We all knew it. So much for the theory of the Russians meddling in US politics. It was the Americans themselves all the time.
Mar 7, 2017
We’ll keep this short and sweet.
All allegations of “digital fingerprints” left behind by Russian hackers must now be dismissed as either fake or meaningless:
Except that “digital fingerprints” are meaningless and the CIA made a habit of stealing Russian malware. We’re sure they never used it!
With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the “fingerprints” of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from.
UMBRAGE components cover keyloggers, password collection, webcam capture, data destruction, persistence, privilege escalation, stealth, anti-virus (PSP) avoidance and survey techniques.
Everyone knew it. Now we have proof.
According to the leaked information, the CIA’s malware allows the intelligence agency to not only steal hacking techniques, but also to leave false “fingerprints” to make it appear as if others were responsible for the attack.
Speaking in a livestream on Thursday, Assange announced that WikiLeaks will give tech companies access to the methods used by the CIA in its hacking operations. Assange then said that after the revelation, an anti-virus expert approached WikiLeaks to say that attacks previously blamed on Russia, China and Iran have now been pinned on the CIA.
“The technology is designed to be unaccountable, it’s designed to be untraceable, it’s designed to hide itself. It’s designed to throw off people looking to see where there are fingerprints that might demonstrate who authored that technology,” Assange explained.
“We have quite a lot more material that talks about these attempts to throw off attribution to discover who is actually behind a particular cyberattack,” the Australian said, hinting at further revelations to come in future ‘Vault 7’ WikiLeaks releases.
“Already an anti-virus expert has come forward to say that sophisticated malware that he had attributed to a state, either Iran, China or Russia, now he believes is from the CIA because the type of attack system it uses corresponds directly to a description we published of that attack system.”
“And it’s rare enough that it seems unlikely that it would be independently discovered, unless of course China has already gotten hold of these parts of the CIA arsenal and that China is using them to pretend to be the CIA.”
The WikiLeaks founder also warned that because the technology hides its origin its completely open to being abused without consequences.
“There’s absolutely nothing to stop a random CIA officer, or contractor, or liaison agent working for the British, using that technology against whoever they like for whatever reasons they like,” he warned.
We’re supposed to accept the government’s investigation of itself, which often extends the very same power whistleblowers exposed in the first place.
Source: Whistleblowers Vs. The State
By Carey Wedler
Immediately after WikiLeaks released thousands of documents revealing the extent of CIA surveillance and hacking practices, the government was calling for an investigation — not into why the CIA has amassed so much power, but rather, into who exposed their invasive policies.
According to USA Today:
The inquiry, the official said, will seek to determine whether the disclosure represented a breach from the outside or a leak from inside the organization. A separate review will attempt to assess the damage caused by such a disclosure, the official said.
Even Democratic representative Ted Lieu, who has been urging whistleblowers to come forward to expose wrongdoing within the Trump administration, has turned his focus away from what the documents exposed and toward determining how it could have possibly happened.
“I am deeply disturbed by the allegation that the CIA lost its arsenal of hacking tools,” he said while calling for an investigation. “The ramifications could be devastating. I am calling for an immediate congressional investigation. We need to know if the CIA lost control of its hacking tools, who may have those tools, and how do we now protect the privacy of Americans.”
According to Lieu’s statements, the problem isn’t necessarily that the CIA is spying on Americans and invading innocent people’s technology without consent. It’s that the CIA mishandled their spying tools, and in doing so, endangered Americans’ privacy by exposing the tools to presumably ‘bad actors.’ The problem isn’t the corrupt agency violating basic privacy rights, but that they weren’t skillful enough to keep their corruption under wraps.
So goes the familiar whistleblower narrative in the United States. Whistleblowers step forward to expose wrongdoing on the part of government — something the government claims to support — and immediately, establishment institutions and the media bend the conversation away from the wrongdoing in order to focus on the unlawful release of secrets.
Putting aside the fact that, according to popular American mythology breaking the law is a patriotic duty, the government and politicians’ reactions are both hypocritical and habitual.
When Chelsea Manning revealed damning evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq, including soldiers directly targeting Reuters news staff, the response was not to investigate who allowed those crimes (in fact, a later Pentagon manual went on to describe instances in which it’s permissible to kill journalists; that version was later retracted after outcry from reporters). Rather, Manning was subject to a military tribunal and issued multiple life sentences, a cruel and unusual punishment reversed only in President Obama’s last days in office amid his attempts to salvage his abysmal human rights, transparency, and whistleblower record.
When Edward Snowden revealed the extent of the NSA’s warrantless mass surveillance of American citizens and millions of others around the world, the government’s response was not to investigate why those programs existed in the first place. Rather, they thrashed and flailed around the world, ordering the plane of Bolivian President Evo Morales to be grounded in the hopes of catching the whistleblower. Congress later passed the deceptive “USA Freedom Act,” which codified continued surveillance.
Edward Snowden remains in exile, and establishment politicians repeatedly call him a traitor for exposing the crimes of his government. Some, including Trump’s CIA Director Mike Pompeo, have called for his execution. Mass surveillance continues, and the president himself is seeking to retain those powers as he condemns former President Obama for allegedly spying on him.
And so on and so forth. The same was true for John Kiriakou, Thomas Drake, William Binney, and Jeffrey Sterling. The government is exposed for wrongdoing, and rather than prove themselves to be representatives of the people by remedying those transgressions, they point fingers and divert, all the while refusing to relinquish the unjust power any given agency is exposed for having.
Many people are already aware that the government does little to actually serve them (Americans’ trust in political leaders and government, in general, is abysmally low). Rather, government agents and agencies operate to advance and concentrate their own interests and power. This is why penalties against killing government employees are more stringent than killing civilians. It is why stealing from the government is perceived as more outrageous to the State than stealing from a civilian. The government considers “crimes” committed against itself to carry the utmost offense, yet often fails to deliver justice to the people who provide their financial foundation.
As a result, the State does not even try to show remorse for its violative policies, even when they are exposed and splattered across social media for the world to see. Instead, with the help of corporate media, the debate is shifted to whether or not WikiLeaks is a criminal organization, or whether or not Edward Snowden is a traitor.
As White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said of the leaks:
This is the kind of disclosure that undermines our country, our security. This alleged leak should concern every American for its impact on national security. … Anybody who leaks classified information will be held accountable to the maximum extent of the law.
Meanwhile, we’re supposed to accept the government’s investigation of itself, which (surprise!) usually finds little or no wrongdoing on their own behalf and often consolidates and extends the very same power whistleblowers exposed in the first place.
Image Credit: Anthony Freda Art
February 18, 2017
Three classified CIA espionage orders (seven documents in all) were released Wednesday by WikiLeaks, providing details of a spy program that was conducted before the 2012 French presidential election (source). According to the documents, all major political parties in France were targeted by the CIA’s human (“HUMINT”) and electronic (“SIGINT”) spies.
The justification for the spy program was to assist “analysts assess and prepare US key policymakers” for the post-election landscape in France, with an emphasis on US-France relations. Aside from targeting President Francois Hollande, leading candidate Marine Le Pen, and former candidates Dominique Strauss-Khan and Martine Aubry, the rogue agency took a particular interest in ex-President Nicholas Sarkozy, whose UMP party was not assured re-election. Agents were ordered to discover Sarkozy’s private deliberation “on the other candidates,” as well as how he interacted with his advisors, as reported by RT:
Additional information sought by the CIA included details on candidate funding, the French economy, the Greek crisis, and political opinions on “the German model of export-led growth and any specific proposals that would help solve the Eurozone crisis.”
WikiLeaks stated the following in a press release:
Hollande already stated in June 2016 that the French government would not tolerate a threat to its security after the previous release of documents by WikiLeaks, which disclosed the NSA was spying on Sarkozy, Hollande and Jacques Chirac. There’s no word yet on how France will respond to this new leak.
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges is joined by journalists Abby Martin and Ben Norton to discuss the declassified U.S. intelligence report on Russia’s alleged “influence campaign” on the U.S. presidential election. They explore the allegations and why a large portion of the report is dedicated to RT America’s programming. RT correspondent Anya Parampil details the charges made in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence report.
We are getting saturated with Fake News stories, but let’s hear one more from Oliver Stone, as I missed this article.
Source: The Russians Are Coming – Medium
As 2016 closes, we find ourselves a deeply unsettled nation. We’re unable to draw the lines of our national interest. Is it jobs and economy, is it national security, or is it now in our interest to ensure global security — in other words, act as the world’s policemen?
As the “failing” (to quote Trump) New York Times degenerates into a Washington Post organization with its stagnant Cold War vision of a 1950s world where the Russians are to blame for most everything — Hillary’s loss, most of the aggression and disorder in the world, the desire to destabilize Europe, etc. — the Times has added the issue of ‘fake news’ to reassert its problematic role as the dominant voice for the Washington establishment. Certainly this is true in the case of Russia’s ‘hacking’ the 2016 election and putting into office its Manchurian Candidate in Donald Trump. Apparently the CIA (via various unnamed intelligence officials), and the FBI, NSA, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (who notoriously lied to Congress in the Snowden affair), President Obama, the DNC, Hillary Clinton, and Congress agree that Russia, and Mr. Putin predominantly, is responsible.
Certainly the psychotic, war-loving Senator John McCain is right up there alongside these patriots, calling President Putin a “thug, bully and a murderer and anybody else who describes him as anything else is lying.” He actually said this — the man whose sound judgment chose Sarah Palin as his VP nominee in ’08. And the Times followed by printing the story in its full glory on page one, clearly agreeing with McCain’s point of view. I don’t remember Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, or Reagan, in the darkest days of the 1950s/80s, ever singling out a Russian President like this. The invective was aimed at the Soviet regime, but never were Khrushchev or Brezhnev the target of this bile. I guess this is a new form of American diplomacy. If a black youth in our inner cities were killed or a Pakistani wedding party were murdered by our drones, would President Obama be singled out as a murderer, bully, thug? Such personalization is a sign of sickness in our thinking and way beneath what should be our standards.
Note the enclosed link (“US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims”) from the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (which includes the ex-NSA reformer Bill Binney, a mathematical genius who inspired the Nic Cage character in “Snowden”). He talks here about what hacking really means, as opposed to a ‘leak’. The Times and other mainstream media have surprisingly evaded any contrary evidence, such as that presented by Craig Murray, ex-ambassador and Wikileaks spokesman who says he was given the information in a Washington park by a Democratic ‘insider’ who was disgusted by the behavior of the DNC; Murray then gave it to Wikileaks. This was a ‘leak,’ not a ‘hack,’ and always seemed to me the likely source for this scandal (as I think the Sony leak was as well, falsely blamed on North Korea, but that’s another matter).