Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 01, 2014

NYT Claims "Russian Hacker" Attack Without Any Supporting Evidence

A 800 words New York times story on some alleged computer hacking of some energy companies mentions "Russian hackers" ten times.

From Hackers in Russia ... Russian hackers have ... Russian hackers are targeting ... The Russian attacks ... an unusually sophisticated and aggressive Russian group targeting ... believed the hackers were backed by the Russian government ... The Russian hackers ... the Russian hacking group ... The Russian hackers have ... the Russian group intended ...

The story includes zero (as in nil, none) evidence and no reasoning at all why the hackers involved are supposed to be "Russian".

It is the nature of the internet that geo-localizing the original source of an attack is nearly impossible. There are myriad ways hackers from anywhere could frame one country or group as an attacker. It is therefore highly irresponsible and nothing but pure hostile propaganda to attribute any such attack to a certain source, group or country without any further evidence and very sound and detailed technological reasoning.

The NYT story links to a Symantec report about the hacks. Symantec's sole reasoning on the source location, unmentioned in the NYT story, is this:

Analysis of the compilation timestamps on the malware used by the attackers indicate that the group mostly worked between Monday and Friday, with activity mainly concentrated in a nine-hour period that corresponded to a 9am to 6pm working day in the UTC +4 time zone. Based on this information, it is likely the attackers are based in Eastern Europe.

Such reasoning is much too basic to be of any evidence. The UTC +4 timezone includes not only west Russia but also other countries like Iran. It is also just as possible that the computers used for the compilation of the malware were sitting in Ohio, Tel Aviv or Nanking but had their clock settings changed to make it appear that they were in an UTC +4 working environment. Notice that Symantec named the source in question "Dragonfly" probably hinting that the attacks were originally though of as having an Asian origin.

It is highly irresponsible to publicly accuse a certain country as the source of this attack without having any further evidence to support such a claim. Doing so exposes the NYT as a vile propaganda paper again doing the U.S. war-hawk's bidding.

Posted by b on July 1, 2014 at 10:00 UTC | Permalink


Time zone is either Russia or Iran (UTC+4,5). Stuxnet Blowback.
Someone should tell the US military to go home it is over.

This from 2012

Legal threats have silenced security warnings at a recent systems-control conference.

Two talks at a recent US conference on cyber security in critical infrastructure were pulled from the agenda after a supplier of nuclear power plant equipment threatened to sue, worried that open discussion of vulnerabilities would reveal too much - even though the presentations had been approved by the power plant in question.

The conference, the 12th ICS Cyber Security Conference, was held at Old Dominion University's Virginia Modeling Analysis and Simulation Center 22-25 October.

Participants were told that the security firm that uncovered the thousands of pieces of control equipment that are exposed to online attack demurred from telling US authorities where the equipment is installed, since it feared that the equipment's owners would sue, according to a Reuters report.

Besides legal threats, security findings were muzzled in other ways.

The US government itself has been keeping potential targets of attack in the dark, the alarmed attendees were told.

From the Reuters article:

"In addition, attendees said they were alarmed to learn that because the government has kept a technique it discovered for attacking electricity generation equipment secret for five years, potential targets had not realized they were vulnerable and therefore did not buy hardware needed to protect themselves."

Joe Weiss, one of the conference's organizers, said that information-sharing is also being bogged down by vendors who withhold cyber-incident information from their customers—even, in at least one case, to the point of withholding information entirely.

In blogging about the conference, he writes about a project that found more than 500,000 internet-facing control system devices, "all the way to device IP addresses."

The researcher who discovered the exposure informed the US Department of Homeland Security, Weiss wrote, with ICS-CERT recently issuing a notification.

The researcher actually contacted a vulnerable water utility that had vulnerable components remotely accessible to anyone with an Internet connection, but the end user simply didn't understand the impact and basically ignored the warning, Weiss says.

As Weiss notes, awareness issues are already a problem in the community responsible for infrastructure systems, even before you add censorship/silence-via-intimidation into the mix.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 1 2014 11:11 utc | 1

Meanwhile ukraine keep bombing again, Russia seems to be the loser right now after the ceasefire

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 1 2014 11:13 utc | 2

If it's the NY Times, it must be true. That's why it's called "The Paper of Record". Fact-based, agenda-free, unbiased solid reporting. I'm sure it's just a coincidence, like it's surely a coincidence that a new TV show about a global pandemic with the action taking place on the high seas features a Russian Naval commander as the bad guy versus the noble US Navy. No propaganda here. No way.

Posted by: Colinjames | Jul 1 2014 12:22 utc | 3

"Vile propaganda" is what rouses Americans to notice.

Posted by: MRW | Jul 1 2014 12:48 utc | 4

Propaganda, or in a few -very rare cases- perceptive analysis, is what writers at newspapers do in an era in which there is no longer anything as a "scoop."
Time was when newspapers actually made money by being first with the news. No more, it is all on the internet long before customers shell out a dollar to read the story under the sensational headlines.
So, having lost the support of the public, newspapers have promoted their secondary role (feeding establishment propaganda to unsuspecting readers) into their primary purpose, working to preserve the vile status quo, doing PR work for mass murderers and generally whoring themselves.
And nobody ever need leave the office. Even the sports can be reported by watching TV.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 1 2014 13:02 utc | 5

"Damn... Russia? Or was it Iran? Or China?"
(turns around)
"Jen, who's the enemy today?"

"Uhm, let me see... today it's Russia, sir."

"Ok, feed the teleprompter with the appropriate text"

(enters the stage) "EVIL RUSSIANZ are comming and they're still 6 feet tall!!!1!"

Posted by: T2015 | Jul 1 2014 13:05 utc | 6

It is getting ominous now. Prelude to WWIII.

Reflecting how all international conflicts now have some digital component, NATO has updated its cyber defence policy to make it clear that a cyber attack can be treated as the equivalent of an attack with conventional weapons.

The organisation's new cyber defence policy clarifies that a digital attack on a member state is covered by Article 5, the collective defence clause. That states that an attack against one member of NATO "shall be considered an attack against them all" and opens the way for members to take action against the aggressor — including the use of armed force — to restore security.
Jamie Shea, deputy assistant secretary general for emerging security challenges, told ZDNet: "For the first time we state explicitly that the cyber realm is covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, the collective defence clause. We don't say in exactly which circumstances or what the threshold of the attack has to be to trigger a collective NATO response and we don't say what that collective NATO response should be.

"This will be decided by allies on a case-by-case basis, but we established a principle that at a certain level of intensity of damage, malicious intention, a cyber attack could be treated as the equivalent of an armed attack."

The new policy has been approved by NATO defence ministers and will be endorsed at its Wales summit in September. Other elements of the policy will help improve information sharing and mutual assistance between allies, bolster NATO's cyber defence training and exercises, and boost cooperation with industry.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 1 2014 13:22 utc | 7

I found a vid of psaki when she was 12!

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 1 2014 13:46 utc | 8

Posted by: T2015 | Jul 1, 2014 9:05:43 AM | 6


Posted by: jo6pac | Jul 1 2014 14:01 utc | 9

@1 I have often marveled at the fact nuke plants are connected to the internet at all. Of course this is an industry which ingratiated itself upon society by claiming the electric meters/bills would run backwards....and it has been less and less honest ever since.

We are all The Simpsons... Iranians too.

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Jul 1 2014 14:32 utc | 10

since when has the nyt, wapo or wsj had to provide any evidence for anything? geez!

Posted by: james | Jul 1 2014 15:52 utc | 11

The western nazis need their anti-Russian hate propaganda. Just like they did in the 1930's when it was the USSR.

Posted by: scalawag | Jul 1 2014 16:10 utc | 12

"rebels" have shot down a military plane, this is what the crazy guy in ukraine wanted?

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 1 2014 17:47 utc | 13

@13. Probably. It provides an excuse to send more and bigger planes. Don't know where they find the clowns to fly them.

Posted by: dh | Jul 1 2014 17:58 utc | 14


"Don't know where they find the clowns to fly them."

There are plenty of Ukrainians and anti-Putinistas who regard Russians as commies. The market is probably freer (in the sense of being less corrupt) in Russia than in the US. I think that says a lot about their mental capacity.

Posted by: Yonatan | Jul 1 2014 18:26 utc | 15

@15 Great. Only true idiots would fly against highly trained Igla teams with advance knowledge of where and when the planes will arrive.

Posted by: dh | Jul 1 2014 18:42 utc | 16

Any info on how they manage to shoot down planes? Its not the first time. What weapons may they be using?

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 1 2014 19:02 utc | 17

@17. No inside knowledge. Iglas would be my guess. They find them by the side of the road.

Posted by: dh | Jul 1 2014 19:27 utc | 18

@dh #17:

The DPR's press office reports the SU-25 jet was shot down using anti-aircraft cannons.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 1 2014 21:26 utc | 19

@19 My, my. Those borders sure are porous.

Posted by: dh | Jul 1 2014 21:45 utc | 20

Video of Yukies demolishing TV tower

Posted by: Demian | Jul 1 2014 21:54 utc | 21

The New York Times is a miserable corporate rag, wholly owned and operated by a cartel of media oligarchs. THEY-WILL-PRINT-NOTHING-COUNTER-TO-THIER-INTERESTS-AS-THEY-PERCIVE-THEM.Never. No way. Period. When events on which they comment upon come into conflict with their interests as they determine them , they will tell baldfaced lies, and print targeted, researched, focus - grouped propaganda attacks. Not Pseudo propaganda, or sloppy "journalism" only, but straight from the text disinformation campaigns and psychological warfare, coordinated with the executive and war making bureaucracies of the US government, and politicians who slavishly represent the interests of the ruling class. Fox news, by comparison, is merely the Morton Downey junior show expanded into a cable "news" format. The NYT goes to work every day with the Intention of lying to the American people in order to subvert (what's left of, if anything) democratic government, and any semblance of "informed consent" .

Posted by: Marc | Jul 2 2014 0:35 utc | 22

@ anonymous @ 17

why are you writing a soldier fortune novel ? Why are front line military weapons being used by the Junta in Kiev against an overwhelmingly unarmed and passive civilian population ?

Posted by: Marc | Jul 2 2014 0:38 utc | 23

@ anon @ 8

that little girl is much too cute to have ever been psaki....I think this is what you were looking for

Posted by: Marc | Jul 2 2014 0:48 utc | 24

The NYT is a zionist mouthpiece, as is most of MSM

Posted by: crone | Jul 2 2014 2:49 utc | 25

@ crone @ 25

To be more specific than I was in my screed, the NYT is (really and truly) an organ of Global Finance Capital, headquartered in this hemisphere, on Wal Street, and of its valets and mouthpieces in Washington. The Times faithfully and reliably serve "the street". Whatever pie The Times is slicing , you can be sure the street has got their greasy thumbs all up in it. The "global" (New York London and Brussels) Finance sector what's driving the "western" conflict with Russia, and The Times is dutifully selling it every day.

Posted by: Marc | Jul 2 2014 3:19 utc | 26

@crone #25

The NYT is not just a Zionist mouthpiece; it is also essentially the official press organ of the US Empire, the equivalent of Pravda in Soviet Times. (As I've pointed out before, the Empire and Zionism are two different things, although there is a large overlap, especially since 9/11.)

Take this article about the resumption of the punitive operation in Nvorossia, for example. The Times doesn't even bother to give a single quote of what rebel officials are saying, although both the Washington Post and the Guardian did that in articles from today.

I haven't seen a single anglophone paper mention that the resistance has claimed that it has shot down at least one Ukie plane since the "cease fire" ended.

On a side note. here is how the Times quoted Putin:

“I would like to make it clear to all: This country will continue to actively defend the rights of Russians, our compatriots abroad, using the entire range of available means — from political and economic to operations under international humanitarian law and the right of self-defense,” Mr. Putin said.

Also from other reports, I get the impression that Putin has stopped referring to Ukrainians as Russians' "brothers". Given that a sizable population of Ukies enthusiastically support the genocide of Russians, this idea appears to have disappeared from the Russian mainstream. The new position seems to be that a reasonable Ukrainian is really Russian, even if he has been brainwashed into thinking of himself as a Ukrainian.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 2 2014 3:30 utc | 27

Posted by: crone | Jul 1, 2014 10:49:14 PM | 25

"The NYT is a zionist mouthpiece, as is most of MSM"

Yup, it's the version of Haaretz tailored for the USA, like the Guardian is the version tailored the UK. They all are designed to appeal to roughly the same audience demographic.

Posted by: scalawag | Jul 2 2014 3:37 utc | 28

Thank you Marc, and Demian...

Posted by: crone | Jul 2 2014 3:37 utc | 29 OPCW receives complaint against use of chemical weapons in Ukraine

"The Russian Federation has filed a complaint with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons after they were used by the Ukrainian armed forces against their civilian population.

White phosphorus and chloropicrin have been deployed by the Ukrainian army since June 11.

In 2004, the United States had used this weapon in Fallujah (Iraq); in 2006 Israel followed suit in Lebanon and in Gaza in 2008-09."

Posted by: scalawag | Jul 2 2014 3:40 utc | 30

@Marc #26:

the NYT is (really and truly) an organ of Global Finance Capital, headquartered in this hemisphere

I think it's pretty safe to say that global finance capital and the Empire are essentially the same thing. :-) In the late stages of an empire, finance becomes the dominant economic sector.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 2 2014 3:58 utc | 31 They come for truth to find death – Radio VR's first-hand account from dire eastern Ukraine

""They were on the way to one of the military bases belonging to the pro-Kiev forces, a bunch of Russian journalists, including reporters from Russia's Channel One," Roman told Radio VR. "They went with mothers of soldiers who were serving in that military base to convince the soldiers to lay down arms and basically to return home".

Upon approaching the military base, he said, they stepped out for a quick smoke. And all of a sudden, there was a signal rocket fired into the sky and about 40 seconds later there was gunfire targeting the bus they arrived on.

The mothers started screaming "Parley! Parley! Parley!" and threw a white flag out, but the gunfire continued, with no attention being paid to the screams. Some hit the ground, some rushed back into the bus. Anatoly Klyan, the perished cameraman, or, as the journalists nicknamed him, Uncle Tolya, was among the latter. And he continued filming what was happening .

"I am sure if you search the internet, you will find his very last footage," said Roman.

"He continued filming for about 5 minutes after he was injured and then he could not hold the camera any longer," Roman went on. "The bus driver was also wounded in his head, but despite that he managed to take all the mothers and the media crews out of that area. He was later taken to the hospital."

They stopped a car on the way, just a regular civilian car to take the wounded cameraman to the hospital. And that is where he died on the operating table.

Roman Kosarev contacted an Italian blogger Christian, who was in Kramatorsk at the time of the announced ceasefire, but says the shelling, in fact, has never stopped.

"This is not an anti-terrorist operation. This is killing of civilians!!! The target is the city center, the schools, buildings where people live! This is what they are doing!"

"In the morning I just got the news, a little bit after seven this morning – an airplane, don't know if it was a fighter jet – but it shoot at a minibus, a yellow minibus with five people inside."

Posted by: scalawag | Jul 2 2014 4:54 utc | 32 The administration YouTube again blocked access to the video channel Agency ANNA-News

"Today, without prior notification, the administration of videohostinge YouTube again blocked access subscribers and viewers of the video feed Agency ANNA-News.

The editorial Board of the Agency shall take all measures necessary to resume the work of the channel.

We believe that the reason for the blocking of the channel was to stop the so-called "truce" in the South-East of Ukraine and the resumption of punitive action.

We remind you that the video can also be viewed on the official channel of the Agency ANNA-News, video hosting" Rutube

And just in time for Poroshenko's "plan B", the western nazi's "final solution" for ethnic Russians (or what Yats called subhumans) in Novorossya.

Notice how the western media, the regimes, the military, all work together as a team? Who coordinates all that?

Posted by: scalawag | Jul 2 2014 6:12 utc | 33

Re hacking;I wanna vote for Tel Aviv if that's OK with TPTB.Look at the NYTs despicable coverage of the kidnapped settler spawn,their total lack of critical talk of collective punishment and revenge.And now the monsters have kidnapped a Palestinian teen and killed him.Total MSM propaganda,and another signal to US that they are nothing but a propaganda outlet for the craven.

Posted by: dahoit | Jul 2 2014 13:24 utc | 34

America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to decadence without the usual interval of civilization.Georges Clemenceau

Absence of US ambassador to Russia punishes Washington, not Moscow

The absence of a United States ambassador in Moscow ever since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis has been striking. This never happened during the Cold War, when ambassadors were the prime conduits of dialogue between the superpowers. Not so these days.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry have met many times during the past four months, and have spoken even more often. Occasionally, the two presidents also engage in telephone diplomacy. But what the absence of a resident ambassador means today is that the government responsible for such a vacancy deprives itself of day-to-day contact with senior figures in the other country, and this limits its understanding of the host nation's policies.

USG doesn't do understanding. That's for effete people with the sensibility of Old Europe. USG creates its own reality.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 3 2014 6:02 utc | 35

The junta nazis have again shelled Russian territory. Under fire from Ukraine at the checkpoint "Novoshakhtinsk" suffered two buildings

"The bus station and one of the customs terminals of the Russian checkpoint "Novoshakhtinsk" was damaged by falling Ukrainian ammunition, said the head of the press service of the South customs administration Ryan farukshin.

"Damaged two objects of customs infrastructure: building of the bus station, where the control of passengers of the bus and one terminal, where customs operations in respect of freight transport" he said , ITAR-TASS, adding that now the technicians inspect the building and its explosive remnants of war.

Previously, the border guard of the FSB in the Rostov region said that in a shooting at the Ukrainian territory near the checkpoint Dolzhanskaya" several munitions exploded at the Russian checkpoint "Novoshakhtinsk".

Posted by: scalawag | Jul 3 2014 7:28 utc | 36 Strange we are not accused by US in killing of Lincoln - Russian MP

"The United States accused Russia in Poroshenko's decision to terminate the truce! It is strange that we were not accused in the attack on Pearl Harbor or the murder of Lincoln," - wrote Pushkov in his microblog on Twitter."

The sad thing is if a major American media channel did a spoof claiming the Russians murdered Lincoln or did the Pearl Harbor attack, probably more than half of the Americans who saw the spoof would believe it was the truth.

Posted by: scalawag | Jul 3 2014 8:03 utc | 37
Italian journalist Maurizio Blondet wrote an article where he stated that the US control over Crimea was the purpose of coup d'etat in Kiev.

Posted by: brian | Jul 4 2014 9:45 utc | 38

Posted by: Demian | Jul 3, 2014 2:02:20 AM | 35

thats a nice phrase but the problem is it makes 'civilisation' out to be everything good and positive, and not the root cause of the crisis...roman civilisation was not peaceful, it was violent and civilisation has been all good

Posted by: brian | Jul 4 2014 9:48 utc | 39

Civilisation is good, but the things you're talking about are not "civilization" but barbarism.

I wouldn't even bother reading what some Italian thinks to know about Crimea or about american plans - he knows about as much real first-hand infos as I do - none.

Posted by: T2015 | Jul 4 2014 12:57 utc | 40

And noe I also spelled it wrong... civilization I mean.

Posted by: T2015 | Jul 4 2014 12:58 utc | 41

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