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07 June 2017

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turcopolier

Simplicius

"I guess this is what pl refers to in concluding that their internal comms are compromised" No. This NSA generated report could not exist if the US did not have the ability to "read" GRU comms. If that is wrong, tell me why. pl

LondonBob

I don't don't know what is thinner, the claim that this shows the Russians 'hacked' the election or that there is any sort of serious attempt to apply the rule of law applies to the anti-Trump leakers.

https://wemeantwell.com/blog/2017/06/06/hey-intercept-something-is-very-wrong-with-reality-winner-and-the-nsa-leak/

Weak.

Gene O.

She is actually from Texas, only been in Georgia for several months. We need a new nickname. I find it hard to write her real name, what were her parents thinking? Texas Tattler? Texas Tipster? Texas Traitor? Texas _______?

ISL

TTG,

IMO, I would be shocked shocked shocked if the Russians (and everyone else with a halfway decent IC) did not hack the DNC and Clinton private servers. As a matter of fact, if the Russians dd not hack them, they should be embarrassed.

Of course I wonder why the NSA did not also note they were hacked.

Oh right, untouchables - duh!

As to whether the Russians would then pass that to wikileaks - seems to me that would be highly risky and with poor payoff.

Thank you again for your edifying piece.

Simplicius

Sir,

I am sure you are right, but if it is not the redacted names of GRU personnel that provides this insight, would you mind pointing us simpler folk to the 'tell' in this particular report that gives the game away re GRU's comms being compromised - is it mere reference to the fact that it was a GRU operation? Thanks.

Tigermoth

EO. I really enjoyed this comment. Well put, and I did "bust a gut" at your last part. The "out of control and derelict politicians" seem to be "owned" these days and are no longer representatives of the people but of their masters.

Thomas Jefferson said:

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

That will be the time when one truly makes the choice to honor the Constitution, and God.


Stumpy

Joe,

Not taking sides for or against HRC, but conceptually I can imagine that the reason behind setting up her own IT system was the attempt to avoid known surveillance within the USG, or possibly from known foreign agencies...

I also think the the public has been desensitized, having so many scandals thrown around in a political quest to bend their minds by whoever has the money to push an agenda. But, yeah, the Sec. of State would certainly be as you say a priority target, no doubt.

Stumpy

Yellow Rose, perhaps?

Patrick D

All,

This is one of those times when current events call into question past assertions by the political and government "powers that be".

When electronic voting machines were rolled out concerns were raised about parties (mostly presumed to be domestic) hacking into them to alter election results. Those concerns were addressed with assertions that this was impossible.

Now some among those "powers" are asserting or at least implying that the Russians just did that.

IMO, the #1 question for the "powers" is, "So, were you lying then or are you lying now?"

Medicine Man

Regarding the 10 years this leaker is likely to give up to prosecution; does a similar fate await Snowden if he is ever repatriated?

Dave Schuler

How about "Yellow Rose"?

Dr.Puck

Extremely naive though: who knows what the fly on the wall would hear as POTUS, Bannon, Kushner, discuss how to initiate a substantial purge of suspected 'disloyalists,' or vulnerable holdover, staff in the IC and justice department?

It seems there is a chicken-and-egg problem concealed in the contradiction inherent to not being able to efficiently "verify and trust" potentially loyal new personnel, with, sustaining ongoing robust intelligence activities. Is the executive branch still lagging in their appointments and staffing effort?

The devil is in the details of serving and being loyal to the Constitution's imperatives--as against the practical idea that the POTUS really needs in his administration many widening circles of loyalists who are faithful to Trump and MAGA, beyond the very small inner circle.

Stumpy

TTG,

The parallel subject to your great article is the security practices of the US voting industry. So, the buried question is "Why, in the year 2017, do we not have a bullet-resistant, if you will, voting system that is both air-gapped from exterior attack as well as responsible against corruption within?"

I offer the cynical answer that the PTB likes the system a bit fuzzy because within a sloppy system it's easier to fudge things a bit. However, the battle can be won prior to voting day by an accidental loss of voter registration data, or by enacting certain rules about document-lacking or 3rd party voters to exclude them from primaries or even the general election. Human factors.

As a side note, I conducted a recent business study on security camera tech, in which I was able to get a demo of the control software to run a whole constellation of security devices that would have potentially allowed me to reverse engineer, NDAs be damned, and hack any system made by that vendor, on top of any Windows exploits. I'll just leave that there.

One of the themes at an upcoming hacker's convention will be how to exploit voting machines/software. Should be interesting.

Remembering the allegations in past years that the Diebold voting machines were rigged to favor conservative candidates, it's not a stretch to assume that, while there are always rumors, where opportunity exists, money follows. There are at least a half-dozen voting machine vendors, so market-driven security and accountability are in force. Voting machine systems are expensive, so many localities run them into the ground well past their shelf life, where old equals vulnerable to failure. Also not a great market for innovation, trying to squeeze $Million-level contracts out of $Thousand-level county officials.

My point being, defending against attacks, be it email systems or voting machines, has to be a decent systems architecture that features intrusion defense and a redundant journaling system so that the vote counts can't be gamed. Maybe if the Silicon Valley anointed would spend a bit less time trying to build an evacuation route to Mars.


Fred

Gene O.,

I'll wait until she has a prisoner # to be refereed to.

Fred

TTG,

“If Trump and/or those around him colluded with the Russians in the execution of this info op….”

There seems to be one and only one US presidential candidate whose name is associated with Russian “collusion”. What other possibilities are there?

Please remind me again who got paid $500,000 for a speech in Moscow? Who is that person married to and what position did that person’s spouse hold at the time the payment was made? What NGO received millions of dollars from foreign governments and foreign nationals while employing family members of a senior US government official who became a presidential candidate who eventually lost the election? Thank goodness we aren’t considering those people as being corrupt. I haven’t heard that the Honorable Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Donna Brazile rigged the Democratic Primary because someone outside the US influenced them to do so but maybe we need an investigation to be sure the Russians weren’t behind that too.

turcopolier

Pacifica Advocate

Here is the document as redacted by DIRNSA (Director National Security Agency) https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3766950-NSA-Report-on-Russia-Spearphishing.html#document/p1 It has all the appearances to me of a semi-finished analytic document written by DIRNSA for consumers outside NSA. For some reason DIRNSA asked "The Intercept" to redact the names of specific Russian organizations and individuals. What was this? Professional courtesy?" The story told in the report is of Russian government spear-phishing efforts, but the fact is that the THIS REPORT could not have been written without an intimate knowledge of what the GRU was saying to itself about the project. How else would they know the names? I recognize your ignorance about anything involving intelligence but the level of your obduracy about this would indicate some sort of political motivation. pl

English Outsider


Colonel,

I think in England the circle allowed access to UK classified intelligence includes politicians, civil servants, external contractors, journalists, anyone within earshot on the commuter train and the bloke down the pub. I don't travel on commuter trains and the pub's not what it was since they've banned smoking so I'm out of the loop.

And not even my long ago reading of John Le Carre helps me with understanding the complex interaction between the intelligence services or those associated with them, and the politicans and the media. I'm still baffled by how Christopher Steele managed to romp around the US electoral scene for so long without anyone in the UK or US intelligence communities batting an eyelid.

You might be interested in my own experience in the intelligence community. It was in the days before I discovered Adblocker so when I looked up say the price of red diesel some algorithm would pursue me for ever with advertisements from fuel companies in impossibly remote parts of the UK. I'd emailed a friend with some caustic remarks on the equipment supplied to our troops in Afghanistan. Immediately an invitation to apply for a job in MI5 appeared on the side of the screen. They must be desperate, I thought, and they've got the number wrong, but I confess I was flattered every time I saw the invitation appear with the advertisements for tractor parts I'd long since fitted and English-made leather shoes I'd never bought.

If you're still looking, MI5, and still desperate, I'm still here. A desk job please, and a civilised pub nearby because I'm at my best with tiny quantities of paperwork at a time, and I promise never to leave my laptop on the train or go near the Ecuadorean embassy.

That, and a suspicion that the smartly dressed men who used to stand around scanning the crowd when I boarded the Irish Ferry weren't porters, is as close as I've got to your world. But seriously, I do recognise that it's an important world, and one none of us wants to see go off the rails.


different clue

Simplicius,

My memory is that Snowden did not intend to move to Moscow. He intended to move through Moscow to somewhere warmer and more fun. The Obama Administration stranded him in Moscow by cancelling his passport while he was travelling, thereby stopping his ability to travel further. I believe Putin pointed this out in an interview somewhere. So it was Obama who caused Snowden to be stranded in the one place with security systems strong enough to protect Snowden from extraordinary rendition or extradition-under-pressure; and also a long-standing incentive to wrap that forcefield of protection around Snowden.

Whatever fun-in-the-sun country Snowden would have rather gone to would have been easier to extort Snowden from or snatch Snowden from. It is Obama who put Snowden out of reach by cancelling his passport and stranding him in Moscow.

VietnamVet

TTG

Thanks. The GRU wouldn’t be doing their job if they didn’t try to figure out what Washington DC was up to. So far with the Russian PR disaster with MH-17 and being patsies to the restart of the Cold War; I don’t think they've been very successful.

I do think that there is a soft coup underway led by western globalists and those in government who circle in and out through the revolving door to get rid of Donald Trump. This is shaking everything up.

I witnessed the silent mutiny in Vietnam in 69-70. I am astonished that the deplorables in the armed forces and in the military industries whose families have been pushed out of the middle class and those who know friends and family members who've descended into addiction, despair and early death haven’t grasped the connection between this and the endless wars, fake news, scapegoating Russia and the new world order. By all indications the globalists are so isolated in their wealthy bubbles, they don’t realize what their coup is unleashing.

Fredw

If she was trying to avoid surveillance, USG or otherwise, her people would have made more effort to be secure.

robt willmann

I think the young lady's given first name was probably Sara, and she changed it to "Reality" Winner--

http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/files/2017/06/winner.png

The affidavit supporting the arrest warrant is here--

https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/971331/download

The criminal complaint filed in court to get the case started is here, and is also supported by the affidavit--

https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/971336/download

As is noted on the complaint, the case is filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia--

http://www.gasd.uscourts.gov/usdcCourtInfo.asp

The complaint relies on Title 18, U.S. Code, section 793(e), a felony, that can result in a sentence of a fine only, up to 10 years in prison only, or both--

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793

"(e) Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or..."

The two operative phrases at the start of the subsection require that the person had "unauthorized" possession, or, had "... information ... the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation ...", or, both.

Tel

Thanks, I finally found the document. They claim to know the names of the people who did it, but the names are blacked out (presumably by the Intercept??) As you say, no explanation of how these names were discovered.

That graphic on the end saying "Probably within" the GRU is weird because very little of what's in the graphic matches up with what's described in the text. Also the graphic says "Page 1 of 2" but there's no "Page 2 of 2" provided, so perhaps Winner ran out of photocopying credit.

The headers and footers on that last page are quite different from the rest of the document. What's more the technique described in the graphic is about sending a link and then encouraging the victim to click the link to do credential harvesting. A common enough technique, but completely different to what's described in the text above which was the sending of attached Word documents containing VB macro trojans.

My conclusion is that final graphic page actually has nothing to do with the rest of the document, and probably came from a different source document. It's just been chucked on the end there.

I still think the Intercept guys come out looking kind of sloppy not properly checking this stuff for self consistency is nothing else.

Also, if the US government really does know the names of the people involved... why not confront Putin with that? They have been farting around with highly vague accusations for months now, while at the same time sitting on specific names, dates and emails... something strange about that.

BrotherJoe

Absent the redacted names, which presumably could have only come from our penetration of Russian diplomatic communications, was there any other evidence
linking the attack to the GRU. Given the fact that hacking software is so widespread and that state sponsored hacking would most like try to disguise their efforts as the work of another country, can we be sure (absent the redacted names factor)that it wasn't China or even one of our own allies?

turcopolier

Brother Joe

The NSA states in its report that it judges the "actors" herein to be the GRU. This is an analytic report. Understand? pl

Texas Nate

Great post. Did anyone see this https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/07/world/europe/anatomy-of-fake-news-russian-propaganda.html?smid=tw-share&mtrref=t.co&_r=0

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