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Comment Full article (Score -1, Troll) 120

Ok, so neither of those links were included in the summary when this was posted, but here is the full article:

Elon Musk Launches Neuralink to Connect Brains With Computers
Startup from CEO of Tesla and SpaceX aims to implant tiny electrodes in human brains
Neuralink is pursuing what Elon Musk calls 'neural lace' technology, implanting tiny brain electrodes that may one day upload and download thoughts.
March 27, 2017 3:24 p.m. ET

Building a mass-market electric vehicle and colonizing Mars aren't ambitious enough for Elon Musk. The billionaire entrepreneur now wants to merge computers with human brains to help people keep up with machines.

The founder and chief executive of Tesla Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has launched another company called Neuralink Corp., according to people familiar with the matter. Neuralink is pursuing what Mr. Musk calls "neural lace" technology, implanting tiny brain electrodes that may one day upload and download thoughts.

Mr. Musk has taken an active role setting up the California-based company and may play a significant leadership role, according to people briefed on Neuralink's plans, a bold step for a father of five who already runs two technologically complex businesses.

Mr. Musk didn't respond to a request for comment. Max Hodak, who said he is a "member of the founding team," confirmed the company's existence and Mr. Musk's involvement. He described the company as "embryonic" and said plans are still in flux but declined to provide additional details. Mr. Hodak previously founded Transcriptic, a startup that provides robotic lab services accessible over the internet.

Mr. Musk, 45 years old, is part businessman, part futurist. He splits his time between Tesla, which is under pressure to deliver its $35,000 sedan on time, and SpaceX, which aims to launch a satellite-internet business and a rocket that can bring humans to Mars. He is also pushing development of a super high-speed train called Hyperloop.

Somewhere in his packed schedule, he has found time to start a neuroscience company that plans to develop cranial computers, most likely to treat intractable brain diseases first, but later to help humanity avoid subjugation at the hands of intelligent machines.

"If you assume any rate of advancement in [artificial intelligence], we will be left behind by a lot," he said at a conference last June.

The solution he proposed was a "direct cortical interface"--essentially a layer of artificial intelligence inside the brain--that could enable humans to reach higher levels of function.

Mr. Musk has teased that he is developing the technology himself. "Making progress [on neural lace]," he tweeted last August, "maybe something to announce in a few months." In January he tweeted that an announcement might be coming shortly.

He hasn't made an official announcement, but Neuralink registered in California as a "medical research" company last July.

Mr. Musk has discussed financing Neuralink primarily himself, including with capital borrowed against equity in his other companies, according to a person briefed on the plans.

Neuralink has also discussed a possible investment from Founders Fund, the venture firm started by Peter Thiel, with whom Mr. Musk co-founded payments company PayPal, according to people familiar with the matter.

In recent weeks, Neuralink hired leading academics in the field, according to another person familiar with the matter. They include Vanessa Tolosa, an engineer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and an expert in flexible electrodes; Philip Sabes, a professor at the University of California in San Francisco, who studies how the brain controls movement; and Timothy Gardner, a professor at Boston University who is known for implanting tiny electrodes in the brains of finches to study how the birds sing.

Reached by phone, Dr. Gardner confirmed he is working for Neuralink, but declined to elaborate on its plans. Dr. Sabes declined to comment. Dr. Tolosa didn't respond to a request for comment.

It is unclear what sorts of products Neuralink might create, but people who have had discussions with the company describe a strategy similar to SpaceX and Tesla, where Mr. Musk developed new rocket and electric-car technologies, proved they work, and is now using them to pursue more ambitious projects.

These people say the first products could be advanced implants to treat intractable brain disorders like epilepsy or major depression, a market worth billions of dollars. Such implants would build on simpler electrodes already used to treat brain disorders like Parkinson's disease.

If Neuralink can prove the safety and efficacy of its technology and receive government approval, perhaps it then could move on to cosmetic brain surgeries to enhance cognitive function, these people say. Mr. Musk alluded to this possibility in his comments last June, describing how humans struggle to process and generate information as quickly as they absorb it.

"Your output level is so low, particularly on a phone, your two thumbs just tapping away," he said. "This is ridiculously slow. Our input is much better because we have a high bandwidth visual interface into the brain. Our eyes take in a lot of data."

Others pursuing the idea include Bryan Johnson, the founder of online payments company Braintree, who plans to pump $100 million into a startup called Kernel, which has 20 people and is pursuing a similar mission.

Mr. Johnson said he has spoken to Mr. Musk and that both companies want to build better neural interfaces, first to attack big diseases, and then to expand human potential.

Facebook Inc. has posted job ads for "brain-computer interface engineers" and other neuroscientists at its new secret projects division. And the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is investing $60 million over four years to develop implantable neural interface technology.

The technology faces several barriers. Scientists must find a safe, minimally invasive way to implant the electrodes, and a way to keep them stable in the brain. It also isn't yet possible to record the activity of millions of the brain's neurons to decode complex decisions, or distinguish when someone wants to eat a bowl of spaghetti or go to the bathroom.

Then there is persuading people to get elective brain surgery.

In comments published by Vanity Fair on Sunday, Mr. Musk said "for a meaningful partial-brain interface, I think we're roughly four or five years away."

If Mr. Musk indeed takes an active leadership role at Neuralink, that would raise more questions about his own personal bandwidth.

Tesla is building the largest battery factory on the planet to supply its forthcoming Model 3 electric vehicle, and it will need to produce hundreds of thousands of cars to meet its goal and justify its lofty market capitalization, which is approaching that of Ford Motor Co.
SpaceX has struggled to launch rockets fast enough to send satellites into orbit for its customers. Ultimately it wants to launch an internet-access business powered by more than 4,000 low-earth orbiting satellites, ferry space tourists to the moon and then bring astronauts to Mars.

Even so, Mr. Musk has proved many naysayers wrong. Traditional auto makers said he could never sell a popular electric car. Military-industrial graybeards scoffed at the idea he could even launch a rocket.

Write to Rolfe Winkler at

Comment Re:Come on, not that "Terminator" BS again... (Score 1) 407

In my mind, industrial robot are still the most dangerous piece of hardware you'll ever work with, period.

I programmed welding robots for a few years in the 90's, and I agree. Close calls are common. I once got very close to breaking a coworker's arm with a robot, except that I released the deadman switch in time.

Comment No. It didn't "predict" anything. (Score 0, Troll) 186

It reacted when there were "obvious" signs of trouble, and it didn't "predict" anything. The 2nd car in front was slowing fast enough that the Tesla would have started to brake on its own -- just as happened here. Would a person have noticed and reacted in the same way? Maybe; probably not. What I'm saying here isn't dismissing what the Tesla did...but the Tesla also didn't "predict" anything or see into the future; it reacted to inputs that were already present, and a good and attentive human driver might have done the same thing. Once perfected, self-driving cars and accident avoidance technology will make the roads safer â" but let's not make them seem magical, because they aren't.

Comment There is, and will be, no "Muslim registry" (Score 1, Informative) 600

They are protesting something that will never be created, because when the rhetoric was translated into reality, it was a proposal to reestablish the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS)[1], which was in force through half of President Obama's presidency, and which tracks certain individuals who enter the United States based on country/region of origin and other factors. Useless publicity stunt with commensurate absolutely abysmal coverage by The Intercept.

See also:

8 U.S. Code  1182 - Inadmissible aliens[2]

"Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President:

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate."


"The Secretary of State and the Attorney General will invalidate all visas issued to Iranian citizens for future entry into the United States, effective today. We will not reissue visas, nor will we issue new visas, except for compelling and proven humanitarian reasons or where the national interest of our own country requires. This directive will be interpreted very strictly."[3] -- President Jimmy Carter, April 7, 1980


Comment Why did no one here mention the actual culprit? (Score 3, Insightful) 736

For the life of me, I can't figure out why people are in denial about Russia's involvement in attacking our electoral process.

Sure, you can find Macedonian teenagers, and idiots in California who claim that "only conservatives fall for fake news" and that it "doesn't work with liberals" (...) but that's a side show.

Start here, and read it until you grasp what is going on:

Russian propaganda effort helped spread 'fake news' during election, experts say

The flood of "fake news" this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation.

Russia's increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human "trolls," and networks of websites and social-media accounts echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers. The effort also sought to heighten the appearance of international tensions and promote fear of looming hostilities with nuclear-armed Russia.

Two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House. The sophistication of the Russian tactics may complicate efforts by Facebook and Google to crack down on "fake news," as they have vowed to do after widespread complaints about the problem.

Then continue here:

A collection of articles on Russia influence operations in the United States:

The threat from Russia
22 Oct 2016

How to contain Vladimir Putins deadly, dysfunctional empire

FOUR years ago Mitt Romney, then a Republican candidate, said that Russia was Americas number-one geopolitical foe. Barack Obama, among others, mocked this hilarious gaffe: The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back, because the cold wars been over for 20 years, scoffed the president. How times change. With Russia hacking the American election, presiding over mass slaughter in Syria, annexing Crimea and talking casually about using nuclear weapons, Mr Romneys view has become conventional wisdom. Almost the only American to dissent from it is todays Republican nominee, Donald Trump.


Belching smoke through the Channel, Russian aircraft carrier so unreliable it sails with its own breakdown tug
22 Oct 2016

The ageing Russian aircraft carrier that sailed through the English Channel escorted by the Royal Navy has been plagued by years of technical problems and is accompanied everywhere by a tug in case it breaks down.

The plumbing is so bad on the 55,000 ton Admiral Kuznetsov that many of its toilets cannot be used, while it has had repeated problems with its power and a string of accidents, naval experts said.

The Soviet-era warship is leading a flotilla of eight naval vessels to the eastern Mediterranean, where its aircraft are expected to join a renewed assault on the rebel-held city of Aleppo.


Yes, 17 intelligence agencies really did say Russia was behind hacking
21 Oct 2016

Donald Trumps claim that the United States has "no idea" who is behind recent email hacks is just not true.

The fact-checking website Politifact says Hillary Clinton is correct when she says 17 federal intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia is behind the hacking.

We have 17, 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin. And they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing, Clinton said during Wednesday's presidential debate in Las Vegas.

Trump pushed back, saying that Clinton and the United States had no idea whether it is Russia, China or anybody else.

But Clinton is correct. On Oct. 7, the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement on behalf of the U.S. Intelligence Community. The USIC is made up of 16 agencies, in addition to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.


Denying Trumps Denial, US Intel Chief Says Theres More Evidence of Russian Hacking
21 Oct 2016

At Wednesdays debate, Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton has no idea whether its Russia who hacked into the private networks of her campaigns allies, then released the information to WikiLeaks and the world. Our country has no idea.

This morning, without calling out Trump by name, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said, um, yeah, we do.

The cybersecurity community has attributed that attack and leak to FANCY BEAR, a group also known as APT 28. Defense One asked Clapper if the intelligence community has identified specific people associated with the group? Specific buildings? Units? And how good is the attribution and how strong is the connection to nation-state backing?


Vladimir Putin's Russia: Will It Rock America's Vote?
22 Oct 2016

The presidential vote wont be rigged, but it may well be rockedand not just by Donald Trumps repeated threat to dispute the results if he loses.

The Republican challenger has already benefitted from foreign hacking, persuasively attributed to Russia, of the private, and often embarrassing, emails of Hillary Clintons staff and the Democratic National Committee. Now, say numerous cyber analysts, Russian hackers have the ability, and perhaps motivation, to infiltrate the nations voting booths and deliver a stunning blow to Americans already wobbling belief in the integrity of the electoral process.

You only need to mess it up a little bit, and as soon as people don't have faith in it, the whole system can start to crumble, says Ryan Duff, a former U.S. Air Force cyber tactician now working on information security in the private realm. You don't even need to sway it one way. You just have to make people think it could happen.


The looming specter of cyberwar with Russia
21 Oct 2016

In the world of cyber (as in security), the question of the week seems to be, "Are we going to cyberwar with Russia?"

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest thinks so. A week after President Obama singled out Russia as being responsible for cyberattacks on targets including the Democratic National Committee, Earnest said in a briefing that the administration would be serving a "proportional" response to Putin and the gang.

That response would be reciprocation for the very public (and not particularly sophisticated) hacking we've seen targeting the Democratic side of this particular presidential election. This includes the DNC hacks, the Guccifer 2.0 clowning around, the targeted feeding of docs to WikiLeaks. And, if we're going to include all the hacker toolsets, the unprecedented use of bots to influence opinion on social media in favor of the Republican candidate.


Evidence ties Russia to Podesta and Powell email hacks
21 Oct 2016

They appear to be part of a unified effort to disrupt the US presidential election.

Back in March, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta received a frantic-sounding email about his account security and clicked a shortened link that appeared to be from Google. Instead, it redirected to a spoof page that gave hackers access to his password. Half a year later, WikiLeaks started publicly releasing thousands of his emails on October 9th, a month after the seemingly unrelated leak of Gen. Colin Powell's personal messages. Security firms, journalists and a hive of independent researchers have spent the interim analyzing the digital break-ins and have arrived at the probable culprit behind these and several other hacks: Russia. But definitively attributing it to the country's intelligence services is difficult, if not impossible.


How Russia Pulled Off the Biggest Election Hack in U.S. History
20 Oct 2016

On an April afternoon earlier this year, Russian president Vladimir Putin headlined a gathering of some four hundred journalists, bloggers, and media executives in St. Petersburg. Dressed in a sleek navy suit, Putin looked relaxed, even comfortable, as he took questions. About an hour into the forum, a young blogger in a navy zip sweater took the microphone and asked Putin what he thought of the "so-called Panama Papers."

The blogger was referring to a cache of more than eleven million computer files that had been stolen from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm. The leak was the largest in history, involving 2.6 terabytes of data, enough to fill more than five hundred DVDs. On April 3, four days before the St. Petersburg forum, a group of international news outlets published the first in a series of stories based on the leak, which had taken them more than a year to investigate. The series revealed corruption on a massive scale: Mossack Fonseca's legal maneuverings had been used to hide billions of dollars. A central theme of the group's reporting was the matryoshka doll of secret shell companies and proxies, worth a reported $2 billion, that belonged to Putin's inner circle and were presumed to shelter some of the Russian president's vast personal wealth.


Private Security Group Says Russia Was Behind John Podestas Email Hack
20 Oct 2016

At the start of 2014, President Obama assigned his trusted counselor, John D. Podesta, to lead a review of the digital revolution, its potential and its perils. When Mr. Podesta presented his findings five months later, he called the internets onslaught of big data a historic driver of progress. But two short years later, as chairman of Hillary Clintons presidential campaign, Mr. Podesta would also become one of the internets most notable victims.

On Thursday, private security researchers said they had concluded that Mr. Podesta was hacked by Russias foreign intelligence service, the GRU, after it tricked him into clicking on a fake Google login page last March, inadvertently handing over his digital credentials.

For months, the hackers mined Mr. Podestas inbox for his most sensitive and potentially embarrassing correspondence, much of which has been posted on the WikiLeaks website. Additions to the collection on Thursday included three short email exchanges between Mr. Podesta and Mr. Obama himself in the days leading up to his election in 2008.


NSA chief: Cyber adds 'whole other dimension' to Russia's attempts to manipulate U.S. affairs
20 Oct 2016

The head of the NSA said Thursday that Russia's hack of Democratic Party emails is consistent with its history of trying to manipulate and influence affairs in other countries but the scope of such operations has changed dramatically.

"Cyber adds a whole other dimension to this because it now enables individuals, actors, groups, nation states to acquire data at massive scale and then divulge that," Adm. Michael S. Rogers told cyber professionals at the sixth annual Cyber Maryland Conference in Baltimore.


Researchers link Podesta hack to Russia
20 Oct 2016

Researchers say they now have evidence linking the hack of an email account belonging to Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman to the data breaches at Democratic groups that are believed to have been perpetrated by Russia.

Security company SecureWorks noted in a report that the cyberattack that compromised John Podesta's account used the same account on URL-shortening service Bitly as the hack of Colin Powell's email, as well as hacks of 4,000 other individuals since 2015.


How Hackers Broke Into John Podesta and Colin Powells Gmail Accounts
20 Oct 2016

On March 19 of this year, Hillary Clintons campaign chairman John Podesta received an alarming email that appeared to come from Google.

The email, however, didnt come from the internet giant. It was actually an attempt to hack into his personal account. In fact, the message came from a group of hackers that security researchers, as well as the US government, believe are spies working for the Russian government. At the time, however, Podesta didnt know any of this, and he clicked on the malicious link contained in the email, giving hackers access to his account.


State Dept. accuses Russia of 'PR stunt' in election-monitoring flap
20 Oct 2016

The State Department on Thursday accused Moscow of a PR stunt after reports emerged that the U.S. had rejected Russia's request to send delegates to monitor November's polls the latest twist in a bizarre election season sullied by accusations of Russian meddling.

Kremlin-backed news outlets such as RT, sometimes citing other media, reported Thursday that representatives of Russia's Central Elections Commission had talked to the State Department about sending a delegation to watch the U.S. polls on Nov. 8.


Intelligence Officials Reiterate Russian Responsibility for Recent Hacks
20 Oct 2016

We need to step back as a nation and think about, what are the implications of that? says NSA director

Two senior U.S. intelligence officials reiterated Thursday their belief that the Russian government stole and then leaked emails in an effort to interfere with the November elections, countering the repeated insistence from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that no one knows who carried out the attacks.

Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, said at a conference in Baltimore that we have acknowledged that the Russians were behind the penetrations, referring to hacks carried out against the Democratic National Committee, some of its affiliates and Clinton campaign aides.

We need to step back as a nation and think about what are the implications of that? Adm. Rogers said. Is that something we are comfortable with?


U.S. Confident It's Blocked Russia's Hacking Paths
19 Oct 2016

U.S. officials are confident that defensive measures put in place will stop Russia from hacking more emails to influence the upcoming election for now.

A high-level intelligence source said the U.S. and its allies have choked off cyber paths that the Russians have allegedly been using to steal emails from high-profile Democrats and other prominent Americans and make them public through WikiLeaks, DCleaks and Guccifer 2.0.

The Russians, both the state actors and their proxies, are some of the most sophisticated cyber actors in the world and so it won't take them long to find ways of infiltrating and attacking new systems getting access to more data and certainly trying to use it for information, warfare or other purposes.

"I think it's credible that the U.S. government is doing everything possible to stop the cyber bleeding," said Juan Zarate, who was a top counterterrorism official from 2005 to 2009.


If the US hacks Russia for revenge, that could lead to cyberwar
19 Oct 2016

The US should attempt to de-escalate tensions by negotiating some form of international cyber treaty before this gets out of control

Whats the CIAs brilliant plan for stopping Russian cyber-attacks on the US and their alleged interference with the US election? Apparently, some in the agency want to escalate tensions between the two superpowers even more and possibly do the same thing right back to them.

NBC News reported late last week that the CIA is working up blueprints for an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia, and it sounds a lot like theyre planning on leaking documents on Vladimir Putin, just as the Russians are accused of doing to the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.

NBC reported that former intelligence officials said the agency had gathered reams of documents that could expose unsavory tactics by Russian President Vladimir Putin and another former official said the US should expose the financial dealings of Putin and his associates.


Russian Hackers Evolve to Serve the Kremlin
20 Oct 2016

Attacks on Hillary Clinton and Democratic National Committee are part of Vladimir Putins effort to sow instability, U.S. officials say

With the hacking of Hillary Clintons campaign and the Democratic National Committee, U.S. officials say Russia has unleashed a strengthened cyberwarfare weapon to sow uncertainty about the U.S. democratic process.

In doing so, Russia has transformed state-sponsored hackers known as Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear from internet spies to political tools with the power to target the countrys adversaries, according to U.S. officials and cybersecurity experts.

The attacks are the harder side of parallel campaigns in the Kremlins English-language media, which broadcast negative news about Western institutions and alliances and focus on issues that demonstrate or stoke instability in the West, such as Brexit. Moscow seeks particularly to weaken the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which has expanded its defense against Russia.


Whodunnit? Russia and Coercion through Cyberspace
19 Oct 2016

Late in May 2014, a group calling itself CyberBerkut leaked a map of the Ukrainian Dnipropetrovsk Oblast administrations IT resources, information on the Central Election Commission of Ukraines servers, and the correspondence of its staff. In the following days, which included the countrys presidential election, CyberBerkut claimed they had again compromised the election commissions servers, leaked more confidential information, conducted a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack the commissions website (which instructed potential voters how and where to vote), and blocked the phones of election organizers. The group also released documents implying that the recently appointed governor of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Igor Kolomoisky, was complicit in pro-European Ukrainian plans to promote the correct candidate for president of Ukraine.


Ex-CIA chief: Russian hackers trying to 'mess with our heads'
18 Oct 2016

A former head of the CIA said Tuesday that Russian hacking of US political groups is intended to "mess with our heads" and shake confidence in the American electoral system -- rather than influence the outcome on Election Day.

Retired Gen. Michael Hayden said that he doesn't believe Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to sway the election in favor of Republican nominee Donald Trump, but using the hacked information to disrupt the electoral process.

"This is too much of a carom shot for Putin to think he knows where that ball's going to end," Hayden said, speaking at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. "I think they're doing this to mess with our heads, to erode confidence in our political process."


Could Obamas Threat of Retaliation against Russia Lead to Cyberwar?
18 Oct 2016

Online attacks are unpredictable and hard to control, leading to worries that White House cyber rattling could quickly escalate

Late last week Obama administration officials used NBC News to send Moscow a cryptic threat: The U.S. government is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia for allegedly interfering in the upcoming U.S. elections. Anonymous sources cited in the NBC story offered no details about what the U.S. might d, but said the White House has asked the CIA to cook up a clandestine cyber strategy designed to harass and embarrass Russian leadership, including Pres. Vladimir Putin.



The US plans to retaliate against Russias cyber-hacking campaign with a hack that Putin is sure to understand
17 Oct 2016

After three months of accusations that Russia is seeking to influence the US presidential election with a cyber-hacking campaign, the US is planning to strike back and send a message to Moscow with the greatest impact.

In an Oct. 16 interview on the NBC show Meet the Press, vice president Joe Biden said that the US retaliation against Russian cyber attacks would be covert. The United States two main weapons against such cyber intrusions are sanctions and a reciprocal cyber attack, but sanctions are never covert and of dubious impact. So it seems likely from Bidens remarks that the US is planning a demonstration of cyberspace might.

One likely tactic in a US cyber attack on Russia would be to threaten or actually release detailed accounts of Russian president Vladimir Putins wealth, intelligence that would have been gathered by the National Security Agency. Such a strategy could rattle Putin by potentially affecting his domestic popularity without damaging any infrastructure, and thus avert a dangerous escalation of hostilities.


U.S. Cyber Responses to Russian Hacking of the November Election
17 Oct 2016

Recent news reports regarding Russian hacks affecting the November election suggest that the United States is preparing on possible U.S. cyber actions in response, such as revealing information to the Russian public about Putins financial holdings that would be embarrassing for him. Without comment on whether this would be a wise policy move, its necessary to point out that such an action would not be a cyber response in any meaningful sense of the term.

In common parlance, the term cyber response would mean an action taken in cyberspace in reaction to some other action regarded as hostile. Response means that the response action happens after the hostile action. But nearly all of the information that we would reveal about Putins financial holdings must have been collected over a long period of timea period that almost certainly precedes the Russian hacks. The only actual action that would occur afterwardsthat is, in responseis the revealing of the discovered information. Thats not a cyber responsethat would be a policy decision to reveal information that is already in the possession of U.S. intelligence community files.


Russias War With The US Isnt A Possibility, Its Already Here
15 Oct 2016

The first phase of Russias war with the U.S. is already starting, and while it is not easily visible, its incredibly dangerous.

After months of speculation regarding the hacking of recent political figures and organizations, the U.S. intelligence community announced last week that it is confident that Russia is responsible. Wikileaks, a primary publisher of the documents resulting from those hacks, is making it evidently clear that it is targeting U.S. politics. U.S. intelligence officials also acknowledge that Russia may have a hand in hacks of various state electoral systems.


Entire US political system under attack by Russian hacking, experts warn
14 Oct 2016

Meanwhile, some US commentators on cybersecurity issues have suggested that these attacks are not a surprise but appear to be a new spin on an old strategy

It could have been a cold war drama. The world watched this week as accusations and counter-accusations were thrown by the American and Russian governments about documents stolen during a hack of the Democratic National Committee and the email account of Hillary Clintons campaign chair John Podesta.

The notion that public figures have any right to privacy appears to have been lost in the furore surrounding the story, stolen correspondence being bandied around in attempts to influence the outcome of one of the nastiest, most vitriolic US presidential campaigns in history.


Putins hope to ignite a Eurasia-style protest in the United States
16 Oct 2016

In the fall of 2004 Vladimir Putin suffered a blow he has never forgotten. The fraudulent election of a pro-Kremlin Ukrainian president, which Putin had directly and brazenly engineered, was overturned by a massive popular uprising. What came to be known as the Orange Revolution created a model for resistance to rigged elections in autocracies across Eurasia in Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Azerbaijan and, in 2012, Russia itself.

Most of the rebellions didnt succeed. But Putin developed an obsession with color revolutions, which he is convinced are neither spontaneous nor locally organized, but orchestrated by the United States and in the case of the Moscow protests four years ago, by Hillary Clinton herself.


7 Ways Russia Is Telling People to Prepare for War
14 Oct 2016

With tensions between Russia and the United States at their highest since the Cold War, there have been alarming signs coming out of Moscow that suggest the country is ready for war.

Almost no one believes the Kremlin is actually preparing for a military conflict with the United States. Most analysts instead see it as a show, intended to boost support at home and to deter Western countries from intervening militarily in Syria.

There are some unsettling things Russia has done, however, to give the impression that war is looming:


CIA Prepping for Possible Cyber Strike Against Russia
14 Oct 2016

The Obama administration is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.

Current and former officials with direct knowledge of the situation say the CIA has been asked to deliver options to the White House for a wide-ranging "clandestine" cyber operation designed to harass and "embarrass" the Kremlin leadership.

The sources did not elaborate on the exact measures the CIA was considering, but said the agency had already begun opening cyber doors, selecting targets and making other preparations for an operation. Former intelligence officers told NBC News that the agency had gathered reams of documents that could expose unsavory tactics by Russian President Vladimir Putin.


US finds growing evidence Russia feeding emails to WikiLeaks
14 Oct 2016

There is mounting evidence that the Russian government is supplying WikiLeaks with hacked emails pertaining to the US presidential election, US officials familiar with the investigation have told CNN.

As WikiLeaks continues to publish emails belonging to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, US officials told CNN that there is growing evidence that Russia is using the organization as a delivery vehicle for the messages and other stolen information.

The methods of the disclosures "suggest Moscow is at least providing the information or is possibly directly responsible for the leaks," one US official said.


Intelligence Analyst: Russian Cyberattacks Could Roil US Elections
13 Oct 2016

Malcolm Nance is extremely worried about what might happen as U.S. votes are tallied on Nov. 8, election night.

A career U.S. counterterrorism and intelligence official with 33 years of experience, Nance said he had overwhelming evidence that Russia is seeking to interfere in U.S. elections to put "not just a finger, but their whole hand" on the scale to help Republican nominee Donald Trump and hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Nance said a number of private companies had traced cyberattacks exposing potentially damaging Democratic Party emails and voicemails back to cyber "fingerprints" clearly identified in the past as those of Russian state hackers. He said the same fingerprints were found in what turned out to be Russian hacking of power plants in Ukraine and of the German parliament.

Comment Re:A collection of articles on Russian influence o (Score 0) 287

LOL...yeah, it's "my job". If a person articulates thoughts that don't agree with yours, and does it well, then â" well, then the only explanation is that they must be being paid by someone.

The irony is that we're having this discussion on the topic of a foreign power actually interfering in the US election, with the express purpose of sowing distrust and discrediting democracy.

Comment A collection of articles on Russian influence ops (Score 0, Troll) 287

For those wanting some context, here is a collection of articles from a variety of sources. For those saying "show me the evidence", they wouldn't believe any evidence -- or are themselves Russian trolls.

What Does Putin Want?
5 Oct 2016

The United States should pursue confrontation where necessary and mutual interests without illusions where possible.

However therapeutic and tempting, especially during election season and after Russiaâ(TM)s direct complicity in the Syria horror, the understandable impulse to confront and isolate President Vladamir Putinâ(TM)s Russia is not wise policy. Notwithstanding the many areas of altercation as well as the doomed attempt by President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to âoeresetâ U.S.-Russia relations after the George W. Bush administration, the next president should pursue a dual strategy designed both to challenge Putin where U.S. national interests demand it but find areas of collaboration where interests coincide. The United States should pursue confrontation where necessary and mutual interests without illusions where possible.


Russia Suspends Nuclear Agreement, Ends Uranium Research Pact With United States
5 Oct 2016

âoeThe regular renewal of sanctions against Russia ... demands the adoption of countermeasures against the U.S. side.â

Russia further curtailed its cooperation with the United States in nuclear energy on Wednesday, suspending a research agreement and terminating one on uranium conversion, two days after the Kremlin shelved a plutonium pact with Washington.

The Russian government said that as counter-measures to the U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia over Ukraine, it was putting aside a nuclear and energy-related research pact with the United States.


Russian state newspapers predict âdirect military conflictâ(TM) with US as it compares Syria stalemate to Cuban missile crisis
5 Oct 2016

'Third World War' fears have been voiced by the newspapers over the growing tensions with the USA

A RUSSIAN newspaper fears a Third World War with the US over Syria.

Tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets predicts a âoedirect military confrontationâ on par with the Cuban Missile Crisis.


Russiaâ(TM)s Military Sophistication in the Arctic Sends Echoes of the Cold War
4 Oct 2016

Norwegian, NATO and U.S. officials express concerns over Moscowâ(TM)s increased sophistication in region

When the U.S. wants to learn what Russia is doing in the Arctic, it often turns to the Norwegian military, which has been conducting operations for decades from this Arctic town amid the fiords.

These days, it isnâ(TM)t the volume of Russian military activity in the region that concerns Norway and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies. Adm. Haakon Bruun-Hanssen, Norwayâ(TM)s chief of defense, says Russian military activity in the Barents Sea has grown in recent years but still pales in comparison to Cold War levels.


Amid Deteriorating U.S.-Russia Relations, Questions Grow About Cyberwar
4 Oct 2016

Just when you thought U.S.-Russia relations couldn't get worse, diplomatic deals on both Syria and nuclear security fell apart this week.

Moscow went first, announcing that it was pulling out of a landmark agreement on plutonium. Russia's President Vladimir Putin blamed "unfriendly actions" by the United States.

Hours later, Washington said it was breaking off talks on a ceasefire in Syria. "This is not a decision that was taken lightly," State Department spokesman John Kirby wrote in a statement. "Unfortunately, Russia failed to live up to its own commitments."

Moscow and Washington aren't cooperating on much of anything these days. And that prompts a question: What might come next, in the way of cyberattacks?


What are all these Russian hackers up to?
30 Sep 2016

Russia has been implicated in many breaches of U.S. networks in recent months, most notably the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hacks, whose data were subsequently dumped to the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks. On Sept. 28, FBI Director James Comey told a congressional hearing that Russian hackers have been testing cyberdefenses of voter registration databases in more than a dozen states.


Russian Hackers Targeted Nearly Half of States' Voter Registration Systems, Successfully Infiltrated 4
29 Sep 2016

Nearly half of the states in the U.S. have recently had their voter registration systems targeted by foreign hackers, and four of those systems have successfully been breached, sources tell ABC News.

That amount of targeting and actual infiltration into state election-related systems is significantly larger than the U.S. government has been willing to acknowledge.

Hackers working on behalf of the Russian government are suspected in the onslaught against more than 20 state election systems, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.


Itâ(TM)s No Cold War, but Vladimir Putin Relishes His Role as Disrupter
29 Sep 2016

Escalating airstrikes in Syria. Sophisticated cyberattacks, apparently intended to influence the American election. New evidence of complicity in shooting down a civilian airliner.

The behavior of Russia in the last few weeks has echoes of some of the uglier moments of the Cold War, an era of proxy battles that ended in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. President Obama, fresh from a meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin this month, wondered aloud whether the Russian leader was content living with a âoeconstant, low-grade conflict.â His reference was to Ukraine, but he could have been addressing any of the arenas where Mr. Putin has reveled in his new role as the great disrupter of American plans around the globe.


How MH17 Gave Birth to the Modern Russian Spin Machine
29 Sep 2016

The downing of a passenger flight over Ukraine triggered an extraordinary campaign of lying, dissembling, and distortion that hasn't stopped since.

It seems odd to look back to just over two years ago â" a time when Russia had already effectively annexed Crimea and quietly fomented civil war in Ukraine â" and to think of those days as simpler times.

To be sure, they werenâ(TM)t that simple, even then: Before Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, Russian officials had already lied publicly about their special forcesâ(TM) role in the seizure of Crimea. Kremlin-backed media had already begun spreading wild rumors and fake news stories, such as the alleged crucifixion of a 3-year-old boy by Ukrainian forces.

But, looking back now, it seems that the downing of MH17 â" a disaster that horrified the world, and that has since been the subject of two international investigations seeking to establish some semblance of truth â" marked a Rubicon moment for the Russian disinformation machine: the first time that the full power of the state was trained on the task of convincing the world to accept a false narrative of events, despite a preponderance of evidence to the contrary.


How Russia Wants to Undermine the U.S. Election
29 Sep 2016

What's behind Russia's effort to influence the U.S. election

The leaders of the U.S. government, including the President and his top national-security advisers, face an unprecedented dilemma. Since the spring, U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agencies have seen mounting evidence of an active Russian influence operation targeting the 2016 presidential election. It is very unlikely the Russians could sway the actual vote count, because our election infrastructure is decentralized and voting machines are not accessible from the Internet. But they can sow disruption and instability up to, and on, Election Day, more than a dozen senior U.S. officials tell TIME, undermining faith in the result and in democracy itself.


Can Fancy Bear Be Stopped? The Clear and Present Danger of Russian Info Ops
29 Sep 2016

Russia is engaged in an unprecedented, sophisticated attack on the American political system. Defeating it wonâ(TM)t be easy.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was curt to his former aide. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump âoeis a national disgrace and an international pariah,â he wrote. In the leaked email, Powell, whose public persona is dignified and deeply appealing to both political parties, comes across as frustrated and upset by the 2016 presidential election. âoeI would rather not have to vote for her,â he wrote elsewhere, referring to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, describing her as having âoea long track record, unbridled ambition, greedy, not transformational.â

It was the sort of juicy gossip political reporters just cannot ignore, and they predictably ran stories detailing who got burned and who got shade from the famously dignified and respectful Powell. Yet this email leak was the latest vanguard of what has become a sustained campaign of cyber operations by the Russian government, seemingly geared to manipulate the election. By aggressively hacking into email accounts and then selectively leaking documents meant to embarrass Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, Moscow is combining two different strains of security threats in a way no one is sure how to counter. Combining a traditional form of cyber operation (the actual email hacks) with targeted releases to affect a political outcome (information warfare), the Russian government has innovated a type of cyberwarfare that is catching both the media and policymakers off guard.


U.S. Believes Hackers Are Shielded by Russia to Hide Its Role in Cyberintrusions
28 Sep 2016

Officials are increasingly confident that the Russian government is intensifying a campaign to steal U.S. computer records and leak damaging information to the American public

U.S. officials are increasingly confident that the hacker Guccifer 2.0 is part of a network of individuals and groups kept at armâ(TM)s length by Russia to mask its involvement in cyberintrusions such as the theft of thousands of Democratic Party documents, according to people familiar with the matter.

While the hacker denies working on behalf of the Russian government, U.S. officials and independent security experts say the syndicate is one of the most striking elements of what looks like an intensifying Russian campaign to target prominent American athletes, party officials and military leaders.

A fuller picture of the operation has come into focus in the past several weeks. U.S. officials believe that at least two hacking groups with ties to the Russian government, known as Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear, are involved in the escalating data-theft efforts, according to people briefed on the Federal Bureau of Investigationâ(TM)s probe of the cyberattacks.


Russian hackers harassed journalists who were investigating Malaysia Airlines plane crash
28 Sep 2016

Russian government hackers began targeting a British citizen journalist in February 2015, eight months after he began posting evidence documenting alleged Russian government involvement in the shoot-down of a Malaysian jetliner over Ukraine.

And then in February 2016, a group that researchers suspect is a propaganda mouthpiece of the Russian government â" CyberBerkut â" defaced the home page of Eliot Higginsâ(TM)s citizen journalism website,

That same month, CyberBerkut hacked the email, iCloud and social media account of a Bellingcat researcher in Moscow, then posted online personal pictures, a passport scan, his girlfriendâ(TM)s name and other private details.

Russiaâ(TM)s information operations against Bellingcat are a taste of what may be in store for other media organizations whose reports anger the Kremlin, said a cyber-research firm that has extensively documented the effort.


The White House Asked Congress To Keep Quiet On Russian Hacking
27 Sep 2016

Sources tell BuzzFeed News that top White House officials tried to stop two of Congressâ(TM)s senior intelligence officials from publicly confirming Russian efforts to undermine the US election.

The White House sought to muzzle two of Congressâ(TM)s top intelligence officials when they decided to publicly accuse Russia of meddling in the US election last week, sources familiar with the matter told BuzzFeed News.

In a statement released Friday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Adam Schiff, the vice-chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees respectively, formally accused Russia of attempting to influence the US election. It was the first official, on-record confirmation from US government officials that the Kremlin is actively working to manipulate public confidence in the countryâ(TM)s election system.

But sources tell BuzzFeed News that the White House â" which has stayed silent despite mounting pressure to call out its Moscow adversaries â" tried to delay the statementâ(TM)s release. The public accusation was of such concern to the administration that White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough was personally involved in the negotiations over releasing it, according to a congressional source.


NATO Warns West âLosing Information Warâ(TM) Against Russia, IS
27 Sep 2016

The West must step up its efforts to combat and counter the information war being waged by its opponents, according to NATO officials. They warn that countries like Russia are exploiting the freedom of the press in Western media to spread disinformation.

The term "hybrid warfare" is frequently used to describe the tactics used by the Kremlin in its forceful takeover of Crimea in 2014, when unmarked, heavily armed gunmen now widely known as the âlittle green menâ(TM) began storming Ukrainian military bases in the region.

Moscow initially denied they were Russian military, yet weeks later similar unidentified armed units appeared in eastern Ukraine. That conflict between Russia-backed rebels and the Ukrainian military is still continuing.


The Sino-Russian Axis
26 Sep 2016

Joint naval exercises show a common strategic purpose: Push the U.S. out.

China and Russia completed an eight-day joint naval exercise in the South China Sea last week, and this time the location was also the message. The two autocracies are expanding cooperation and offering each other support in their territorial disputes, a trend that could fuel instability from East Asia to Central Europe.

Days before the drill, which focused on antisubmarine warfare and what a Xinhua dispatch called âoeisland-seizing,â Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping held their 15th bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hangzhou. Mr. Putin announced support for Beijingâ(TM)s aggressive sovereignty claims in the South China Sea and opposition to âoeany third-party interference,â an unsubtle reference to the United States.


Top spy suggests Russia trying to sow doubt in US elections
21 Sep 2016

The nationâ(TM)s top intelligence official is suggesting Russia could be tampering with U.S. election systems in order to create public doubt about their reliability.

âoeThereâ(TM)s a tradition in Russia of interfering in elections, their own and others,â Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Tuesday evening at an event hosted by the Washington Post. âoeSo it shouldnâ(TM)t come as a bit shock to people.â

The decentralized nature of U.S. elections â" which are run by multiple local and state governments instead of a single national system â" makes it incredibly difficult for any hackers to substantially affect the nationwide outcome, Clapper added.


Russia has a years-long plot to influence Balkan politics. The U.S. can learn a lot from it.
19 Sep 2016

âoeA Russian influence operation in the United States is something weâ(TM)re looking very closely at,â The Washington Post recently quoted an unnamed senior intelligence official as saying. As the article put it:

U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions, intelligence and congressional officials said.

Information campaigns are nothing new for Russia, which has been running them in the Balkans at least for the past eight years, since Kosovoâ(TM)s separation from Serbia and declaration of independence. There its strategy is to create a perception of Russia as a great power and powerful ally, with little substance behind it in investments or donations to the nations involved.

Hereâ(TM)s what the United States can learn from Russiaâ(TM)s low-cost, high-yield communications approach there.


U.S. Intelligence Chief Suggests Russia Was Behind Election-Linked Hacks
20 Sep 2016

James Clapperâ(TM)s comments were his most explicit to date about operation that stole Democratic Party records

WASHINGTONâ"U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper suggested Russia was behind a recent computer hacking operation that stole records from the Democratic Party and then leaked thousands of documents online.

Mr. Clapper, speaking Tuesday evening at an event hosted by the Washington Post, said Russia has been conducting similar exercises since the 1960s targeting the U.S.


To Counter Russian Disinformation, Look to Cold War Tactics
20 Sep 2016

For the next administration, identifying, countering and neutralizing Moscowâ(TM)s influence operations should be a priority.

Since Russiaâ(TM)s 2008 invasion of Georgia, there has been a marked increase in the scope of Moscowâ(TM)s overt military operations. Parallel, but perhaps more important, has been the gradual evolution in Russiaâ(TM)s approach to coordinating and executing sophisticated propaganda campaigns. Militarily resurgent and openly aggressive, Russia is dedicated to maintaining a decisive edge in cyberspace. According to the Pentagon, this poses a âoeserious challenge to the national security interests of the United States and its allies,â particularly the Baltic states.

While the employment of military deception is old hat, Vladimir Putin has effectively fused political influence with denial and deception operations in pursuit of his national security objectives. In cyberspace, the strategic goal is straightforward: hack everything, deny everything, and make counter-accusations.


Blaming Russia for U.S. Hacks Is Easier Than Responding to Them
18 Sep 2016

Determining that the Russian government has been hacking political groups and election systems may have been the easy part for the U.S. intelligence community. Now the Obama administration has to decide what, if anything, to do about it.

While officially the FBI and intelligence agencies are still investigating a series of hacks that have roiled the U.S. presidential campaign, a number of cyber specialists who have reviewed the evidence as well as U.S. officials familiar with the investigation say with high confidence that Moscow is to blame.


Who Are the Russian-Backed Hackers Attacking the U.S. Political System?
18 Sep 2016

Two teams of highly skilled hackers directed and protected by the Russian state are on the offensive.

Cybersecurity experts and intelligence officials tell NBC News the same hackers who broke into the Democratic Party's computers, the World Anti-Doping Agency's Administration System and who are implicated in the leaks of the personal emails of former Secretary of State Colin Powell and the health documents of Olympians are executing a Kremlin-backed campaign of cyber-espionage and sabotage.

Their target: Western democratic institutions and Russia's political opponents.


Putin wants revenge and respect, and hacking the U.S. is his way of getting it
16 Sep 2016

The recent spate of embarrassing emails and other records stolen by Russian hackers is President Vladimir Putinâ(TM)s splashy response to years of what he sees as U.S. efforts to weaken and shame him on the world stage and with his own people, according to Russia experts here and in the U.S. intelligence world and academia.

Putin is seeking revenge and respect, and trying to reassert Russiaâ(TM)s lost superpower status at a time of waning economic clout and an upcoming Russian election, according to interviews with specialists here and in Washington, with a senior U.S. intelligence official, recently retired CIA operations officers in charge of Russia, and the last three national intelligence officers for Russia and Eurasia analysis in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.


The Cold War is over. The Cyber War has begun.
15 Sep 2016

Contemplating Russian nuclear threats during the Cold War, the strategist Herman Kahn calibrated a macabre ladder of escalation, with 44 rungs ranging from âoeOstensible Crisisâ to âoeSpasm or Insensate War.â

In the era of cyberwarfare thatâ(TM)s now dawning, the rules of the game havenâ(TM)t yet been established with such coldblooded precision. Thatâ(TM)s why this period of Russian-American relations is so tricky. The strategic framework that could provide stability hasnâ(TM)t been set.

Russian hackers appear to be pushing the limits. In recent weeks, the apparent targets have included the electronic files of the Democratic National Committee, the private emails of former secretary of state Colin Powell, and personal drug-testing information about top U.S. athletes.


Lawmakers say Obama should start thinking about sanctioning Russia for hacking
15 Sep 2016

Some lawmakers believe that President Obama should start thinking about sanctioning Russia for its alleged hacking of American political organizations like the Democratic National Committee.

The House Intelligence Committeeâ(TM)s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), said Thursday that the president needs to start âoenaming and shamingâ Russia for its alleged hacking activities, as well as use the sanctions authority he already has to punish President Vladimir Putinâ(TM)s country.


As Russia reasserts itself, U.S. intelligence agencies focus anew on the Kremlin
14 Sep 2016

U.S. intelligence agencies are expanding spying operations against Russia on a greater scale than at any time since the end of the Cold War, U.S. officials said.

The mobilization involves clandestine CIA operatives, National Security Agency cyberespionage capabilities, satellite systems and other intelligence assets, officials said, describing a shift in resources across spy services that had previously diverted attention from Russia to focus on terrorist threats and U.S. war zones.

U.S. officials said the moves are part of an effort to rebuild U.S. intelligence capabilities that had continued to atrophy even as Russia sought to reassert itself as a global power. Over the past two years, officials said, the United States was caught flat-footed by Moscowâ(TM)s aggression, including its annexation of Crimea, its intervention in the war in Syria and its suspected role in hacking operations against the United States and Europe.


NSA Chief: Potential Russian Hacking of U.S. Elections a Concern

The head of the National Security Agency said Tuesday that the potential for Russia to harm the U.S. electoral process in the upcoming general election is a concern.

Cybersecurity officials have become increasingly worried about the issue in the wake of revelations that Russia-based hackers were behind two recent hacking attempts into state voter registration databases.


Russian fighter makes âunsafe close range interceptâ(TM) with U.S. anti-submarine aircraft
7 Sep 2016

A Russian fighter aircraft made an âoeunsafe close range interceptâ with a U.S. Navy jet over the Black Sea on Wednesday.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said in an emailed statement that the Russian Su-27 came âoeextremely closeâ and spent 19 minutes intercepting the U.S. P-8A Poseidon. The P-8 was conducting âoeroutine operations in international airspace,â Davis said.


Updated: Russian Fighter Came Within 10 Ft. of Navy Surveillance Plane Over Black Sea
7 Sep 2016

A Russian fighter has come within 10 feet of a Navy surveillance flight over the Black Sea on Wednesday, defense officials told USNI News.

The incident between the Navy P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft and a Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker occurred at about 11:20 A.M. local time in international airspace over the Black Sea, according to a statement provided to USNI News.

âoeDuring the intercept, which lasted approximately 19 minutes, the Su-27 initially maintained a 30-foot separation distance then closed to within 10 feet of the P-8A, which is considered unsafe and unprofessional,â read the statement.


U.S. investigating potential covert Russian plan to disrupt November elections
5 Sep 2016

U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions, intelligence and congressional officials said.

The aim is to understand the scope and intent of the Russian campaign, which incorporates Âcyber-tools to hack systems used in the political process, enhancing Russiaâ(TM)s ability to spread disinformation.

The effort to better understand Russiaâ(TM)s covert influence operations is being coordinated by James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence. âoeThis is something of concern for the DNI,â said Charles Allen, a former longtime CIA officer who has been briefed on some of these issues. âoeIt is being addressed.â


How Russia Often Benefits When Julian Assange Reveals the Westâ(TM)s Secrets
31 Aug 2016

American officials say Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks probably have no direct ties to Russian intelligence services. But the agendas of WikiLeaks and the Kremlin have often dovetailed.

Julian Assange was in classic didactic form, holding forth on the topic that consumes him â" the perfidy of big government and especially of the United States.

Mr. Assange, the editor of WikiLeaks, rose to global fame in 2010 for releasing huge caches of highly classified American government communications that exposed the underbelly of its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and its sometimes cynical diplomatic maneuvering around the world. But in a televised interview last September, it was clear that he still had plenty to say about âoeThe World According to US Empire,â the subtitle of his latest book, âoeThe WikiLeaks Files.â


White House Asks U.S. Spies to Study Russian Hacks
31 Aug 2016

The White House has ordered a special intelligence task force to examine the implications of Russia's recent hacks of U.S. political organizations, U.S. intelligence officials tell NBC News.

According to one official, the classified national study is being conducted by the Foreign Denial and Deception Committee, a Cold War-era organization that is part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The committee traditionally has advised the DNI on foreign attempts to thwart U.S. intelligence through trickery. But in the cyber era, the committee has increasingly looked at how nation states use computer attacks to conduct espionage and spread propaganda.

Russia, China, North Korea, Iran are primary subjects, the official said.


EXCLUSIVE: Russia-Backed DNC Hackers Strike Washington Think Tanks
29 Aug 2016

The same Kremlin-backed group that hacked the Pentagon, State Department, and DNC targeted DC insiders last week.

Last week, one of the Russia-backed hacker groups that attacked Democratic computer networks also attacked several Russia-focused think tanks in Washington, D.C., Defense One has learned.

The perpetrator is the group called COZY BEAR, or APT29, one of the two groups that cybersecurity company CrowdStrike blamed for the DNC hack, according to founder Dmitri Alperovitch. CrowdStrike discovered the attack on the DNC and provides security for the think tanks.


A Powerful Russian Weapon: The Spread of False Stories
28 Aug 2016

With a vigorous national debate underway on whether Sweden should enter a military partnership with NATO, officials in Stockholm suddenly encountered an unsettling problem: a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue.

The claims were alarming: If Sweden, a non-NATO member, signed the deal, the alliance would stockpile secret nuclear weapons on Swedish soil; NATO could attack Russia from Sweden without government approval; NATO soldiers, immune from prosecution, could rape Swedish women without fear of criminal charges.

They were all false, but the disinformation had begun spilling into the traditional news media, and as the defense minister, Peter Hultqvist, traveled the country to promote the pact in speeches and town hall meetings, he was repeatedly grilled about the bogus stories.


Russian âoeNew Generationâ Warfare: Theory, Practice, and Lessons for U.S. Strategists
25 Aug 2016

Russian unconventional warfareâ"dubbed by analysts as âoenew generationâ warfareâ"elevates the psychological and popular aspects of conflict more so than any of its geopolitical partners and rivals.[i] In an era of expanding popular engagement and attention to foreign conflicts, a strategic appreciation of these people-centric dimensions is more important now than ever. Recent interventions in Crimea and Donbas demonstrate the effectiveness of this new generation strategy, expose some critical weaknesses in U.S. approaches to unconventional war, and provide lessons for future strategic design.âoenew-generationâ-warfare-theory-practice-and-lessons-for-us-strategists


Here's why the NSA won't release a 'smoking gun' implicating Russia in these major hacks
18 Aug 2016

Was Russia behind the massive hack of the Democratic National Committee, or the latest breach of what appears to be the NSA's elite hacking unit?

That's quite possible, but the US National Security Agency is probably not going confirm that â" even as former employees proclaim that it can do so, and top US officials say that there is "little doubt" Moscow is involved.

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden said on Twitter that "evidence that could publicly attribute responsibility for the DNC hack certainly exists at NSA" with a tool known as XKeyscore, which he previously described as a "one stop shop" for information it collects.

If that's true, then it's likely that that same tool could find the culprits behind the latest attack.


Understanding the Role of Russian Propaganda in the US Election
17 Aug 2016

It may seem strange, but the Kremlin's propaganda machine is not backing US Presidential Republican Candidate Donald Trump. It has a bigger goal: Discrediting democracy in the United States.

The Kremlin's main propaganda outlets in the US are the television station RTâ"formerly Russia Todayâ"and the radio and online outlet Sputnik. Both are headed by Kremlin loyalists and closely mirror Russia's foreign policy. While their effect on the presidential race is likely to be minimal, their reporting is useful for the insight it provides into the Kremlin's intentions.

That reporting focuses on specifically attacking US Presidential Democratic Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the general nature of US democracy. As such, it appears that the Kremlin is less interested in promoting Trump than promoting discontent.


Russian-Linked Group Leaks US Lawmakersâ(TM) Phone Numbers, Emails
14 Aug 2016

Late Friday, an online figure linked to Russian intelligence groups released the personal information of several lawmakers, part of an established pattern.

In an ominous turn, a shady actor linked to Russian intelligence has leaked to the public stolen personal phone numbers and private email addresses of Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The latest data dump appeared Friday on the WordPress site of an individual (or individuals) known as Guccifer 2.0, also called Guccifer2. It contained personal data of the of the members and members of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or DCCC. âoeHi all! Itâ(TM)s time for new revelations now,â the post read. On Saturday, WordPress administrators removed the post for violating terms of service. But Guccifer2, through Twitter, promised to post the rest of the material to Wikileaks.


Putinâ(TM)s Infowar on America
31 Jul 2016

The DNC leaks were another Russian victory as the U.S. fails to fight back.

This column recently predicted that Russia would disclose hacked emails just before the presidential election as an âoeOctober surprise.â The first surprise came early, with last weekâ(TM)s release of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee, whose chairman resigned for rigging the primaries in Hillary Clintonâ(TM)s favor.

Expect more surprises before the election. Vladimir Putin has an unprecedented trove of hacked communications at his fingertipsâ"and shows canny timing on when to hit âoesend.â Moscow has an ambitious strategy for information war that goes beyond affecting a presidential election. Israeli analyst Dima Adamsky wrote last year that the Russian âoeinformation struggleâ entails âoetechnological and psychological components designed to manipulate the adversaryâ(TM)s picture of reality, misinform it, and eventually interfere with the decision-making process of individuals, organizations, governments, and societies.â


Russia Wanted to be Caught, Says Company Waging War on the DNC Hackers
28 Jul 2016

Pointing a finger at Russia is easy. Punishing them is hard. Thatâ(TM)s why they hacked the DNC, according to the company that first named one of the key suspects.

The Russian groups behind the DNC hack no longer seem to care about getting caught. Long before the Kremlin-sponsored hacking squads APT 28 and APT 29 were making waves for stealing files from the Democratic National Committee, they made an appearance in two white papers put out by FireEye. The cybersecurity company has been monitoring and analyzing the two groups on behalf of corporate clients for years. In the DNC breach, a company spokesman told Defense One: âoeThey wanted experts and policymakers to know that Russia is behind it.â

That fits a pattern of increasing bold moves over the past year by the groups, which are also known as FANCY BEAR and COZY BEAR, says Christopher Porter, the manager of Horizons, the strategic intelligence and forecasting arm of FireEye iSIGHT Intelligence, the companyâ(TM)s threat monitoring division.


U.S. Intelligence Chief James Clapper Says Russia Sees Meddling in Election as Payback
28 Jul 2016

Mr. Clapper also calls Russian President Vladimir Putin âparanoidâ(TM)

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Moscow views attempts to interfere in U.S. politicsâ"including the November electionsâ"essentially as payback for what the Kremlin sees as concerted efforts by the U.S. to influence elections in Russia.

He described Russian President Vladimir Putin as âoeparanoid.â

âoeOf course they see a U.S. conspiracy behind every bush and ascribe far more impact than weâ(TM)re actually guilty of, but thatâ(TM)s their mind-set,â said Mr. Clapper, speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.

âoeAnd so I think their approach is they believe we are trying to influence political developments in Russia, trying to affect change, and so their natural response is to retaliate and do unto us as they think weâ(TM)ve done unto them,â he said.

Mr. Clapper was careful to point out that U.S. intelligence agencies haven't reached a firm conclusion as to whether Russia or any other country was behind the recent computer breach that stole emails and other records from the Democratic National Committee. Close to 20,000 of those emails were released by WikiLeaks last week, a move that proved embarrassing to senior DNC officials because the emails showed party officials trying to undermine the candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.


On the Need for Official Attribution of Russiaâ(TM)s DNC Hack
28 Jul 2016

Yesterday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Adam Schiffâ"Vice Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, respectivelyâ"called on the Obama administration to consider declassifying and releasing any intelligence community assessments on the attribution and motives of the DNC hackers.

I wholeheartedly agree.

The intelligence community has powers and capabilities that far exceed that of the private sector for attribution, and do not suffer from the same conflicts of interest. Whereas private sector attribution tends to rely on technical forensics of the malware and infrastructure used by the hackers, the IC is able to draw upon a much more diverse set of capabilitiesâ"such as financial intelligence, human intelligence, and counter-intelligenceâ"to bring together a wider set of facts with narrower bands of uncertainty than the private sector would normally have at its disposal.


Russiaâ(TM)s Long History of Messing With Americans Minds Before the DNC Hack
26 Jul 2016

Russiaâ(TM)s intelligence services have a long history of mingling sinister fiction with shards of fact and leaking through third parties to cover their tracks.

Lord Byron observed, in skewering one of his favorite poetic targets of derision, that while the English have no word so good as the French longueurs to describe tedious, uninterrupted stretches of writing, they nevertheless âoehave the thing.â Similarly, there is no proper American term for what Russian intelligence calls aktivniye meropriyatiye, or active measures, but by now most Americans really ought to be used to the thing, as it might well decide our next presidential election.

As The Daily Beast reported Monday, the FBI now suspects that a year-long hacking of the Democratic National Committeeâ(TM)s emails and their subsequent publication on WikiLeaks was actually the work of Russian intelligence.


It looks like Russia hired internet trolls to pose as pro-Trump Americans
27 Jul 2016

Russia's troll factories were, at one point, likely being paid by the Kremlin to spread pro-Trump propaganda on social media.

That is what freelance journalist Adrian Chen, now a staff writer at The New Yorker, discovered as he was researching Russia's "army of well-paid trolls" for an explosive New York Times Magazine exposé published in June 2015.


Experts: The US has fallen dangerously behind Russia in cyber warfare capabilities
27 Jul 2016

Specialists who have studied Russiaâ(TM)s cyber warfare capabilities said the Kremlin is responsible for the hacking and eventual release of 20,000 emails from the Democratic National Committee, adding that there is no sure way to stop these kinds of attacks from recurring.

Experts who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon cautioned that it is difficult to prove the connection between the hackers and the Russian government with a legal degree of certainty, but they said the evidence indicated Russian involvement.


Why would Russia interfere in the U.S. election? Because it sometimes works.
26 Jul 2016

In the wake of the release of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee, and the assessment by some intelligence experts that Russia leaked the documents in hopes of tilting the election in favor of Republican Donald Trump, observers have expressed furor that a foreign government would seek to influence American politics.

âoeThat the Russians would be happy burglarizing the emails of a major party to try to affect the outcome of our presidential election .â.â. is very serious and an unprecedented development,â former Maryland governor Martin Oâ(TM)Malley told Fox Business. Slateâ(TM)s Franklin Foer called it âoea strike against our civic infrastructureâ that violates âoea clear set of rules designed to limit foreign interference in our elections.â

Without context, that outrage is naive. Foreign governments have regularly sought to shape our politics. And the United States, in addition to overtly sponsoring regime change, has honed interference in other countriesâ(TM) elections into something of an art form. Such interventions will always be appealing to their perpetrators because they can succeed, especially if they find willing accomplices in the targeted country.


Spy Agency Consensus Grows That Russia Hacked D.N.C.
26 Jul 2016

American intelligence agencies have told the White House they now have âoehigh confidenceâ that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee, according to federal officials who have been briefed on the evidence.

But intelligence officials have cautioned that they are uncertain whether the electronic break-in at the committeeâ(TM)s computer systems was intended as fairly routine cyberespionage â" of the kind the United States also conducts around the world â" or as part of an effort to manipulate the 2016 presidential election.

The emails were released by WikiLeaks, whose founder, Julian Assange, has made it clear that he hoped to harm Hillary Clintonâ(TM)s chances of winning the presidency. It is unclear how the documents made their way to the group. But a large sampling was published before the WikiLeaks release by several news organizations and someone who called himself âoeGuccifer 2.0,â who investigators now believe was an agent of the G.R.U., Russiaâ(TM)s military intelligence service.


Putinâ(TM)s suspected meddling in a U.S. election would be a disturbing first
25 Jul 2016

CREDIT FOR the internecine furor that disrupted the Democratic Party on the eve of its convention should go to Vladimir Putin. As The Post has reported, cybersecurity experts say Russian intelligence operatives were likely responsible for the hacking of the Democratic National Committeeâ(TM)s computer network, as well as for leaking to the Moscow-friendly WikiLeaks website some 20,000 emails. The trove appeared online Friday, just in time to create discord between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as they headed to Philadelphia. To no oneâ(TM)s surprise, the emails showed that DNC staffers opposed the attempt of the socialist Mr. Sanders to take over the party. Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to announce her resignation, and â" as Russia likely intended â" Ms. Clintonâ(TM)s campaign took a hit.


How Putin Weaponized Wikileaks to Influence the Election of an American President
24 Jul 2016

Evidence suggests that a Russian intelligence group was the source of the most recent Wikileaks intel dump, which was aimed to influence the U.S. election.

Close your eyes and imagine that a hacking group backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin broke into the email system of a major U.S. political party. The group stole thousands of sensitive messages and then published them through an obliging third party in a way that was strategically timed to influence the United States presidential election. Now open your eyes, because thatâ(TM)s what just happened.

On Friday, Wikileaks published 20,000 emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee. They reveal, among other things, thuggish infighting, a push by a top DNC official to use Bernie Sandersâ(TM) religious convictions against him in the South, and attempts to strong-arm media outlets. In other words, they reveal the Washington campaign monster for what it is.

Submission + - Complexity of surveillance oversight leads to errors in practice and reporting

An anonymous reader writes: A post at Lawfare highlights the complexity of the implementation and oversight of foreign intelligence surveillance programs. It provides a case study on how complexity can lead to misunderstandings, what happens when errors are discovered, and just how complex the implementation of a a single sentence in a court order — like "all collected data must be deleted after two years" — can be. Another post covers the complexity of covering the Yahoo! email revelations, and a correction to a Reuters story about the issue illustrates that early assumptions are often wrong and don't fit into tweets.

Comment Religion is cross-cutting (Score 1) 539

Not that I would personally be offended by this post -nor am I a big fan of PC talk or safe spaces - but don't you think it's a bit funny to compare the monetary value of such a cross-cutting, personal and protected area of life to that of companies? How is this different from doing a similar statistic on races and comparing the value of "blackness" to the value of companies?

Comment Re: As the US surrenders control of DNS (Score 2) 237

Except, from TFA, "The data I see suggests China, an assessment shared by the people I spoke with."

But that's impossible in your has to be the US. It could never be a US adversary with principles that run decided counter to internet freedom, human rights, and so on. Clearly this is a US effort to leave itself a capability to "take down the internet", when we are the ones ceding control of ICANN and IANA.

Comment TFS leaves out most important piece ignoring info (Score 5, Insightful) 237

"The data I see suggests China, an assessment shared by the people I spoke with."

Of course, that will be buried in these comments that it's a US false flag, that obviously it's the US that's responsible, etc.

It couldn't possibly be someone like China.

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