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
And what has the Obama administration done? Absolutely nothing. They are aware of it, the mafia style intimidation by Russia is now public, and a decision was purposely made to refuse to do anything to help protect Americans.
Russian intelligence and security services have been waging a campaign of harassment and intimidation against U.S. diplomats, embassy staff and their families in Moscow and several other European capitals that has rattled ambassadors and prompted Secretary of State John F. Kerry to ask Vladimir Putin to put a stop to it.
At a recent meeting of U.S. ambassadors from Russia and Europe in Washington, U.S. ambassadors to several European countries complained that Russian intelligence officials were constantly perpetrating acts of harassment against their diplomatic staff that ranged from the weird to the downright scary. Some of the intimidation has been routine: following diplomats or their family members, showing up at their social events uninvited or paying reporters to write negative stories about them.
But many of the recent acts of intimidation by Russian security services have crossed the line into apparent criminality. In a series of secret memos sent back to Washington, described to me by several current and former U.S. officials who have written or read them, diplomats reported that Russian intruders had broken into their homes late at night, only to rearrange the furniture or turn on all the lights and televisions, and then leave. One diplomat reported that an intruder had defecated on his living room carpet.
In Moscow, where the harassment is most pervasive, diplomats reported slashed tires and regular harassment by traffic police. Former ambassador Michael McFaul was hounded by government-paid protesters, and intelligence personnel followed his children to school. The harassment is not new; in the first term of the Obama administration, Russian intelligence personnel broke into the house of the U.S. defense attache in Moscow and killed his dog, according to multiple former officials who read the intelligence reports. Continue reading
A Russian mole has been uncovered inside NATO intelligence. What does this mean for Western security?
Last weekend, in the latest development in the secret espionage struggle between Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin and the West, a major Russian spy was arrested in Italy. On Saturday, Frederico Carvalhão Gil, a senior intelligence official from Portugal, was picked up by Italian police along with his Russian intelligence handler, whom he was meeting clandestinely in Rome.
Although Portugal is hardly a big player in the global spy game, it has been a member of the Atlantic Alliance since its founding in 1949, and Lisbon’s intelligence services are full members of the West’s secret spy network. Finding a mole like Mr. Carvalhão in any NATO security service is a serious matter for the whole alliance. Continue reading
Putin’s government increases weapons sales, military cooperation as U.S. reduces aid to the region
Recent reports that Cuban military personnel are on the ground in Syria to support the alliance between Russia and the Assad regime underscore Moscow’s efforts to establish its most significant foothold in Latin America since the Cold War, analysts say.
A U.S. official told Fox News that Cuban paramilitary and special operations forces arrived in Syria to assist Russia, which has deployed troops and equipment and launched airstrikes in recent weeks to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Cuban troops could be there to advise the Syrian army or operate Russian-made tanks. The White House said in response that it has seen no evidence that Cuban forces are actually in Syria. Continue reading
New nuclear reactors are become a rarity in Europe, which makes the case of the Czech Republic’s Temelín power station all the more interesting, for which the Russians and Americans are engaged in a competition that involves politicians, lobbyists and secret services. Continue reading