web analytics

Of Leaks and Hacks

Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, December 20th, 2016 - 24 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

Maybe the Russians weren’t coming. Or we must believe that “KGB chief Vladimir Putin put Inspector Clouseau in charge of Russian security and left him to get on with it.” George Washington discusses the evidence. Fodder for the net-savvy

24 comments on “Of Leaks and Hacks ”

  1. Nice find. I must say that Craig Murray’s prose has been growing on me lately.

    ‘Despite himself being a former extremely competent KGB chief, Vladimir Putin [is alleged to have] put Inspector Clouseau in charge of Russian security and left him to get on with it. The Russian Bear has been the symbol of the country since the 16th century. So we have to believe that the Russian security services set up top secret hacking groups identifying themselves as “Cozy Bear” and “Fancy Bear”. Whereas no doubt the NSA fronts its hacking operations by a group brilliantly disguised as “The Flaming Bald Eagles”, GCHQ doubtless hides behind “Three Lions on a Keyboard” and the French use “Marianne Snoops”.’

    • Conal 1.1

      Yes, funny, but to be fair, the names “Cozy Bear” and “Fancy Bear” are code names made up by the IT security firm who the DNC contracted to audit their security breaches. The naming scheme uses the “Bear” suffix to designate an apparently Russian group.

      No-one is saying the names are self-assigned by the hacker groups, though of course in the breathless media reports denouncing Russian interference in the US political system, this kind of detail is usually omitted.

      • That in itself should be an alarm bell – if you’re supposed to be investigating a group’s origin, but you’ve already essentially decided they’re Russian state sponsored or affiliated and named them after bears, then you’ve basically guaranteed that your investigation will fit that bill.

        Far more likely that the security firm have no idea who they are, but if they can brand themselves as the group which ‘busted’ Russia, rather than the group that cleaned up the mess after the DNC got done over by script kiddies from Iowa, then the contracts you receive in the future will be far, far more lucrative.

        • Andre 1.1.1.1

          As I understand it, Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear were given those names by security researchers long before the DNC hacks were investigated.

          https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/29/cozy-bear-fancy-bear-russia-hack-dnc

        • Conal 1.1.1.2

          The two “Bear” groups identified by CrowdStrike in the DNC case were not new, and had already been designated “Russian” based on analysis of their earlier operations.

          These hacking groups are known as “Advanced Persistent Threats” in the IT security industry. “Advanced” because they have technical chops, and “Persistent” because observers believe that they can recognise the same actors again and again in different situations, on the basis of the hacking methods that they may reuse from time to time. This makes plenty of sense, in principle, though of course it’s not foolproof, because their “tradecraft” or hacking methods (and particular the malware used) are tradeable items; they can be passed from one agent to another, and even stolen by adversary agencies and reused. Hacking tools belonging to an APT called “the Equation Group” (apparently part of the NSA) were scandalously leaked online in August this year. That kind of leak would make it harder to distinguish attacks made by the Equation Group from attacks by other groups using their tools.

          I don’t know enough about these APTs and the CrowdStrike investigation to know how much confidence one can put on their correct identification of the APTs in this case, or on their identification of the APTs with particular Russian intelligence agencies, or on the assertion that Putin himself must have ordered it because the targets were so important, or that the emails which WikiLeaks published actually came from these sources (rather than a whistle-blower), but going through that list of unknowns I think you’d be less and less confident of each one.

      • Psycho Milt 1.1.2

        Yes, funny, but to be fair, the names “Cozy Bear” and “Fancy Bear” are code names made up by the IT security firm who the DNC contracted to audit their security breaches. The naming scheme uses the “Bear” suffix to designate an apparently Russian group.

        Yes, and that ought to have been obvious to Murray for the same reason it isn’t the Russians who give their planes names like Badger and Frogfoot. He doesn’t seem like someone who should be taken seriously.

    • JonL 1.2

      Putin was NOT KGB chief – he was a mid-level Intelligence officer with the rank of Lt Colonel when he left the KGB after 16 yrs in 1991 to enter politics!
      He was , however, director of the FSB for 13 months, 1998-99
      Now George Bush Snr was head of the CIA……….

      • I was quoting Murray’s statement as an example of his excellent sarcasm. But you are correct that often his KGB credentials are talked up to make him sound more of a villain or badass.

        Bush Snr. must have some dark stuff floating around in what’s left of his 92 year old grey matter from the Zapata Oil days.

  2. Bill 2

    It’s a kind of moot point now given the acres of newsprint that’s been devoted to people who can fairly be described as neo-McCarthyites.

    There’s was no need to be any kind of web geek, or to be in the least bit net savvy to understand that a complete lack of named sources should be a descending rubber stamp engraved with the word BULLSHIT! stamped on all the vacuous articles that claimed Russia had spread nefarious tentacles.

    But it’s ‘mission achieved’. The Ruskies are baddies. The Ruskies back Trump. The Ruskies stole US democracy. The Ruskies are out to destroy German democracy. The Ruskies, basically, is out to get you they is.

    And no amount of retrospective analysis as to the veracity of claims made by anonymous people apparently hailing from nebulous western intelligence agencies, and that liberal media outlets gleefully ran with, will change that for those who bought into it.

    One thing maybe worth noting is that, like Syria, the comments below articles of outlets that still leave their comments sections open brim with skepticism and outright dismissal/rejection of said outlet’s breathless reporting of ‘official’ lines.

    (And the liberal establishment wonders where it has all gone wrong 🙄 )

    • One thing maybe worth noting is that, like Syria, the comments below articles of outlets that still leave their comments sections open brim with skepticism and outright dismissal/rejection…

      Funny you should mention that, seeing as Putin also runs an extensive and vigorous troll army…

    • philj 2.2

      +1 Bill
      What is the difference between ‘Fake News’ and good old fashioned propaganda? You don’t hear the term propaganda much these days. At least you can put BS on your rhubarb. Cheers.

      • JonL 2.2.1

        ” good old fashioned propaganda?”
        Most of the MSM around the world these days……..especially if it brushes against Murdoch and his cronies…..

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    The fact that counter-narratives emerge is evidence of nothing.

    Knowing how US foreign policy works, who wouldn’t want to give them a dose of their own medicine?

  4. philj 4

    Copy of email sent to Kim Hill on Saturday Mornings interview with Charles Lane, arch propagandist, re. Russian hacking and US election

    Bold type is my highlighting

    LANE ( re. supposed Russian ‘hacking’ ) : “Just going by what we read in the press …”
    ” Intel source cited by reports ….. seems to say…”

    KIM ” Hillary believes Russia’s hacking …. cost her the election ”

    No questioning of whether there is any proof that:

    1. There was any hacking
    2. It was Russian

    This interview accepts the assumption that both are true. Yet no proof or hard evidence is asked for or offered.

    The New York Times says Wikileaks is ” becoming a de facto instrument of Russian Intelligence ”

    LANE: ” The best anyone can determine …”
    ” They seem to have intervened … ”
    ” Channeled apparently by Russian Intelligence ”
    ” Trump openly sympathized with Putin…. the most pro Russian President since WW 2 ”
    ” Certainly the objective of Trump is to move closer to Russia ”

    Kim could have asked Mr Lane what he thought about the possibility of a closer USA/Russia relationship.

    ME: Could Mr Lane have been asked for, or provided any actual proof or evidence of his assertion of Russian hacking? Hearsay from US Intelligence isn’t factual proof.

    KIM: ” The CIA says Russia intervened in the election … Intel chiefs agreed on this. This is quite damming, isn’t it? ”

    ME: Is this the same intelligence agencies that informed the world about Iraq’s weapons of mass distraction? How ‘mistaken’ that has proven to be.

    LANE: ” There was some debate within the Intelligence community …” ???

    This begs the question.

    What was debate was about?
    Was the hacking real?
    Apparently so. We are all talking about it.
    This is all smoke and mirrors.
    One needs to beware of PR spin, smooth talkers and the BS that is promoted in this murky field.

    Charles Lane concludes:-

    ” …. best guess they ( US intelligence agencies ) are telling the truth … Democracies were not intended to be run on the basis of what we are told by secret ( US Government ) agencies”

    Are you saying, Mr Lane, that the USA Government is currently running on such a basis of secrecy?
    Mr Lane is an “opinion writer” and a regular on Fox TV. He is not a coherent analyst, more a ‘talking point’ salesman masquerading as an obscurantist obsfucationalist!

    I have little regard for the quality of this smooth talker’s opinions. Goodness, he even admits he never thought Trump could win and is trying to blame The Russians for the loss! He is of the establishment and couldn’t even see the growing desperation of an increasing number of fellow Americans under his nose whilst blinded from seeing the real reasons for The Democratic Party’s electoral failure.

    There are far more knowledgeable people which would bring greater insight at these interesting times. There are plenty if you wish to find them. Hint: They are not on Fox TV. They are the folk who got it all wrong. More NZ commentary from our own academics would be a better idea, in my view.

    We live a Post Truth world awash with media which is struggling to sort the Truth from the Fake. RNZ is essential for producing the highest quality of journalism and broadcasting. The public good and our democracy depends on it.

    N.B. The bold type has not copied from the original. You will have to imagine it.
    Cheers and solace.
    Philg

  5. KJT 6

    “Nothing to hide. Nothing to fear”.

  6. KJT 7

    Actually. Anecdotal evidence says it is a pair of New Zealand high school children.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government support boosts Arts and Culture sector
    Government support for the cultural sector to help it recover from the impact of COVID-19 has resulted in more cultural sector jobs predicted through to 2026, and the sector performing better than forecast. The latest forecast by economic consultancy ‘Infometrics’ reflects the impact of Government investment in keeping people in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Govt takes further action against gang crime
    The Government will make it illegal for high risk people to own firearms by introducing Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) that will strengthen action already taken to combat the influence of gangs and organised crime to help keep New Zealanders and their families safe, Police Minister Poto Williams and Justice Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Thousands of MIQ spaces allocated to secure economic recovery
    Five hundred spaces per fortnight will be allocated in managed isolation facilities over the next 10 months, many for skilled and critical workers to support our economic recovery, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor say. “The Trans-Tasman bubble has freed up more rooms, allowing us to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand Sign Language Week a chance to recognise national taonga
    This week (10 – 16 May 2021) is New Zealand Sign Language Week (NZSL), a nationwide celebration of NZSL as an official language of New Zealand. “We’re recognised as a world leader for our commitment to maintaining and furthering the use of our sign language,” says Minister for Disability Issues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Economic resilience provides more options in Budget 2021
    Securing the recovery and investing in the wellbeing of New Zealanders is the focus of Budget 2021, Grant Robertson told his audience at a pre-budget speech in Auckland this morning. "The economy has proven resilient in response to COVID-19, due to people having confidence in the Government’s health response to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to BNZ-Deloitte Auckland Breakfast Event
    Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today, and to share with you some of the Government’s thinking leading into this year’s budget. This will be my fourth time delivering the annual Budget for the Government, though the events of the past year have thrown out that calculation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rotuman Language week affirms language as the key to Pacific wellbeing
    The first Pacific Language Week this year  makes it clear that  language is the key to the wellbeing for all Pacific people said Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “This round of language  weeks begin with Rotuman. As I have always  said language is one of the pillars of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Budget delivers improved cervical and breast cancer screening
    Budget 2021 funds a more effective cervical screening test to help reduce cervical cancer rates A new breast screening system that can proactively identify and enrol eligible women to reach 271,000 more people who aren’t currently in the programme. Budget 2021 delivers a better cervical screening test and a major ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ-France to co-chair Christchurch Call Leaders’ Summit
    New Zealand and France will jointly convene the Christchurch Call Community for a leaders’ summit, to take stock of progress and develop a new shared priority work plan. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and President Emmanuel Macron will co-chair the leaders’ meeting on the 2nd anniversary of the Call, on 14 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New South Wales travel pause to be lifted tomorrow
    COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says the current travel pause with New South Wales will lift tomorrow – subject to no further significant developments in NSW. “New Zealand health officials met today to conduct a further assessment of the public health risk from the recently identified COVID-19 community cases in Sydney. It has been determined that the risk to public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • March 15 Collective Impact Board appointed
    The voices of those affected by the March 15 mosque attacks will be heard more effectively with the establishment of a new collective impact board, Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment Priyanca Radhakrishnan announced today. Seven members of the Christchurch Muslim community have been appointed to the newly established Board, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More young Kiwis supported with mental health and addiction services
    Nearly quarter of a million more young New Zealanders will have access to mental health and addiction support in their communities as the Government’s youth mental health programme gathers pace. New contracts to expand youth-specific services across the Northland, Waitematā and Auckland District Health Board areas have been confirmed, providing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New hospital facilities mean fewer trips to Auckland for Northlanders
    Northlanders will no longer automatically have to go to Auckland for lifesaving heart procedures like angiograms, angioplasty and the insertion of pacemakers, thanks to new operating theatres and a cardiac catheter laboratory opened at Whangārei Hospital by Health Minister Andrew Little today. The two projects – along with a new ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fair Pay Agreements to improve pay and conditions for essential workers
    The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Fair Pay Agreements will set minimum standards for all employees and employers in an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Establishment of the new Māori Health Authority takes first big step
    Sir Mason Durie will lead a Steering Group to provide advice to the Transition Unit on governance arrangements and initial appointments to an interim board to oversee the establishment of the Māori Health Authority. This Group will ensure that Māori shape a vital element of our future health system, Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Cycle trails move up a gear in Central
    Work on new and upgraded cycle trails in Queenstown, Arrowtown and Central Otago is moving up a gear as two significant projects pass further milestones today. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has announced new funding for the Queenstown Trails Project, and will also formally open the Lake Dunstan Trail at Bannockburn ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Picton ferry terminal upgrade consent fast-tracked
    The planned upgrade of the Waitohi Picton Ferry terminal has been approved under the fast-track consenting process.  Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the decision by the expert consenting panel to approve the Waitohi Picton Ferry Precinct Redevelopment Project.    The project will provide a significant upgrade to the ferry facilities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel with New South Wales paused
    COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced his intention to pause Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand while the source of infection of the two cases announced in Sydney in the last two days is investigated.  Whole genome sequencing has linked the case yesterday to a recent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Covid-19 immigration powers to be extended
    The passing of a bill to extend temporary COVID-19 immigration powers means continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said. “Over the past year, we’ve made rapid decisions to extend visas, vary visa conditions and waive some application requirements ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • “Supporting a Trade-Led Economic Recovery”
    Trade Policy Road Show SpeechManukau, Auckland   Kia ora koutou – nau mai, haere mai ki Manukau, ki Tāmaki.   Good morning everyone, and thank you for this opportunity to discuss with you current global challenges, opportunities and the Government’s strategy in support of a trade-led recovery from the economic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Building consent numbers at an all-time high
    A record 41,028 new homes have been consented in the year ended March 2021 March 2021 consent numbers the highest since the 1940s Record number of new homes consented in Auckland The number of new homes consented is at an all-time high, showing a strong and increasing pipeline of demand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Whānau-centred support for parents and tamariki
    Up to 60 whānau in Counties Manukau will be supported through the first three years of their parenthood by a new whānau-centred model of care, said Associate Health Minister, Hon Aupito William Sio. “Providing this support to young parents is something we have to get right. It’s a priority both ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ backs moves to improve global access to COVID vaccines
    New Zealand welcomes and strongly supports the announcement made by the United States Trade Representative to work for a waiver of IP protections on COVID-19 vaccines at the WTO, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor said. “New Zealand supports equitable access to COVID vaccines for all. No one is safe from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tourism communities: support, recovery and re-set plan
    TIHEI MAURI ORA Tuia te whakapono Tuia te tumanako Tuia te aroha Tuia te hunga ora Ki te hunga ora Tihei Mauri ora Ka nui te mihi ki a koutou Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa. Thank you, Hilary and thank you, Chris, and everyone at TIA for this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Support, recovery and re-set plan for tourism communities
    Five South Island tourist communities targeted for specialist support Pressure on Māori tourism operators and Conservation facilities recognised Domestic and international-facing tourism agencies put on more secure footing Long-term plan to re-set tourism with a focus on sustainability, industry standards and regional economic diversification A plan to ensure the immediate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech on NZ Rail Plan
    Check against delivery E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karanga maha o te wa, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa. Ki ngā mana whenua o Taranaki Whānui anō nei aku mihi ki a koutou. Nōku te hōnore kia haere mai ki te whakanuia tēnei huihuinga whakahirahira. Nō ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government hits massive milestone in Violence Prevention & Elimination
    Minister for Family and Sexual Violence Marama Davidson announced a major milestone at a hui in South Auckland today, with the launch of the national engagement process on the prevention and elimination of family and sexual violence. “There is no room for violence in our lives – there is no ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Fee waiver extended for conservation tourism businesses
    Tourism businesses operating on public conservation land will have another six months of fees waived to help them adjust to the downturn in international visitors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced. "We acknowledge it has been a difficult year for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • ‘Lua Wave’ to future-proof Pasifika Festivals in Aotearoa
    Pasifika festival organisers will receive additional support to adapt to the COVID-19 environment thanks to the Government’s newly launched ‘Lua Wave’ component of the Pasifika Festivals Initiative, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “This initiative has not only been to support festival organisers to recover from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Crown accounts show confidence in Govt economic plan
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect the resilience of the economy and confidence in the Government’s economic recovery plan. The Crown accounts for the nine months to the end of March 2021 show both OBEGAL and the operating balance remain better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Energy Trusts of NZ Autumn Conference
    It’s a pleasure to be here today. Thank you Karen [Sherry] for the introduction and thanks to the Energy Trusts Executive for inviting me to speak at tonight’s event. It is an exciting time to come to speak to trustees of distribution companies. For many decades the electricity industry was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New partnership to grow Māori success in STEM
    A new partnership with the Pūhoro STEM Academy will support thousands more rangatahi Māori to participate and succeed in the fields of science, technology, and innovation, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Since 2016, Pūhoro has worked with Māori students to build their capability and create pathways to employment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Rail builds platform for economic recovery
    Transport Minister Michael Wood and State-Owned Enterprises Minister Dr David Clark today released the Government’s long term vision for a sustainable rail network that supports our economic recovery. New Zealand Rail Plan lays out how the Government is building a resilient, reliable and safe network, as well as the indicative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ and UK agree to lift the pace of free trade talks
    New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed to rapidly lift the tempo of talks, as the two countries enter a new phase in free trade negotiations, Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, and I spoke today about ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill passes first reading
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has passed its first reading and will now be considered by Parliament’s Justice select committee. “The Bill updates and improves New Zealand’s counter-terrorism legislation and ensures that the right legislative tools are available to intervene early and prevent harm,” Minister of Justice Kris Faafoi said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on The Speaker and Annual Review Debate
    “The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Any investigation of claims of sexual assault should be in a manner ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt motoring towards zero-carbon buses and protecting drivers’ conditions
    Transport Minister Michael Wood is seeking feedback on options for the next phase of the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) review to better protect bus drivers’ pay conditions, and also achieving the Government’s target of fully decarbonising the public transport bus fleet by 2035. Michael Wood said investing in our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Drop in unemployment shows Govt economic plan is working
    The Government’s economic recovery plan continues to be reflected in the labour market, with more people in work and unemployment falling. Stats NZ figures show employment rose by 15,000 in the March quarter, with 14,000 more women in work. The unemployment rate fell from 4.9 percent to 4.7 percent. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government sets pay and workforce expectations for the Public Sector
    The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful health and economic response to COVID-19. This has been supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Author Ben Brown is New Zealand’s first Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador
    Lyttleton writer Ben Brown (Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Koroki, Ngāti Paoa) will be New Zealand’s first Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador, promoting the value of reading for children and young people, Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti announced today. A poet and award-winning author, Ben Brown writes books, non-fiction and short stories ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago