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16 June 2019


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I recall from the 'Zero days' documentary one section is which the composite interviewee said that Stuxnet was the tip of the iceberg and proudly stated that they were into everything and could basically shut Iran down whenever they wanted to as they already had dormant code in place. I recall thinking if that is true for Iran then it seems unlikely not to be true for everyone else.

The Twisted Genius

According to RIA Novosti, a source within the leadership of one of the Russian law enforcement agencies (FSB?) said foreign intelligence services' efforts to penetrate into the transport, banking and energy management systems of Russia have increased over the last few years. The source continued, "However, we manage to neutralize these actions."

Rather than getting overly excited about the NYT claim, we should accept that this tit for tat cyber activity is now as normal a part of our world as espionage. At the same time we should stop the silly talk of Russian IO to influence our elections being an act of war. It isn't. It's another way of nations competing with each other. We still need to negotiate and establish some kind of international protocol governing this activity, perhaps something along the lines of UNCLOS III.



Saddam Hussein and his government are gone and the social order overturned. You can't prevail much better than that.



I'd say the NYTimes article is bogus propaganda, the Russian grid is non-computer control systems which makes virus/hacking a non-player. Russians have been hard at work replacing the western Windows software with Russian Astra Linux . Russian MOD has also been fast at work canning any all western software for Russian made. Astra Linux recently received the go ahead to handle Russian government information of the highest degree of secrecy. The exception is certain Russian Intelligence operate/still use typewriters to preclude compromises.



I got a twitch that j.assange worked for the svr along with chapman.wonder if they ever met.trump and co have flushed a few out but the key is still out there.twitch is a bitch.could be wrong.


I think this is pretty dangerous.

The thing with these "battlefield preparations" is that they are quite hard to distinguish from actual attacks by the other side. A Russian tit for tat response could easily be interpreted as an active attack by the US. The Russians are pretty professional about this, but all this talk of "nerds and geeks wanting vengeance" kind of scares me. Vengance is a luxury item. It must never be the motivation to do something, especially not against a nation state. This is highly unprofessional.

Another issue is that the Russians can probably reverse engineer and use the codes/exploits themselfs. I would not be surprised if the cause of the Argentinian shutdown was a US worm initially used against Venezuela placed there by non US actors.

The Twisted Genius

This is no more dangerous than recruiting each others intelligence officers and bureaucrats as spies. The reaction of the Russian security official in the RIA Novosti story shows how professionals view these things. It's nothing to get overly excited about. None of us will stop recruiting spies or stop breaking into each other's networks. If you don't believe this, you're hopelessly naive.

Eugene Owens

I'm buying a copy of 'Cuckoo's Egg.

What is your opinion on J. Menn's 'Fatal System Error' and his new one 'Dead Cow Cult'? Should I spend the bucks? I don't trust the reviews online as I've heard that some reviewers get recompense.

The Twisted Genius

I can't vouch for any of Menn's work. I'd check out the local library for one of his books first. If you have some time on your hands, I suggest researching the Dark Avenger and Vesselin Bontchev. This was in the first days of computer hacking much like Cliff Stoll's Cuckoo's Egg. I started in those early days teaching myself assembler programming to support a cover of mine. I even wrote a couple of early viruses. I met Bontchev when he was doing research in Hamburg.





I dont doubt that the Russians will be professional about it.

The thing is, if such battlefield preparation misfire (to my knowledge, there are some which activate if you attempt to remove them) they can kill people, and this would move the thing from everyday spying to assasination. Assasination is serious business.

What I am afraid of is an unprofessional US response to Russian tit for tat measures. Given the current climate in the US, and that far to many US IC members appear to believe their own propaganda about the oh so virtous USA and the oh so nefarious Russians that is hardly and unreasonable fear.
And My point concerning vengeance against nation states being unprofessional stands.

The Twisted Genius

I agree with your point about vengeance not being a proper basis for nation states to deal with each other. I doubt hot blooded desires for vengeance play into these cyber activities at all... on either side. Sure there are CYBERCOM analysts and operators muttering "them damned Russkies" as I mentioned a few comments ago. I have no doubt those same emotions are felt in Moscow. The bottom line is that professionals are on both sides and those professionals are all unapologetically patriotic. That has little to do with nefariousness or virtuousness.

Eugene Owens




The neocon fanatics pushing Trump toward war are not professionals.

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