Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Cyber security experts warned the FBI in 2015 that Russians were targeting thousands of powerful leaders, believes they may have been quite successful in compromising many of them.

Courtesy of Politico: 

The active measures are not targeting the military and political system in isolation, but as part of a broader effort to subvert Western institutions including the news media, financial markets and intelligence agencies. Because of its multidimensional nature and use of unconventional tactics the U.S. government has struggled to effectively combat the effort. “This is obviously a really difficult challenge and a lot of people are worried that our response to date hasn’t been effective,” said one expert on active measures who recently testified on the issue before Congress. 

And rather than abating after the presidential election, these campaigns have only continued to get more brazen, according to Strategic Cyber Ventures CEO Tom Kellermann, who has watched them closely. 

In May and June of 2015, Kellermann, who was then the chief cybersecurity officer at Trend Micro, said the firm warned the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that Kremlin hackers had drawn up a list of 2,300 people comprising the most powerful leaders in Washington and New York along with their spouses and lovers to target with a concerted hacking campaign. Kellerman said he does not know whether the government acted on the tip, which warned that the hackers had the ability to turn on microphones and cameras on the personal devices of their targets to obtain sensitive information about their personal lives. But he believes the campaign has successfully compromised American leaders, emboldening the Kremlin. “When you wonder why certain people act certain ways,” he said, “You have to remember these people have been warned that their dirty laundry could be aired.” (Spokespeople for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the FBI declined to comment.)

Perhaps this explains why certain Republicans and media types are so hesitant to admit publicly that the election was hacked by the Russians, and why they keep coming to Trump's defense in spite of all the damaging information that has come to light recently.

That sentence at the beginning of this post is referring to a strategy directed at military members and their families on social media to feed them disinformation and even compromised pro-military websites and turned them into propaganda outlets for the Kremlin:

Putin has made the creation of a pro-Russian “alternative media ecosystem” to, in his words, smash “the Anglo-Saxon monopoly on the information stream” a top priority of his foreign policy. A significant prong of those operations is aimed at the American military community, and the Russian activity has ramped up in recent years as tensions have increased over sanctions, the annexation of Crimea and the expansion of NATO. 

Veterans Today is a homegrown American site that was founded in 2003 in opposition to the invasion of Iraq and soon began publishing wild conspiracy theories. Before it partnered with Russia’s New Eastern Outlook in 2013, it had forged ties with Iran’s state-backed PressTV and counted among its editorial board of directors a former head of Pakistan’s intelligence services, publishing headlines like, “Israeli death squads involved in Sandy Hook bloodbath” and “Water Terrorism by India to Overawe Pakistan.” 

New Eastern Outlook “chose to work with VT after following us for a while and seeing us for the unique platform that we are,” Veterans Today managing editor Jim Dean explained in an article about the arrangement. He described it as a “marriage made in heaven.”

That "marriage made in heaven" allowed the Russian media to overwhelm the Veteran focused website and essentially turn it into a red, white, and blue version of Pravda.

In October 2013, at the same time that Veterans Today began publishing content from New Eastern Outlook, its sister site Veterans News Now began publishing content from the Strategic Culture Foundation, a Moscow think tank run by Yuri Profokiev, a former head of Moscow’s Communist Party and member of the Soviet Politburo. 

In October 2015, Veterans Today also partnered with a slickly designed, anonymously authored military affairs website called South Front that had been registered in Moscow that April just as Russia was ramping up its influence operations in response to Western sanctions. 

Since then, the site has consistently published articles that push the Kremlin party line, both from its Russian partner and its own contributors.

Also keep in mind that the Russians did not only target the military, conservatives, and powerful Americans, but also targeted those on the Left, especially the so-called Bernie Bros and those on the far left fringe who were already suspicious and critical of Hillary Clinton.

This was a concerted effort that reached deep into America's social media and shaped opinions all over the political spectrum, while also compromising those who may have had the resources to expose them.

To be clear this means that so many of the things that we all saw on our Facebook feed attacking Hillary Clinton, talking about third party candidates, or the failures of Democratic policies to meet the needs of progressives, may very well have come to us directly from Russian disinformation sites determined to undermine our faith in the Democratic candidate and the political system as a whole.


  1. Anonymous4:04 AM

    So what's your stupid daughter's excuse?

  2. Anonymous5:05 AM

    Yep. Lots of families affected by this crime and trump a part of it. President Obama wanted funding to improve our internet/utility infrastructure but Republicans rejected and demanded NO funding or improvements. The obstructionist party and citizen united did not want America secured. And today those people are committing treason and espionage.

  3. Anonymous5:33 AM

    Why is it only trump and his co-conspirators are the only ones that are making this russian “thing” personal or calling it fake? They sure are acting very guilty.

    Sessions questioning will be broadcast on national tv today @ 2:30pm.

    Remember little donnie told us “only guilty people plead the 5th”.

  4. Anonymous5:42 AM

    Seems like the only jobs donnie will be creating are for attorneys and paralegals.

    Attorneys general hope to force Trump financial disclosures
    By BRIAN WITTE - The Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) The attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia hope a little-known clause in the Constitution will force President Donald Trump to separate himself from his businesses and release his tax returns and other financial information, contending in a lawsuit he is corruptible to foreign governments who make payments to his businesses from around the world......

    But the two Democratic attorneys general say their lawsuit is unique, because they are suing as sovereign entities on behalf of residents of Maryland and Washington, D.C. They say the Trump Hotel in the nation's capital affects business in the Washington area.

    The two attorneys general also hope the case will build a record against Trump through the discovery process in the court case. Frosh said the president has discussed some of his business dealings on the campaign trail, noting Trump's mention that a state-owned Chinese bank has office space in Trump Tower in New York.

    "He bragged about that on the campaign trial," Frosh said. "I don't think he's giving it to them for free, and there are many sources that have given us information about the payments that he has received. We'll have a lot more after we get discovery."
    If a federal judge allows the case to proceed, Racine and Frosh say they will demand copies of Trump's personal tax returns in court to gauge the extent of his foreign business dealings.

    "Mr. Trump is unique in American history in violating the emoluments clause," Frosh said. "There is no other president whose domestic and foreign investments, the entanglements, have been so bound up with our policy and our interests, and he is the only president who has refused to disclose the extent of his holdings and interests, so, yes, it will be a subject of our lawsuit. We will be seeking that information."

  5. Anonymous5:50 AM

    This could explain why the voter registration did not match with voter records on Election Day in Wayne County Mich, which gave the “win” to trump

    Are these the 39 states that trump “won”? I have the feeling that if the russians managed to actually tamper with the votes, they would not tell us.

    BREAKING: Russians Hacked 39 State Election Systems

    Disturbing news from Bloomberg this morning discloses that Russian intrusion into U.S. election systems before the 2016 presidential election was much more widespread than publicly disclosed -- including intrusions into voter records and software systems in twice as many states as we were told.

    Investigators found evidence that hackers tried to delete or alter voter data in Illinois. They also accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state, accessed a campaign finance database.

    Bloomberg cited details provided by "three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation." In all, the hackers got into systems in 39 states, one of them said.
    The scope and sophistication so concerned Obama administration officials that they took an unprecedented step -- complaining directly to Moscow over a modern-day “red phone.” In October, two of the people said, the White House contacted the Kremlin on the back channel to offer detailed documents of what it said was Russia’s role in election meddling and to warn that the attacks risked setting off a broader conflict.

    The new details show the scope of alleged hacking that federal investigators are examining as they look for possible collusion with the Trump campaign.



  6. Anonymous6:08 AM

    And so session ask congress if he can personally prosecute Medical Marijuana providers. How devious and hateful can one be. This man lied under oath and now wants to end a medically useful program helping thousands of people. Big pharma and Big tobacco is causing serious health problems and death and sessions has a hard on to prosecute medical marijuana providers. Meanwhile he is about to testify as to his lies and character. Absolutely the gull and soul of this man is corrupt.

  7. Anonymous6:18 AM

    Because this group of bullies are invested or bribed by those involved in Russian banking, certain corporations, certain off shore accounts, money laundering, and underworld gigs. It is not just the usa it is the global thugs playing politics. Trump is the biggest player and liar in this crime game today.

    1. Anonymous7:47 AM



  8. Anonymous8:01 AM

    WAKING the sleeping
    {drugged} $wamp tads?

  9. Anonymous8:15 AM

    Troubling Lisa?

  10. Anonymous8:18 AM

    North Korea:

    1. Anonymous8:30 AM


      OIL! EXTRACTion! from Arctic Regions? Alaska?
      'T'his is just the 'T'ip of the Iceberg snowflakes...


      Just WOW. Laughing all the way to the world bank$.

  11. Anonymous11:15 AM



Don't feed the trolls!
It just goes directly to their thighs.