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Old 03-01-2019, 08:57 AM
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Default Opinion: US-Russian cyberwar just getting started

Opinion: US-Russian cyberwar just getting started
By: Washington Post 3-1-19
RE: https://www.dw.com/en/opinion-us-rus...ted/a-47728060

The US has figured out, correctly, that Russia's president only respects force. But after the revelations of US cyberattacks against Russian targets, Vladimir Putin will surely retaliate, says DW's Konstantin Eggert.

According to The Washington Post, the recently established US Army Cyber Command completely blocked internet services to the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg better known as the Kremlin's troll factory on the day of the US Midterms in November.

The agency is said to be financed by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a billionaire businessman believed to be close to Vladimir Putin. He is also thought to be the main backer of Russian mercenaries in eastern Ukraine, Syria and Africa. The agency reported to be behind Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election as well as a host of other malicious activities in Western cyberspace was, the paper reported, completely blocked which triggered confusion and panic among its management.

US Army cyber experts allegedly managed to hack personal mailboxes and messenger feeds of their counterparts in the Russian military intelligence cyber units. They delivered messages that should have left no doubt in the minds of the Russians: Every one of them is known and being watched.

Putin has long considered the West to be not so much weak but rather defensive. He's always managed to be one step ahead be it in 2008 in Georgia, 2014 in Ukraine, 2015 in Syria or 2016 in the US. If The Washington Post report is correct, then the Trump White House decided to turn the tables on the Kremlin and deal the first blow. This must have given Putin pause for thought.

Read more: Russia hack attacks: Revelations from 'spy mania'

But don't expect him to back down. The idea of a tactical retreat rarely, if ever, enters his mind. That would be to show weakness. Putin sees the world in highly personalized terms. He will consider the publicity given to the attack as a deliberate humiliation by Washington. It does not mean he will order his cyber troops to strike instantly at the US. The Russian strongman likes to wage a so-called asymmetrical warfare in which he never pounces immediately and never in the same way. And although President Donald Trump has deposed Putin as the world champion of unpredictability, he still considers himself a master of geopolitical surprises.

Vladimir Putin's targets

A key target could be the presidential election in Ukraine on March 31. Sowing real chaos in the country which he already invaded will be easier than doing so in the US. It also helps that Ukraine's cyber capacity is markedly lower than Russia's. Expect to see provocative fake news targeting the banking sector and utilities' systems.

Number two on the list: the upcoming European parliament elections. Even with the euroskeptic right in relative decline, the Kremlin will continue to support it as well as many of the less-known, but reliable, leftists. Putin's goal is to have a European Parliament that will help deepen existing rifts in the EU.

Read more: Democracy in danger: Elections are easy to manipulate

And then there is the UK. Promoting Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party will certainly be on the agenda as his anti-NATO views and readiness to listen to official Russian arguments make him Moscow's most desired candidate to take over Downing Street 10 Brexit notwithstanding.

He may also decide to test the reliability of NATO's infrastructure on its eastern flank and in the Baltic states. For some reason, Moscow thinks that this is the alliance's soft underbelly where flexing the muscles will not cost much.

Money, murder and the future cyberwar

Finally, the US itself. US Congress will likely soon approve sweeping new sanctions under the Defending American Security from the Kremlin Aggression Act. Among the list of measures are two which target Putin directly.

Firstly, Congress wants all the relevant US departments to make public everything they know about the Russian president's personal wealth. Secondly, it wants to launch a US-led investigation into the assassination of Boris Nemtsov, one of Putin's most principled and staunch opponents. He was gunned down in full view of the Kremlin in February 2015. Alleged perpetrators were caught and sentenced, however those who organized and ordered the assassination remain unknown.

The Kremlin-controlled police and judiciary have stonewalled further inquiries. And although there is little chance the FBI and the CIA will be able to uncover the truth, just mentioning the case is tantamount to directly accusing the Russian leader of complicity in the murder.

In both instances, Putin will have to devise a response. An obvious target would be the US presidential primaries. It's hard to imagine that Putin's Russia won't "take part" in the US presidential election next year. The first world cyberwar is just beginning.
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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Old 03-01-2019, 09:02 AM
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Arrow Six hack attacks that shook the world

Six hack attacks that shook the world
RE: https://www.dw.com/en/six-hack-attac...rld/a-46963742

The data breach that affected lawmakers from across Germany's political spectrum was the latest in a string of prominent cyber attacks around the world. DW looks at five others that have made headlines.

(1) 1999: 15-year-old hacks NASA and US Department of Defense

Jonathan James was 15 years old when he repeatedly hacked the US Department of Defense and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1999.

During the attack against the Department's Defense Threat Reduction Agency, an office tasked with countering nuclear, biological and chemical weapons threats, he stole usernames and passwords and more than 3,000 emails.

Because he committed the crimes as a minor, he was sentenced to juvenile detention for six months. James committed suicide in 2008 after the US Secret Service accused him of involvement in a separate cyberattack.

(2) 2014: Suspected North Korea attack on Sony

Sony Pictures suffered a crippling cyberattack in November 2014 after a group of hackers calling themselves Guardians of Peace gained access to the company's computer network.

North Korea denied responsibility, but described the attack as a "righteous deed" in response to Sony's film "The Interview," a comedy that depicts the violent death of North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

The US Justice Department eventually charged North Korean Park Jin Hyok in September 2018 for being behind the hack. The FBI said Park had worked with a company that operated as a front for the North Korean government.

(3) 2015: Ukraine power grid hack

Some 230,000 people were left in the dark for up to six hours in December 2015 after hackers infiltrated three energy companies and shut down power generation temporarily in three regions of Ukraine.

Ukraine's security service blamed the Russian government for the attack. Without naming the Russian government, some private US security companies that investigated the hack said they believed it had originated in Russia.

The attack is believed to be the first time hackers were able to successfully attack an electricity distribution network.

(4) 2016: Russians allegedly hack US Democrats

Hackers leaked thousands of emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Democratic Party's governing board, during the 2016 presidential election. The leak embarrassed the party's leadership, who expressed disdain in some emails for the campaign of Bernie Sanders, a candidate who had competed with Hillary Clinton to become the party's presidential nominee.

The US Justice Department later charged 12 Russians believed to be agents of Russia's military intelligence agency, the GRU, for carrying out the cyberattack. The charges were issued by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating allegations that the Russian government meddled in the presidential vote to help elect then-Republican Party candidate Donald Trump.

(5) 2017: WannaCry

An attack using a ransomware known as WannaCry infected some 300,000 computers in 150 countries in May 2017. The software encrypted files and demanded users hand over hundreds of dollars in exchange for keys to de-encrypt the files.

The attack affected hospitals, including many belonging to the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS), banks and other companies. Shipping company FedEx said it had lost hundreds of millions of dollars as a result of the attack.

The United States and United Kingdom blamed North Korea, an accusation the North denied as a "grave political provocation."

(6) 2019: German Bundestag attack

In January, Germany's Federal Office for IT Safety (BSI) said it was investigating a cyberattack against hundreds of politicians, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The hack targeted all parties in the German parliament except for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Financial information, ID cards and private chats were among the data that the hackers later released online. Merkel's fax number, email address and several of her letters were also reportedly published.

The government has not yet named any suspects or a motivation for the attack.
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Boats

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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