Homeland Security Dept bars Kapersky software; Russian intel intrusion feared

Amid concern that cybersecurity software made by Kapersky Lab is vulnerable to intrusion by Russian intelligence services, the US Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday barred American federal agencies from using the company’s products. It said in a statement that “the Russian government could capitalize on access provided by Kaspersky products to compromise federal information and information systems”, directly affecting US national security. It noted that Russian law permits the country’s intelligence agencies “to request or compel assistance from Kaspersky and to intercept communications transiting Russian networks”. The company is reported to have a close working relationship with Russia’s FSB intelligence agency. Continue reading

The REAL Russia Scandal

MELISSA BARREIRO/TRUMPET

 

Is Vladimir Putin trying to strengthen the Trump presidency—or weaken it?

Claims that United States President Donald Trump secretly cooperated with Russia to steal the 2016 United States presidential election have been making headlines for over a year. New allegations seem to come out every week, but none of them are backed up by proof against the president.

WikiLeaks published 19,252 e-mails hacked from the accounts of seven key Democratic National Committee staff members on July 22, 2016. These staff members are chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chief executive officer Amy Dacey, chief financial officer Brad Marshall, communications director Luis Miranda, press secretary Mark Paustenbach, broadcast media director Pablo Manriquez and finance director Jordan Kaplan.

The e-mails revealed that under Schultz’s leadership, key officials within the Democratic Party worked to sabotage the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders so Hillary Clinton would win the party nomination. Many Sanders supporters were outraged. Schultz apologized and resigned in disgrace. Continue reading

How Russia and others use cybercriminals as proxies

Employees watch electronic boards monitoring possible ransomware cyberattacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency in Seoul. (Yun Dong-jin/Yonhap/AP)

 

US adversaries are offering cyber criminals a bargain: Use your talents for spy agencies, in exchange for legal immunity. One such cybercriminal was involved in the 2016 US election interference.

JUNE 28, 2017 It had taken American prosecutors a long time to hand down the indictment, but finally they had their man. In 2013, authorities had tracked down Alexsey Belan, a notorious Russia-linked cyber criminal, and were getting ready to extradite him to the United States.

But Mr. Belan, a Latvian-born hacker wanted by the FBI for launching assaults on US networks using thousands of hacked computers, slipped from the clutches of European law-enforcement agents. Continue reading

Russia not out to improve relations

Takes combative stance against U.S. around globe

As “welcome” as a bone-chilling blast from a mid-March nor’easter, more bad news continues to blow our way out of Moscow, minimizing the possibility of a springtime thaw in U.S.-Russia relations.

And I’m not talking about any of the U.S. domestic issues that have been in the headlines lately, such as charges against Russian FSB intelligence operatives for hacking Yahoo email accounts. Continue reading

Russia Reveals Information Warfare Troops

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu / AP

 

Defense minister: New force ‘stronger’ than past counter propaganda efforts

Russia disclosed this week that it has strengthened its information warfare forces amid U.S. charges of influence operations aimed at swaying the outcome of the 2016 election.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu revealed information capabilities in an assessment of Russia’s military power provided to Russian officials on Wednesday in Moscow.

“Over this time, information operations forces have been formed, which are much more efficient and stronger than the counter propaganda department,” Shoigu said. He did not elaborate on what is regarded as one of the Russian military’s more secret capabilities. Continue reading

Russia says it foiled major foreign cyber attack on its financial system

FSB - IA

 

Russian authorities say they prevented a large-scale cyber attack by “a foreign intelligence service”, which had been designed to destabilize the country’s financial system and subvert its economy. In an official statement published on its website last week, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said the perpetrators of the foiled attack had planned to carry it out on December 5. The spy agency, which stems from the Soviet-era KGB, said that the cyber attack had been designed to bring down computer systems belonging to some of Russia’s largest banking institutions. Continue reading

Russia prepares to prevent possible US cyber-attacks

Following the US announcements that it is planning to retaliate for presumed Russian hacking of the DNC, Russia says it is making preparations to mitigate the impact of any such attack, while suggesting the US has more to lose.

Russia is reported to be designing a package of measures aimed at preventing possible cyber-attacks from the US. The move is a response to recent statements by US vice-president Joseph Baiden [sic] about US plans to provide an adequate response to Russia in cyberspace, following attacks on the Democratic Party headquarters. Continue reading

Russia ‘to revive the KGB’ after Putin wins biggest majority

Russia plans effectively to revive the KGB under a massive shake-up of its security forces, a respected business daily has reported.

A State Security Ministry, or MGB, would be created from the current Federal Security Service (FSB) , and would incorporate the foreign intelligence service (SVR) and the state guard service (FSO), under the plans. It would be handed all-encompassing powers once possessed by the KGB, the Kommersant newspaper said, citing security service sources.

Continue reading

DNC leak: Russia better at information war now than during Cold War

If you want to see how Russian propaganda and information warfare works against America today, look no further than the following previous post:

WAR 2020: Russia’s Information Aggression

 

Russia’s hacking and exploitation of emails from the Democratic National Committee has created an unprecedented situation for the US election this year.

The goal of distributing internal DNC emails is not only to create disorder within the party, as has happened after WikiLeaks published embarrassing internal documents that led to the resignation of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The emails and other information can be used to shape broader views of the US political system among American voters and in the wider world, as a form of information war waged by Russia towards the West. Continue reading

Russian FSB guard attacked U.S. diplomat outside Moscow embassy

https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_1484w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2016/06/28/Editorial-Opinion/Images/2013-05-14T151913Z_01_MOS44_RTRIDSP_3_RUSSIA-USA-DETENTION-1.jpg?uuid=Grjgtj2JEeaAvNBnEf0hJQ

In 2013, U.S. diplomat Ryan C. Fogel was briefly detained by the Russian security services and then ordered to leave the country . (Handout/Reuters)

 

In the early morning of June 6, a uniformed Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) guard stationed outside the U.S. Embassy in Moscow attacked and beat up a U.S. diplomat who was trying to enter the compound, according to four U.S. officials who were briefed on the incident.

This previously unreported attack occurred just steps from the entrance to the U.S. Embassy complex, which is located in the Presnensky District in Moscow’s city center. After being tackled by the FSB guard, the diplomat suffered a broken shoulder, among other injuries. He was eventually able to enter the embassy and was then flown out of Russia to receive urgent medical attention, administration officials confirmed to me. He remains outside of Russia.

The attack caused a diplomatic episode behind the scenes that has not surfaced until now. The State Department in Washington called in Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak to complain about the incident, an administration official said. Continue reading

Russia´s cyber-operations alter balance of power – tougher response called for

Russia is alterering the balance of power with superior human resources in the cyber-realm and a strategy and will to used them offensively, including via proxies – and lack of western response encourages escalation says Jarno Limnéll.

Cyber-narrative in the United States has changed during the last year. China and its economic cyber-espionage has been in the centre of narrative for years, but now politicians and especially the intelligence community emphasise Russia´s cyber-threat.

“Russian cyber-attacks rank as the greatest threat to the United States´ national security”, the US director of national Intelligence James Clapper has stated. Admiral Michael Rogers, director of NSA and commander of the US Cyber Command has publicly estimated that, “Russia has very capable cyber-operators who can and do work with speed, precision and stealth.” These statements were not made by coincidence. Continue reading

Think Tank Outlines Possible Scenarios for Russian Collapse

These scenarios are likely why Putin created his own private and personal army, as mentioned in the previous post.

 

Report: Russia beset by ‘growing economic woes, crumbling infrastructure, and warring elites’

Kiev, Ukraine—The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) released an assessment of possible scenarios for Russia’s collapse last week.

The report, written by visiting fellow Nikolay Petrov, concludes that the Russian political system “has no capacity to reform, and faces growing economic woes, crumbling infrastructure, and warring elites.” Continue reading

The Functions Of Russia’s Newly Announced National Guard

This could be seen a Vladimir solidifying his hold on Russia, or that he’s in trouble and is facing threats of removal. This is also surely going to be used against political opposition. Either way, Putin’s private army is born.

 

On April 5, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the decision to establish a National Guard for the country, that will be “formed on the basis of”the state’s Interior Ministry Troops. Putin also announced that Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service and Federal Migration Service would be incorporated into the Interior Ministry. 

The same day, Putin signed an executive order appointing Viktor Zolotov director of the Federal Service of National Guard Troops and commander of the National Guard Troops, and relieved him of his position as Interior Ministry Troops commander.[3]

The following are excerpts from an article detailing the functions of the new National Guard, as published on the website of the Russian media outlet Rbc.ru:[4] Continue reading

Panama Papers Reveal Clinton’s Kremlin Connection

The Clinton communist ties are only shocking if you haven’t been paying attention. It was also raised as an issue in 1992 when The Southeast Missourian brought to light Bill’s visits to Moscow in 1969, when Russia was the Soviet Union. Their corruption and ties with Russia run deep, and have for decades.

 

The revelations of the so-called Panama Papers that are roiling the world’s political and financial elites this week include important facts about Team Clinton. This unprecedented trove of documents purloined from a shady Panama law firm that arranged tax havens, and perhaps money laundering, for the globe’s super-rich includes juicy insights into how Russia’s elite hides its ill-gotten wealth. Continue reading

Putin fears revolt in Russia ahead of elections, creates national guard under own command

Putin is not the first Russian president to propose the creation of a national guard, Stratfor wrote Tuesday in an article titled “A Guard for Putin’s Security.”

In 1995, the newspaper Izvestia published leaked memos between former Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s aides, claiming that Yeltsin had already drawn up the orders for the new force, envisioned to serve as his personal army in case of domestic uprisings – the national guard. Continue reading