really about finding the truth.

Michael K rayg • 2 years ago ,

Obama Hates Hillary but could not openly control her. With Trump elected he could work openly to damage his administration, and with the help of MSM demonize him, and make him look like a tool of the Russians as well as his appointees. Notice, there was no talk of Russian hacking prior to the election. The "intelligence" agencies waited for the election results to come out with their charges.

Use delaying tactics to prevent approval of appointees, attack and possibly remove approved appointees eroding confidence in the current government. With the help of RINOs delay legislation. Pay protestors to protest everything Trump does using labels such as sexist, racist, Nazi, etc.

Obama's and DNC's goal: Prevent any progress till the mid term elections and try and overturn the balance in Congress to get the liberal agenda back on track. Get poised for the 2020 election and run a more palatable candidate than Hillary.

Gonzogal Michael K • 2 years ago ,

"Obama's and DNC's goal: Prevent any progress till the mid term elections and try and overturn the balance in Congress to get the liberal agenda back on track. Get poised for the 2020 election and run a more palatable candidate than Hillary."

Or, according to Obomber's club make it so that Trump "either resigns or is impeached"
http://www.zerohedge.com/ne...
http://www.zerohedge.com/ne...

Geoff Caldwell • 2 years ago ,

Let's unpack this. All those rumors about the Obama's hating the Clinton's? TRUE BUT, he couldn't let DOJ go through with indictment so instead gets Clapper, Brennan and the boys to use Russian fingerprints to hack and then sits back and watches the chaos unfold. When you go back to how he got his start in Chicago its exactly how he operates.

Marsha Moore • 2 years ago ,

I am furious. I read the original re CIA attempting to influence French elections. But this is CLEAR TREASON by Obama Administration. I NEVER trusted Brennen. violation for CIA to operate inside US.

rlqretired • 2 years ago ,

Looks like this is an example of Obama/CIA preparation for Treason?

The thing that really pisses me off is that the factual basis for all of this criminal and treasonous activity by the Obama Administration, that is being exposed today, remains covered-up by everyone in a position of responsibility to expose it. That factual basis is that every identification document Obama has presented to prove he is a citizen of the USA is a forgery. Based upon the totality of his record as president he is an agent of foreign Islamic allegiance and everything he has done in the Middle East always ends up in favor of radical Islam and refuses to even acknowledge radical Islamic terrorism exists. The same goes for his refusal to acknowledge domestic Islamic terrorism exists.

Factual answers for these three questions will clear up why we are having this treasonous activity. (1) Why does Obama have and need a forged birth certificate as he posted on his POTUS website? (2) Why does Obama's first officially issued copy of his Selective Service Registration Card have a forged 2 digit postal stamp? (3) Why is Obama using a SS# that was first issued to someone else? These three questions must be answered by Congress as the researched information verifying forgery is readily available and will expose the basis of this treason.

Play Hide
Spyplane • 2 years ago ,

Let's not forget that logging into an email server because of a weak password and getting a copy of emails does not scream CIA. Also John Podesta's email password was extremely weak. So it did not take a covert CIA hacking program to initiate. We keep hearing Russia hacked our election. Yet have ZERO proof! First the majority of election machines are decentralized and not connected to internet. There was not a single instance where vote the count was effected. This was also immediately stated by Obamas DNI. Claiming they ran a propaganda attack on Hillary Clinton is pathetic. They are claiming the American people did not see who Hillary Clinton truly was. The opposite is true.

Hillary Clinton had made her own propaganda against herself. She is who the American people see. Not what the Russians programmed Us to see. The American people made a choice based on her actions no one else's. The liberals continually attacking someone with false claims without proof is a standard Liberal / Alyinsky strategy. It requires no proof if all liberal extremist continually repeat the same attack which is then amplified by the Liberal propaganda media (CNN, MSNBC, CBS, The New York Times, The Washington Post, BBC, etc)

The Russian collusion claim is the exact same scenario. Make the claim which we already knew the Trump campaign speaks with Russian diplomats. Most people in politics interact with all countries diplomat and ambassadors. So instantly the claim is impossible to debunk. The Liberal party has become a party willing to use any and all tactics to avoid listening to the American people. This whole Russian drama is created to go against what the American people voted for. The democrat party is as much a threat to The United States as Communism ever was. It has been said if fascism ever comes back to the United States it will come in the form of liberalism. So the American people have a choice.

Use common sense and stop the liberal extremist party from destroying our democracy or deal with the consequences of America becoming ineffective and divided. The majority of the Democrat party and it's supporters have become so ideologically perverted they have lost sight of morality and what America stands for.

The Russians have not hypnotized Americans to vote for Donald Trump. It wasn't possible for the Russians to manipulate voter data and yes the Trump campaign speaks with Russian diplomats.

But it was the same Russian ambassador that Obama left in the country while expelling all others. The same Russian ambassador Obama scheduled meetings with for Jeff sessions. The same rushing ambassador that all Democrat spend time with. Make a claim that's true then find a way to turn it negative.

Typical Saul Alinsky. Everyone needs to remember anything the Liberals attack someone for the opposite is true.

Today Is The Day We Get Trump Spyplane • 2 years ago ,

The point of the Wikileaks is that "proof" is easily manufactured.

DanJR • 2 years ago ,

And now you know that the CIA (via Obama's orders or tacit approval) was the one that created the ruse of Trump emailing a Russian bank as a pretext to persuade FISA judges to sign off on the warrants to keep surveillance on him and his contacts.

If I were Obama I'd be seeking the nearest airport and fly to any country offering asylum... it's good night, good riddance for him and the rest of the Deep State Globalists.

seanster5977 • 2 years ago ,

Kind of funny where this started. Remember Hillary stole a server from the government secure server facility and set it up in her basement without proper security software and monitoring for hacking. Proven. And she had idiots in her staff so stupid they used passwords like "p@ssword". Proven. So any 11 year old computer expert could have hacked that server.

And she lied about the content of the messages being transferred. Top secret and classified info was lost due to her illegal actions. But Comey gave the pig a pass.

LH • 2 years ago ,

Of course it was the Obama CIA, pros like the Russians or Chinese, never leave behind "fingerprints" they are smart enough to cover their tracks. As a cyber analyst I can tell you that when you see "fingerprints or breadcrumbs" leading to a source, it's usually deceptive and intentional. Let that sink in!

[May 23, 2019] Guccifer 2.0 Was Not a Russian Creation by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... The Word documents published in June 2016 by Guccifer 2 also show a "last saved as" user id written in Cyrillic. The Anglicized name is " Felix Edmundovich ", aka "Iron Felix" (the infamous director of an early Soviet spy agency). If you are a Russian cyber spy trying to conduct a covert operation, why do you sign your document with the name of one of the most infamous leaders of Russian intelligence? Robert Mueller wants you to believe that this was just Russian audacity. ..."
"... The phrase "personal beliefs about the competence or incompetence of the Russians" catches something important. Whether it was the Russians or somebody else that did this, whoever did it was pretty sloppy. What this report describes is almost as pathetic when considered a false flag operation as it is as a sabotage operation. So any theory of who stole and published the documents has to explain a capability to access the data combined with blissful obliviousness about handling them. I know of no reason to think the Russian, US, Israeli, or other intelligence communities incapable of such a combination. All of them have brilliant dedicated people but also seemingly endless supplies of mediocre time-servers. ..."
"... Scenario? Shutdown, closing of words with documents being automatically saved? Ok, otherwise there is apparently no precise saving time stamp on Winwords latest version. How much changed since 2016? ..."
"... The Vault7 leak of CIA tools also contained information on how to select any language environment. It's really a standard practice, even for normal criminals. ..."
May 23, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Russia did not hack the DNC. This is not an opinion. It is a conclusion that flows from one very specific claim made by the Special Counsel -- i.e., Guccifer 2.0 was a fictional identity created by Russian Military Intelligence, the GRU. If Guccifer was in fact a creation or creature of the GRU, then the forensic evidence should show that this entity was operating from Russia or under the direct control of the GRU. The forensic evidence shows something quite different -- the meta data in the Guccifer 2.0 documents were manipulated deliberately to plant Russian fignerprints. This was not an accident nor an oversight due to carelessness.

What is meta data? This is the information recorded when a document is created. This data includes things such as the date and time the document was created or modified. It tells you who created the document. It is like the Wizard of Oz, it is the information behind the curtain.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's is correct in stating that Guccifer 2.0 was a "fictious online persona. " He is wrong in attributing that action to Russian Military Intelligence. While Guccifer 2.0 was a "fictious" entity, the information recorded about when, how and who created the document show that deliberate choices were made to present the info as if it was created by someone Russian.

Let us first stipulate and agree that Russia and the United States engage in cyber espionage and covert action against each other. This has been the case since computers and the internet came into existence. Within the U.S. Intelligence Community these activities generally are labeled with the acronym, CNO -- Computer Network Operations. The Russians and the United States have cadres of cyber "warriors" who sit at computer terminals and engage in operations commonly known as hacking. Other countries, such as China, Iran and Ukraine do this as well.

CNOs are classified at the highest level in the United States and normally are handled within special restricted categories commonly known as SAPs (i.e, Special Access Programs). A critical element of these kinds of operations is to avoid leaving any fingerprints or clues that would enable the activity to be traced back to the United States. But this is not unique to the United States. All professional intelligence services around the world understand and practice this principle -- leave no evidence behind that proves you were there.

The case implicating Russia in the hack of the DNC and Clinton emails, including those of her campaign Manager, John Podesta, rests on suspect forensic computer evidence -- is present in the meta data in the documents posted on line by Guccifer 2.0. According to Disobedient Media , "the files that Guccifer 2.0 initially pushed to reporters contain Russian metadata, a Russian stylesheet entry and in some cases embedded Russian error messages."

Why would the Russians make such a mistake, especially in such a high stake operation (targeting a national election with covert action most certainly is a high stake operation). Mueller and the U.S. intelligence community want you to believe that the Russians are just sloppy and careless buffoons. Those ideologically opposed to the Russians readily embrace this nonsenses. But for those who actually have dealt with Russian civilian and military intelligence operatives and operations, the Russians are sophisticated and cautious.

But we do not have to rely on our personal beliefs about the competence or incompetence of the Russians. We simply need to look at the forensic evidence contained in the documents posted by Guccifer 2.0. We will take Robert Mueller and his investigators at their word:

An examination of those documents tells a very different story. While it does not reveal who or what was Guccifer 2.0, it does undermine Mueller's claim that it was the Russians who did these dastardly deeds.

One independent forensic computer investigator, who uses the name, "The Forensicator," examined the meta data in some of the documents posted by Guccifer 2.0 and discovered the following :

Guccifer 2.0 published a file on 13 September 2016 that was originally copied on 5 July 2016 at approximately 6:45 PM Eastern time. It was copied and appeared as the "NGP VAN" 7zip file.

The estimated speed of transfer was 23 MB/s. This means that this initial data transfer could have been done remotely over the Internet. Instead, it was likely done from a computer system that had direct access to the data. "By "direct access" we mean that the individual who was collecting the data either had physical access to the computer where the data was stored, or the data was copied over a local high-speed network (LAN)."

This initial copying activity was done on a system that used Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) settings and was likely initially copied to a computer running Linux, because the file last modified times all reflect the apparent time of the copy, which is a characteristic of the Linux 'cp' command (using default options).

On September 1, 2016, a subset of the initial large collection of DNC related content (the so-called NGP/VAN data), was transferred to working directories on a system running Windows. The .rar files included in the final 7zip file were built from those working directories.

The alleged Russian fingerprints appeared in the first document "leaked" by Guccifer 2.0-- 1.doc -- which was a report on Donald Trump . A forensic examination of the documents shows thatgiven the word processor program used to create the Donald Trump Document released by Guccifer 2.0, the author consciously and purposefully used formats that deliberately inserted "Russian fingerprints" into the document. In other words, the meta-data was purposely altered, and documents were pasted into a 'Russianified' word document with Russian language settings and style headings.

Here are the key facts:

The meta data shows that Slate_-_Domestic_-_USDA_-_2008-12-20.doc was the template for creating 1.doc , 2.doc and 3.doc . This template injected "Warren Flood" as the author value and "GSA" as the company value in those first three Word documents. This template also injected the title , the watermark and header/footer fields found in the final documents (with slight modifications).

The Word documents published in June 2016 by Guccifer 2 also show a "last saved as" user id written in Cyrillic. The Anglicized name is " Felix Edmundovich ", aka "Iron Felix" (the infamous director of an early Soviet spy agency). If you are a Russian cyber spy trying to conduct a covert operation, why do you sign your document with the name of one of the most infamous leaders of Russian intelligence? Robert Mueller wants you to believe that this was just Russian audacity.

But the meta data tells a different story. When we examine The Revision Session Identifiers aka 'RSID's, in the Guccifer document, we see the same Russian style-headings in 1.doc, 2.doc and 3.doc. The document creation timestamps on docs 1, 2 and 3 also are all identical.

Given that MS word assigns a new random 'RSID' with each save when an element is added or edited (this function allows one to track changes made to a Word document), the only way to obtain identical creation timestamps means that someone either directly edited the source document or that there was one empty document open and that individual documents were copy-pasted and saved-as (1.doc), then contents deleted and new doc pasted and saved-as (2.doc), etc. This process also explains identical style-sheet RSIDs .


joanna , 22 May 2019 at 08:54 AM

The document creation timestamps on docs 1, 2 and 3 also are all identical.

Curious, no doubt. But who of us did not consider Guccifer 2 curious. Put another way, what experts considered him solid proof for Russian involvement?

Are you suggesting Winword templates were used for the metadata?

As IT nitwit, how can I save three *doc files or their 2016 word equivalent at the same time? Any way to do that? Windows doesn't seem to have a solution to that.

Again: This is a nitwit user asking a question.

*******
I admittedly am not overly motivated to read the Mueller report. I'll read your contribution again to figure out what you may suggest in or between the lines.

fredw , 22 May 2019 at 09:26 AM
The phrase "personal beliefs about the competence or incompetence of the Russians" catches something important. Whether it was the Russians or somebody else that did this, whoever did it was pretty sloppy. What this report describes is almost as pathetic when considered a false flag operation as it is as a sabotage operation. So any theory of who stole and published the documents has to explain a capability to access the data combined with blissful obliviousness about handling them. I know of no reason to think the Russian, US, Israeli, or other intelligence communities incapable of such a combination. All of them have brilliant dedicated people but also seemingly endless supplies of mediocre time-servers.

Equally interesting is the fact that this analysis has come from such a private source. Surely all the major intelligence agencies have the skill to find the same indicators. And all have comparatively endless resources to apply to the analysis. But they all seem to not want to talk about it. For me the most suspicious thing about the handling of the theft was the FBI's near complete lack of interest in examining the server. I have always assumed that such indifference reflected that they already had all they needed in order to understand what happened. Maybe even watched the theft in real time. But this report demonstrates that you didn't need any special access to blow up the official story. (Note that the official story may be "true". It is just not proven by the cited evidence.)

Yet, whatever actually happened, nobody seems interested in challenging the narrative that Russians stole data and routed it through useful idiots to influence the 2016 elections. This report indicates that a persuasive challenge would not have been hard to produce.

Perhaps the false flag was intentionally clumsy, intended to be detected. Bait for a trap that no one wants to fall into. But I don't see where that thought leads.

joanna , 22 May 2019 at 09:58 AM
https://archive.fo/2dMfC#selection-683.213-687.434

This can be discovered by looking at things called 'rsid's or Revision Session Identifiers in Guccifer's document. In order to track changes, MS word assigns a new random 'rsid' with each save upon each element added or edited. The rsids for the Russian style-headings in 1.doc, 2.doc and 3.doc are all the same (styrsid11758497 in the raw source).

Moreover, the document creation timestamps on 1,2, and 3.docs are all identical too. This might imply there was one empty document open, with individual documents being copy-pasted and saved-as (1.doc), then contents deleted and new doc pasted and saved-as (2.doc), etc. This is the only way to go about obtaining identical creation timestamps short of direct editing of the source, and would also explain identical style-sheet RSIDs.

Scenario? Shutdown, closing of words with documents being automatically saved? Ok, otherwise there is apparently no precise saving time stamp on Winwords latest version. How much changed since 2016?

Empty doc open? What would that change?

But good to see that Winword now integrated some type of automatic saving option, didn't have it when I gave it up and shifted to Open Office. On the other hand, can I trust it to not confront me with an earlier revision version? I admittedly asked myself lately. In a 200 page file, mind you.

Karen Eliot , 22 May 2019 at 10:34 AM
As someone with a little bit of experience in that area I can assure you that language metadata artifacts are practically worthless for attribution. You would mention it in a report, but from it you can only conclude that

The Vault7 leak of CIA tools also contained information on how to select any language environment. It's really a standard practice, even for normal criminals.

Attribution is really hard and usually amounts to a lot of guessing who might be interested in the target of an attack, correlating information from other campaigns, and is only rarely based on hard evidence. Big state actors probably can do a little bit better when they have access to enough network taps. But in the end one bit looks like any other, and properties of static documents can always be forged and made to look real. Or simply buy a copy of MS Office in .

joanna said in reply to Karen Eliot... , 23 May 2019 at 09:51 AM
The document creation timestamps on docs 1, 2 and 3 also are all identical.

Ok doc creation times. Could one create a WinWord Macro? That does exactly that. ok, why would one do this? True. Minor detail, I know. But I see we have experts around now.

*******
More generally. Guccifer 2.0 was a bit of an odd occurrence, not least due to US intelligence considering Guccifer one or zero, if you like.

Fred , 23 May 2019 at 11:24 AM
fredw,

"..nobody seems interested in challenging the narrative that Russians..."

That's precisely what Larry has been doing for some time.

"Equally interesting is the fact that this analysis has come from such a private source."

How dare a private citizen challenge the narrative!

"Perhaps the false flag was intentionally clumsy..."

False flag, let's discuss that idea, brought up solely by you, and not discuss Larry's analysis.

[May 23, 2019] The language metadata artifacts are practically worthless for attribution

May 23, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Karen Eliot , 22 May 2019 at 10:34 AM

As someone with a little bit of experience in that area I can assure you that language metadata artifacts are practically worthless for attribution. You would mention it in a report, but from it you can only conclude that

The Vault7 leak of CIA tools also contained information on how to select any language environment. It's really a standard practice, even for normal criminals.

Attribution is really hard and usually amounts to a lot of guessing who might be interested in the target of an attack, correlating information from other campaigns, and is only rarely based on hard evidence.

Big state actors probably can do a little bit better when they have access to enough network taps. But in the end one bit looks like any other, and properties of static documents can always be forged and made to look real. Or simply buy a copy of MS Office.

[Apr 21, 2019] Escobar The Deep State Vs. WikiLeaks by Pepe Escobar

Notable quotes:
"... John Pilger, among few others, has already stressed how a plan to destroy WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was laid out as far back as 2008 – at the tail end of the Cheney regime – concocted by the Pentagon's shady Cyber Counter-Intelligence Assessments Branch. ..."
"... But it was only in 2017, in the Trump era, that the Deep State went totally ballistic; that's when WikiLeaks published the Vault 7 files – detailing the CIA's vast hacking/cyber espionage repertoire. ..."
"... This was the CIA as a Naked Emperor like never before – including the dodgy overseeing ops of the Center for Cyber Intelligence, an ultra-secret NSA counterpart. ..."
"... The monolithic narrative by the Deep State faction aligned with the Clinton machine was that "the Russians" hacked the DNC servers. Assange was always adamant; that was not the work of a state actor – and he could prove it technically. ..."
"... The DoJ wanted a deal – and they did make an offer to WikiLeaks. But then FBI director James Comey killed it. The question is why. ..."
"... Some theoretically sound reconstructions of Comey's move are available. But the key fact is Comey already knew – via his close connections to the top of the DNC – that this was not a hack; it was a leak. ..."
"... Ambassador Craig Murray has stressed, over and over again (see here ) how the DNC/Podesta files published by WikiLeaks came from two different US sources; one from within the DNC and the other from within US intel. ..."
"... he release by WikiLeaks in April 2017 of the malware mechanisms inbuilt in "Grasshopper" and the "Marble Framework" were indeed a bombshell. This is how the CIA inserts foreign language strings in source code to disguise them as originating from Russia, from Iran, or from China. The inestimable Ray McGovern, a VIPS member, stressed how Marble Framework "destroys this story about Russian hacking." ..."
"... No wonder then CIA director Mike Pompeo accused WikiLeaks of being a "non-state hostile intelligence agency" ..."
"... Joshua Schulte, the alleged leaker of Vault 7, has not faced a US court yet. There's no question he will be offered a deal by the USG if he aggress to testify against Julian Assange. ..."
"... George Galloway has a guest who explains it all https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VvPFMyPvHM&t=8s ..."
"... Escobar is brain dead if he can't figure out that Trumpenstein is totally on board with destroying Assange. As if bringing on pukes like PompAss, BoltON, and Abrams doesn't scream it. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The Made-by-FBI indictment of Julian Assange does look like a dead man walking. No evidence. No documents. No surefire testimony. Just a crossfire of conditionals...

But never underestimate the legalese contortionism of US government (USG) functionaries. As much as Assange may not be characterized as a journalist and publisher, the thrust of the affidavit is to accuse him of conspiring to commit espionage.

In fact the charge is not even that Assange hacked a USG computer and obtained classified information; it's that he may have discussed it with Chelsea Manning and may have had the intention to go for a hack. Orwellian-style thought crime charges don't get any better than that. Now the only thing missing is an AI software to detect them.

https://www.rt.com/shows/going-underground/456414-assange-wkileaks-asylum-london/video/5cb1c797dda4c822558b463f

Assange legal adviser Geoffrey Robertson – who also happens to represent another stellar political prisoner, Brazil's Lula – cut straight to the chase (at 19:22 minutes);

"The justice he is facing is justice, or injustice, in America I would hope the British judges would have enough belief in freedom of information to throw out the extradition request."

That's far from a done deal. Thus the inevitable consequence; Assange's legal team is getting ready to prove, no holds barred, in a British court, that this USG indictment for conspiracy to commit computer hacking is just an hors d'oeuvre for subsequent espionage charges, in case Assange is extradited to US soil.

All about Vault 7

John Pilger, among few others, has already stressed how a plan to destroy WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was laid out as far back as 2008 – at the tail end of the Cheney regime – concocted by the Pentagon's shady Cyber Counter-Intelligence Assessments Branch.

It was all about criminalizing WikiLeaks and personally smearing Assange, using "shock troops enlisted in the media -- those who are meant to keep the record straight and tell us the truth."

This plan remains more than active – considering how Assange's arrest has been covered by the bulk of US/UK mainstream media.

By 2012, already in the Obama era, WikiLeaks detailed the astonishing "scale of the US Grand Jury Investigation" of itself. The USG always denied such a grand jury existed.

"The US Government has stood up and coordinated a joint interagency criminal investigation of Wikileaks comprised of a partnership between the Department of Defense (DOD) including: CENTCOM; SOUTHCOM; the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA); Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA); Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA); US Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) for USFI (US Forces Iraq) and 1st Armored Division (AD); US Army Computer Crimes Investigative Unit (CCIU); 2nd Army (US Army Cyber Command); Within that or in addition, three military intelligence investigations were conducted. Department of Justice (DOJ) Grand Jury and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of State (DOS) and Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). In addition, Wikileaks has been investigated by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Office of the National CounterIntelligence Executive (ONCIX), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); the House Oversight Committee; the National Security Staff Interagency Committee, and the PIAB (President's Intelligence Advisory Board)."

But it was only in 2017, in the Trump era, that the Deep State went totally ballistic; that's when WikiLeaks published the Vault 7 files – detailing the CIA's vast hacking/cyber espionage repertoire.

This was the CIA as a Naked Emperor like never before – including the dodgy overseeing ops of the Center for Cyber Intelligence, an ultra-secret NSA counterpart.

WikiLeaks got Vault 7 in early 2017. At the time WikiLeaks had already published the DNC files – which the unimpeachable Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) systematically proved was a leak, not a hack.

The monolithic narrative by the Deep State faction aligned with the Clinton machine was that "the Russians" hacked the DNC servers. Assange was always adamant; that was not the work of a state actor – and he could prove it technically.

There was some movement towards a deal, brokered by one of Assange's lawyers; WikiLeaks would not publish the most damning Vault 7 information in exchange for Assange's safe passage to be interviewed by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

The DoJ wanted a deal – and they did make an offer to WikiLeaks. But then FBI director James Comey killed it. The question is why.

It's a leak, not a hack

Some theoretically sound reconstructions of Comey's move are available. But the key fact is Comey already knew – via his close connections to the top of the DNC – that this was not a hack; it was a leak.

Ambassador Craig Murray has stressed, over and over again (see here ) how the DNC/Podesta files published by WikiLeaks came from two different US sources; one from within the DNC and the other from within US intel.

There was nothing for Comey to "investigate". Or there would have, if Comey had ordered the FBI to examine the DNC servers. So why talk to Julian Assange?

T he release by WikiLeaks in April 2017 of the malware mechanisms inbuilt in "Grasshopper" and the "Marble Framework" were indeed a bombshell. This is how the CIA inserts foreign language strings in source code to disguise them as originating from Russia, from Iran, or from China. The inestimable Ray McGovern, a VIPS member, stressed how Marble Framework "destroys this story about Russian hacking."

No wonder then CIA director Mike Pompeo accused WikiLeaks of being a "non-state hostile intelligence agency", usually manipulated by Russia.

Joshua Schulte, the alleged leaker of Vault 7, has not faced a US court yet. There's no question he will be offered a deal by the USG if he aggress to testify against Julian Assange.

It's a long and winding road, to be traversed in at least two years, if Julian Assange is ever to be extradited to the US. Two things for the moment are already crystal clear. The USG is obsessed to shut down WikiLeaks once and for all. And because of that, Julian Assange will never get a fair trial in the "so-called 'Espionage Court'" of the Eastern District of Virginia, as detailed by former CIA counterterrorism officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou.

Meanwhile, the non-stop demonization of Julian Assange will proceed unabated, faithful to guidelines established over a decade ago. Assange is even accused of being a US intel op, and WikiLeaks a splinter Deep State deep cover op.

Maybe President Trump will maneuver the hegemonic Deep State into having Assange testify against the corruption of the DNC; or maybe Trump caved in completely to "hostile intelligence agency" Pompeo and his CIA gang baying for blood. It's all ultra-high-stakes shadow play – and the show has not even begun.


JailBanksters , 40 minutes ago link

Not to mention the Pentagram has silenced 100,000 whistleblower complaints by Intimidation, threats, money or accidents over 5 years . A Whistleblower only does this when know there is something seriously wrong. Just Imagine how many knew something was wrong but looked the other way.

ExPat2018 , 47 minutes ago link

George Galloway has a guest who explains it all https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VvPFMyPvHM&t=8s

Betrayed , 2 hours ago link

Maybe President Trump will maneuver the hegemonic Deep State into having Assange testify against the corruption of the DNC; or maybe Trump caved in completely to "hostile intelligence agency" Pompeo and his CIA gang baying for blood.

Escobar is brain dead if he can't figure out that Trumpenstein is totally on board with destroying Assange. As if bringing on pukes like PompAss, BoltON, and Abrams doesn't scream it.

besnook , 2 hours ago link

assange and wikileaks are the real criminals despite being crimeless. the **** is a sanctioned criminal, allowed to be criminal with the system because the rest of the sanctioned criminals would be exposed if she was investigated.

this is not the rule of laws. this is the law of rulers.

_triplesix_ , 2 hours ago link

Anyone seen Imran Awan lately?

Four chan , 34 minutes ago link

yeah those ***** go free because they got everything on the stupid dems and they are muslim.

assange exposes the podesta dws and clinton fraud against bernie voters+++ and hes the bad guy. yeah right

hillary clinton murdered seth rich sure as **** too.

[Apr 20, 2019] The Guccifer 2.0 Gaps in Mueller s Full Report undermine the validity of findings

Apr 10, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Originally from: The 'Guccifer 2.0' Gaps in Mueller's Full Report April 18, 2019 • 12 Commentsave

Like Team Mueller's indictment last July of Russian agents, the full report reveals questions about Wikileaks' role that much of the media has been ignoring, writes Daniel Lazare.

By Daniel Lazare
Special to Consortium News

<img src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Daniel-Lazare-150x150.jpg" alt="" width="100" height="100" /> A s official Washington pores over the Gospel According to Saint Robert, an all-important fact about the Mueller report has gotten lost in the shuffle. Just as the Christian gospels were filled with holes , the latest version is too – particularly with regard to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.

The five pages that the special prosecutor's report devotes to WikiLeaks are essentially lifted from Mueller's indictment last July of 12 members of the Russian military intelligence agency known as the GRU. It charges that after hacking the Democratic National Committee, the GRU used a specially-created online persona known as Guccifer 2.0 to transfer a gigabyte's worth of stolen emails to WikiLeaks just as the 2016 Democratic National Convention was approaching. Four days after opening the encrypted file, the indictment says, "Organization 1 [i.e. WikiLeaks] released over 20,000 emails and other documents stolen from the DNC network by the Conspirators [i.e. the GRU]."

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-35305" src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM.png" alt="Barr holding press conference on full Mueller report, April 18, 2019. (YouTube)" width="1248" height="612" srcset="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM.png 848w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM-400x196.png 400w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM-768x377.png 768w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM-700x343.png 700w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM-160x78.png 160w" sizes="(max-width: 1248px) 100vw, 1248px" />

Attorney General William Barr holding press conference on full Mueller report, April 18, 2019. (YouTube)

Mueller's report says the same thing, but with the added twist that Assange then tried to cover up the GRU's role by suggesting that murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich may have been the source and by telling a congressman that the DNC email heist was an "inside job" and that he had "physical proof" that the material was not from Russian.

All of which is manna from heaven for corporate news outlets eager to pile on Assange, now behind bars in London. An April 11, 2019, New York Times news analysis , for instance, declared that "[c]ourt documents have revealed that it was Russian intelligence – using the Guccifer persona – that provided Mr. Assange thousands of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee," while another Times article published shortly after his arrest accuses the WikiLeaks founder of "promoting a false cover story about the source of the leaks."

But there's a problem: it ain't necessarily so. The official story that the GRU is the source doesn't hold water, as a timeline from mid-2016 shows. Here are the key events based on the GRU indictment and the Mueller report:

June 12: Assange tells Britain's ITV that another round of Democratic Party disclosures is on the way: "We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton, which is great. WikiLeaks is having a very big year." June 14: The Democratic National Committee accuses Russia of hacking its computers. June 15: Guccifer 2.0 claims credit for the hack. "The main part of the papers, thousands of files and mails, I gave to WikiLeaks ," he brags . "They will publish them soon." June 22: WikiLeaks tells Guccifer via email: "Send any new material here for us to review and it will have a much higher impact than what you are doing." July 6: WikiLeaks sends Guccifer another email: "if you have anything hillary related we want it in the next tweo [ sic ] days prefable [ sic ] because the DNC [Democratic National Convention] is approaching and she will solidify bernie supporters behind her after."Replies Guccifer: "ok . . . i " July 14: Guccifer sends WikiLeaks an encrypted file titled "wk dnc link1.txt.gpg." July 18: WikiLeaks confirms it has opened "the 1Gb or so archive" and will release documents "this week." July 22: WikiLeaks releases more than 20,000 DNC emails and 8,000 other attachments.

According to Mueller and obsequious news outlets like the Times , the sequence is clear: Guccifer sends archive, WikiLeaks receives archive, WikiLeaks accesses archive, WikiLeaks publishes archive. Donald Trump may not have colluded with Russia, but Julian Assange plainly did. [Attorney General Will Barr, significantly calling WikiLeaks a publisher, said at his Thursday press conference: " Under applicable law, publication of these types of materials would not be criminal unless the publisher also participated in the underlying hacking conspiracy."]

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-35300" src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM.png" alt="Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announcing in 2018 a grand jury indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses related to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (Wikimedia Commons) " width="1236" height="611" srcset="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM.png 973w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM-400x198.png 400w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM-768x380.png 768w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM-700x346.png 700w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM-160x79.png 160w" sizes="(max-width: 1236px) 100vw, 1236px" />

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announcing in 2018 the grand jury indictment of 12 GRU agents. (Wikimedia Commons)

Avoiding Questions

The narrative raises questions that the press studiously avoids. Why, for instance, would Assange announce on June 12 that a big disclosure is on the way before hearing from the supposed source? Was there a prior communication that Mueller has not disclosed? What about the reference to "new material" on June 22 – does that mean Assange already had other material in hand? After opening the Guccifer file on July 18, why would he publish it just four days later? Would that give WikiLeaks enough time to review some 28,000 documents to insure they're genuine?

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"If a single one of those emails had been shown to be maliciously altered," blogger Mark F. McCarty observes , "Wikileaks' reputation would have been in tatters." There's also the question that an investigator known as Adam Carter poses in Disobedient Media : why would Guccifer brag about giving WikiLeaks "thousands of files" that he wouldn't send for another month?

The narrative doesn't make sense – a fact that is crucially important now that Assange is fighting for his freedom in the U.K. New Yorker staff writer Raffi Khatchadourian sounded a rare note of caution last summer when he warned that little about Guccifer 2.0 adds up. While claiming to be the source for some of WikiLeaks ' most explosive emails, the material he released on his own had proved mostly worthless – 20 documents that he "said were from the DNC but which were almost surely not," as Khatchadourian puts it, a purported Hillary Clinton dossier that "was nothing of the sort," screenshots of emails so blurry as to be "unreadable," and so forth.

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-35303" src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/John_Podesta_at_2nd_debate_full_image.jpg" alt="John Podesta at the spin room of the second presidential debate of 2016. (Voice of America via Wikimedia Commons)" width="500" height="341" srcset="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/John_Podesta_at_2nd_debate_full_image.jpg 650w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/John_Podesta_at_2nd_debate_full_image-400x273.jpg 400w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/John_Podesta_at_2nd_debate_full_image-160x109.jpg 160w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />

John Podesta: Target of a phishing expedition. (Voice of America via Wikimedia Commons)

While insisting that "our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party, Assange told Khatchadourian that the source was not Guccifer either. "We received quite a lot of submissions of material that was already published in the rest of the press, and people seemingly submitted the Guccifer archives," he said somewhat cryptically. "We didn't publish them. They were already published." When Khatchadourian asked why he didn't put the material out regardless, he replied that "the material from Guccifer 2.0 – or on WordPress – we didn't have the resources to independently verify."

No Time for Vetting

So four days was indeed too short a time to subject the Guccifer file to proper vetting. Of course, Mueller no doubt regards this as more "dissembling," as his report describes it. Yet WikiLeaks has never been caught in a lie for the simple reason that honesty and credibility are all-important for a group that promises to protect anonymous leakers who supply it with official secrets. (See "Inside WikiLeaks : Working with the Publisher that Changed the World," Consortium News , July 19, 2018.) Mueller, by contrast, has a rich history of mendacity going back to his days as FBI director when he sought to cover up the Saudi role in 9/11 and assured Congress on the eve of the 2003 invasion that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction pose "a clear threat to our national security."

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-35301" src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/MuellerBushImage.jpg" alt="Mueller with President George W. Bush on July 5, 2001, as he is being appointed FBI director. (White House)" width="501" height="373" srcset="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/MuellerBushImage.jpg 600w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/MuellerBushImage-400x298.jpg 400w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/MuellerBushImage-160x119.jpg 160w" sizes="(max-width: 501px) 100vw, 501px" />

Mueller with President George W. Bush on July 5, 2001, as he is being appointed FBI director. (White House)

So if the Mueller narrative doesn't hold up, the charge of dissembling doesn't either. Indeed , as ex-federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy observes in The National Review , the fact that the feds have charged Assange with unauthorized access to a government computer rather than conspiring with the Kremlin could be a sign that Team Mueller is less than confident it can prove collusion beyond a reasonable doubt. As he puts it, the GRU indictment "was more like a press release than a charging instrument" because the special prosecutor knew that the chances were zero that Russian intelligence agents would surrender to a U.S. court.

Indeed, when Mueller charged 13 employees and three companies owned by Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin with interfering in the 2016 election, he clearly didn't expect them to surrender either. Thus , his team seemed taken aback when one of the alleged " troll farms " showed up in Washington asking to be heard. The prosecution's initial response, as McCarthy put it , was to seek a delay "on the astonishing ground that the defendant has not been properly served – notwithstanding that the defendant has shown up in court and asked to be arraigned." When that didn't work, prosecutors tried to limit Concord's access to some 3.2 million pieces of evidence on the grounds that the documents are too " sensitive " for Russian eyes to see. If they are again unsuccessful, they may have no choice but to drop the charges entirely, resulting in yet another " public relations disaster " for the Russia-gate investigation.

None of which bodes well for Mueller or the news organizations that worship at his shrine. After blowing the Russia-gate story all these years, why does the Times continue to slander the one news organization that tells the truth?

Daniel Lazare is the author of "The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy" (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics. He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nation to Le Monde Diplomatique and blogs about the Constitution and related matters at D aniellazare.com .

[Apr 19, 2019] The connection between pro-Israel Lobby efforts and the covert operations and overt invasions of America's national security state.

Notable quotes:
"... Blumenthal does chronicle a decades-long panoply of active measures by numerous pro-Israel Lobby figures, groups and think tanks. Yet he fails to explicitly recognize the connection between pro-Israel Lobby efforts and the covert operations and overt invasions of America's national security state. ..."
"... Julian Assange of Wikileaks was more explicit. Assange named the "country that has interfered in U.S. elections, has endangered Americans living or working overseas and has corrupted America's legislative and executive branches. It has exploited that corruption to initiate legislation favorable to itself, has promoted unnecessary and unwinnable wars and has stolen American technology and military secrets. Its ready access to the mainstream media to spread its own propaganda provides it with cover for its actions and it accomplishes all that and more through the agency of a powerful and well-funded domestic lobby [ ] That country is, of course, Israel." ..."
Apr 19, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Abe , April 18, 2019 at 23:23

Behind the Omar Outrage: Suppressed History of the pro-Israel Lobby

Max Blumenthal's article and his 2019 book, The Management of Savagery: How America's National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Donald Trump (2019), is an impressive exercise in burying the lede.

Blumenthal does chronicle a decades-long panoply of active measures by numerous pro-Israel Lobby figures, groups and think tanks. Yet he fails to explicitly recognize the connection between pro-Israel Lobby efforts and the covert operations and overt invasions of America's national security state.

Julian Assange of Wikileaks was more explicit. Assange named the "country that has interfered in U.S. elections, has endangered Americans living or working overseas and has corrupted America's legislative and executive branches. It has exploited that corruption to initiate legislation favorable to itself, has promoted unnecessary and unwinnable wars and has stolen American technology and military secrets. Its ready access to the mainstream media to spread its own propaganda provides it with cover for its actions and it accomplishes all that and more through the agency of a powerful and well-funded domestic lobby [ ] That country is, of course, Israel."

[Apr 19, 2019] Early Assange quote

Apr 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

somebody , Apr 18, 2019 10:41:06 AM | link

Add to 80

Early Assange :

The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie. This must result in minimization of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive "secrecy tax") and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold onto power as the environment demands adaption.

Hence in a world where leaking is easy, secretive or unjust systems are nonlinearly hit relative to open, just systems. Since unjust systems, by their nature induce opponents, and in many places barely have the upper hand, mass leaking leaves them exquisitely vulnerable to those who seek to replace them with more open forms of governance.

[Apr 18, 2019] Wikileaks started as a Chinese dissident project which certainly had the support of the US military-intelligence complex. It quickly became something else,

Apr 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

somebody , Apr 18, 2019 6:52:44 AM | link

@wisdombody | Apr 18, 2019 3:09:38 AM | 71

They are the hacker/security blackhat/whitehead scene.
Another example where the actions of the empire bite back.

To understand where they are coming from read Yasha Levine's Surveillance Valley

US Tech Companies have an extremely nice "inclusive" "open" "transparent" company culture. People who don't drink the kool aid can deal with it, people who are on the Asperger/Authism range can't. And these are the people extremely gifted for tech.

Basically US military and secret services believed that Western "Freedom" (TM) was such a powerful advantage in global competition that open anonymous systems connecting dissidents would work to their advantage. They forgot that some people can't do double think.

Wikileaks started as a Chinese dissident project which certainly had the support of the US military-intelligence complex. It quickly became something else, simply because the people working in the project believed the ideology behind it and could not see that what is right for a Chinese dissident against the Chinese state was not right for a US dissident against the US state.

With Julian Assange in Belmarsh prison, everything about "open society" "transparency" "free media" "supporting dissidents" is in dispute.

[Apr 18, 2019] LIVE Wikileaks editor-in-chief holds presser on new criminal case involving Julian Assange

Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
Apr 18, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Angelor Not , 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.

fionnualaable , 1 week ago

(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.

Driver Driver , 3 days ago (edited)

The new president of Ecuador is a real thief. A real crook.

A M , 6 days 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......!!!

Hoomanna Dee , 1 week 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.

ishant 7 , 4 days ago

In India we call these so called journalisfs as PRESSTITUTES

nick f , 1 day 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.

Nassau Events , 2 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.

Needful Things Company , 6 days ago

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 17, 2019] Ecuador sells off Assange to US Ron Paul

It is unclear what danger WikiLeaks represents naw, as it probably was infiltrated. But publishing of Podesta emails and DNC files was really damaging to the Dems during 2016 elections.
Notable quotes:
"... "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. ..."
"... "The IMF has already delivered $4.2 billion to [Ecuador], and there's another six billion dollars in the pipeline for that," he said. ..."
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.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/HqPAwI4EmsU?rel=0

"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] Trump as a useful idiot of the Deep State

Apr 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Anunnaki , 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 lagoon

Anunnaki , 11 hours ago link

Jimmy Dore and Tucker Carlson nail it

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SnwC_1Pf9VQ

rtb61 , 12 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.

OZZIDOWNUNDER , 9 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 !

NYC80 , 13 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?

Ms No , 14 hours ago link

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.

https://www.sott.net/article/411173-My-friend-Julian-Assange-Alicia-Castro-former-ambassador-for-Argentina

[Apr 16, 2019] Ray on Why the Deep State Hates Julian Assange

Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

Saoirse , says: April 13, 2019 at 1:39 am GMT

http://raymcgovern.com/

Ray on Why the Deep State Hates Julian Assange

[Apr 15, 2019] 4 Myths About Julian Assange DEBUNKED Zero Hedge

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] Julian Assange Is Guilty Of Only One Thing: Revealing The Evil Soul Of US Imperialism

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 14, 2019] You could not get a more sinister confluence of political fraudsters by Michael Tracey

Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
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 14, 2019] Assange rendition might backfire for Trump administration

Vindictiveness not always play in the vindictive party favour.
You may love Assange you may hate Assange for his WikiLeaks revelation (And Vault 7 was a real bombshell), but it is clear that it will cost Trump some reputation out of tini share that still left, especially in view of Trump declaration "I love Wikileaks"
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 [340] • Disclaimer , says: April 12, 2019 at 10:41 am GMT

Thank you.

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.

Digital Samizdat , says: April 12, 2019 at 5:11 pm 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:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evo_Morales_grounding_incident

Any way you slice, this is a sad for liberty.

Carlton Meyer , says: • Website April 13, 2019 at 4:32 am GMT
From my blog:

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.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZE7OfU71Sbk?feature=oembed

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.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/25EWUUBjPMo?feature=oembed

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.”

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_sbT3_9dJY4?feature=oembed

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.

The Alarmist , says: April 13, 2019 at 5:01 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.

Endgame Napoleon , says: April 13, 2019 at 6:14 am GMT
@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 GMT
Mr Cook’s criticism of the mainstream media (MSM) is absolutely justified.

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”)

UncommonGround , says: April 13, 2019 at 10:13 am GMT
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.

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.

EliteCommInc. , says: April 13, 2019 at 10:59 am GMT
The game afoot here is obvious.

https://www.caracaschronicles.com/2017/04/03/ecuador-next-venezuela/

Pressure relief

Tsar Nicholas , says: April 13, 2019 at 11:38 am GMT
@Art

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.

[Mar 17, 2019] Mueller uses the same old false flag scams, just different packaging of his forensics-free findings

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It appears the FBI, CIA, and NSA have great difficulty in differentiating between Russians and Democrats posing as Russians. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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? ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... Mar 4, 2019 Tom Fitton: President Trump a 'Crime Victim' by Illegal Deep State DOJ & FBI Abuses: https://youtu.be/ixWMorWAC7c ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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 ..."
"... 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! ..."
"... 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. ..."
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.

http://opensociet.org/2019/03/16/the-return-of-the-hidden-persuaders

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.

https://opensociet.org/2018/12/18/the-disneyfication-of-america/

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

Realist,

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.

https://slavyangrad.org/2014/09/24/the-russia-they-lost/

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.

https://medium.com/@markfmccarty/muellers-new-indictment-do-the-feds-take-us-for-idiots-5406ef955406

https://medium.com/@markfmccarty/how-did-crowdstrike-guccifer-2-0-know-that-wikileaks-was-planning-to-release-dnc-emails-42e6db334053

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

@Jack,
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

https://www.kcrw.com/culture/shows/scheer-intelligence/liberals-are-digging-their-own-grave-with-russiagate-2019-03-08

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

Jeff-

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

Hi David-

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 17, 2019] VIPS- Mueller's Forensics-Free Findings

Highly recommended!
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

Executive Summary

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.

Discussion

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.]

Forensics

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.

Presidential Interest

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:

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.

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Tags: Bill Binney Donald Trump Hillary Clinton James Clapper James Comey Mike Pompeo Robert Mueller Veteran Intelligence Professional for Sanity VIPS WikiLeaks


[Dec 29, 2018] -Election Meddling- Enters Bizarro World As MSM Ignores Democrat-Linked -Russian Bot- Scheme -

Highly recommended!
Is this shadow of Integrity Initiative in the USA ? This false flag open the possibility that other similar events like DNC (with very questionable investigation by Crowdstrike, which was a perfect venue to implement a false flag; cybersecurity area is the perfect environment for planting false flags), MH17 (might be an incident but later it definitely was played as a false flag), Skripals (Was Skripals poisoning a false flag decided to hide the fact that Sergey Skripal was involved in writing Steele dossier?) and Litvinenko (probably connected with lack of safety measures in the process of smuggling of Plutonium by Litvinenko himself, but later played a a false flag). All of those now should be re-assessed from the their potential of being yet another flag flag operation against Russia. While Browder was a MI6 operation from the very beginning (and that explains why he abdicated the US citizenship more convincingly that the desire to avoid taxes) .
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
"... 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). ..."
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 bama

89 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-reporter

NY 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-disinformation

10 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 Twitter
Jonathon Morgan ✔ @jonathonmorgan

My statement on this evening's NYT article.

94 9:17 PM - Dec 19, 2018
465 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy

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 ✔ @jeffgiesea

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-e3edd854f17d

1,658 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 GIESEA

medium.com
1,381 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy

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 ago

NATO on behalf of the Washington politicians uses the same bullsh*t propaganda for continual war.

Mugabe , 20 minutes ago

Yup "PROJECTION"...

Yippie21 , 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.

LetThemEatRand , 21 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.

Oldguy05 , 19 minutes ago

Dimz corruption is a nogo. Now if it were conservatives.......

CosineCosineCosine , 23 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/hqLIJznUNVw

LetThemEatRand , 27 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).

dead hobo , 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.

chunga , 30 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.

JRobby , 33 minutes ago

Only when "the opposition" does it is it illegal. Total totalitarian state wannabe stuff.

divingengineer , 22 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.

DarkPurpleHaze , 33 minutes ago

They're afraid to expose themselves...unlike Kevin Spacey. Trump or Whitaker will expose this with one signature. It's coming.

divingengineer , 20 minutes ago

Spacey has totally lost it. See his latest video, it will be a powerful piece of evidence for an insanity plea.

CosineCosineCosine , 10 minutes ago

Disagree strongly. I think it was excellent - perhaps you misunderstood the point? 6 minutes Diana Davidson look at it clarifies

https://youtu.be/_il_NBq0Ec8

[Nov 16, 2018] US Is Optimistic It Will Prosecute Assange

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] CIA's 'Surveillance State' is Operating Against US

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:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/11/09/cia-surveillance-state-operating-against-us-all.html
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 | link

And there is this too of course:

Pentagon Fake Al Qaeda Propaganda

Anton Worter , Nov 10, 2018 12:39:39 AM | link
@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] 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

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.

https://www.thelocal.de/20180509/us-tells-german-businesses-to-stop-trade-in-iran-immediately

[Nov 08, 2018] Ed Snowden Infamous Israeli Spyware 'Pegasus' Helped Kill Khashoggi

Nov 08, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Via MiddleEastMonitor.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 ".

[Oct 08, 2018] Hacking and Propaganda by Marcus Ranum

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... 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 ..."
"... "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 ..."
"... 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." ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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 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? ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... There are probably so many backdoors in our systems that it's a miracle it works at all. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
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:

  1. The Russians and Chinese are doing it, they're just so darned good nobody has caught them until just recently.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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.

&

(kaspersky)

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 ]

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_eSAF_qT_FY

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
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Marcus Ranum says

    October 6, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    Cat Mara@#3:
    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.

  5. 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."

[Sep 03, 2018] The US Department of Homeland Security fabricated "intelligence reports" of Russian election hacking

Russiagate can be viewed as a pretty inventive way to justify their own existence for bloated Intelligence services: first CIA hacks something leaving traces of russians or Chinese; then the FBI, CIAand Department of Homeland security all enjoy additional money and people to counter the threat.
The scheme is almost untraceable
Sep 03, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
BM , 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

[Jun 28, 2018] Did Senator Warner and Comey 'Collude' on Russia-gate by Ray McGovern

Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
"... Special to Consortium News ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
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 25, 2018] Surveillance is the DNA of the Platform Economy

Creating a malware application which masks itself as some kind of pseudo scientific test and serves as the backdoor to your personal data is a very dirty trick...
Especially dirty it it used by academic researchers, who in reality are academic scum... An additional type of academic gangsters, in addition to Harvard Mafia
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... In other instances, as in the case of Kogan's app, the extent of the data collected exceeds what was stated in the agreement. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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 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. ..."
Mar 24, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Yves 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."

'Unacceptable Violation'

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.

DNA

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 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.

Steve H. , , March 24, 2018 at 8:05 am

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.

Annieb , , March 24, 2018 at 2:02 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.

ChrisPacific , , March 25, 2018 at 4:07 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.

HotFlash , , March 24, 2018 at 3:13 pm

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?

Octopii , , March 24, 2018 at 8:06 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.

Samuel Conner , , March 24, 2018 at 8:16 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.

Collins , , March 24, 2018 at 9:14 am

Had you used your computer keyboard previously to search for 'surface mount resistors', or was the trail linking you & resistors entirely verbal?

Samuel Conner , , March 24, 2018 at 10:15 am

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.

Abi , , March 25, 2018 at 3:24 pm

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 about

ChiGal in Carolina , , March 25, 2018 at 10:12 am

I thought it came out a while ago that Skype captures and retains all the dialogue and video of convos using it.

Eureka Springs , , March 24, 2018 at 8:44 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?

https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/
Article 12.

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.

Pelham , , March 24, 2018 at 9:13 am

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.

albert , , March 24, 2018 at 6:27 pm

" 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.
. .. . .. -- .

PlutoniumKun , , March 24, 2018 at 9:52 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.

saurabh , , March 24, 2018 at 11:43 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.

Jim Thomson , , March 25, 2018 at 9:39 am

This is rich.

I can't resist: It takes a con to know a con.
(not the most insightful comment)

Daniel Mongan , , March 24, 2018 at 10:14 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.

JimTan , , March 24, 2018 at 11:12 am

People are starting to download copies of their Facebook data to get an understanding of how much information is being collected from them.

JCC , , March 24, 2018 at 11:29 am

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.

oh , , March 24, 2018 at 1:44 pm

Caveat Emptor: If you watch YouTube, they'll only add to the information that they already have on you!

HotFlash , , March 24, 2018 at 3:27 pm

Just substitute "hook" for 'you" in the URL, you get the same video, no ads, and they claim not to track you. YMMV

Craig H. , , March 24, 2018 at 12:21 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.)

Ed , , March 24, 2018 at 2:50 pm

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-23/digital-military-industrial-complex-exposed

" 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 .."

Craig H. , , March 24, 2018 at 3:42 pm

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 15, 2018] Julian Assange The CIA director is waging war on truth-tellers like WikiLeaks

Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
"... 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 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] 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.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... 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.' ..."
"... 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.' ..."
"... 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. ..."
Mar 08, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

David Habakkuk , 08 March 2018 at 10:28 AM

PT 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.

[Feb 19, 2018] Kim Dotcom Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn t Even A Hack Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
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."

Dotcom knew.

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 Permalink

Pffft...this guy sounds like the reds with their "blockbuster" memo. Honest Hill'rey is laughing!

SethPoor -> chunga Sun, 02/18/2018 - 22:00 Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_8VaMbPjUU

Bes -> J S Bach Sun, 02/18/2018 - 22:17 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.

bigkahuna -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 09:58 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.

StarGate -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:23 Permalink

Don't forget the "hack" analysis of Russian owned "Crowdstrike" since the FBI did and continues to, refuse to analyze the DNC computers.

KuriousKat -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 13:26 Permalink

Isn't Alperovitch the Only Russian in there?.. When you rule out the impossible...whatever remains probable.. probably is..

wildbad -> IntercoursetheEU Mon, 02/19/2018 - 03:05 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.

NumberNone -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 10:04 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.

Socratic Dog -> Buckaroo Banzai Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:09 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 -> Buckaroo Banzai Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:26 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.

verumcuibono -> NumberNone Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:41 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.

KJWqonfo7 -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:15 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.

verumcuibono -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:28 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.

StarGate -> Billy the Poet Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:48 Permalink

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] 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.

Notable quotes:
"... 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 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 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Lee Anderson , February 17, 2018 at 4:32 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!

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 5:08 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. Joe

Annie , February 17, 2018 at 5:56 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.

Gregory Herr , February 17, 2018 at 6:42 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.

Skeptigal , February 17, 2018 at 7:19 pm

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] Russians Spooked by Nukes-Against-Cyber-Attack Policy Consortiumnews

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 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 .

Mild-ly -Facetious , February 16, 2018 at 5:42 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

[extract]

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/

Anna , February 16, 2018 at 6:46 pm

"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] Mueller Indicts 13 Russians For Interfering In US Election

False flag or real ?
Is not "included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump ("Trump Campaign") and disparaging Hillary Clinton . " (or vise versa) by posting on social media an example of free speech ?
But usage of fake identities clearly is not: "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 question is how those unquestionable very talented Russians managed to learn English language without living in the USA and operate such a sophisticated operation from oversees? English is a very difficult language for Russians to master and Russian immigrants who came to the USA being older then 16 and living in the USA for ten or twenty years typically still have horrible accent and bad or very bad grammar (tenses, "a" and "the" usage, you name it). Actually Russian woman are noticeably better then men in this area, especially if they are married to a US spouse. Ass to this dismal understanding of the USA politics including differences between Democratic and Republican parties (you probably need to live in the USA for ten years to start appreciate those differences ;-) . How they managed to learn local political culture to be effective? That's a strong argument in favor of false flag operation -- in case they have puppeteers from the USA everything is more or less rationally explainable.
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
"... 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 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. ..."
"... 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, 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 ..."
"... 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 . ..."
"... 13 Russians can influence US elections meanwhile US CIA and State Department spend $1 BIllion every year on opposition groups inside Russia without success. ..."
"... 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 . ..."
"... It looks like Mueller would have these people for identity theft if he had them in the US, which he probably doesn't. ..."
"... Deep state pivot to keep the Russian hate alive. ..."
"... 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/ ..."
"... The bigger question is "when is Mueller going to be indicted for covering up the controlled demolition of the WTC buildings on nine eleven??" ..."
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:

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 Permalink

Concord Catering - what, were they offering chicken wings and pigs ears at the polling places?

Never One Roach -> Joe Davola Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:03 Permalink

So how often does Mueller hear those demon voices in his head?

Billy the Poet -> Never One Roach Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:05 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-

Belrev -> Billy the Poet Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:07 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.

SamAdams -> Belrev Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:08 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 .

Belrev -> SamAdams Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:10 Permalink

That is a regime change in DC proposition.

IH8OBAMA -> Belrev Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:21 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 ) LOL

Shillinlikeavillan -> IH8OBAMA Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:24 Permalink

Soooooooo...

They basically indicted the $100,000 facebook ad russian group... Bravo! Ur really on the path to impeaching trump now!
LULZ!

overbet -> Shillinlikeavillan Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:34 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.

El Vaquero -> overbet Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:44 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. #WeAreAllRussianBotsNow

spanish inquisition -> El Vaquero Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:56 Permalink

Deep state pivot to keep the Russian hate alive.

FoggyWorld -> spanish inquisition Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:59 Permalink

And set us up for war.

Shemp 4 Victory -> FoggyWorld Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:10 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/

pods -> Shemp 4 Victory Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:22 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!

pods

stizazz -> pods Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:30 Permalink

They HATE Russia because PUTIN OPENLY derided the American Empire.

BennyBoy -> pods Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:38 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.

BennyBoy -> BennyBoy Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:42 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-j

ThanksChump -> BennyBoy Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:50 Permalink

Duped by facts and truth is no way to go through life, son.

JimmyJones -> ThanksChump Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:59 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.

Theosebes Goodfellow -> pods Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:42 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 -> Theosebes Goodfellow Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:09 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.

tsk, tsk.

ignorance can be no excuse for such wanton lawlessness.

rwe2late -> rwe2late Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:36 Permalink

oh, oh

I almost forgot. "conspirators" were blatantly "sowing discord" obvious "proof" of "cooperating" with the Russians

Boxed Merlot -> rwe2late