Sunday, 6 November 2016

Is the US preparing to hack Russia's infrastructure?


Is the US administration (or parts of it) preparing a false-flag terrorist attack or an attack on Russian infrastructure to coincide with the election?
US 'Military' Hackers "Prepare The Battlefield": Breach Russia's Backbone Ahead Of Possible Election Disruption




54 November, 2016



Five months ago, NATO announced that a cyber-attack by a non-NATO entity would trigger the "collective defense" provision, enabling grounds for a 'kinetic' real war. And now, in what appears a pre-emptive move to dissuade any attempts at election disruption, US officials claims U.S. military hackers have penetrated Russia's electric grid, telecommunications networks, and the Kremlin's command systems - making them vulnerable to attack.
On June 14th we noted that:

NATO announced that if a NATO member country becomes the victim of a cyber attack by persons in a non-NATO country such as Russia or China, then NATO’s Article V “collective defense” provision requires each NATO member country to join that NATO member country if it decides to strike back against the attacking country. The preliminary decision for this was made two years ago after Crimea abandoned Ukraine and rejoined Russia, of which it had been a part until involuntarily transferred to Ukraine by the Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev in 1954. That NATO decision was made in anticipation of Ukraine’s ultimately becoming a NATO member country, which still hasn’t happened. However, only now is NATO declaring cyber war itself to be included as real “war” under the NATO Treaty’s “collective defense” provision.

NATO is now alleging that because Russian hackers had copied the emails on Hillary Clinton’s home computer, this action of someone in Russia taking advantage of her having privatized her U.S. State Department communications to her unsecured home computer and of such a Russian’s then snooping into the U.S. State Department business that was stored on it, might constitute a Russian attack against the United States of America, and would, if the U.S. President declares it to be a Russian invasion of the U.S., trigger NATO’s mutual-defense clause and so require all NATO nations to join with the U.S. government in going to war against Russia, if the U.S. government so decides.

Since then the non-stop drums of anti-Russia, Putin is the devil, propaganda has spewed forth from Democrats, Republicans, and the western mainstream media; headlined by the Obama administration literally threatening a cyber war with Russia in October over allegations it was behind the hacking of Clinton's emails.
According to an exclusive NBC report, the Obama administration "is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action" (though it's unclear how exactly it's covert if Biden is announcing it to the world via an interview with Chuck Todd)  against Russia, in "retaliation for alleged" interference in the American presidential election, and has asked the CIA to draft plans for a "wide-ranging "clandestine" cyber operation designed to harass and "embarrass" the Kremlin leadership."

So now the Obama administration is overtly leveraging the full power of the United States to intimidate foreign governments, and most likely Julian Assange, in order to maintain control of the Executive Branch of the government.  Does anyone within the mainstream media see any problems with this?  Certainly Chuck Todd and NBC do not.  And notice that even the NBC article refers to "alleged" Russian interference because not a shred of evidence has been presented to prove that senior Russian officials were actually behind the hacking of Hillary's emails...but who needs facts when you have a complicit media eager to advance whatever propaganda is necessary to maintain power?  

Former CIA officers interviewed by NBC said that there is a long history of the White House plotting potential cyber attacks against Russia.  That said, none of them were ultimately carried out because "none of the options were particularly good, nor did we think that any of them would be particularly effective."
Which prompted a rapid and angry response from Russia...

The response came this morning Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that "US aggressiveness is growing, and threats to carry out cyberattacks against Russia are unprecedented" adding that Russia will take “precautionary measures.”

The fact is, US unpredictability and aggression keep growing, and such threats against Moscow and our country’s leadership are unprecedented, because the threat is being announced at the level of the US Vice President,” Peskov told RIA Novosti cited by AFP. “Of course, given such an aggressive, unpredictable line, we have to take measures to protect our interests, somehow hedge the risks,” he said, adding that “such unpredictability is dangerous for the whole world.”

Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov vowed Moscow would respond to any US cyber attacks, saying such threats were "borderline insolence", the news agency said.
And then the Obama administration took another hit, this time from The FBI who stated they found no link between Donald Trump and Russia...

For much of the summer, the F.B.I. pursued a widening investigation into a Russian role in the American presidential campaign. Agents scrutinized advisers close to Donald J. Trump, looked for financial connections with Russian financial figures, searched for those involved in hacking the computers of Democrats, and even chased a lead — which they ultimately came to doubt — about a possible secret channel of email communication from the Trump Organization to a Russian bank.

Law enforcement officials say that none of the investigations so far have found any link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government. And even the hacking into Democratic emails, F.B.I. and intelligence officials now believe, was aimed at disrupting the presidential election rather than electing Mr. Trump.

In other words, the FBI itself is telling the Democrat establishment to move on and find a different attack on Putin because the "Putin agent" is getting old.
However, as NBC News reports today, that has not stopped the Obama administration from implicitly declaring war on Russia...

U.S. military hackers have penetrated Russia's electric grid, telecommunications networks and the Kremlin's command systems, making them vulnerable to attack by secret American cyber weapons should the U.S. deem it necessary, according to a senior intelligence official and top-secret documents reviewed by NBC News.

American officials have long said publicly that Russia, China and other nations have probed and left hidden malware on parts of U.S critical infrastructure, "preparing the battlefield," in military parlance, for cyber attacks that could turn out the lights or turn off the internet across major cities.

It's been widely assumed that the U.S. has done the same thing to its adversaries. The documents reviewed by NBC News — along with remarks by a senior U.S. intelligence official — confirm that, in the case of Russia.

U.S. officials continue to express concern that Russia will use its cyber capabilities to try to disrupt next week's presidential election.U.S. intelligence officials do not expect Russia to attack critical infrastructure — which many believe would be an act of war — but they do anticipate so-called cyber mischief, including the possible release of fake documents and the proliferation of bogus social media accounts designed to spread misinformation.

On Friday the hacker known as "Guccifer 2.0" — which U.S. officials say is a front for Russian intelligence — tweeted a threat to monitor the U.S. elections "from inside the system."

The senior U.S. intelligence official said that, if Russia initiated a significant cyber attack against critical infrastructure, the U.S. could take action to shut down some Russian systems — a sort of active defense.

So last week we had VP Joe Biden proclaiming publicly that "we are sending a message to Putin" and now NBC confirms the US military has undertaken cyberattacks on Russia's infrastructure.

One problem, officials say, is that the doctrine around cyber conflict - what is espionage, what is theft, what is war - is not well developed.
"Cyber war is undefined," Brown said. "There are norms of behavior that we try to encourage, but people violate those."

Well judging from where we started - with NATO's declaration that a cyberattack is equivalent to a kinetic attack and thus an act of war, one can only wonder how the Russians will view this admission of 'action' by the Americans.





14 October, 2016

In what is looking more and more like a season finale of the HBO series "House of Cards" with each passing day, the Obama administration is now literally threatening a cyber war with Russia over allegations it was behind the hacking of Clinton's emails. According to an exclusive NBC report, the Obama administration "is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action" (though it's unclear how exactly it's covert if Biden is announcing it to the world via an interview with Chuck Todd) against Russia, in "retaliation for alleged" interference in the American presidential election, and has asked the CIA to draft plans for a "wide-ranging "clandestine" cyber operation designed to harass and "embarrass" the Kremlin leadership."




Cyber sabotage? US govt hackers reportedly penetrate Russian infrastructure

RT



Russia Threatens Retaliation If Washington Engages In "State Cyberterrorism"

5 November, 2016

In the latest startling revelation that the US and Russia are ever closer to a state of, if not "kinetic", then certainly cyberwar, overnight NBC reported that U.S. military hackers had penetrated Russia's electric grid, telecommunications networks and the Kremlin's command systems, making them vulnerable to attack by secret American cyber weapons should the U.S. deem it necessary. As noted earlier, American officials have long accused Russia, China and other nations of probed probing and leaving hidden malware on parts of U.S critical infrastructure, "preparing the battlefield," in military parlance, for cyber attacks that could turn out the lights or turn off the internet across major cities.

What has been less noted is that the US has done exactly the same thing and as NBC wrote, "it's been widely assumed that the U.S. has done the same thing to its adversaries. The documents reviewed by NBC News — along with remarks by a senior U.S. intelligence official — confirm that, in the case of Russia."

But it's not just infrastructure that is threatened: the story coming out just three days before the election was hardly a coincidence as NBC said that U.S. officials again expressed concern that Russia will use its cyber capabilities to try to disrupt next week's presidential election, even though all such allegations of Russian mingling in the U.S. political cycle have so far remained unconfirmed.

In any case, Russia responded to the report, and said that it expects Washington to provide an explanation if it is indeed true that Pentagon hackers have penetrated Russia’s power grids, telecommunications networks, and the Kremlin's command systems for a possible sabotage.

Regarding the recent media reports that US military hackers have penetrated Russian’s telecommunications networks and electric grid, as well as “the Kremlin’s command systems”, we expect a response from the US authorities, including the White House and the Department of State with a legal assessment of the reports.

On Sunday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that “if no official reaction from the American administration follows, it would mean state cyberterrorism exists in the US. If the threats of the attack, which were published by the US media, are carried out, Moscow would be justified in charging Washington.”

She added that "the absence of an official reaction from the US Administration will signify the existence of state cyberterrorism in the United States, and in case the threats related via the US media are executed, Moscow will have full authority to bring charges against Washington."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also commented on the report, saying Russia had “cybersecurity measures taken at the level proper for the current situation, and the threats voiced against us by officials of other nations.”

The NBC report tops a frenzied news cycle escalation of accusations involving Russian cyberespionage, including allegations by Hillary Clinton that Moscow engaged in hacking to damage her bid for the White house. Though neither she, nor US intelligence services, have provided any proof, the Democrat candidate accused the Kremlin of hacking into the Democrats’ computer networks and publishing sensitive information in order to swing the election in favor of her GOP rival, Donald Trump. She has also claimed that Russia had supplied the whistleblower website WikiLeaks with emails hacked from the account of her campaign chair, John Podesta, something which Julian Assange recently denied in public for the first time.

Russia has repeatedly denied the accusations, asserting that it has no interest in influencing the election and questioning whether such publications would even have a major impact on how Americans would vote. No hard evidence of the alleged Russian hack has ever been made public, despite media reports claiming that US intelligence communities are “convinced” of the Kremlin’s guilt. The idea that Russia is trying to harm the US through hacking and needs to be deterred is “preposterous,” American private investigator and writer Charles Ortel told RT.

Hillary is a master. Back in the days when her husband was under threat, she suggested that there was a vast right-wing conspiracy. Now there is supposed to be a vast crazy conspiracy involving the FBI and Russia. It’s just fantasy land to me,” he said.

Ironically, so far the only country with a record of conducting cyber-attacks on other nations is the US itself RT points out. An operation called ‘Olympic Games,’ which was reportedly conducted by the US in corroboration with Israel, involved infecting the computer networks of Iranian uranium enrichment facilities with a computer virus that affected industrial controllers of centrifuges in order to destroy them.


The operation significantly damaged Iran’s production of nuclear fuel at the Natanz site. Washington decided to go public about it after the virus, dubbed Stuxnet by the IT community, escaped and was identified by major cybersecurity companies

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