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.”
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…
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.
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.