Russian hackers shift focus to conservative think tanks which are critical of Putin.

By | 2018-08-22T11:03:20+00:00 August 22nd, 2018|Categories: Front Page, News|Tags: , , , , , , |6 Comments

Where is new cybersecurity legislation again? 

Courtesy of NYT:

The Russian military intelligence unit that sought to influence the 2016 election appears to have a new target: conservative American think tanks that have broken with President Trump and are seeking continued sanctions against Moscow, exposing oligarchs or pressing for human rights.

In a report scheduled for release on Tuesday, Microsoft Corporation said that it detected and seized websites that were created in recent weeks by hackers linked to the Russian unit formerly known as the G.R.U. The sites appeared meant to trick people into thinking they were clicking through links managed by the Hudson Institute, and the International Republican Institute but were secretly redirected to web pages created by the hackers to steal passwords and other credentials.

Microsoft also found websites imitating the United States Senate, but not specific Senate offices or political campaigns.

The shift to attacking conservative think tanks underscores the Russian intelligence agency’s goals: to disrupt any institutions challenging Moscow and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

So to be clear these are conservative groups who do not support Trump and are critical of Putin. 

I wonder which one of those positions made them more of a target? 

And notice that they were focused on collecting personal data, or Kompromat if you will, that they could then use against those did not play ball with Vlad. 

Here is more from Eric Rosenbach, the director of the Defending Digital Democracy project at Harvard University:

“This is another demonstration of the fact that the Russians aren’t really pursuing partisan attacks, they are pursuing attacks that they perceive in their own national self-interest. It’s about disrupting and diminishing any group that challenges how Putin’s Russia is operating at home and around the world.”

Exactly!

The hackers are tasked with going after those who would challenge Putin’s attempts to strengthen Russia’s influence and support those who are in Putin’s good graces. 

Such as Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Senator Rand Paul, and of course his main asset Donald Trump.

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6 Comments

  1. anonymous August 22, 2018 at 6:33 am - Reply

    OT? “Trump himself may be charged with multiple crimes in the near future. Therefore the GOP has been tainted, and many Americans now consider it the party of corruption.”
    ““GOP operative sounds apocalyptic warning on midterms: ‘The Republican Party looks like a criminal enterprise’”

    https://www.axios.com/2018-midterm-elections-republicans-corruption-duncan-hunter-6db34e6e-7032-470d-934f-42e402e08a7d.html

    https://www.politicususa.com/2018/08/22/gop-called-a-criminal-enterprise-while-leaders-go-awol.html

    ““John Dean, former White House counsel for Richard Nixon: “I think we’ve established today that we have a criminal president, and that is historic”’

    https://www.politicususa.com/2018/08/22/325139.html

    ” Davis said is that his client is willing to testify about everything he knows about Trump’s crimes which he called a “criminal conspiracy.”

    Davis said Cohen would prove Trump was involved in:

    1 “a conspiracy to collude and corrupt the American democracy system in the 2016 election,”
    2 “the computer crime of hacking.” “The high-powered Washington lawyer also said that Cohen will testify that “Mr. Trump knew ahead of time about that crime and even cheered it on.””

    https://www.politicususa.com/2018/08/22/bombshell-davis-says-cohen-will-testify-about-criminal-conspiracy.html

  2. anon August 22, 2018 at 7:05 am - Reply

    https://thinkprogress.org/republicans-voted-tax-bill-cut-medicare-social-security-pay-488a9bcbba7d/

    “TRUE motivations: $lashing Medicare and Social Security”
    “House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said outright last year that Medicare and Medicaid were his next targets for 2018, following the passage of the tax bill.” ““We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,” “Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt, so we spend more time on the health care entitlements — because that’s really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking.” “Bryce Covert of The New York Times warned of the “Trojan horse” hidden in the legislation that would serve as a setup for steep cuts.

    “Republican leaders have wanted to do this for a long time. Mr. Ryan has been salivating over cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security for as long as he’s had a political career. Mr. Trump’s 2018 budget proposal, released well ahead of the tax legislation, named welfare reform’ one of its core pillars,” she wrote. “…

  3. Anonymous August 22, 2018 at 7:26 am - Reply

    https://slate.com/business/2018/08/donald-trump-not-thrilled-with-fed-chair-jerome-powell-a-problem-only-trump-could-have-created.html

    3rd person>“overheating”> ” he’d been assured by advisers that Powell would back “cheap money,” and that he was chagrined to see the central bank hiking rates instead. “That can only happen to Trump,”
    “If Trump wanted a dove leading his Fed, he just needed to glance at the chart, point at the lowest dot, and say “get me that guy.” No pesky reading. No long briefings. Picture. Point. Done. {OK?!}

  4. anon August 22, 2018 at 8:08 am - Reply

    “MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Kremlin said on Tuesday it did not understand allegations from Microsoft that hackers linked to Russia’s government had tried to target the websites of two right-wing U.S. think-tanks.

    The software giant said it had thwarted the Russia-linked attempts last week, which it suggested showed Moscow was broadening its attacks in the build-up to November mid-term elections.

    “We don’t know what hackers they are talking about,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call when asked about Microsoft’s accusations.

    “… Who exactly are they talking about? We don’t understand what the proof and the basis is for them drawing these kind of conclusions. Such information (proof) is lacking.”
    rt

  5. anonymous August 22, 2018 at 8:17 am - Reply

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/russian-hacking-microsoft-conservative-thinktanks_us_5b7bb49de4b018b93e9712bd

    “Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, told the Associated Press he had “no doubt” that the hacking group known as Strontium, Fancy Bear or APT 28 — a group with known ties to Russia’s main intelligence agency — was behind the “spear-phishing” attempt.”

    “The Hudson Institute is known for its investigations into corruption in Russia, while the focus of the International Republican Institute is to promote democracy worldwide. As The New York Times noted, IRI’s board of directors includes several Republican leaders who have been critical of President Donald Trump’s relationship with Putin, such as Arizona Sen. John McCain and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.”
    “We’re glad that our work is attracting the attention of bad actors,” Hudson Institute spokesman David Tell told AP on Monday. “It means we’re having an effect, presumably.”

    “To counter such threats, Microsoft announced that it will be providing free cybersecurity protections to political candidates and campaign offices that are using its Office 365 software.” OK

  6. anon August 22, 2018 at 8:49 am - Reply

    OT? BREAKING:
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/22/politics/democratic-national-committee-voter-database/index.html

    “The page was designed to look like the access page Democratic Party officials and campaigns across the country use to log into a service called Votebuilder, which hosts the database, the source said, adding the DNC believed it was designed to trick people into handing over their login details.
    The source said the DNC is investigating who may have been responsible for the attempted attack, but that it has no reason to believe its voter file was accessed or altered.”

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