The hyperbolic, evidence-free media reports on the “fresh outbreak” of the Russian-hacking disease seems an obvious attempt by intelligence to handcuff President-elect Joe Biden into a strong anti-Russian posture as he prepares to enter the White House. Biden might well need to be inoculated against the Russophobe fever. There are obvious Biden intentions worrying the intelligence agencies, such as renewing the Iran nuclear deal and restarting talks on strategic arms limitation with Russia. Both carry the inherent “risk” of thawing the new Cold War. Instead, New Cold Warriors are bent on preventing any such rapprochement with strong support from the intelligence community’s mouthpiece media. U.S. hardliners are clearly still on the rise.
It's been the better part of a decade since the hacktivist group Anonymous rampaged across the internet, stealing and leaking millions of secret files from dozens of US organizations. Now, amid the global protests following the killing of George Floyd, Anonymous is back—and it's returned with a dump of hundreds of gigabytes of law enforcement files and internal communications. On Friday of last week, the Juneteenth holiday, a leak-focused activist group known as Distributed Denial of Secrets published a 269-gigabyte collection of police data that includes emails, audio, video, and intelligence documents, with more than a million files in total. DDOSecrets founder Emma Best tells WIRED that the hacked files came from Anonymous
Isle of Man, UK – A blast of sunshine has hit a secretive banking network used by global ultra-wealthy figures following a massive hack by “Phineas Fisher“, a notorious self-described “hacktivist”, of Cayman National Bank and Trust, which serves nearly 1,500 accounts in Isle of Man. Transparency collective Distributed Denial of Secrets has began publishing copies of the bank’s servers, a cache of documents as well as communications among bankers and others. Journalists around the world are investigating and have begun releasing stories.
WASHINGTON—Pennsylvania’s message was clear: The state was taking a big step to keep its elections from being hacked in 2020. Last April, its top election official told counties they had to update their systems. So far, nearly 60% have taken action, with $14.15 million of mostly federal funds helping counties buy brand-new electoral systems. But there’s a problem: Many of these new systems still run on old software that will soon be outdated and more vulnerable to hackers.
After bungling every last aspect of Russia-gate since the day the pseudo-scandal broke, the corporate press is now seizing on the Mueller report to shut down debate on one of the key questions still outstanding from the 2016 presidential election: the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. No one knows who killed Rich in Washington, D.C., on July 10, 2016. All we know is that he was found at 4:19 a.m. in the Bloomingdale neighborhood “with apparent gunshot wound(s) to the back” according to the police report. Conscious and still breathing, he was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5:57. Police have added to the confusion by releasing information only in the tiniest dribs and drabs.
Corporate Powers Are Stealing Online Identities, Posting Fake Comments To Push For Consumer Law Repeals
Forget Russian fake news for a moment. Another extremely consequential privacy-breaching, identity-theft hack is undermining our democracy and almost certainly being perpetuated by corporate America. A pattern of cyber deception is appearing across the federal government in the nooks and crannies of the process where White House directives or Congress’ laws are turned into the rules Americans must abide by—or in the Trump era, are repealed. Hundreds of thousands of comments, purportedly made by Americans, have come in over the electronic transom to at least five different federal agencies calling for an end to Obama-era consumer protections and other regulations that impede profits, a series of investigative reports by the Wall Street Journal found. Except, the people who supposedly sent these comments never did.
By Duncan Campbell and James Risen for The Intercept - CIA DIRECTOR MIKE Pompeo met late last month with a former U.S. intelligence official who has become an advocate for a disputed theory that the theft of the Democratic National Committee’s emails during the 2016 presidential campaign was an inside job, rather than a hack by Russian intelligence. Pompeo met on October 24 with William Binney, a former National Security Agency official-turned-whistleblower who co-authored an analysis published by a group of former intelligence officials that challenges the U.S. intelligence community’s official assessment that Russian intelligence was behind last year’s theft of data from DNC computers. Binney and the other former officials argue that the DNC data was “leaked,” not hacked, “by a person with physical access” to the DNC’s computer system. In an interview with The Intercept, Binney said Pompeo told him that President Donald Trump had urged the CIA director to meet with Binney to discuss his assessment that the DNC data theft was an inside job. During their hour-long meeting at CIA headquarters, Pompeo said Trump told him that if Pompeo “want[ed] to know the facts, he should talk to me,” Binney said. A senior intelligence source confirmed that Pompeo met with Binney to discuss his analysis, and that the CIA director held the meeting at Trump’s urging.
By Bernardo Gutierrez for Open Democracy - During the occupation of Puerta del Sol in Madrid in 2011, the hackers at the core of Madrid's 15M developed a platform for anyone to make political proposals. Designed in free software, the Propongo platform allowed users to put forward ideas which could then be voted on. The operational arrangement was pretty simple: decentralized proposals, from the bottom up. The State of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), where participatory budgets came to light in 1989, used part of the Propongo code and its philosophy for the Digital Cabinet, its star citizen participation project. In Spain, the political class turned its back on the Indignados. On the other side of Propongo, no one was there. No local, regional or state government listened to the new music coming out of the squares – and even less to the proposals. Meanwhile, collective intelligence and networking in the squares were developing sophisticated mechanisms for participation and deliberation, both online and face-to-face. The powerful technopolitics made in Spain conquered the hearts of activists all over the world. And the hearts of some foreign academics and politicians too.
By Joe Uchill for The Hill - LAS VEGAS — One of the nation’s largest cybersecurity conferences is inviting attendees to get hands-on experience hacking a slew of voting machines, demonstrating to researchers how easy the process can be. “It took me only a few minutes to see how to hack it,” said security consultant Thomas Richards, glancing at a Premier Election Solutions machine currently in use in Georgia. The DEF CON cybersecurity conference is held annually in Las Vegas. This year, for the first time, the conference is hosting a "Voting Machine Village," where attendees can try to hack a number of systems and help catch vulnerabilities. The conference acquired 30 machines for hackers to toy with. Every voting machine in the village was hacked. Though voting machines are technologically simple, they are difficult for researchers to obtain for independent research. The machine that Richards learned how to hack used beneath-the-surface software, known as firmware, designed in 2007. But a number of well-known vulnerabilities in that firmware have developed over the past decade. “I didn’t come in knowing what to expect, but I was surprised by what I found,” he said. He went on to list a number of actions he hoped states would take to help secure machines, including increasing testing opportunities for outside hackers and transparency in voting machine design.
By Scott Ritter for Truth Dig - The current American political canonical theology holds as an incontrovertible truth that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. According to this dogma, which has been actively promulgated by former and current government officials and echoed by an unquestioning mainstream media, Russian intelligence services, directed by President Vladimir Putin, conducted cyber-operations against targets associated with the U.S. election for the purpose of denigrating the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, to help her opponent, Donald Trump. Adherence to this conclusion is mandatory, lest one be accused of challenging the gospel according to the U.S. intelligence community. “Russia did it,” Rep. Ted Lieu, a California Democrat who serves on the House Judiciary and the Foreign Affairs committees, has declared. “There’s no rational person who looked at evidence and concluded otherwise.” While Rep. Lieu himself is not on the House Intelligence Committee and, as such, has not seen the evidence he cites, his fellow representative, Adam Schiff, the Democratic co-chair of the House Intelligence Committee, has. When President Trump dared question the findings of the U.S. intelligence community on Russia, Schiff lashed out.
By Staff of Consortium News - Key among the findings of the independent forensic investigations is the conclusion that the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack. Of equal importance, the forensics show that the copying and doctoring were performed on the East coast of the U.S. Thus far, mainstream media have ignored the findings of these independent studies [see here and here].After examining metadata from the “Guccifer 2.0” July 5, 2016 intrusion into the DNC server, independent cyber investigators have concluded that an insider copied DNC data onto an external storage device, and that “telltale signs” implicating Russia were then inserted. Independent analyst Skip Folden, a retired IBM Program Manager for Information Technology US, who examined the recent forensic findings, is a co-author of this Memorandum.
By Staff of Mint Press News - WASHINGTON, D.C.– In the latest complication for the “Russiagate” scandal, a new analysis has suggested that files and email stolen from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) were copied to a USB drive by someone with physical access to a computer that had DNC server access, indicating that the committee’s records were not hacked remotely by foreign actors, as has been alleged. The DNC’s stolen files were published by the hacker “Guccifer 2.0,” whose name is an homage to the Romanian hacker Guccifer, who gained notoriety for hacking the Bush and Rockefeller families among other U.S. government officials. Guccifer 2.0, despite professing that he is a Romanian and affiliated with no government, was cited as an agent of Russian military intelligence by the private cyber security firm Crowdstrike, which was hired by the DNC to investigate the hack. However, an independent investigator working under the pseudonym “The Forensicator” has released a new analysis of the metadata found in the files published by Guccifer 2.0. The analysis shows that the files, published as a .7z archive file, were transferred from the server at a speed of 23 MB/second, leading the investigator to conclude that it was “unlikely that this initial data transfer could have been done remotely over the Internet.”
By Staff of Moon of Alabama - The undeniable patter of "Russian hacking" is that any claim thereof is likely not true and will be debunked in due time. These remarks on the "Russian hacking" allegation in relation to the U.S. election are therefore quite appropriate: President Trump again cast a skeptical eye on intelligence community assessments that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election, saying Thursday while on a visit to Poland that "nobody really knows for sure" what happened...Trump also compared the intelligence about Russian interference with the faulty assessment that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction in 2002, which provided President Bush with a justification to go to war. "Guess what, they were wrong, and that led to one big mess," he said.
By Giacomo Tognini for Bloomberg - Three out of four oil and natural gas companies fell victim to at least one cyber attack last year as hacking efforts against the industry become more frequent and sophisticated. That’s the finding from a report released Monday by industry consultant Deloitte LLP. Technology advances, such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s recent control of operations in Argentina from an operating center in Canada, offer new openings for hackers, the authors wrote. At the same time, older equipment retrofitted for cybersecurity, including the pumps known as nodding donkeys, make it tougher to defend against sophisticated attacks. A day after the report was released, Rosneft PJSC said its servers were hacked, forcing Russia’s largest crude producer to switch to a backup system. Less than half of drillers use any monitoring tools on their upstream operations networks, the report found. Of those, only 14 percent have fully operational security monitoring centers. When the authors visited the oil fields it “was like walking into the 1980s, with shared passwords and passwords written down on paper,” said Paul Zonneveld, a senior partner at Deloitte in Calgary, by phone. A 2011 cyber attack dubbed "Night Dragon" stole exploration and bidding data from oil majors including Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP Plc.
By Swati Khandelwal for The Hacker News - WikiLeaks has published a new batch of the ongoing Vault 7 leak, this time detailing a framework – which is being used by the CIA for monitoring the Internet activity of the targeted systems by exploiting vulnerabilities in Wi-Fi devices. Dubbed "Cherry Blossom," the framework was allegedly designed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with the help of Stanford Research Institute (SRI International), an American nonprofit research institute, as part of its ‘Cherry Bomb’ project. Cherry Blossom is basically a remotely controllable firmware-based implant for wireless networking devices, including routers and wireless access points (APs), which exploits router vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access and then replace firmware with custom Cherry Blossom firmware. "An implanted device [called Flytrap] can then be used to monitor the internet activity of and deliver software exploits to targets of interest." a leaked CIA manual reads.