aside Russia Has Attacked US Power Grid Infrastructure

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The cat is out of the bag. Russian officials have done more than their all-out attacks on the 2016 US elections infrastructure, designed to sow chaos and divisions among our fellow Americans and to effect its outcome. In 2016, it is alleged by the US IC community that Russian government hackers sought to penetrate multiple U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, including energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation and manufacturing,

I suspect that this is in part, why the republican President Donald Trump did allow his Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to finally announce sanctions against Russia this week of March 15, 2018. The other reason is that the president could not look like he wasn’t backing UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May who was acting tougher  than the US president in taking actions against Russia for its agents having used chemical weaponry against individuals residing within UK’s territorial borders.

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THERESA MAY

Here is the rest of the story…

On March 16 , 2018, Dustin Volz and Timothy Gardner of Reuters penned the following report, “In a first, U.S. blames Russia for cyber attacks on energy grid.”

Excerpts:

“The Trump administration on Thursday blamed the Russian government for a campaign of cyber attacks stretching back at least two years that targeted the U.S. power grid, marking the first time the United States has publicly accused Moscow of hacking into American energy infrastructure.”

“Beginning in March 2016, or possibly earlier, Russian government hackers sought to penetrate multiple U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, including energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation and manufacturing, according to a U.S. security alert published Thursday (3/15/18)”.

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“The Department of Homeland Security and FBI said in the alert that a “multi-stage intrusion campaign by Russian government cyber actors” had targeted the networks of small commercial facilities “where they staged malware, conducted spear phishing, and gained remote access into energy sector networks.” The alert did not name facilities or companies targeted.”

“The direct condemnation of Moscow represented an escalation in the Trump administration’s attempts to deter Russia’s aggression in cyberspace, after senior U.S. intelligence officials said in recent weeks the Kremlin believes it can launch hacking operations against the West with impunity.”

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“It coincided with a decision Thursday by the U.S. Treasury Department to impose sanctions on 19 Russian people and five groups, including Moscow’s intelligence services, for meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other malicious cyber attacks.’

“Russia in the past has denied it has tried to hack into other countries’ infrastructure, and vowed on Thursday to retaliate for the new sanctions. “(This is a lie as they have a record of doing this.)

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‘UNPRECEDENTED AND EXTRAORDINARY’

“U.S. security officials have long warned that the United States may be vulnerable to debilitating cyber attacks from hostile adversaries. It was not clear what impact the attacks had on the firms that were targeted.”

“But Thursday’s alert provided a link to an analysis by the U.S. cyber security firm Symantec last fall that said a group it had dubbed Dragonfly had targeted energy companies in the United States and Europe and in some cases broke into the core systems that control the companies’ operations.”

For entire report see: In a first, U.S. blames Russia for cyber attacks on energy grid | Reuters

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Russia’s History With Ukraine

On June 20, 2017, Chris Merlow of the Wired Report penned the following report,  “HOW AN ENTIRE NATION BECAME RUSSIA’S TEST LAB FOR CYBERWAR”

Excerpts from the Wired report:

(For one of the victims) “another paranoid thought began to work its way through his mind: For the past 14 months, Yasinsky had found himself at the center of an enveloping crisis. A growing roster of Ukrainian companies and government agencies had come to him to analyze a plague of cyberattacks that were hitting them in rapid, remorseless succession. A single group of hackers seemed to be behind all of it. Now he couldn’t suppress the sense that those same phantoms, whose fingerprints he had traced for more than a year, had reached back, out through the internet’s ether, into his home.”

“The Cyber-Cassandras said this would happen. For decades they warned that hackers would soon make the leap beyond purely digital mayhem and start to cause real, physical damage to the world. In 2009, when the NSA’s Stuxnet malware silently accelerated a few hundred Iranian nuclear centrifuges until they destroyed themselves, it seemed to offer a preview of this new era. “This has a whiff of August 1945,” Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and the CIA, said in a speech. “Somebody just used a new weapon, and this weapon will not be put back in the box.”

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“Now, in Ukraine, the quintessential cyberwar scenario has come to life. Twice. On separate occasions, invisible saboteurs have turned off the electricity to hundreds of thousands of people. Each blackout lasted a matter of hours, only as long as it took for scrambling engineers to manually switch the power on again. But as proofs of concept, the attacks set a new precedent: In Russia’s shadow, the decades-old nightmare of hackers stopping the gears of modern society has become a reality.”

“And the blackouts weren’t just isolated attacks. They were part of a digital blitzkrieg that has pummeled Ukraine for the past three years—a sustained cyber­assault unlike any the world has ever seen. A hacker army has systematically undermined practically every sector of Ukraine: media, finance, transportation, military, politics, energy. Wave after wave of intrusions have deleted data, destroyed computers, and in some cases paralyzed organizations’ most basic functions. “You can’t really find a space in Ukraine where there hasn’t been an attack,” says Kenneth Geers, a NATO ambassador who focuses on cybersecurity.”

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“In a public statement in December, Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, reported that there had been 6,500 cyberattacks on 36 Ukrainian targets in just the previous two months. International cybersecurity analysts have stopped just short of conclusively attributing these attacks to the Kremlin, but Poroshenko didn’t hesitate: Ukraine’s investigations, he said, point to the “direct or indirect involvement of secret services of Russia, which have unleashed a cyberwar against our country.” (The Russian foreign ministry didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.)”

“To grasp the significance of these assaults—and, for that matter, to digest much of what’s going on in today’s larger geopolitical disorder—it helps to understand Russia’s uniquely abusive relationship with its largest neighbor to the west. Moscow has long regarded Ukraine as both a rightful part of Russia’s empire and an important territorial asset—a strategic buffer between Russia and the powers of NATO, a lucrative pipeline route to Europe, and home to one of Russia’s few accessible warm-water ports. For all those reasons, Moscow has worked for generations to keep Ukraine in the position of a submissive smaller sibling.”

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“But over the past decade and a half, Moscow’s leash on Ukraine has frayed, as popular support in the country has pulled toward NATO and the European Union. In 2004, Ukrainian crowds in orange scarves flooded the streets to protest Moscow’s rigging of the country’s elections; that year, Russian agents allegedly went so far as to poison the surging pro-Western presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko. A decade later, the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution finally overthrew the country’s Kremlin-­backed president, Viktor Yanukovych (a leader whose longtime political adviser, Paul Manafort, would go on to run the US presidential campaign of Donald Trump). Russian troops promptly annexed the Crimean Peninsula in the south and invaded the Russian-­speaking eastern region known as Donbass. Ukraine has since then been locked in an undeclared war with Russia, one that has displaced nearly 2 million internal refugees and killed close to 10,000 Ukrainians.”

See the entire report:  Russia’s Cyberwar on Ukraine Is a Blueprint For What’s to … – Wired

10 comments

  1. Gronda, as I mentioned to Jill, the good in this is those Trump followers who said what is the big deal about his colluding with Russia can now be told, Russia remains an adversary. We should be believing our intelligence people and demand our leaders do something about this. The additional sanctions are a start, but are not nearly enough. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Keith,

      You are absolutely right on. This story will provide the president little room to continue to treat Russia with kid gloves.This does scare the heck out of me.

      Russia does need to be dealt with on a basis of firmness. Giving him any wiggle room will result in President Putin taking full advantage to press the boundaries.

      Hugs, Gronda

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  2. Gronda, i would have to categorize these sensationalist allegations as disinfo and scaremongering by the US. These fabricated stories about our vulnerable power structures, electric, nuclear, transportation, banking are way overblown. Yes there are risks, but not to the extent that any hacker can penetrate. They would have to physically be in the building and plant a virus manually into the system, basically an inside job. I’m sure personnel in these super critical positions are vetted to the extreme.

    Also most civilians are not aware that our energy grid is NOT tied into the internet, and cannot be penetrated or cracked into using an external computer. The same goes for our voting system. Noticed there was never any physical proof that Russia ever hacked and/or affected the vote count in any way. Even our IC admitted to that fact, of course Russia can mess around with our social media thru troll farms, but there’s nothing we can do about that short of shutting down facebook, google and twitter.

    Unless we can show actual evidence of a Russian attack, the Kremlin will just deny every accusation as they have always done. And there’s nothing the President or anyone in Congress can do about it, we certainly are not going to start a hot war with Russia, that would be suicide.

    I’ve been hearing stories about hackers attacking our power grid since the late 90’s, not once has our grid gone down. I’m very certain we’ll be fine as long as measures are in place to prevent internal sabotage.

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    • Dear 1EarthUnited.

      The Russian leaders always deny everything. To have them go through the denial game is a waste of time. We have the proof of what they have done in Ukraine.

      Even the US president has finally had to take the most tepid of actions because Mr. Putin doesn’t know when to quit.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes that’s true, Russia did annex Crimea, arguably b/c Khrushchev “assigned” Crimea to Ukraine in the 60’s for administrative/ managerial reasons, it was all Soviet Union at the time but was understood that Russia is the head of state.

        I feel that our IC undermine it’s own credibility when it makes these unsubstantiated declarations like Russia has attacked our power infrastructure when clearly they have not. I still have power in my house and I’m sure you do too…. b/c the power grid is not, nor has it ever been down!

        So these generalized, baseless insinuations is just fear-mongering Russophobia. Where is the actual proof? Are we suppose to be sheeple and simply accept everything from authority without question? I’ll exercise due diligence in this case.

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  3. Russia does as Russia is. She is a nation very much focussed on her own security and having her own skirt of satellite states to act as buffers. And those who inhabit the world within the Kremlin’s Walls are constantly in a state of suspicion and seeking ways to weaken any potential foe, for none of them have ultimate control over the nation which has and will move against them in its own unpredictable way or they destroy themselves in their own paranoia.
    Thus there is nothing new here, and anyone who reads Russia as they would read as ‘just another country’ is going to have a nasty surprise.
    (By the way while all the duelling and political heat between the UK and Russia has been going on, without much notice in the media, China will be increasing its defence budget by 8% )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Roger,

      Russia simply has to learn that the world doesn’t have to tolerate his bully type tactics. What he needs is a real bloody nose. This was not done by PM Theresa May but she did more than President Trump.

      In the USA, it is our own president who is a clear and present danger to the US national security interests.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

      • Russia will respond to a ‘We know that you know we know you know. Now we both know how the game is played, so let’s talk about this hmm?’
        There is always this underlying paranoia in the Russian govt, it goes deep and is old…

        Liked by 1 person

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