December 31, 2016
New Russian Hacks? No, Old Ukrainian Malware Found.
All recent claims of "Russian hacking" are either outright false or are based on "evidence" that only shows run-of-the-mill attacks by some anonymous basement hacker.
The year 2016 saw the person elected U.S. president who Jeff Bezos' propaganda rag, the Washington Post, hated most. To celebrate the end of this very bad year its writers and editors decided to put more egg on their faces.
It first published the piece promoted on the left and some three hours later the fundamentally "corrected" one on the right.
The claim in the first piece, based on anonymous "officials", was that Russia hacked into the U.S. electricity grid through a utility company in Vermont. But then the utility companies in question, Burlington Electric, issued a statement that a recent scan of its IT systems had found only one laptop with some malware and that the laptop in questions was not connected to its networks at all. There was nothing found on any net-connected system. It had reported the find to the federal U.S. government. (Some very shortsighted "officials" immediately abused the confidential company information to miss-inform the Washington Post.) The utility company found the malware by scanning for a malware signature published in a lame recent assessment by Homeland Security and the FBI.
Dubious claims of foreign hacking of the electricity grid have already been made in 2009. Its an old trick of the Obama administration to achieve some political aims.
The Washington Post was obviously so eager to publish another of its daily "Russian hacking" fakes that it did not even ask the two Vermont utilities in question before pushing the stenographed piece out of the door.
That may well have been because the lead editorial of that day was warning of Putin hacking the U.S. electricity network and (again) hitting at Trump:
For any American leader, an attempt to subvert U.S. democracy ought to be unforgivable — even if he is the intended beneficiary. Some years ago, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned of a “cyber-Pearl Harbor,” and the fear at the time was of a cyberattack collapsing electric grids or crashing financial markets. Now we have a real cyber-Pearl Harbor, though not one that was anticipated.
Pearl Harbor was followed by the U.S. entry into a world war. Do the editors want to repeat that when alluding to it?
The editorial also pushed a bunch of wholly invented conspiracy theories:
Why is Mr. Trump so dismissive of Russia’s dangerous behavior? Some say it is his lack of experience in foreign policy, or an oft-stated admiration for strongmen, or naivete about Russian intentions. But darker suspicions persist. Mr. Trump has steadfastly refused to be transparent about his multibillion-dollar business empire. Are there loans or deals with Russian businesses or the state that were concealed during the campaign? Are there hidden communications with Mr. Putin or his representatives? We would be thrilled to see all the doubts dispelled, but Mr. Trump’s odd behavior in the face of a clear threat from Russia, matched by Mr. Putin’s evident enthusiasm for the president-elect, cannot be easily explained.
During the election campaign WaPo was the news paper with the most anti-Trump screeds on its neoconned editorial page. That actually helped Trump by making him the obvious anti-Neocon candidate. But "Pearl Harbor" comparisons and "darker suspicions" beat even the most stupid earlier pieces on him.
I suspect that the pushing of the Vermont hack was also an attempted hit against Bernie Sanders, the Senator from Vermont who was scammed out of the Democratic candidacy by the Clinton aligned Democratic National Council. He would now either have to jump on the "Russian hacking->bad Putin->bad-Trump" train or could be blamed of pro-Russian, pro-Putin and pro-Trump tendencies. All such tendencies are of course bad in the view of the pseudo-liberal Washington establishment which is busy promoting the New Red Scare.
But back to that malware. DHS and FBI had published a "report" (pdf) which again attempted to blame Russia of hacking the Democratic National Council while again providing zero actual evidence of such a hack (hint: there is none). The 13 pages include 2 with amateur graphics of a trivial hack architecture and 7 with amateur advice on how to protect a network. Of interest in it were samples and checksums of moduls of the hacking software it attributed to Russia and a list of IP addresses through which it claims the DNC hack was made. Of special interest is also what it does not say.
Several well known IT security experts have said earlier, like me, that such "reports" and claims are bullshit. A few more add to that:
Any antivirus company doing any amount of threat intelligence would be able to come up with more solid indicators than FBI released.
John McAfee (now often nutty but right in this):
If it looks like the Russians did it I can guarantee you it wasn't the Russians.
My money's on this all turns out to be commodity malware and not even APT28/APT29 and everyone jumping on the bandwagon will look v silly
All, and especially Matt Tait, are right.
Wordfence, also a reputed IT security company, took a detailed look at the samples and tables in the new DHS/FBI "report" and concludes:
The IP addresses that DHS provided may have been used for an attack by a state actor like Russia. But they don’t appear to provide any association with Russia. They are probably used by a wide range of other malicious actors, especially the 15% of IP addresses that are Tor exit nodes.
The malware sample is old, widely used and appears to be Ukrainian. It has no apparent relationship with Russian intelligence and it would be an indicator of compromise for any website.
There is your "Russian hack" the DHS and FBI claim hit the DNC servers and WaPo falsely claimed hit the U.S. electricity grid. A run-of-the-mill hack through freely available servers with old Ukrainian malware just like the hundred-thousand others that happen each day.
Pic: Device not found in Vermont
(Putin though is likely to accept the "Russian Hack" claim if the U.S. helps Russia to annex the source country of the identified malware. "If you give me Ukraine we will also call it 'a Russian hack'. We will even take responsibility!")
But if you, like me, believe the word of former British ambassador Craig Murray who works with Wikileaks, there was no hack at all. The DNC data came via an insider who had direct access to them. They were handed to Craig for publishing by Wikileaks.
The whole bogus "Russian hacking" and "Putin did it" claims are issued to lock the coming President Trump into an anti-Russian position. Peace with Russia means less plausible "imminent threat" claims and thereby lower budgets and management prestige for the defense and cybersecurity industry and government organizations. That again would mean lower advertisement income for the Washington Post and less money for its staff, editors and owner.
These people would rather have Word War III than to endure that.
Posted by b on December 31, 2016 at 11:17 AM | Permalink
rather have Word War III
The current version of Microsoft Word (365 or whatever) is so shite, I'd nuke Redmond if I was Trump.
Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 31, 2016 11:51:44 AM | 2
There really are no words for the stupidity, small-mindedness, and mendacity of the Washington Post, NYT, and CNN (to name but three of the hacks that report on behalf of the powers-that-be) these days. I mean, they were always bad but they are continually striking new lows as if they were the inverse of the US stock market.
Posted by: WorldBLee | Dec 31, 2016 11:54:10 AM | 3
Posted by: kraus | Dec 31, 2016 12:16:36 PM | 5
Exit Obama in a Cloud of Disillusion, Delusion and Deceit 100
31 Dec, 2016 in Uncategorized by craig
I had promised myself and my family that on this holiday I would do nothing but relax. However events have overtaken my good intentions. I find myself in the unusual position of having twice been in a position to know directly that governments were lying in globe-shaking events, firstly Iraqi WMD and now the “Russian hacks”.
Anybody who believes the latest report issued by Obama as “proof” provides anything of the sort is very easily impressed by some entirely meaningless diagrams. William Binney, who was Technical Director at the NSA and actually designed their surveillance capabilities, has advised me by email. It is plain from the report itself that the Russian groups discussed have been under targeted NSA surveillance for a period longer than the timeframe for the DNC and Podesta leaks. It is therefore inconceivable that the NSA would not have detected and traced those particular data flows and they would be saved. In other words, the NSA would have the actual hack on record, would be able to recognise the emails themselves and tell you exactly the second the transmission or transmissions took place and how they were routed. They would be able to give you date, time and IP addresses. In fact, not only do they produce no evidence of this kind, they do not even claim to have this kind of definite evidence.
Secondly, Bill points out that WikiLeaks is in itself a top priority target and any transmission to WikiLeaks or any of its major operatives would be tracked, captured and saved by NSA as a matter of routine. The exact route and date of the transmission or transmissions of the particular emails to WikiLeaks would be available. In fact, not only does the report not make this information available, it makes no claim at all to know anything about how the information was got to WikiLeaks.
Of course Russian hackers exist. They attack this blog pretty well continually – as do hackers from the USA and many other countries. Of course there have been attempted Russian hacks of the DNC. But the report gives no evidence at all of the alleged successful hack that transmitted these particular emails, nor any evidence of the connection between the hackers and the Russian government, let alone Putin.
There could be no evidence because in reality these were leaks, not hacks. The report is, frankly, a pile of complete and utter dross. To base grave accusations of election hacking on this report is ludicrous. Obama has been a severe disappointment to all progressive thinkers in virtually every possible way. He now goes out of power with absolutely no grace and in a storm of delusion and deceit. His purpose is apparently to weaken Trump politically, but to achieve that at the expense of heightening tensions with Russia to Cold War levels, is shameful. The very pettiness of Obama’s tongue out to Putin – minor sanctions and expelling some diplomatic families – itself shows that Obama is lying about the pretext. If he really believed that Russia had “hacked the election”, surely that would require a much less feeble response. By refusing to retaliate, Russia has shown the kind of polish that eludes Obama as he takes his empty charisma and presentational skills into a no doubt lucrative future in the private sector.
Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 31, 2016 12:47:57 PM | 8
b, 'Peace with Russia means less plausible "imminent threat" claims and thereby lower budgets and management prestige for the defense and cybersecurity industry and government organizations. ...'
so they have decided to preemptively make their own 'imminent threat' claims less plausible by endlessly crying 'wolf! wolf!' themselves when there is no wolf. the neo-con brain trust ... idiots and fools. this all goes hand in hand with obama's childish dismissal of the russians in new york and maryland, and appears as foolish as did obama himself in the light of putin's disdain for the lamest of lame ducks who cannot simply learn to lose.
tee-rump's reply to putin's exercise of restraint together with his previous allusion ... these are the same guys who brought us wmds and the shocking, awful wars in afghanistan, iraq, libya, ukraine and syria ... have shown that he is not affected by their bluff ... that he knows he has the support of the fossil-fuelers, at least, probably of the financiers as well, two out of three of the f*ked up f's, against the fusiliers.
the neo-con hyperventilation ... including that of bibi netanyahoo ... betrays their recognition of their own collapse. the thousand year reich lasted 9 years, the plan for a new american century lasted 15 ... good riddance to bad rubbish, as we used to say in the schoolyard as children, for that's the level the bezos' blog and the neo-cons shrieking behind the curtain.
may 2017 be the year of their abject collapse and may they all, including especially their nobel peace prize laureate, live forever in infamy.
Posted by: jfl | Dec 31, 2016 2:01:29 PM | 9
thanks for sharing the insights of william blinney ... please ask him if you may share his email with the moon and the world!
Posted by: jfl | Dec 31, 2016 2:03:14 PM | 10
b, 'Of special interest is also what it does not say.'
the vermont utility scam is just that. the last link within that quoted above points to a graphic from politico that is very informative : while just 14% of their self-identifying republicrats - the new, majority party in the us federal government - take the overall 'the russians are coming' scam seriously, fully 50% of those self-identifying as demoblicans - the new, minority party in the us federal government - do so. in other words, only the scammers themselves claim to 'believe' their own scam.
the tnc msm : sound and fury signifying nothing. officially.
Posted by: jfl | Dec 31, 2016 2:25:11 PM | 11
What's behind the anti-Russia hysteria?
1) Cover for Democratic Party failure?
2) Cover for fall of Aleppo / Russian success?
3) "Boxing in" the Trump Administration? (spoiling the supposed Trump-Putin love fest)
4) Another ploy to unseat Trump?
Does trumped-up conflict with Russia mean that the supposed Trump-Putin love fest causes an inability to discharge office of President as per the 25th Amendment?
5) All of the above?
6) Something else?
<> <> <> <> <> <> <>
Note: VP Pence is a friend of McCain's, supports Syrian 'no-fly' zones, and supports the TPP (aka "Obamatrade"). He voted for the Iraq War and agreed with Hillary's deposing Qaddafi.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 31, 2016 2:26:22 PM | 12
@11 jr, 'VP Pence is a friend of McCain's, supports Syrian 'no-fly' zones, and supports the TPP (aka "Obamatrade"). He voted for the Iraq War and agreed with Hillary's deposing Qaddafi.'
that certainly paints a target on tee-rump's back, doesn't it?
tee-rump really needs to kill the cia in the pale afternoon of 20 january 2017, or they'll surely kill him!
let us hope that we can all soon stand over the cia's collective graves till we're sure that they're dead.
may the cia not reach their three score and ten.
Posted by: jfl | Dec 31, 2016 2:35:15 PM | 13
great graphic in the last link from 'what it does not say'
the demoblicans and the tnc msm : the new minority making great sounds and demonstrating great fury yet eating their own dog food and signifying nothing.
Posted by: jfl | Dec 31, 2016 2:41:40 PM | 14
great graphic in the last link from 'what it does not say' above ... the washington blog is another of cloudflare 's unlinkables, apparently.
the demoblicans and the tnc msm : the new minority making great sounds and demonstrating great fury yet eating their own dog food and signifying nothing.
Posted by: jfl | Dec 31, 2016 2:47:22 PM | 15
at #8 thank you for this post plus highlight/emphasizing:
"It is therefore inconceivable that the NSA would not have detected and traced those particular data flows . . ."
Posted by: boilo | Dec 31, 2016 2:49:13 PM | 16
@10, maui wowee
sorry, due to your unconventional posting style i had thought it was yourself and not craig murray who was in contact with william blinney. i see my error now.
Posted by: jfl | Dec 31, 2016 2:54:01 PM | 17
The faked news phenom is imo the resut of the US higher education culture finally producing the critical mass of self-entitled narcissistic punks to flood the airwaves with "useful" tripe. Put profit before performance and this is what you get. The only thing I use print media for is lining rabbit cages.
May the new year be safe and prosperous for fellow bar-dwellers and friends. Bottoms up.
Posted by: stumpy | Dec 31, 2016 2:55:51 PM | 18
The Guardian is continuing with the claims that russia is responsible for the malware found in that laptop by adding a little detail that the malware contained code used by the Russians. They do at least tell the reader that the laptop was not connected to the grid.
This anti-Russian propaganda is getting more extreme by the day. ggreenwald is collecting many examples on his twitter fee.
Posted by: ToivoS | Dec 31, 2016 3:05:46 PM | 19
Happy New Year to all. It must be a job to continue debunking the childish lies of Barack Obama and his gang of ineptitude officials. It is unfortunately that human beings are dumb, otherwise there would have been no need to respond to the stream of idiotic pronouncements of the White House and the Anglo American mainstream media. I predict that Barack Obama and his wife will check into therapy as soon as they remove their baggage from the White House. Crooked Clintons seem to have got a lock on them, so they are ready to leave office in disgrace just to please the disgraceful Clinton family.
Posted by: Steve | Dec 31, 2016 3:13:52 PM | 20
What is the PURPOSE of the Russian hacking claims!? WW3? Hardly. It is to CONTINUE THE RU SANCTIONS. Sanctions holding Russian financial investments, without interest, in the hands of WS and London, by The Tribe Who May Not Be Spoken Of, under both EU and now USAryan law.
The Tribe who owns the Orange Jesuit, the Tribe intermarried with the Orange Jesuit's, the Tribe receiving Top Secret briefings, then winging them by Special Envoy to Tel Aviv. We're all trapped by their elephantine financial-cartel war crimes, reduced to ciphering, like three blind Indian fakirs, only what their psyop disinformation campaigns steer us toward:
'Oh, they are like a huge hair whip, thrashing back and forth!'
'No, they are like a great snake, the girth of a tree trunk!'
'You're both faded, they are thin and leathery and strike up a great wind!'
Now, they seized the financial fundament of all civilization, (ex- Iran and North Korea), plunging the entire world into fiat script credit-debt, transferring their felonious SCDO crimes and hedge insurance gambling debts, tenter-hooked onto our grandchildren's backs.
We're not blind, nor do we have to pretend to be. They are blood-thirsty jackals, ripping our entrails out through our collective anus, their muzzles clotted with our black blood. Ukraine. Venezuela. India. Syria. Libya. Yemen. Iraq. Afghanistan. What of all the others?
Now we enter the GOT Epoch of the Bloviating Orange Jesuit.
Posted by: chipnik | Dec 31, 2016 3:20:55 PM | 21
The WaPo's deceit on this story can't be over-emphasized. The original report by Juliet Eilperin and Adam Entous was dated Dec30. Then their lies about hacking the grid were exposed and they re-wrote the article.
The WaPo did not just publish a correction with an update date, they republished the article under the new headline and under a new date, Dec31. At the bottom of the current article there is an editor's note referring to an "earlier version" of the article and acknowledging the lie about penetrating the grid. But the significance of the re-write is not obvious from the editor's note or the new headline. Compare the second paragraphs of each version, for instance.
Now let's have some more holier-than-thou talk from WaPo and NYT about "fake news" on the internet. The WaPo has become a cess-pool of lies and misinformation ever since Bezos took it over and started turning it into a tabloid.
Posted by: Denis | Dec 31, 2016 3:38:47 PM | 22
Pence's friend McCain: Russian cyberintrusions an 'act of war'
Sen. John McCain said Friday that Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election amounted to an "act of war."
The Arizona Republican, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also has scheduled a hearing for next week on foreign cyberthreats to the US, which will also focus on Russian cyberhacking, a committee aide told CNN earlier Friday.
McCain, who is one of Washington's most prominent foreign policy hardliners, has criticized the recent sanctions and expulsions announced by the Obama administration this week as insufficient and belated. He made his latest comments in Ukraine, a nation threatened by a resurgent Russia, after meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 31, 2016 3:53:57 PM | 23
Obama isn't a dingbat. He is devious.
When I see him acting like a dingbat, I ask: what's he really up to?
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 31, 2016 3:57:25 PM | 24
I kept insisting that the DNC hacking was a False Flag, and idem on this one; but keep on guessing who's behind it.
I expect there will be yet more False Flags to move the U.S. in the right direction.
Posted by: Circe | Dec 31, 2016 4:04:11 PM | 25
The Tribe who owns the Orange Jesuit, the Tribe intermarried with the Orange Jesuit's, the Tribe receiving Top Secret briefings, then winging them by Special Envoy to Tel Aviv.
Posted by: Circe | Dec 31, 2016 4:19:30 PM | 26
Back door to war ... the way Roosevelt got us into WWII ... along with a whole string of alleged attacks on the most aggressive and hate filled empire the world has ever known. The Kahns of central Asia, the Romans at their most vicious, could have learned a lot of pure nastiness from the long string of American 'wars for empire' going from the New England and Virginia plantations to the present.
We hack, that is good. They (might have) hacked, that is bad. Sick ...
Posted by: rg the lg | Dec 31, 2016 4:37:29 PM | 28
The chaos is cover for deep criminality that includes dems, repugs, dictators, respectable people, and criminals on many levels.
This guy seems to be on the right track as to what's really going on.
Here are some key videos, it is a complicated puzzle.
DAY 65 - Where is Eric Braverman? Part 1, The Crime
DAY 65 - Where is Eric Braverman? Part 2, Coverup
Day 65 - Where is Eric Braverman? Part 3, Researcher Version
I urge all of you to take a look at this ongoing expose and judge for yourself.
You will probably be shocked and disgusted at the ugliness of it all.
Download key videos, just in case it is taken down, and share.
Here are the latest video.
Day 68 - Where is Eric Braverman? Part 1
Day 68 - Where is Eric Braverman? Part 2
How to investigate – lots of tips in these two
We must confront these criminals if we are to have a future.
Happy New Year
Posted by: Jennifer | Dec 31, 2016 4:40:57 PM | 29
Obama went berserk, he went insane showed himself as a puny vindictive partisan weasel not worthy presidency in the first place regardless of his murderous and imperial policies and utter submission to Wall Street thieves, with despicable character that shows itself in his childlike temper tantrum rants unworthy of any federal employee not to mention POTUS.
I, as a harsh critic of Trump incoherent style must admit that Obama's abhorrent behavior made Trump look like statesman.
Obama unnecessarily, senselessly, horribly embarrassed the office of POTUS and destroyed any chance for another African American to be near the WH for another century. And what for?
For sore looser claims that elections were rigged against Hillary because of Podesta email hack? That's the nonsense, the only document rigging attempt was DHS in few states.
People must understand that any information could influence a voter but as long it is true it is legal and acceptable element of electoral process. It is an act of due influence performed by all candidates themselves, their campaigns as well as supporting special interests, investigative journalists and independent bloggers who work to reveal true picture of a candidate in relation to their qualifications, skills, experience and moral values that would inform his/her choices in office.
Only proliferated lies may be construed as "unduly" influencing public but only if not countered by the publishing the truth and evidence for it.
Podesta emails told the truth about Hillary and her insidious or even illegal manipulation of the primaries and her attitude of entitlement informed by her imperial hubris and likely illegal money manipulation. So told the truth disclosed of Trump scandals with Trump University or sexual harassment or bankruptcies.
And for that reason alone [the truth in Podesta emails] there could be no connection between elections outcome and alleged Russia hacks.
Hacks themselves even if true but no evidence presented as of yet, would have been a minor episode, worth of a brief headline especially when it is US and Israel who are real cyber aggressors.
Posted by: Kalen | Dec 31, 2016 5:58:33 PM | 30
Once, in less insane times, had some government been found to have tampered with elections, the heads of the agencies responsible for protecting against that would now be testifying before Congress and trying to explain how they let that happen.
Some of the official would resign in disgrace, some would no doubt have been found to have lied and to have tried to cover up their incompetence, and probably at least someone would have gone to jail.
That the U.S. is helpless in the face for foreign technology that information would be kept top secret while a huge effort would be initiated to catch up. The vulnerability would not be broadcast, you can be sure.
Probably nowhere has critical thinking been more effectively stamped out than in the American public. Gradually, however -- I think -- people in the U.S. are slowly beginning to awake from their comfortable stupor.
Posted by: Ken Nari | Dec 31, 2016 5:58:40 PM | 31
Proviso to the 'intelligence' report : (DHS) "does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information
contained within" (JAR_16-20296)
Posted by: rm | Dec 31, 2016 10:04:40 PM | 32
The disclaimer shows straight away it was written up as a political report. Nothing to do with intelligence in either sense of the word.
Posted by: Peter AU | Dec 31, 2016 10:14:56 PM | 33
The alleged Russian US hack is plainly a straw man distraction designed to divert the inquiring public.s attention away from the actual contents of the KKKLinton, DNC, Podesta, et al, emails. Same goes for the alleged Russian hacking of the US Presidential Election. Another childish misdirection play.
Alternate medias have taken the bait hook, line unt sinker. Rather than concentrate on the actual contents of the emails which reveal immense crimes including war crimes, crimes against humanity and Treason the so called independent medias waste their time like dogs chasing their own tails pursing information that to a computer literate audience would find laughable. THERE WAS NO HACK OF THE GRID.
Get on to the publishing and dissemination of these emails rather than dancing for the self appointed 'Chess Masters' of the Great Game.
Just me opinion
Posted by: ALberto | Dec 31, 2016 10:47:00 PM | 34
Great post B. MSM born #Fakenews is the gift that just keeps on giving. So much mileage left. Viewing decay has never been so enjoyable.
Fantastic reading. Indeed, if Trump wants to win back public faith in the NSA, he'll get on his hands and knees and grovel to bring back a true yank patriot in Binney
Posted by: MadMax2 | Dec 31, 2016 11:02:01 PM | 35
Amid the cornucopia of persuasive evidence that the barking mad neocons are barking up the wrong tree, this one pushes all the right buttons for me (given that only idiots allow themselves to think that Russians are incompetent fools).
John McAfee (now often nutty but right in this):
"If it looks like the Russians did it I can guarantee you it wasn't the Russians".
In 16 words.
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 1, 2017 12:00:11 AM | 36
>>>> CHRISTINNE RADU | Dec 31, 2016 6:12:33 PM | 32
The Daily Mail featured on the World at One on the BBC today starting at about 23:28 in.
There is also a snippet at 16:10 about ISIS's avowed aim the break up the EU. Which is more important to the US? A stable EU or pushing regime change in Moscow. Putin has made it very clear that he wants a stable EU. So what's the problem?
Posted by: Ghostship | Jan 1, 2017 9:43:19 AM | 39
These stories reflect the demonize Russia as the latest enemy and throw as much "evidence" at the wall that will stick. However, it is obvious that the operating systems are not secure and cybersecurity efforts are not working. While it looks like the DNC/email thing is the result of leaks not hacks and that Seth Rich may have been murdered for this, the reality is that govt/banking/businesses have endangered us by making our information vulnerable and then blaming those who get in when they leave the door open. After the OPM data thefts, I asked my congressmen why such important data was put on the internet when they know they cannot protect it. I received form letters saying they took cybersecurity seriously and they believe the Chinese did it. A non-answer if ever there was one. Back then I didn't care if a govt went after Microsoft as a monopoly when it should go after it for providing vulnerable systems to the govt (and the rest of us) in the first place.
In the internet's beginnings, security was not taken as seriously as just getting some kind of system to work.
"In the late 1990s, when the utilities’ vulnerabilities first came to light, Richard Clarke, then the White House counterterrorism chief, proposed imposing mandatory cybersecurity requirements on all industries connected to critical infrastructure. The companies lobbied against his plan, as did President Bill Clinton’s economic advisers, who warned that the measures would cripple these companies’ competitiveness in the global market. Clarke also suggested putting the government and critical-infrastructure industries on a parallel internet, which would be wired to certain agencies that could detect intrusions. This plan was leaked and denounced as 'Orwellian.'"
This current accusation of Russians hacking US utilities may be so much BS and propaganda. But the US/Israeli STUXNET attack on Iran proved that some things should be protected.
Posted by: Curtis | Jan 1, 2017 10:59:07 AM | 40
wow, friendly relations with other countries and potential business interests are bad? and would lead to a flaky electric grid in Vermont... because... ??
our electric grids suck because of the friendly f-ing relations with our own bloodthirsty companies right here in the US. same for our lousy failing healthcare that only feeds the fat faces of the private owners...
our freeways in Silicon Valley are lined with homeless people right now who are freezing at night, in a city that would shut off the outdoor outlets near city hall so that homeless disabled people will push their wheelchairs someplace else. the Bezos bozos are so out of touch. we know who to blame.
Posted by: anon | Jan 1, 2017 1:38:41 PM | 41
The report is clearly a fake. The authors are totally incompetent. They claim that CHOPSTICK is a Russian Intelligence Service Actor. It is so blatanly clear to anyone with any knowledge of international security threats that CHOPSTICK is Chinese.
Posted by: Yonatan | Jan 1, 2017 2:14:22 PM | 42
Christinne Radu @32, Ghostship @40
Nott has form. His wife was highly placed in the Institute of Strategic Studies (a connected thinktank), and she now runs the Nott Foundation, a charity which finances and organises training in disaster medicine. I wonder if they get a good deal on bulk purchases of white helmets?
Posted by: Yonatan | Jan 1, 2017 2:18:01 PM | 43
Is Obama dumb enough to attempt an executive order, which might, for example, claim that Russia had significantly affected the presidential elections and falsely maintain his own presidency?
Posted by: fredjc | Jan 1, 2017 2:41:10 PM | 44
So an actual coup? Everything the US does abroad works its way back home eventually, so I would not put it past his handlers to try it. The alternative would be to murder Trump. Either way, the US could then go into Ukraine-style meltdown.
Posted by: Yonatan | Jan 1, 2017 3:03:12 PM | 45
Yonatan 47 No with Matthis as minister or war and Flynn as War Whisperer, the "Intelligence Community' doesn't have a chance. That's what this is all about, the CIA shut out By the Military.
Posted by: Heath | Jan 1, 2017 4:41:40 PM | 46
@ CHRISTINNE RADU | Jan 1, 2017 2:37:05 PM | 45
The techniques used by Daesh, al Nusra, al Qaida, et al and sundry, have the hallmarks of School for the Americas in performing acts to terrorise a population, curiously in parallel with the execution performed in judicially endorsed punishment in KSA and the gulf states which also enforce the creation of terror towards political compliance with those regimes. It has little or nothing to do with Islam or being Arabic, neither support or condone such barbaric acts in the body of their beliefs; what is observed are ritual training rites for forming military cohesion among combat forces not having remit from legitimate authority - truly premeditated psychotic training for administering extreme terror on and domination of their intended subjects. The terrorists in Syria are military tools, not religious fanatics as is their self-justificationary propaganda. Remedial history does not make up for the failure of investigative reporting to a receptive and aware audience having the intellectual tools to critically think for themselves; your links only underline the observation. [will not try to reformat for ease of reading, thanks to Curtis @ 41 above].
Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jan 1, 2017 4:47:56 PM | 47
@49 ftb, 'It has little or nothing to do with Islam or being Arabic ... terrorists in Syria are military tools, not religious fanatics as is their self-justificationary propaganda.'
sterling, startling observations. all the rest spurs fake kultur kampf, the better to raise the voices of unreason among the alienated and atomized back home.
the studiedness of it all is almost enough to make you believe in evil. but these monsters are beyond good and evil, at least in what passes for their own minds. the people responsible for this have willingly made themselves slaves of the expand-or-die machine, and follow wherever 'fate' leads them. the fruit of their tree ... none dare call it evil. or it would all go up in smoke in an instant.
Posted by: jfl | Jan 1, 2017 5:24:40 PM | 48
Obama insulted Putin not because he expelled diplomats but because he accuses him of hacking the DNC computers that anyone knows could have been hacked by teenagers anywhere in the world. The simple reason is that the DNC computers were easy targets in view of Hillary and her associate Huma's carelessness about their own computers. The level of security of the DNC computers was probably as high at Huma's computer's level of security used at home by her husband porn chats.
You can't accuse Russian hackers for such an easy job, it would be an insult.
Putin did well to ignore it.
Posted by: virgile | Jan 1, 2017 10:20:18 PM | 50
Posted by: ALberto | Dec 31, 2016 10:47:00 PM | 35
"Alternate medias have taken the bait hook, line unt sinker"
Maybe you meant "MSM"......
Posted by: notlurking | Jan 2, 2017 6:35:21 AM | 51
@36 mm2, ' if Trump wants to win back public faith in the NSA ... '
if trump wants a chance at an administration he'll kill off rogue agencies created by executive fiat like the cia and nsa.
i suppose the us really does need an intelligence agency ... the cia was never one ... and the us post office is just the outfit to make the communications superhighway ... our 21st century post road ... safe and secure, encrypted end to end for every american.
unlikely. but that's what's required. both those agencies, and their congressional oversight, have the bit in their teeth and cannot be reined in. they can only be put down. they're just corporate undead anyway, no real life there ... drive stakes through their corporate 'hearts', then stand by their graves till we're sure that they're dead ... much better them than us ... or the donald, from his point of view.
Posted by: jfl | Jan 2, 2017 7:55:13 AM | 52
Yeah, both in their current state need to be trashed. But, as assange has been saying for some years, the surveillance state and it's over reach is something that is not going to go away - we just need to learn to work around it. The Criminal Intelligence Agency on the other hand is a cancer that can be done away with, and any meaning parts absorbed by other institutions.
Why I would like to see Binney return to the NSA is his unrivalled history... he developed a system of surveillance called ThinThread...worth reading about because it both worked within the boundaries of the US constitution and was more efficient in every sense when compared with the collect-everything-on-everyone-then-find-a-needle-in-haystack approach that the NSA went with instead.
Binney was proved right with 9/11, Boston etc etc - all more easily prevented with a more refined, economical approach to surveillance that ThinThread (or perhaps some terrorist acts are given the green light). Binneys return, or at least giving consideration to his myriad recommendations, would signal a return towards the rule of law.
I always wonder how much Binneys stance and then his harassment by the state after his departure was a motivating factor in the career choice Snowden later made.
Posted by: MadMax2 | Jan 2, 2017 10:54:32 PM | 53
Finally someone sane at the Washington Post wrote a more realistic piece about the Vermont incident instead of stenographing "officials".
Evidently there was NO HACK AT ALL and what happened HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA.
Russian government hackers do not appear to have targeted Vermont utility, say people close to investigation
An employee at Burlington Electric Department was checking his Yahoo email account Friday and triggered an alert indicating that his computer had connected to a suspicious IP address associated by authorities with the Russian hacking operation that infiltrated the Democratic Party. Officials told the company that traffic with this particular address is found elsewhere in the country and is not unique to Burlington Electric, suggesting the company wasn’t being targeted by the Russians. Indeed, officials say it is possible that the traffic is benign, since this particular IP address is not always connected to malicious activity.
Posted by: b | Jan 3, 2017 2:47:19 AM | 54
@55 mm2, 'the surveillance state and it's over reach is something that is not going to go away - we just need to learn to work around it'
i don't go with that at all. the nsa is defending the insecurity of our communications, not the security thereof. it was created with a stroke of the presidential pen, just as was the cia. it can be uncreated just as well.
there is no reason that encrypted end-to-end communications cannot become part of the definition of the internet. the us post office is the logical place to emplace that function ... all implemented in open source software.
see article 1, section 8, clause 7 of the us constitution : The Congress shall have Power ... To establish Post Offices and post Roads ...
certainly that covers the 'information super highway'. the post office is a civilian operation, the nsa is part of the f**king army.
i see reason to settle for the evil we know and - apparently - some feel comfortable with.
we need to go after the commercial criminals as well ... tracking is a crime. if that needs to be explicitly spelt out to make it so ... so be it.
clearly we need to seize power in order to effect such radicle changes.
Posted by: jfl | Jan 3, 2017 5:56:43 AM | 56
apparently bezos still has a pulse? ... he may have noticed that everyone was suddenly on to him and his 'fake news' ... might have repercussions at amazon ... uh, oh ... even bezos remembers the tale of killing the goose that laid the golden eggs.
no hope for the nyt. sulzberger is riding it down to ground zero, just like slim pickins in strangelove. he's dead meat, full of neo-con maggots and stinking up the place.
Posted by: jfl | Jan 3, 2017 6:08:19 AM | 57
James Bamford - THE author about the NSA, wrote y-day:
Commentary: Don't be so sure Russia hacked the Clinton emails
Forbes dissects in detail the fake news the Washington Post spread about "Russian hacking" : "Fake News" And How The Washington Post Rewrote Its Story On Russian Hacking Of The Power Grid
Yet, perhaps most intriguing is that, as with the Santa Claus story, the Post did not respond to repeated requests for comment regarding how it conducts fact checking for its stories. This marks twice in a row that the Post has chosen not to respond in any fashion to my requests for more detail on its fact checking processes. Given the present atmosphere in which trust in media is in freefall and mainstream outlets like the Post are positioning themselves as the answer to “fake news” it certainly does not advance trust in the media when a newspaper will not even provide the most cursory of insight into how it checks its facts.
As with the Santa Claus story, the Post appears to have run this story without even attempting to perform the most basic of fact checks before publication. The original story noted that there were only two utilities in Vermont and yet the article states that the Post only attempted to contact DHS and does not mention any attempt to contact either of the utilities. Standard journalistic practice would have required that the Post mention that it attempted to reach either utility even if neither responded. The Post did not respond to a request for comment when I asked if it had attempted to reach either utility for comment prior to publication.
Posted by: b | Jan 3, 2017 6:12:38 AM | 58
i think it's worthwhile to compare and contrast The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming with the situation today ... compare the willingness to jettison reason and panic and contrast the relatively human, human beings of the sixties with the cyborgs of today ... and get back to the future.
ordinary people caught up in the maelstrom - those not of age to have seen the film back in the day - will be amazed to see that it's all been done before ... in cold war 1.0.
Posted by: jfl | Jan 3, 2017 6:18:14 AM | 59
CNN uses screenshot from ‘Fallout 4’ to show how Russians hack things ...
Jeebus Wept ... pathetic.
Posted by: Outraged | Jan 3, 2017 6:32:39 AM | 60
@ CHRISTINNE RADU | Jan 1, 2017 2:37:05 PM | 45
The comment @ 49 in response to yours may not have been as on target as intended. Trigger for the comment was wondering 'why now?' all these offerings of information, they were available contemporaneously but either discounted or ignored. Great hullabaloo has been made over Shia/Sunni to the exclusion of all other information available from knowledgable sources. Interestingly, these revelations from your source are now occurring in the midst of a perfect storm of false news reporting; would that be because the artificial memory overload being created? It appears the public has been misled by the Shia/Sunni history and a false 'civil war' was created for exactly the overthrow of a legitimate state and its legitimately elected officers. The parallels between the activities of the 'rebels' and those things taught at the School of the Americas are too congruent to be accidental. That was the point being made at @ 49. Anecdotally, in October 2003, the Kansas City Star on IIRC A-14, a short article reported that UN inspectors of Iraq's arsenal found no evidence of alleged weaponry, some eight months after the fact. Of course the reader would have had to retain all the detail of the period for those eight months to asses that information. At least, in one source it was reported somewhat belatedly. Of the few lessons the US military learned from Pearl Harbour was to hit infrastructure, the Japanese did severe damage to the fleet but left the oil storage intact, untouched. The US military will not be making that mistake ever in the future - shock and awe for their victim's infrastructures forevermore.
Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jan 3, 2017 6:50:39 AM | 61
Not going to argue with you on how it should be. I cant.
I'll state again the US constitution holds all the answers to it's current ailments - only in dated prose, that's all. Great call for the role of the Post Office in order to bring freedom and privacy to the the people - the first time I've heard it. So simple...solves everything... And it should not be limited to communications privacy... Public banking with important, but limited, functions ought to be made available through the Post Office should any state wishing to regulate their banking sector as such (see Bank of North Dakota) ...fair rate setting that keeps the private banks honest, all dividends to the people.
For the time being though I'd say the disappearing of the Crim.I.A is a lot more likely, on the back of a long, sad, dirty history... and as a known liability to all states including the one it serves. It quite clearly has run its course.
And hey, It's not all doom and gloom, for once the US is not owning Worlds 'Best' Practice here. That honour goes to Australia with data retention laws (2015) requiring commercial enterprise to spy on the people who purchase service from them... for the guvna. Insidious. Truly a fascist lackey state. I'm sure Uncle Sam is proud.
When the west wakes up, they'll see Iceland decades ahead in regards to internet freedom... (and in banking too). Though, It's much easier for a small, homogenous population of 250,000 to hit the streets with sticks and force the people's will upon government. Still, the precedent is there, and I'm sure the level high level of internet freedom in Iceland will prove to correlate with high levels of internet business.
Posted by: MadMax2 | Jan 3, 2017 8:11:13 AM | 62
The Guardian was begging for money the other day on it's website. "please donate, keep us doing our valuable job" or some bollocks. Tried to pull a Fast Jimmy Wales on me it did.
What f..king planet are these people living on...? They haven't got the memo yet. Do some f..king work for once and people will actually give you money - yes, that is capitalism 101 believe it or not. What a shower of shit. I wouldn't wrap me fish and chips in it.
CORPORATE MEDIA BUSINESS MODEL 2017 (...in 4 simple steps)
Step 1: Watch revenue continue decline due to alternate media providing more accurate, cheaper service.
Step 2: Withhold information to support narratives in return for government legislation against '#FakeNews' and alternate media.
Step 3: Improve truth economy by conducting more in-house creative writing workshops.
Step 4: Solicit funds from public.
Posted by: MadMax2 | Jan 3, 2017 8:50:13 AM | 63
1 - anyone who can't see the usa doing the same things they are constantly accusing russia of - need to wake up! stop drinking the cool aid your local msm keep on providing.. it is affecting your brain.. jesus..
2- the guardian is such a piece of shit media outlet, i can't imagine anyone bothering with it.. now if you are quoting it to show how ass-backwards they have everything - i understand..
Posted by: james | Jan 3, 2017 12:36:34 PM | 65
New report shows there was no hack nor any russians. Fake news by msm again!
" New evidence has revealed the “incident is not linked to any Russian government effort to target or hack the utility, according to experts and officials close to the investigation,” the newspaper’s Monday report said."
Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 4, 2017 4:01:23 AM | 66
Some evidence of The Don willing to go toe-to-toe with the CIA (assuming it is the CIA conducting the briefing.)
Bringing the message directly to the people, no MSM distortion required.
@realDonaldTrump 8hours ago 01/04/2017
The "Intelligence" briefing on so-called "Russian hacking" was
delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!
Link to Tweet
Posted by: MadMax2 | Jan 4, 2017 5:34:37 AM | 67
@ MadMax2 | Jan 4, 2017 5:34:37 AM | 69
The CIA is a foreign covert ops/action agency, that also happens to conducts moderate intelligence collection, it has no lawful authority domestically.
The responsible agency is the FBI re domestic security by foreign entities and counter-intelligence re US national territories (ie mainland USofA) and that farce, Dept Homeland Security (DHS).
However, neither is equipped nor has the technical expertise to address 'cyber-attacks' or sophisticated technical activities/attacks by a state actor ...
Perhaps you recall the FBI preliminary efforts to take Apple to court to attempt to coerce it as a third party to obtain/bypass the lock password for an old Apple 5 mobile phone ? Without any lawful authority to do so. They don't have the skill-set. FBI G-men are bully boy, traditional law enforcement/coercion, pseudo-lawyers with guns and holsters, specializing in COINTELPRO ;)
The capable entity, that 'collects it all', is the No Such Agency (NSA) ...
Now, unless the NSA actually produces a factual report and owns and fronts it, that supports all this #FakeNews about Russia hackin' the election ? I call, bullshit.
Posted by: Outraged | Jan 4, 2017 6:59:07 AM | 68
Yeah, I hear you, the NSA is indeed the tell-all agency - which I haven't heard Trump at
odds with too much. NSA have largely been non-committal while this Russian boogeyman is beat up.
Hacking leaves a trail, simple - NSA has said nothing. It was a leak plain and simple, so I call bullshit too.
What leads me to believe Trumps tweet is directed at the CIA is
Trump has been turning down his daily intelligence briefing with the CIA since taking office
(article date Nov 23rd '16) - Pence instead taking the daily briefings instead.
Though, as we know the Five-Eyes countries collect foreign data one another in order to get around
domestics laws prohibiting collection of data on it's own citizens, I'm sure the CIA have their finger in a few pies in this fashion.
Posted by: MadMax2 | Jan 4, 2017 7:49:09 AM | 69
Absolutely correct, the five-eyes agencies, as a matter of longstanding internal policy internally agree to run ops and allocate resources on an ongoing basis to spy on their fellow partners domestically and then make that data 'available' from their database holdings to the target nations agency, to specifically bypass the domestic laws of each nation against domestic surveillance of their own citizens ... poorly drafted laws which do not take into account such conduct/activity ... which were drafted based on the advice of the relevant nations own responsible agency (NSA, GCHQ, ASD, CSE & GCSB) and everyone in the know, just smiles/nods/winks, knowingly.
These five supra-national agencies and to a lesser extent their 2nd tier agency partners in other vassal states are Supra-National, effectively above and beyond all laws and governmental controls, IMHO the gravest threat to society.
Posted by: Outraged | Jan 4, 2017 8:04:57 AM | 70