#1 Obama Punishes Russia for Election Hacking by Cincinnatus 29.12.2016 15:46

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WASHINGTON — The Obama administration struck back at Russia on Thursday for its efforts to influence the 2016 election, ejecting 35 Russian intelligence operatives from the United States and imposing sanctions on Russia’s two leading intelligence services, including four top officers of the military intelligence unit the White House believes ordered the attacks on the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations.

In a sweeping set of announcements, the United States was also expected to release evidence linking the cyberattacks to computer systems used by Russian intelligence. Taken together, the actions would amount to the strongest American response ever taken to a state-sponsored cyberattack aimed at the United States.

The sanctions were also intended to box in President-elect Donald J. Trump. Mr. Trump has consistently cast doubt that the Russian government had anything to do with the hacking of the D.N.C. or other political institutions, saying American intelligence agencies could not be trusted and suggesting that the hacking could have been the work of a “400-pound guy” lying in his bed.

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Despite the fanfare and political repercussions surrounding the announcement, it is not clear how much real effect the sanctions may have, although they go well beyond the modest sanctions imposed against North Korea for its attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment two years ago.

Starting in March 2014, the United States and its Western allies levied sanctions against broad sectors of the Russian economy and blacklisted dozens of people, some of them close friends of President Vladimir V. Putin, after the Russian annexation of Crimea and its activities to destabilize Ukraine. Mr. Trump suggested in an interview with The New York Times earlier this year that he believed those sanctions were useless, and left open the possibility he might lift them.

Mr. Obama and his staff have debated for months when and how to impose what they call “proportionate” sanctions for the remarkable set of events that took place during the election, as well as how much of them to announce publicly. Several officials, including Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., have suggested that there may also be a covert response, one that would be obvious to Mr. Putin but not to the public.

While that may prove satisfying, many outside experts have said that unless the public response is strong enough to impose a real cost on Mr. Putin, his government and his vast intelligence apparatus, it might not deter further activity.

“They are concerned about controlling retaliation,” said James A. Lewis, a cyberexpert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

The Obama administration was riven by an internal debate about how much of its evidence to make public. Although the announcement risks revealing sources and methods, it was the best way, some officials inside the administration argued, to make clear to a raft of other nations – including China, Iran and North Korea – that their activities can be tracked and exposed.

In the end, Mr. Obama decided to expand an executive order that he issued in April 2015, after the Sony hacking. He signed it in Hawaii on Thursday morning, specifically giving himself and his successor the authority to issue travel bans and asset freezes on those who “tamper with, alter, or cause a misappropriation of information, with a purpose or effect of interfering with or undermining election processes or institutions.”

Mr. Obama used that order to immediately impose sanctions on four Russian intelligence officials: Igor Valentinovich Korobov, the current chief of a military intelligence agency, the G.R.U., and three deputies: Sergey Aleksandrovich Gizunov, the deputy chief of the G.R.U.; Igor Olegovich Kostyukov, a first deputy chief, and Vladimir Stepanovich Alekseyev, also a first deputy chief of the G.R.U.

The administration also put sanctions on three companies and organizations that it said supported the hacking operations: the Special Technologies Center, a signals intelligence operation in St. Petersburg; a firm called Zor Security that is also known as Esage Lab; and the “Autonomous Non-commercial Organization Professional Association of Designers of Data Processing Systems,” whose lengthy name, American officials said, was cover for a group that provided specialized training for the hacking.

“It is hard to do business around the world when you are named like this,” a senior administration official with long experience in Russia sanctions said on Thursday morning. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the intelligence.

But the question will remain whether the United States acted too slowly – and then, perhaps, with not enough force. Members of Hillary Clinton’s election campaign argue that the distractions caused by the leakage of emails, showing infighting in the D.N.C., and later the private communications of John D. Podesta, the campaign chairman, absorbed an American press corps more interested in the leaks than in the phenomena of a foreign power marrying new cybertechniques with old-style information warfare.

But G.R.U. officials rarely travel to the United States, or keep their assets here, so the effects may be largely symbolic. It is also unclear if any American allies will impose parallel sanctions on Russia.

The administration also put sanctions on three companies and organizations that it said supported the hacking operations: the Special Technologies Center, a signals intelligence operation in St. Petersburg; a firm called Zor Security that is also known as Esage Lab; and the “Autonomous Non-commercial Organization Professional Association of Designers of Data Processing Systems,” whose lengthy name, American officials said, was cover for a group that provided specialized training for the hacking.

“It is hard to do business around the world when you are named like this,” a senior administration official with long experience in Russia sanctions said on Thursday morning. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the intelligence.

But the question will remain whether the United States acted too slowly – and then, perhaps, with not enough force. Members of Hillary Clinton’s election campaign argue that the distractions caused by the leakage of emails, showing infighting in the D.N.C., and later the private communications of John D. Podesta, the campaign chairman, absorbed an American press corps more interested in the leaks than in the phenomena of a foreign power marrying new cybertechniques with old-style information warfare.

Certainly the United States had early notice. The F.B.I. first informed the D.N.C. that it saw evidence that the committee’s email systems had been hacked in the fall of 2015. Months of fumbling and slow responses followed. Mr. Obama said at a new conference he was first notified early this summer. But one of his top cyberaides met Russian officials in Geneva to complain about cyberactivity in April.

By the time the leadership of the D.N.C. woke up to what was happening, the G.R.U. had not only obtained those emails through a hacking group that has been closely associated with it for years, but, investigators say, also allowed them to be published on a number of websites, from a newly created one called “DC Leaks” to the far more established WikiLeaks. Meanwhile, several states reported the “scanning” of their voter databases – which American intelligence agencies also attributed to Russian hackers. But there is no evidence, American officials said, that Russia sought to manipulate votes or voter rolls on Nov. 8.

Mr. Obama decided not to issue sanctions ahead of the elections, for fear of Russian retaliation ahead of election day. Some of his aides now believe that was a mistake. But the president made clear before leaving for Hawaii that he planned to respond.

The question now is whether the response he has assembled will be more than just symbolic, deterring not only Russia but others who might attempt to influence future elections.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/obama-p...ocid=spartanntp

#2 RE: Obama Punishes Russia for Election Hacking by algernonpj 29.12.2016 16:21

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A lot of time and energy is being spent to divert attention from the contents of the eMails.

I wonder if the group that is responsible for Obama's birth certificate is working 24 - 7 on the 'sweeping set of announcements, the United States was also expected to release evidence linking the cyberattacks to computer systems used by Russian intelligence."

#3 RE: Obama Punishes Russia for Election Hacking by algernonpj 30.12.2016 11:11

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President Obama Releases Ridiculous FBI Report on “Russian Malicious Cyber Activity” (full pdf included)…
Posted on December 29, 2016 by sundance

Against the backdrop of a sanctions announcement, President Obama’s administration has released a Joint Analysis Report claiming to outline the details of Russia’s involvement hacking into targeted political data base or computer systems during the election.

Except it doesn’t.

Not even a little.

The “Russian Malicious Cyber Activity – Joint Analysis Report” (full pdf below) is pure nonsense. It outlines nothing more than vague and disingenuous typical hacking activity that is no more substantive than any other hacking report on any other foreign actor.

This might as well be a report blaming Nigerian fraud phone solicitors for targeting U.S. phone numbers. DUH! Just because your grandma didn’t actually win that Nigerian national lottery doesn’t mean the Nigerian Mafioso are targeting your employer to hold you accountable for her portion of the bill.

This FBI report is, well, quite simply, pure horse-pucky.

However, what the report does well is using ridiculous technical terminology to describe innocuous common activity. Example: “ATPT29” is Olaf, the round faced chubby guy probably working from his kitchen table; and “ATPT28” is his unemployed socially isolated buddy living in Mom’s basement down the street.

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https://theconservativetreehouse.com/201...l-pdf-included/


PDF on scribd:
It contains lots of cool colorful pictures to impress you plus tech speak to intimidate you

https://www.scribd.com/document/33530701...ort#download&fr
om_embed

Obama must have hired lost of college graduates with advanced degrees in gobbledy- speak

#4 RE: Obama Punishes Russia for Election Hacking by ThirstyMan 31.12.2016 01:15

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this thread has been very useful!

thanks for posting! much appreciated! TM

#5 RE: Obama Punishes Russia for Election Hacking by ThirstyMan 31.12.2016 01:47

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I'm such a great fan of Pookie's toons. Every day there's one that applies perfectly!

Bild entfernt (keine Rechte)

#6 RE: Obama Punishes Russia for Election Hacking by algernonpj 31.12.2016 09:33

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"never let a good crisis go to waste " [even if you have to create that crisis]

Russian hacking has become the latest bogeyman to distract / frighten the populace.

Washington Post Stirs Fear After False Report of Power Grid Hack by Russia
Story quickly falls apart after investigation finds claims to be inaccurate

Mikael Thalen | Infowars.com - December 30, 2016

The Washington Post reported Friday that the U.S. power grid had been hacked by the same Russian actors accused of breaching the DNC – the only problem, the grid wasn’t hacked.

According to the report, malicious “code” associated with Grizzly Steppe, the name given to Russian hacking operations by the Obama administration, was found within the system of a utility company in Virginia.

“While the Russians did not actively use the code to disrupt operations, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a security matter, the discovery underscores the vulnerabilities of the nation’s electrical grid,” the article states.

The code, which was not specifically identified by the Post, was released by the FBI and DHS in a Joint Analysis Report (JNC) Thursday regarding the “tools and infrastructure” of the accused Russian hackers. The report provided a way for network administrators to examine their systems for malicious activity and other Indicators of Compromise (IOCs).

As the news stirred fear among Americans across social media, members of the cybersecurity community immediately questioned the validity of the report.

Matt Tait, a former member of the GCHQ, the UK’s NSA equivalent, quickly noted that attribution, or the process of discovering “whodunnit,” would almo[/b]st certainly not be accomplished in less than 24 hours.

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John Hultquist, who has spent a decade tracking cyber espionage threats for both the government and private sector, noted that Russian operators had previously infiltrated the grid, making it possible that the discovered code was a “lingering infection.”
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The IOCs, while important in detecting possible hacks, will likely produce numerous false positives for the near future.

Robert M. Lee, CEO and founder of cybersecurity company Dragos, which specializes in threats facing critical infrastructure, also noted that the IOCs included “commodity malware,” or hacking tools that are widely available for purchase.

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No evidence at this time connects the malware to Russia or any recent hacking campaigns.

Soon after publication of the Post’s story, it was revealed that the malware had only infected a utility company laptop that had no access whatsoever to the electrical grid.

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http://www.infowars.com/washington-post-...hack-by-russia/

#7 RE: Obama Punishes Russia for Election Hacking by Cincinnatus 31.12.2016 13:28

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Speaking of fake news...

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