Tag Archives: Hacking

Taking UMBRAGE, by L. Reichard White

It is usually difficult to definitively ascertain where a hack comes from. The CIA has a program, UMBRAGE, that makes it even harder. From L. Reichard White at lewrockwell.com:

It’s about all those ransomware hacks. You know, the Colonial Pipeline, the attack on Martha’s Vineyard ferry, on Meat Packing Giant JBS, etc.

Everyone immediately knows they all come from Russia, probably from Vladimir Putin himself. Afterall, the U.S. auto-responder says so.

This guy knows – – –

Vladimir Putin, as many people in this chamber know well, wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy.–House Trump Impeachment Manager Jason Crow

The world’s a small place. Who else would do it?

Well, OK, there are interests in the world which need Russia as the Essential Villain so they can have an excuse for iffy things like backing out of nuclear arms limitation treaties and spending one trillion dollars to modernize their nuclear weapons for example. So the nuclear part of the U.S. MilitaryIndustrialCongressionalComplex might have a motive to blame Russia. In fact, the whole Complex does.

And there is the cheap propaganda factor. We Americans have a tendency to confuse the Communist former USSR with capitalist anti-communist modern Russia. That makes it easy for anyone who needs an excuse for something to get one on the cheap. They just demonizize Russia by resurrecting the Cold War.

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Here We Go Again: JBS “Paid” “Russian” “Hackers” $11 Million In Bitcoin To Resolve “Ransomware” Attack, by Tyler Durden

Are the purported Colonial Pipelines and JBS hacks and ransomware merely government propaganda efforts against cryptocurrencies? From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

There was a moment of sheer hilarity earlier today when, during a Congressional Hearing, the CEO of Colonial Pipeline Joseph Blount took the merely farcical episode of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware hack – when, as a reminder, a ragtag band of elite “Russian” hackers somehow managed to penetrate the company’s cyberdefenses but was so stupid it left most if not all of the $4.4 million bitcoins it demanded in ransom in an easily traceable address for the FBI to track down and magically confiscate (it is still unclear how the Feds got the private key to access the “hackers” digital wallet) in days if not hours – and elevated it to a level of sheer ridiculous absurdity when he told Congress that he didn’t consult the FBI before paying the ransom.

This, pardon the parlance of our times, is complete bullshit: either the CEO is lying or, worse, he is telling the truth and as some have speculated, he, the FBI and the “hackers” are all in on this so-called ransomware breach…

… a scenario which for now is yet another “conspiracy theory” and which we expect will become proven fact in the usual 6-9 months.

Yet just a few hours later, the exact same ridiculous narrative meant to achieve just one thing – tarnish the reputation of bitcoin further to the point where the US has to ban it – has struck again, and according to the WSJ last week’s big hack, that of food processing giant JBS, was also resolved when the company paid $11 million – in bitcoin of course, because in this day and age one can’t simply dump a suitcase full of cash or send a wire transfer to an incognito account – as ransom to the criminals (who will naturally soon be unveiled as Russians because of course) responsible for the cyberattack that halted the company’s operations.

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“Pure International Cybercrime”: Putin Warns Against US ‘Retaliation’ For SolarWinds Hack, by Tyler Durden

It’s one thing to propagandize and accuse Russia of a hack without conclusive proof. It’s another thing to initiate a retaliatory hack without that conclusive proof, egregiously stupid. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has reacted fiercely to the contents of a report in the The New York Times this week that cited unnamed senior admin officials to say the White House is preparing a series of devastating cyberattacks on Russia as ‘retaliation’ for the SolarWinds hack.

A spokesman for the Russian presidency, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters on Tuesday that the “alarming information” would constitute a “pure international cybercrime” and is thus condemned under international law.

“The Russian state has never had anything to do with cybercrimes and cyberterrorism it is being accused of,” Peskov emphasized.

Via Sputnik/Kremlin

Specifically addressing the NY Times report further, Peskov added, “the fact that the newspaper doesn’t rule out that the American state could be involved in cybercrime, is definitely of great concern to us.”

Amazingly, the anonymous Biden admin officials revealed to the Times that a “series of clandestine actions across Russian networks” are expected to start within the next three weeks.

The cyber-operations will by design seek to get Putin and Russian intelligence’s attention while being concealed from the broader public when it occurs, the NYT report said.

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Let’s Be Honest. Nobody REALLY Knows Who Is Behind the US Cyber Attack. by Robert Wheeler

The CIA and the NSA would tell you, if they were capable of anything resembling honesty, that it’s very difficult to conclusively determine who’s behind a top-notch hack. From Robert Wheeler at theorganicprepper.com:

Amidst the reports of potential martial law, COVID hysteria, and arguments of stolen elections, there are accounts of an alleged “massive” hack attack against the U.S. government and major Fortune 500 companies.

While the details surrounding the hacking have yet to be released, it hasn’t stopped America’s judge, jury, and executioner – Mainstream Corporate Media – from declaring who the culprit is. Along with D.C. Swamp dwellers and Deep State stalwarts, MSM has reported the recent hacking as none other than Russia’s work.

I know. I know. Hold your surprise.

Predictably, the accusers have not offered a shred of evidence to prove or even back up their case against Russia. For his part, President Trump has denied that Russia had anything to do with the hack, downplaying the incident’s seriousness.

Instead, he makes a counterclaim that it was likely China who was behind the hacking. But Trump offered no evidence either.

What Happened?

A massive cyber breach allowed hackers to not only access but to spend months exploring several U.S. government and private companies’ systems around the globe. The hackers inserted malware into a software update from SolarWinds. (The company used by thousands of companies and federal agencies to monitor their computer networks.)

SolarWinds claims that nearly 18,000 of its customers in the private and public sector received the adulterated software between March and June of 2020.

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency stated the attack “poses a grave risk” to federal, state, and local governments and private companies and organizations. CISA noted that removing the malware would be “highly complex and challenging for organizations.” In other words, the full scale of the hacking is as of yet unknown.

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No Act Of War But “An Easy Score”: Here’s What We Know & Don’t Know About SolarWinds Hack, by Tyler Durden

Hard as it is to believe, but it may not have been the Russians. There’s certainly no conclusive proof. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

National security correspondent and investigative journalist Jordan Schachtel in an epic thread has gone off on the Russia hawks now seizing the moment to blame the Kremlin for the SolarWinds hack and whip up this current round of “the Russians are coming!” hysteria. 

The cyberattack, said to have been months-long in the making which breached multiple US federal agencies, has posed a “grave risk” to the nation including the potential compromise of classified systems which monitor the nation’s nuclear arsenal, according to widespread reports. Some powerful Democratic Senators are already calling it “an act of war” by the Russians while demanding that Trump “do something” about it, which would likely take the form of more sanctions and ratcheting tensions with Moscow further.

But Trump poured cold water on that scenario yesterday after being briefed on the intelligence related to the hack. “Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens” the president tweeted Saturday morning, while calling the cyber hack “far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality”. 

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US Nuclear Weapons Agency Breached As Part Of Massive Cyberattack: Report, by Tyler Durden

This is most worrisome. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

The Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration – which maintains the United States’ nuclear weapons stockpile – was reportedly breached as part of a massive hack which affected at least six federal agencies, according to Politico, citing officials directly familiar with the matter.

On Thursday, DOE and NNSA officials began coordinating notifications about the breach to their congressional oversight bodies. They found suspicious activity in networks belonging to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories in New Mexico and Washington, the Office of Secure Transportation and the Richland Field Office of the DOE. The hackers have been able to do more damage at FERC than at the other agencies, the officials said, but did not elaborate. –Politico

According to the report, federal investigators have been assessing networks in recent days to try and get a handle on exactly what was accessed and/or stolen. DOE officials still don’t know if anything was actually accessed.

The hack was reported over the weekend – and  conducted by Russian-backed hackers, according to the Washington Post – after Texas-based IT infrastructure provider SolarWinds’ Orion Network Management products used across several industries and government applications, was breached earlier in the year.

The compromise of SolarWinds’ Orion Network Management Products poses unacceptable risks to the security of federal networks,” said US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) acting director, Brandon Wales. The agency has issued an emergency directive to federal and civilian agencies to review their networks for suspicious activity and to disconnect or power down SolarWinds Orion products immediately, according to TheHackerNews.

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The Coming Financial Attack on the United States: Connecting the Dots, by John Wilder

It can’t be denied that the US financial system is frighteningly exposed to attack from enemies foreign and domestic. From John Wilder at wilderwealthywise.com:

“It’s just crazy, you know? Everyone’s affected by it. It’s like all the money just vanished.” – South Park

James Bond’s doorbell goes:  Dong, Ding Dong.

As I’ve mentioned before, Pa Wilder was a banker at a small-town bank that mainly served small farmers.  I can recall (in one of my earliest memories) that a savings account was opened for me.  This account was fairly small in the amount of money that was in it, but Pa made me go to the teller and deposit the money that I had earned.

I had earned the money in the most Wilder way possible:  by being five and being completely un-babysittable.  Ma Wilder needed to go in to help Pa out at the bank and train someone so she could stay home and keep the 3’10” (34 liter) rodeo clown she lived with (me) in line.  Apparently, I was against this plan, because I ran off at least two babysitters in as many days.

Even then, I was difficult to get along with.

At the time, Ma and Pa offered me $20 per week if I would just be good, come home from school and watch re-runs of Star Trek®, and not burn the house down in the three hours between when I got off the bus and when Ma Wilder got home.  Even as a kid that sounded like a good deal to me.  I could try to burn the house down after Ma got home just as easily as when she wasn’t there.  I call that a win-win.

When Ma and Pa paid up, I was owed the princely sum of $100.  Pa Wilder took me down to the bank, and they opened a savings account for me.  I received a savings “passbook,” which was a little book where the teller wrote down my deposit, and then wrote it down on a corresponding card that showed how much money I had in the bank and had my account number on it.

Of course, I then announced that I was moving out.  I figured I could live for quite a while on $100.  When Ma then described exactly how many loaves of bread that would buy, I did the math and decided I wouldn’t run away just yet.

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VIPS MEMO: To Nancy Pelosi — Did Russia Hack the DNC Emails?

The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity established fairly on that the DNC emails were downloaded, not hacked. From the VIPS at consortiumnews.com:

The lack of detail demanded by Pelosi may simply mean the absence of credible evidence of Russian interference as well as the absence of Clapperesque officials to conjure it up.

MEMORANDUM FOR: Speaker Nancy Pelosi

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

SUBJECT: Did Russia Hack the DNC Emails?

Dear Madam Speaker:

After your intelligence briefing Friday, Politico reported that you were sharply frustrated by the lack of detail presented on “Russia’s continued interference in the 2020 election campaign.” You were quoted as saying you thought the administration was “withholding” evidence of foreign election meddling and added, “What I am concerned about is that the American people should be better informed.” We share your concern and, having followed this issue closely from the perspective of non-partisan, veteran intelligence officials, we are able to throw considerable light on it.

The narrative that Russia hacked Democratic National Committee emails in 2016 and gave them to WikiLeaks to hurt Hillary Clinton’s candidacy has become an article of faith for about half of Americans — somewhat fewer than the number misled into believing 18 years ago that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq — but it is still considerable.

Because of a bizarre, but highly instructive media lapse these past three months, most Americans remain unaware that the accusation that Russia “hacked” the DNC has evaporated.It turns out the accusation was fabricated — just like the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In fact, some of the same U.S. officials were involved in both deceptions. For example, James Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, played a key role 18 years ago in covering up the fact that no WMD had been identified in satellite imagery of Iraq; more recently he helped conjure up evidence of Russian hacking.

We quote below the horse’s-mouth testimony of Shawn Henry, head of CrowdStrike, the cyber security outfit paid by the DNC, and certified as a “high-class entity” by FBI Director James Comey, to look into the “hacking” of the DNC. Mr. Henry admitted in sworn testimony on December 5, 2017 that his firm has no concrete evidence that the DNC emails were hacked — by Russia or anyone else. This testimony was finally declassified and released on May 7, 2020, but you will not find a word about it in The New York Times, Washington Post or other “mainstream” outlets. (We wonder if you yourself were made aware of Henry’s testimony.)

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Every Keystroke on Every Device Is Logged Somewhere, by Sandra D. Lane

Everything you do on communications and computer devices is recorded, and hacking is ubiquitous. There are, however, ways to at least partially protect yourself. From Sandra D. Lane at theorganicprepper.com:

This isn’t supposition, or assumption, or even an opinion. It’s a fact.

If you have the minimum of a standard smartphone and/or leave your house at any time, what you say, what you type, what you do, is being listened to, recorded, monitored, and analyzed by software, technology, people, or all of the above. Cameras in the phone, virtual assistants, GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking, traffic cameras, store cameras, otherpeople’s phones, cameras and recording devices, dash cams, body cams, and even satellite and drone cameras, all watch, listen, and monitor what we do. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Electronic anything is monitored and recorded. Every keystroke on a phone, every letter and number on a tablet, every ad clicked on a laptop or notebook, every site visited on any computer device, every subject entered on every single search engine ever created, is logged and held forever waiting for someone to request that information. Or to hack it. Even DuckDuckGo (which has been quietly added as a search engine option for Google).

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In Baltimore and Beyond, a Stolen N.S.A. Tool Wreaks Havoc, by Nicole Periroth and Scott Shane

The NSA won’t even admit that a trick has been stolen from its bag of tricks, but it’s playing hell with a number of local governments. From Nicole Periroth and Scott Shane at nytimes.com:

The National Security Agency headquarters in Maryland. A leaked N.S.A. cyberweapon, EternalBlue, has caused billions of dollars in damage worldwide. A recent attack took place in Baltimore, the agency’s own backyard.CreditCreditJim Lo Scalzo/EPA, via REX, via Shutterstock

For nearly three weeks, Baltimore has struggled with a cyberattack by digital extortionists that has frozen thousands of computers, shut down email and disrupted real estate sales, water bills, health alerts and many other services.

But here is what frustrated city employees and residents do not know: A key component of the malware that cybercriminals used in the attack was developed at taxpayer expense a short drive down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at the National Security Agency, according to security experts briefed on the case.

Since 2017, when the N.S.A. lost control of the tool, EternalBlue, it has been picked up by state hackers in North Korea, Russia and, more recently, China, to cut a path of destruction around the world, leaving billions of dollars in damage. But over the past year, the cyberweapon has boomeranged back and is now showing up in the N.S.A.’s own backyard.

It is not just in Baltimore. Security experts say EternalBlue attacks have reached a high, and cybercriminals are zeroing in on vulnerable American towns and cities, from Pennsylvania to Texas, paralyzing local governments and driving up costs.

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