Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I don't buy the almighty spy master Putin story either. Why can't I get paid for it?

Btw, read recently by way of the Intercept about Russian opposition people who feel that the western narrative gives to much credit to Putin. He wishes he was the almighty puppeteer!

by fjallstrom on Thu Dec 21st, 2017 at 10:43:55 PM EST
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There is a distinction to be made between someone being held on a string, and someone who isn't on a string, but behaves all the same.

But anyone not healthily alarmed by Russia's fingerprints on some major cyber assaults is foolishly naive.

How An Entire Nation Became Russia's Test Lab for Cyberwar - Wired

Looking at the attackers' methods, Lee began to form a notion of who he was up against. He was struck by similarities between the blackout hackers' tactics and those of a group that had recently gained some notoriety in the cybersecurity world--a group known as Sandworm. In 2014 the security firm FireEye had issued warnings about a team of hackers that was planting BlackEnergy malware on targets that included Polish energy firms and Ukrainian government agencies; the group seemed to be developing methods to target the specialized computer architectures that are used for remotely managing physical industrial equipment. The group's name came from references to Dune found buried in its code, terms like Harkonnen and Arrakis, an arid planet in the novel where massive sandworms roam the deserts.

No one knew much about the group's intentions. But all signs indicated that the hackers were Russian: FireEye had traced one of Sandworm's distinctive intrusion techniques to a presentation at a Russian hacker conference. And when FireEye's engineers managed to access one of Sandworm's unsecured command-and-control servers, they found instructions for how to use BlackEnergy written in Russian, along with other Russian-language files.

Most disturbing of all for American analysts, Sandworm's targets extended across the Atlantic. Earlier in 2014, the US government reported that hackers had planted BlackEnergy on the networks of American power and water utilities. Working from the government's findings, FireEye had been able to pin those intrusions, too, on Sandworm.

by Bjinse on Thu Dec 21st, 2017 at 11:19:39 PM EST
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We've complained about the super villain narrative in other contexts before. People like to think they're being bested by enemies with superhuman powers, otherwise it would mean that they're just useless.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 22nd, 2017 at 10:07:14 AM EST
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