The Big Maha, The Fiddler Without A Roof, The Mystery Man…
Former Head of the GRU Personnel Department (!!!/???)
Multiple Agent selling his assets at about $1500 per head, cash and carry…
Did Mr. Skripal decide that he should continue his old duties managing the Personnel Department of his good old GRU? Apparently, he believes that he is irreplaceable… – M.N.
|Saved Stories – None|
|Russian spies are outed, but will heads roll in Moscow?|
It looked like a spy agency’s worst nightmare: The unmasking of several agents, and the disclosure of sloppy tradecraft in what appeared to be a bungled intelligence operation.
But heads have yet to roll — at least not publicly — at the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency.
On Thursday, Western governments mounted a coordinated effort to unmask what they claimed were “brazen” efforts by GRU agents to sow chaos on foreign soil.
In a briefing Thursday, the Dutch government said it had foiled a “close-access hack operation” by the GRU aimed at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the world’s chemical-weapons watchdog. The Dutch claimed that the four alleged agents planned to travel next to an OPCW-accredited laboratory in Switzerland, but did not get there because their operation was intercepted.
That same day, Britain accused the GRU of carrying out a worldwide campaign of “malicious” cyberattacks, and the US Justice Department announced criminal charges against seven GRU officers, accusing them of involvement in an effort to deflect attention from Russia’s state-sponsored sports doping program.
The coordinated information dump revealed what appeared to be an embarrassing security breach for the GRU. Details in the Dutch briefing were particularly tantalizing: The head of Dutch counterintelligence named four alleged Russian GRU officers, noting that two of them had consecutive passport numbers, a potential red flag for intelligence agencies.
And then there was the taxi receipt: When detained, one of the alleged agents had a receipt for a trip to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport from Nesvizkhskiy Pereulok, a road bordering what Dutch counterintelligence said was a GRU facility.
The owner of the cab company confirmed to CNN that the receipt was authentic, but added that the driver couldn’t recall whether any of the men named were indeed the passengers. Such details provided fodder for online sleuths, and raised questions among some observers about the GRU’s level of professionalism.
Unlike Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the two Russians named by the UK as the suspects in the nerve agent attack earlier this year in Salisbury, England, the four men named by the Dutch on Thursday left more digital traces.
The Moscow Times even reported that Yevgeny Serebryakov, one of the Russian men accused of the attempted OPCW hack, appeared to be a participant in a Moscow amateur soccer league.
So how big a scandal is this in Russia, and how will it play? The case of Petrov and Boshirov proves instructive.
In early September, British authorities released the names of the two men, saying they were GRU agents traveling under aliases. Following the release of those names, Russian President Vladimir Putin described the two men as “civilians,” and encouraged them to come forward.
The following day, Russia’s state-owned RT aired an interview with the two men, who admitted traveling to Salisbury but denied working for the GRU. That prompted insinuations and jokes on Russian media about the sexual orientation of “Boshirov” and “Petrov” as well as their fondness for Gothic spires.
The RT interview was a weapon of mass distraction, turning the Salisbury poisoning into fodder for memes. But the information war continued: After the RT interview aired, the UK investigative website Bellingcat claimed to have identified “Boshirov” as a GRU colonel.
In the coming days, no doubt, we’ll learn more about the identities of the supposed GRU agents. But the Russian response has been to double down on accusations of “fake news.”
On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova called the UK allegations a “hellish perfume mix,” saying, “The rich imagination of our UK colleagues truly knows no limits. Who comes up with this?”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov played the same note on Friday. Western governments, he said, were driven by “hysteria” and “spy phobia” after the US, the Netherlands and Britain publicly unmasked the alleged Russian intelligence agents.
To be sure, the latest round of spy wars has not been consequence-free for Russia. The US and its allies expelled dozens of Russian diplomats in the wake of the Salisbury poisoning, and the fears of Russian meddling persist: US lawmakers are considering new sanctions to punish Russia over its interference in US elections.
|Iz ziz what the Demiurge and hiz New Abwehr want? Iz ziz what ziz Hullabaloo iz about? | “Russian spies are outed, but will heads roll in Moscow?” – from KPAX.com. – 6:57 PM 10/5/2018 | Russia News|
from <a href=”http://KPAX.com” rel=”nofollow”>KPAX.com</a>.
Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Did Mr. Skripal decide that he should continue his old duties managing the Personnel Department of his good old GRU? Apparently, he believes that he is irreplaceable… – M.N.
|Germany warns Russia over cyberattacks | News | DW|
The German government on Friday called on Russia to desist from carrying out cyberattacks in other countries, adding its voice to those of Britain and the Netherlands.
“We sharply condemn such attacks on international organizations and institutions of our allies and call on Russia to meet its responsibility and cease such actions,” government Spokesman Steffen Seibert said in Berlin.
He said that Germany, like Britain, believed that the Russian military intelligence agency GRU was, “with almost absolute certainty,” behind the APT28 cyberespionage campaign, which attacked a number of targets worldwide, including the German Bundestag and government data network.
If such attacks were successful, Seibert said, they could directly threaten public security and “in principle also our democracy,” making it imperative that Germany ensured it was ready and able to take action in the digital sphere.
He emphasized the importance of working together with other states to defend against such attacks.
On Thursday, the Netherlands and Britain went public with accusations that Russia was trying to damage Western democracies through cyberattacks. Among other things, Dutch authorities said they had prevented an attack by Russian hackers on The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in April.
The OPCW, the UN’s chemical weapon’s watchdog, has been involved in investigations into the attempted killing of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal using the nerve agent Novichok and into alleged chemical attacks in Douma, Syria, by the Russia-backed Syrian regime.
Germany’s accusations come as evidence mounts of a worldwide cyber campaign targeting Western institutions launched by Russia. The US Justice Department announced after Thursday’s revelations that it had charged seven Russian military intelligence offices with hacking organizations including anti-doping agencies.
Russia has been revealed to have long run a state-sponsored athlete doping program, leading to several of its sportspeople being banned from participating in international events.
Moscow has denounced the allegations as products of “fantasy.”
Russia hacking allegations: ‘Who’s inventing all of this?’
tj/ng (dpa, Reuters)
|чем кумушек считать трудиться – Google Search|
Чем кумушек считать трудиться, / Не лучше ль на себя, кума, оборотиться? Чем кумушек считать трудиться, / Не лучше ль на себя, кума, оборотиться? Из басни «Зеркало и Обезьяна» (1815) И. А. Крылова (1769—1844). Энциклопедический словарь крылатых слов и выражений.
И.А. Крылов. Зеркало и Обезьяна
Из кумушек моих таких кривляк пять-шесть: 10 Я даже их могу по пальцам перечесть».— «Чем кумушек считать трудиться, Не лучше ль на себя, кума, …
Чем кумушек считать трудиться, / Не лучше ль на себя, кума …
Из басни «Зеркало и Обезьяна» (1815) И. А. Крылова (1769 1844). Энциклопедический словарь крылатых слов и выражений. М.: «Локид Пресс»
Басня Крылова Зеркало и обезьяна
Из кумушек моих таких кривляк пять-шесть: Я даже их могу по пальцам перечесть”. – “Чем кумушек считать трудиться, Не лучше ль на себя, кума, …
|germany spies – Google Search|
BBC News–Sep 18, 2018
Germany’s domestic intelligence chief, Hans-Georg Maassen, has been told to quit and move to a senior post at the interior ministry.
Merkel’s Spy Chief Is Removed After Public Rift
<a href=”http://WRAL.com” rel=”nofollow”>WRAL.com</a>–Sep 18, 2018
Merkel’s Spy Chief, a Hero to the Far Right, Is Removed After Public Rift
In-Depth–New York Times–Sep 19, 2018
Reuters–Sep 14, 2018
BERLIN (Reuters) – A scandal over migrants being chased through the streets has exposed a rift between Angela Merkel and Germany’s …
German spy scandal exposes deep divisions in Angela Merkel …
In-Depth–The Indian Express–Sep 14, 2018
New York Post–9 hours ago
Germany calls on Russia to halt campaign of cyberattacks … The Kremlin rejected the accusations that Russian spies were behind the cyber …
‘Russian hackers’ mania spreads: Germany joins accusations against …
International–RT–9 hours ago
Express.co.uk–Sep 10, 2018
The German spies, both British citizens, were known to authorities for years and were considered part of the so-called ‘fifth column’ of British …
The Guardian–Sep 9, 2018
Two fascist spies were awarded fake Nazi medals after the end of the … “Kohout was arguably Germany’smost effective spy in Britain during …
How homegrown fascists’ plans to let Hitler take over Britain were …
International–iNews–Sep 9, 2018
New York Post–1 hour ago
Britain and the Netherlands, joined a day later by Germany, also … into Russia’s deadly effort to poison ex-spy Sergei Skripal in Britain.
Minneapolis Star Tribune–Sep 14, 2018
The canals that crisscross the German capital eventually link up to the …. The “Bridge of Spies” was dramatized in the 2015 Steven Spielberg …
TRT World–Sep 19, 2018
According to court testimonies and other evidence, many spies of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz …
Channel NewsAsia–Sep 9, 2018
BERLIN: Spies usually operate in the shadows. Hans-Georg Maassen, chief of Germany’s domestic spyagency, has done just the opposite and …
|Germany demands that Russia halt campaign of cyberattacks|
Germany on Friday joined other Western countries in blaming Russia for engaging in a global campaign of cyber attacks against political institutions, businesses, media outlets and sports organizations.
“We have full confidence in the assessment of the British and Dutch authorities. The (German) government is also almost certain that the Russian GRU secret service is behind the APT28 campaign,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.
Advanced Persistent Threat 28 is another name used to describe the Sofacy or Fancy Bear hacking group.
Seibert said Germany believes successful attacks “could directly threaten free society, public safety and in principle our democracy” — and urged Moscow “to meet its responsibilities and cease such actions.”
Russia denies any involvement in the worldwide attacks.
On Thursday, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt accused Russia’s military intelligence agency GRU of carrying out various “reckless and indiscriminate” high-profile online attacks, according to Agence France-Presse.
Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre has “high confidence” that the GRU “almost certainly” targeted the US Democratic Party ahead of the 2016 presidential election, as well as last year’s attempted hacking of the World Anti-Doping Agency in Switzerland official said.
“This pattern of behavior demonstrates (the GRU’s) desire to operate without regard to international law or established norms and to do so with a feeling of impunity and without consequences,” Hunt said.
“Our message is clear: together with our allies, we will expose and respond to the GRU’s attempts to undermine international stability.”
In addition to APT28, Britain said the GRU was associated with several other hackers, including Pawnstorm, Sednit, CyberCaliphate, Cyber Berkut and Voodoo Bear, Reuters reported.
Australia joined Britain in its accusations, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Marise Payne calling Russian online meddling “unacceptable.”
The Kremlin rejected the accusations that Russian spies were behind the cyber attacks.
“It’s some kind of a diabolical perfume cocktail (of allegations),” Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters, TASS reported.
The latest allegations came a day after seven GRU officers were charged with carrying out an international hacking campaign on agencies and organizations that were investigating the country’s athlete doping program and the poisoning of a former KGB agent in Britain.
According to an indictment filed in Pennsylvania, the suspects conducted the cyber-attacks from 2014 through May using malware, spearfishing techniques and other high-tech weapons to steal information that was then circulated online.
Three of the seven had been indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors for hacking into the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election.
With Post wires
|West Accuses Russian Spy Agency of Scores of Attacks|
LONDON — The West unleashed an onslaught of new evidence and indictments Thursday accusing Russian military spies of hacking so widespread that it seemed to target anyone, anywhere who investigates Moscow’s involvement in an array of criminal activities — including doping, poisoning and the downing of a plane.
Russia defiantly denied the charges, neither humbled nor embarrassed by the exceptional revelations on one of the most high-tension days in East-West relations in years. Moscow lashed back with allegations that the Pentagon runs a clandestine U.S. biological weapons program involving toxic mosquitoes, ticks and more.
The nucleus of Thursday’s drama was Russia’s military intelligence agency known as the GRU, increasingly the embodiment of Russian meddling abroad.
In the last 24 hours: U.S. authorities charged seven officers from the GRU with hacking international agencies; British and Australian authorities accused the GRU of a devastating 2017 cyberattack on Ukraine, the email leaks that rocked the U.S. 2016 election and other damaging hacks; And Dutch officials alleged that GRU agents tried and failed to hack into the world’s chemical weapons watchdog, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
The ham-handed attempted break-in — involving hacking equipment in the trunk of a car and a trail of physical and virtual clues — was the most stunning operation revealed Thursday. It was so obvious, in fact, that it almost looked like the Russians didn’t care about getting caught.
“Basically, the Russians got caught with their equipment, people who were doing it, and they have got to pay the piper. They are going to have to be held to account,” U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said in Brussels, where he was meeting with NATO allies.
Mattis said the West has “a wide variety of responses” available.
Britain’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Peter Wilson, said the GRU would no longer be allowed to act with impunity.
Calling Russia a “pariah state,” British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Where Russia acts in an indiscriminate and reckless way, where they have done in terms of these cyberattacks, we will be exposing them.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov of Russia said in a statement that the U.S. is taking a “dangerous path” by “deliberately inciting tensions in relations between the nuclear powers,” adding that Washington’s European allies should also think about it.
While the accusations expose how much damage Russia can do in foreign lands, through remote hacking and on-site infiltration — they also expose how little Western countries can do to stop it.
Russia is already under EU and U.S. sanctions, and dozens of GRU agents and alleged Russian trolls have already been indicted by the U.S but will likely never be handed over to face American justice.
Still, to the Western public, Thursday may have been a pivotal day, with accusations so extensive, and the chorus of condemnation so loud, that it left little doubt of massive Russian wrongdoing. A wealth of surveillance footage released by Western intelligence agencies was quickly and overwhelmingly confirmed by independent reporting.
The litany of accusations of GRU malfeasance began overnight, when British and Australian authorities accused the Russian agency of being behind the catastrophic 2017 cyberattack in Ukraine. The malicious software outbreak knocked out ATMs, gas stations, pharmacies and hospitals and, according to a secret White House assessment recently cited by Wired, caused $10 billion in damage worldwide.
The British and Australians also linked the GRU to other hacks, including the Democratic Party email leaks and online cyber propaganda that sowed havoc before Americans voted in the 2016 presidential election.
Later Thursday, Dutch defense officials released photos and a timeline of GRU agents’ botched attempt to break into the chemical weapons watchdog using Wi-Fi hacking equipment hidden in a car parked outside a nearby Marriott Hotel. The OPCW was investigating a nerve agent attack on a former GRU spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter in Salisbury, England, that Britain has blamed on the Russian government. Moscow vehemently denies involvement.
Photographs released by the Dutch Ministry of Defense showed a trunk loaded with a computer, battery, a bulky white transformer and a hidden antenna; officials said the equipment was operational when Dutch counterintelligence interrupted the operation.
What Dutch authorities found seemed to be the work of an amateur. A taxi receipt in the pocket of one of the agents showed he had hired a cab to take him from a street next to GRU headquarters to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. A laptop found with the team appeared to tie them to other alleged GRU hacks.
The men were expelled instead of arrested, because they were traveling on diplomatic passports.
The Dutch also accused the GRU of trying to hack investigators examining the 2014 downing of a Malaysian Airlines jetliner over eastern Ukraine that killed all 298 people on board. A Dutch-led team says it has strong evidence the missile that brought the plane down came from a Russia-based military unit. Russia has denied the charge.
Later Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department charged seven GRU officers — including the four caught in The Hague — in an international hacking rampage that targeted more than 250 athletes, a Pennsylvania-based nuclear energy company, a Swiss chemical laboratory and the OPCW.
The indictment said the GRU targets had publicly supported a ban on Russian athletes in international sports competitions and because they had condemned what they called a state-sponsored doping program by Russia.
U.S. prosecutors said the Russians also targeted a Pennsylvania-based nuclear energy company and the OPCW.
The seven were identified as: Aleksei Morenets, 41; Evgenii Serebriakov, 37; Ivan Yermakov, 32; Artem Malyshev, 30; and Dmitriy Badin, 27; who were each assigned to Military Unit 26165, and Oleg Sotnikov, 46, and Alexey Minin, 46, who were also GRU officers.
The U.S. indictment says the hacking was often conducted remotely. If that wasn’t successful, the hackers would conduct “on-site” or “close access” hacking operations, with trained GRU members traveling with sophisticated equipment to target their victims through Wi-Fi networks.
The World Anti-Doping Agency, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the Canadian anti-doping agency were all identified by the U.S. indictment against the Russians.
WADA said the alleged hackers “sought to violate athletes’ rights by exposing personal and private data — often then modifying them — and ultimately undermine the work of WADA and its partners in the protection of clean sport.”
Travis Tygart, the CEO of the U.S. anti-doping agency and a prominent critic of Russian athletes’ drug use, says “a system that was abusing its own athletes with an institutionalized doping program has now been indicted for perpetrating cyberattacks on innocent athletes from around the world.”
Russia denied everything.
Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of Russian parliament, said the accusations were fake and intended to “delegitimize” a resurgent Russia. The West has picked up the GRU as “a modern analogue of the KGB which served as a bugaboo for people in the West during the Cold War,” he said.
Russia countered with accusations of their own: The Defense Ministry unveiled complex allegations that the U.S. has a clandestine biological weapons lab in the country of Georgia as part of a network of labs on the edges of Russia and China that flout international rules.
Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon called the accusations “an invention” and “obvious attempts to divert attention from Russia’s bad behavior on many fronts.”
The Associated Press, meanwhile, independently corroborated information that matches details for two of the alleged Russian agents named by the Dutch authorities.
An online car registration database in Russia showed that Aleksei Morenets, whose full name and date of birth are the same as one of the expelled Russians, sold his car in 2004, listing the Moscow address where the Defense Ministry’s Military University is based.
Alexey Minin, another Russian whose full name and date of birth match the Dutch details, had several cars, including an Alfa Romeo, that were registered and sold at the address where the Defense Ministry’s GRU school is located. In some of the filings, Minin listed the official military unit number of the GRU school as his home address.
Balsamo reported from Washington and Casert from Brussels. Raphael Satter in London, Nataliya Vasilyeva and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow, Lorne Cook in Brussels and Eric Tucker in Washington contributed.
|The coordinated witch-hunts do not solve the problems, the coordinated communications do. The pervasive, constantly present, the distinguishing, the defining, the hallmark feature of the recent operations is this “ham-handedness”. – M.N. – 6:08 AM 10/6/2018 | Global Security News|
The coordinated witch-hunts do not solve the problems, the coordinated communications do. The pervasive, constantly present, the distinguishing, the defining, the hallmark feature of the recent operations is this “ham-handedness”. – M.N. – 6:08 AM 10/6/2018
“The ham-handed attempted break-in — involving hacking equipment in the trunk of a car and a trail of physical and virtual clues — was the most stunning operation revealed Thursday. It was so obvious, in fact, that it almost looked like the Russians didn’t care about getting caught…
What Dutch authorities found seemed to be the work of an amateur. A taxi receipt in the pocket of one of the agents showed he had hired a cab to take him from a street next to GRU headquarters to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. A laptop found with the team appeared to tie them to other alleged GRU hacks.”
M.N.: This “ham-handedness”, the deliberate, demonstrative sloppiness, as if it were the invitation to be discovered, is the pervasive, constantly present, the distinguishing, the defining, the hallmark feature of ALL recent operations, including, very much so, the Operation Trump. This feature has to be addressed and investigated thoroughly, it might contain one of the main clues. It might indicate the possible set-up or the number of other explanations, which have to be explored.
The “Russianness”, the Russian ethnic origins and the history of the service in the military or the GRU of the implied, suspected operators does not mean at all that they work for the GRU presently, or that their acts were authorised, approved, or specifically planned by the GRU. Importantly, they might have been selected by the third party (which I call the New Abwehr, under its leader, the Demiurge), and specifically for these traits: “Russianness” and the history of the GRU service. These suspects might be the completely unwitting semi-professional actors acting as the cover for the true designers. GRU is the very sophisticated and experienced, highly professional intelligence service, just like her counterparts, and they have their own professional ways of doing things without being ostentatious, also just like the others.
However, everything is possible, and the version of the “face value”, “what you see is what you get” is legitimate and has to be investigated first of all, despite the lack of the credibility factor.
My respectful recommendation to Gen. Gerasimov and Gen. Korobov is to try to reach out to their colleagues and to discuss these issues frankly and openly, in their broad range and in all the possible depth. The similar respectful recommendation to their colleagues, Gen. Dunford and Gen. Ashley, is to have these discussions and to try to make them productive. GRU is often compared with CIA, although nominally its counterpart is DIA. These interventions have to be approved on the highest levels, of course.
By the way, I think that the non-travel sanctions specifically against Korobov and the others in this circle, who are not involved in commercial activities, are counterproductive and should be waved or cancelled. People need to travel, to meet, and to talk; and the present crisis is the result of the insufficient communications, not their abundance.
Technically, it is also easier to keep track of them when they travel freely rather than clandestinely, which they do anyway.
The coordinated witch-hunts do not solve the problems, the coordinated communications do.
“Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov of Russia said in a statement that the U.S. is taking a “dangerous path” by “deliberately inciting tensions in relations between the nuclear powers,” adding that Washington’s European allies should also think about it.”
Mr. Ryabkov, stop your nuclear dingle-dangle. You sound more like a fire-setter than a firefighter or diplomat. Do not threaten the others yourself, you sound excessively defensive. Try to comprehend, to truly understand the situation, and to find the ways of resolving it on the basis of this understanding.
The delusional-grandiose attempts on Mr. Skripal’s part to influence the personnel policies of the GRU; as his revenge (if they exist), should also be considered as a factor, although, obviously, it will be left without any consequences.
Mr. Skripal himself appears to be the highly intriguing, mysterious, complex person who might also contain many hidden clues.
Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
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