The Russian Bear Uses a Keyboard 152


I am about twenty four hours behind on debunking the “evidence” of Russian hacking of the DNC because I have only just stopped laughing. I was sent last night the “crowdstrike” report, paid for by the Democratic National Committee, which is supposed to convince us. The New York Times today made this “evidence” its front page story.

It appears from this document that, despite himself being a former extremely competent KGB chief, Vladimir Putin has put Inspector Clouseau in charge of Russian security and left him to get on with it. The Russian Bear has been the symbol of the country since the 16th century. So we have to believe that the Russian security services set up top secret hacking groups identifying themselves as “Cozy Bear” and “Fancy Bear”. Whereas no doubt the NSA fronts its hacking operations by a group brilliantly disguised as “The Flaming Bald Eagles”, GCHQ doubtless hides behind “Three Lions on a Keyboard” and the French use “Marianne Snoops”.

What is more, the Russian disguised hackers work Moscow hours and are directly traceable to Moscow IP addresses. This is plain and obvious nonsense. If crowdstrike were tracing me just now they would think I am in Denmark. Yesterday it was the Netherlands. I use Tunnel Bear, one of scores of easily available VPN’s and believe me, the Russian FSB have much better resources. We are also supposed to believe that Russia’s hidden hacking operation uses the name of the famous founder of the Communist Cheka, Felix Dzerzhinsky, as a marker and an identify of “Guccifer2” (get the references – Russian oligarchs and their Gucci bling and Lucifer) – to post pointless and vainglorious boasts about its hacking operations, and in doing so accidentally leave bits of Russian language script to be found.

The Keystone Cops portrayal of one of the world’s most clinically efficient intelligence services is of a piece with the anti-Russian racism which has permeated the Democratic Party rhetoric for quite some time. Frankly nobody in what is vaguely their right mind would believe this narrative.

It is not that “Cozy Bear”, “Fancy Bear” and “Guccifer2” do not exist. It is that they are not agents of the Russian government and not the source of the DNC documents. Guccifer2 is understood in London to be the fairly well known amusing bearded Serbian who turns up at parties around Camden under the (assumed) name of Gavrilo Princip.

Of course there were hacking and phishing attacks on the DNC. Such attacks happen every day to pretty well all of us. There were over 1,050 attacks on my own server two days ago, and many of them often appear to originate in Russia – though more appear to originate in the USA. I attach a cloudfare threat map. It happens to be from a while ago as I don’t have a more up to date one to hand from my technical people. Of course in many cases the computers attacking have been activated as proxies by computers in another country entirely. Crowdstrike apparently expect us to believe that Putin’s security services have not heard of this or of the idea of disguising which time zone you operate from.


One Day’s Attempts to Hack My Own Server – Happens Every Single Day

Pretty well all of us get phishing emails pretty routinely. Last year my bank phoned me up to check if I was really trying to buy a car with my credit card in St Petersburg. I don’t know what the DNC paid “Crowdstrike” for their narrative but they got a very poor return for their effort indeed. That the New York Times promotes it as any kind of evidence is a truly damning indictment of the mainstream media.


152 thoughts on “The Russian Bear Uses a Keyboard

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  • Loony

    This drivel signifies both the derangement and desperation of the deep state.

    A Harvard Law Professor (Larry Lessig) has been offering free legal advice to members of the Electoral College and now claims he has nearly enough GOP electors “on-side” to block the election of Trump. These are very dangerous times and it seems clear that some of these lunatics would prefer complete catastrophe to voluntarily surrendering their power.

    A soft coup is underway – If they block Trump who can guess the consequences. If they do not block him then they clearly intend to fight a guerrilla campaign for the duration of his Presidency.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Just the expected disconcerting twaddle from you about the scandal.

    Nothing about your alleged source.

    Nothing about Edward Snowden who had good reason to hack the emails involving Hillary in the hope of finding illegitimate material for Russian intelligence which would give substance to Trump claiming she was a liar, a cheat, and a pedophile who should be locked up, once he became POTUS.

    Looks like you are still hoping to have that supper with The Donald.

    • craig Post author

      Don’t be ridiculous. Why would we burn the source? Do you know what would happen to them?

      I don’t think even Hillary has come up with Snowden dunnit yet. But it’s rather a nice idea. Sadly not true though.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        It is you who is being ridiculous.

        Hillary knew enough about Snowden going to Moscow that she persuaded the President not to try to reset relations with Putin, claiming that he had been working for Moscow all along. (Hillary Clinton,Hard Choices, p. 244) She added that Snowden’s leaks caused the hardest choices of all for the POTUS. (pp. 555-6)

        She thought of him first about her leaks.

        And leaking your source would at most cost him a trip to a federal cooler.

        If they ever get their hands on Snowden, he is dead meat.

        • Nick

          No one with integrity would ever reveal their source…especially when genuine as they need protected. Why are you so desperate for craig to reveal this info? Trip to the cooler….maybe but the source would likely meet with an “accident” inside.

        • Glenn T MacLeod

          If the atrocious abomination ‘Hillary’ had become POTUS, your precious time to defend her deranged lunacy regarding Russia would indeed become ‘precious’ because the harridan from Hell would have caused WWIII, and all of us would have ended up ‘dead meat’ – I hope she rots in Hell!

        • Robert

          “claiming that he had been working for Moscow all along. (Hillary Clinton,Hard Choices, p. 244)”

          Here is what Clinton actually wrote:

          “But over the summer it became harder to ignore the negative trajectory, especially with Edward Snowden, the contractor who leaked National Security Agency secrets to journalists, given asylum by Putin in Russia.”

          Nothing whatsoever about Snowden allegedly “working for Moscow all along”.

        • Bayard

          “Hillary knew enough about Snowden going to Moscow that she persuaded the President not to try to reset relations with Putin, claiming that he had been working for Moscow all along. (Hillary Clinton,Hard Choices, p. 244) She added that Snowden’s leaks caused the hardest choices of all for the POTUS. (pp. 555-6)”

          You’re quoting Hillary Clinton as a reliable source? Have you been smoking something illegal?

      • RPDC

        Would they be shot twice in the back on a lonely street in NW DC in the wee hours of a July morning?

      • Ernst Gruengast

        Craig,
        As a former ambassador, I’m sure you know how to communicate enough information to back up your claims without burning your source. What does not suffice is:

        1. Shooting the Messenger
        Crowdstrike et al are of course hired hands. Dismissing the report because of this is not substantive crtiticism. Somebody has to pay for cybersecurity forensics – it will generally be the injured party. If they are spouting dross, then the more they reveal, the more rope they will give to hang them. Stick to that.
        CIA lie for a living. That’s their job and if they didn’t do it they wouldn’t be much cop. But it is just lazy to use this as grounds not to believe anything they say.

        2. The “Enemy” is cleverer than that
        As I’m sure you know, the more cut-outs there are between one end of an operation and another, the less controllable it becomes and the more likely to deviate from SOP. This is true for any intelligence service, no matter how professional. To claim the Russians would never be so sloppy is not really credible – you are familiar with the Mitrokhin archive?

        The three questions I posted elsewhere still stand:
        1. Did the hack happen? Either it or it didn’t.
        2. If yes, did the data extracted include that which Wikileaks published? Either it or it didn’t.
        3. Is the evidence pointing to Russian state involvement credible? This one is not just a yes or no answer, obviously, but it is what you are addressing in your post.

        Nevertheless:
        If the answer to Q. 1 is affirmative, you should be suspicious of your source
        If the answer to Q. 2 is affirmative, you should be very suspicious of your source

        You might entertain the possibility that you and Julian Assange are being played – by Russian or any other intelligence agency.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          This point deserves serious consideration, as I think I’ve suggested before, although my gut feeling is still that if the Russians had done something like this, it would have been better targeted and more tightly controlled. Still and all, the intention may have been specifically to create distorted perceptions in the US electorate – particularly the part Trump couldn’t reach – in which case it can be said to have been a success.

          There’s no doubt that Trump and the Russian oligarchy get on like a house on fire – hell, they’re cut from the same cloth. Which probably accounts for RT’s support of Trump. Ok, this is not very pro-Russian, but it’s worth a look if you’re open to discussion.

          http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/09/15/putin-tv-stars-pump-for-trump.html

          • Shatnersrug

            I’m sure the Russian hack political emails all the time. Don’t change the fact that Hil’s emails says she funded 25% of her campaign from Saudi money knowing they were funding Isis – that’s the shit that got people’s backs up not who Leaked or hacked it or whatever.

            Is the words of Bruce Lee “it’s like s finger pointing to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger…”

            Although I must say having read the non liberal US media it’s fairly clear to see that Trump and most of the electorate do not care about the NYT or it’s silly stories, and it’s full steam ahead for trump so I’d suggest people here give up on the Liberal media lies till after Dec 19.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            ….says she funded 25% of her campaign from Saudi money knowing they were funding Isis – that’s the shit that got people’s backs up ….

            Really? Nothing to do with generally being pissed at not being listened to by government? Wetbacks? Outsourcing? Industry dead on its feet and corporates taking obscene profits? What a remarkably sophisticated population the US has, to be sure.

            But I think you’ll see Trump’s true colours after he takes office, and you will regret what you wished for, unless you are a friend of his or a Russian oligarch. See you then.

      • jake

        So, and for the avoidance of all possible doubt, can you confirm that the name of the whistleblower isn’t hidden within the text of Sikunder Burnes with the cryto-key concealed in your hand-written dedication?

        • Shatnersrug

          Ba’al I didn’t wish for either of them. This whole scenario has been utterly predictable for years. I don’t want trump, but I can’t bare Clinton. I’m watching Mary Beards Ultimatr Romans doc at the moment. It’s pretty clear where we are in the state of empire.

      • Joe Templeton

        Do not want anybody burnt, but do you actually know who the source is (as opposed to any intermediary)? Because if not, you may have been misled in respect of their identity and motives. That would reconcile what you are saying and other views and material, some of which I find more persuasive than you, not least some of the analysis in this: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/01/world/europe/wikileaks-julian-assange-russia.html. If your answer is “yes” I guess I would believe you (in the face of what looks to me a very compelling circumstantial case against the Bear). Equally, I think it would be entirely understandable were you to decline to give an answer.

    • bevin

      “a semi-comatose computer illiterate approaching his twilight years (though it didn’t convince me)..”
      Nothing personal intended, Trowbridge.

    • M A

      Edward Snowden was a whistleblower who leaked information, not a hacker
      You know that though? Right?

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        You don;t know about his hacking into the laptops of Christopher Metsos’s Manhattan 11 which proved so difficult that the FBI called GCHQ to help out.

        It provided Gareth Williams who went on the rampage when he learned that they had been set up as Russian agents, resulting in his being brutally murdered when he tried to rectify the situation.

        Snowden fled from Hawaii when CIA/NSA was threatening to do the same thing to him.

  • bevin

    Nothing to add. You nailed the basic problem- these idiots believe their own publicity, they produce a narrative that might convince a semi-comatose computer illiterate approaching his twilight years (though it didn’t convince me) and then act as if they knew no better.
    What is amazing is that, so deeply does tribal political partisanship run in the States that lots of Democrats who really know better find themselves inventing ever more complex justifications for the ludicrous story.
    As I have noted before-why wouldn’t the Russians want a Clinton administration? More of the same, from Washington, would put a complete end to US dreams of hegemony within months.
    What worries Russian leaders is the spectre of a new US Foreign Policy, complete with diplomacy and all those other things that shrewd governments practise.
    During Clinton’s period as Secretary of State, marked by her attempts to isolate Russia, Putin’s popularity ratings both internally and internationally shot up into the stratosphere. And Lavrov has grown fat and jolly breakfasting on the likes of Nuland, McCaul and Kerry.

    • lysias

      A Hillary administration might do no good for the United States, but a nuclear war with Russia that a President Hillary might have caused with Russia would do no good for Russia either.

      So a Russian attempt to stop a Hillary presidency would make sense for Russia. But I have seen no convincing or even persuasive evidence that that is what happened.

    • Shatnersrug

      This PR disaster is worthy of John Mcternan! I wonder if Alister Cambel was involved in it.

      Message to Trowbridge – you’re a lovely man, but we’re British and we can spot this type of poorly constructed PR company generated rubbish a mile off.

      All democrats
      Need to work through this slowly;

      The Seven Stages of Grief.

      1 SHOCK & DENIAL- You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. …
      2 PAIN & GUILT- …
      3 ANGER & BARGAINING- …
      4″DEPRESSION”, REFLECTION, LONELINESS- …
      5 THE UPWARD TURN- …
      6 RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH- …
      7 ACCEPTANCE & HOPE-

  • lysias

    Someone who uses the name Gavrilo Princip (the name of the Sarajevo assassin) would be quite capable of adding a reference to Iron Felix.

  • RobG

    It all gets madder and madder.

    So I’m now going to turn in for the night, with a blow-up rubber Putin doll and a slice of pizza.

  • Derek

    One of the so called pieces of evidence against Russia is the spear phishing attack against DNS staffer Billy Rhinehart where he responded to a fake email supposedly sent by Google, but instead sent from a Yandex.com email account. Yandex is Russian so of course the hacker must be Russian according to the DNC.

    This article by security researcher Jeffrey Carr https://medium.com/@jeffreycarr/the-yandex-domain-problem-2076089e330b#.kk8h1emqu
    points out that Yandex.com accounts are only given to applicants who apply in English. Russian language applicants get a Yandex.ru account.

    So the DNC narrative requires us to believe that Russian state hackers are so stupid they use Yandex email accounts which will point the finger of suspicion at Russia, but at the same time they prefer not to operate in their own language. Oh and the server the phishing email came from was in Ukraine. Well that is close enough to Russia, so it must have been Russians.

  • giyane

    http://www.kurdsatnews.com/?p=80370

    This link is about 578 million dollars of oil which was sold by Kurdistan last month, according to Kurdish Regional Government sources.
    None of this money is seen by citizens of Kurdistan. It all goes to pay the colleagues of Blair and Cameron in the UK, their equivalents in the US and IS and Turkey, not to mention Saudi which has access to OPEC registration of the oil.

    While they are blaming Russia, they are pulling in billions to fill the black hole of USUKIS debt. The deal with the local despots Barzani and Erdogan is, and will be in future with Al Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood, that all of the resources of the Middle East will be handed to our poiticians in the US and UK in exchange for shoe-horning and keeping the bastards’ bums on the seats of power. The people are completely expendable, except as cannon fodder and sex slaves.

    Funny, isn’t it?

    • giyane

      We are talking the man not the subject. The subject is USUKIS highly lucrative, highly destructive ( as ever from time ) colonial war.
      As in the times of Sikunder Burnes, when shit hits fan, blame Russia. My grandmother’s second marriage, my grandfather having died of alcoholism in his early 40s, was to an ex Indian colonel on the North West Frontier. He had an extremely secluded Tudor mansion and farm on the Kent Sussex border. The money came from colonialism.

      The Camerons and Borises are well above his pay grade in the money making stakes of neo-colonialism. And yet they are still using the time old excuses that they were there to defend our interests against Russia. Oil money is flowing from Iraq like the thrust of a space-rocket against gravity. Then, who pops up to interrupt the Jetstream of neo-colonial dirty oil dollars? Putin and Russia.

      Even Craig spouted the FOC bollocks often repeated by Samantha Powers and the Rice sisters that Russia is a scheming colonial Empire. Even Prince Andrew an under-educated Royal can joke about the winning the Great Game,

      The realty is that in this Great Game, in Libya, Iraq and Syria 25 million innocent Muslims have been driven out of their homes by gangsters using the name of Islam, in order to tap into this neo-colonial wealth jet-stream.

      The other day Craig came up with the same Al Qaida tripe by which my Kurdish friend tried to brainwash me, that every justifiable revolution will go through a transitional stage of chaotic destruction. We have to obtain power. It’s bollocks of the high order.

      Any leader like Assad who was using his country’s resources for his country’s benefit, as opposed to the benefit of the neo-colonial powers was pencilled for destruction , using jihadists who claimed that the Muslims had forfeited their property and rights, for not being slaves to Salafist extremism.

      There is no jihad against a functioning practising Muslim population. The Syrian rebellion was purely and simply a bid for power.
      They are not doing it for Islam or Allah. They want USUKIS to exchange gawadiah/ prostitution of their countries’ resources in exchange for power. I hope Putin massacres every single one, male and female of these misguided troublemakers.
      Boris supporting enslavers makes my blood boil…. and then USUKIS project their centuries old crimes onto Russia.

      • giyane

        For clarity “an ex Indian colonel on the North West Frontier” should read a British colonel on India’s North West Frontier.

  • lysias

    The Daily Mail says Craig has spoken to it about his contact with Wikileaks’s source. EXCLUSIVE: Ex-British ambassador who is now a WikiLeaks operative claims Russia did NOT provide Clinton emails – they were handed over to him at a D.C. park by an intermediary for ‘disgusted’ Democratic whistleblowers:

    But Murray insisted that the DNC and Podesta emails published by Wikileaks did not come from the Russians, and were given to the whistleblowing group by Americans who had authorized access to the information.

    ‘Neither of [the leaks] came from the Russians,’ Murray said. ‘The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks.’

    He said the leakers were motivated by ‘disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders.’

    Murray said he retrieved the package from a source during a clandestine meeting in a wooded area near American University, in northwest D.C. He said the individual he met with was not the original person who obtained the information, but an intermediary.

    • craig Post author

      Yes – I did not tell the Mail I was the guy who carried the emails back though. I think they were already with WikiLeaks before I went to Washington. Interestingly I also did not say it was an intermediary – I said I did not know if I knew the person’s real identity or they were operating under an alias, or if they were themselves the principal.

      • CanSpeccy

        This is fascinating stuff. But confusing. The Daily Mail reports:

        “A Wikileaks envoy today claims he personally received Clinton campaign emails in Washington D.C. after they were leaked by ‘disgusted’ whisteblowers – and not hacked by Russia.

        Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and a close associate of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, told Dailymail.com that he flew to Washington, D.C. for a clandestine hand-off with one of the email sources in September.”

        Whereas, you say:

        “I did not tell the Mail I was the guy who carried the emails back though. I think they were already with WikiLeaks before I went to Washington.”

        Does this mean that you did not “personally received Clinton campaign emails in Washington D.C.”, or simply that whatever you received was already in the hands of Wikileaks?

        If you did not receive Clinton campaign emails in Washington D.C., are you able to state the reason for the meeting in Washington, D.C., in what the Daily Mail describes as a wooded are near American University for the purpose of “a clandestine hand-off”?

        Or if you did receive Clinton campaign emails during the meeting described by the Daily Mail, even though these emails were already in the hands of Wikileaks, can you reveal what purpose was served by this meeting?

  • LeeJ

    Have just seen a headline in the Daily Mail ( I did not read the rest) ,that Russia is planning on attacking Sweden. I have absolutely no idea what would be the logic for this but apparently the DM gives it credence.Astonishing times.

  • RobG

    This interview was done on Radio 2 in 1987 (it’s a 4 minute clip)…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHfHQwffOXU

    After being repeatingly called out as a shill, Brand stopped posting on YouTube for the best part of a year. The little devil is now back…

    https://www.youtube.com/user/russellbrand/videos

    … although it doesn’t seem for long, because many people still see him as a lowlife shill.

    When it comes to the ‘alternate media’, Pizzagate is certainly separating the men from the boys.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKHs9Zl5A_c

    • RobG

      Apologies, my first link in the above post is Russel Brand interviewing Jimmy Savile in 2007, not 1987.

      A typo on my part.

  • fedup

    Enjoyed the laugh about cozi bear, and fancy bear, and the Luciferian Gucci. However facts before us are the presence of the leaked emails, and these cannot be denied or shoved back into the hard drives whence they came from.

    Also fact that no one is prepared to own up to falling for the ubiquitous Nigerian prince desperate to get his money out of the country, sending out phishing emails that any moron would click on just for laughs.

    The next best switch and bate trick is of course; Russian what done it!

    Hence the almost irrational and computer illiterate twaddle that is in fact crimes against electrons and ought to be punishable by some sort of a penalty as yet not thought out!

    However given that some of the participants have difficulties to discern their elbow from their hacker to their whistle blower the report seems to have hit the spot and get traction.

    Needless to point out we have been here before;
    The story of Jessica Lynch capture by the Iraqis, and her heroic rescue from the Iraqis by the US special forces!
    Death of Pat Tillman
    And whole boat load of other packs of lies that have been tabled by the same bunch of shameless operatives included Judith Miller’s employer, so it should not come as a surprise to find the same liars and con artists are back to their old way of dealing with we the people: Lie through their teeth!

    The fact remains are we the people that stupid to buy these blatant and amateurish lies again?

  • harrylaw

    Whoever hacked the Democratic Party and released the e mails did everyone a service. They revealed the Democratic Party establishment to be totally corrupt. They revealed collusion with top Democratic official with the Clinton team in rubbishing Bernie Sanders campaign, then Donna Brazile had to resign her broadcasting position when it was revealed she had fed the questions to Clinton before the debates, also the content of those lucrative speeches to the Bankers and other compromising material, which may have cost her the election, then the entire leadership of the DNC had to resign just before the convention causing mayhem. The hacker has done us all a service by exposing the corrupt and warmongering elites in the Democratic Party leadership.

    • Shatnersrug

      Whoever leaked those emails the fact still remains that they demonstrated the Democratic Party to be, just like new Labour, completely corrupt. And that’s why they lost and they will have to get over it- Trump will undoubtedly carry on business as usual with a few deck chairs moved and the DNC are out for another 8 years. They need to clear out all the dross now just like Labour are slowly doing.

  • LordSnooty

    Not a peep from Her Majesty’s Moribund Opposition, nor its feeble and incompetent leadership, about the Dirty Digger’s de facto UK coup?

  • William Holt

    Thanks for this. The amateurish nature in which “clues” were left behind to point to Russia seemed in no way to deter the media from declaring that they had found the source of the hacks. Frankly, it’s embarrassing.

  • Giggles

    Are Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear names the groups use for themselves, or are they reporting names assigned to them by CrowdStrike? I was under the impression it was the latter, and you might want to double-check this. Otherwise, I appreciated this piece.

    • Geoff

      I don’t know about cozy bear but I assumed that Fancy Bear was (or was meant to look like) the same russian hacking group that released the Olympic doping records of various Western athletes. That was the name they used for themselves.

  • Bryan Hemming

    I am right in thinking the Daily Mail has photoshopped your image for some ridiculous reason Craig? The photo in the article makes it appear that you’re wearing the sort of tinted lenses one might expect a ex-pat Russian oligarch aboard his superyacht on the Med might sport. On enlarging the image I detected what seems to be a fairly amateur photoshop job. Fake shades of news?

    If I am wrong, and you wear them for medical, or other personal reasons, please forgive me. It’s just that I’ve never seen you in them before, and have lost so much confidence in the corporate media I question even the most insignificant details.

  • michael norton

    O/T
    France’s parliament voted Wednesday to extend a NATIONAL STATE of EMERGENCY
    until July 15, after next year’s elections.

    The security measures, in force since attacks in Paris that killed 130 people in November 2015, are now expected to be approved by the Senate on Thursday. It is the fifth extension of the state of emergency, which gives police extended powers of search and arrest.

    The overnight vote in the National Assembly passed by 288 to 32, with only Left Front lawmakers, protesting ecologists and a handful of centre-right Republicans voting against.
    http://www.france24.com/en/20161214-france-votes-extend-state-emergency-fifth-time

    I wonder if they will stop the elections from happening and just keep Hapless Hollande in power with his hard man Bernard Cazeneuve
    ( the real puller of strings) as Prime minister?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Whereas no doubt the NSA fronts its hacking operations by a group brilliantly disguised as “The Flaming Bald Eagles”, GCHQ doubtless hides behind “Three Lions on a Keyboard” and the French use “Marianne Snoops”.

    Possibly not so far off the mark as far as the NSA is concerned. While UK military policy is to name its operations more-or-less randomly – the enemy should not be able to work out the intention from the codename – and tends to stay clear of machismo grandiosity, the Americans have long called their projects by supposedly frightening names giving a clear lead as to their intentions. ‘Desert Storm’, for instance, or ‘Enduring Freedom’. School of Kenny (‘Let’s Bomb Russia’) Everett, indeed.

  • Peter

    The Fancy Bears and Cozy Bears obviously did not choose these names for themselves, these designations are Crowdstrike’s nomenclature meant to indicate that these groups are based in Russia. All the available evidence suggests that the latter is true.

    However, it is indeed foolish to believe that these groups are regular FSB or GRU units. In my opinion, they are most likely groups of “patriotic” Russian hackers operating with the connivance of Russian intelligence agencies, enjoying some degree of protection in return for passing on information about any zero-day vulnerabilities discovered to the authorities, allowing intelligence agencies to piggyback on their infrastructure, and providing offensive cyberattack capacity with their botnets if and when required. This kind of symbiotic relationship between “patriotic” hackers (who probably started out as hackers-for-profit and may still moonlight as such) and organs of the state is quite typical in Russia and neighbouring countries. For example, Ukraine’s current MP for the Internet Party started out as one of the world’s most infamous credit card fraudsters, was spared jail “for reasons of national security” and now enjoys immunity from prosecution as an MP.

    Be that as it may, Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear are almost certainly Russian groups, who consider themselves and who are considered patriotic good ole boys by the Russian authorities. Being a good coder does not preclude an individual from also being a political animal and an ardent nationalist. To my mind, their choice of targets clearly indicates that this is what they are, just as their strategies regarding the release of pilfered data indicate that they are (relatively) free agents, not reined in by military discipline. Genuine intelligence professionals would never willingly trade long-term access to a target for a short-lived publicity stunt by publishing stolen data.

    As to who “hacked” the DNC, I don’t see any contradiction between an insider leaking those e-mails and the Fancy Bears and Cozy Bears simultaneously hacking the hell out of the DNC. Of course the DNC would have been very, very high up their target list, and of course the DNC’s logs would show persistent attempts to penetrate their systems from outside. Perhaps those attempts even succeeded – but IMHO they would never, ever have turned the pilfered e-mails over to WikiLeaks. Firstly, WikiLeaks is not an organisation that they would consider a natural ally, quite the contrary, secondly, they would not have needed WikiLeaks in order to publish those e-mails. They could easily have done that themselves, as they have done numerous times in the past.

  • John Louis Lassen Perry

    I am just starting to research this story for a piece I hope to write, and came across your post. I would check into your comment on “Guccifer 2.0” a bit more thoroughly. It is not a reference to Russian Oligarchs, nor is it intended to reference “Gucci” or “Lucifer” directly, though that is what the original user of the name intended (he claimed to “have the style of Gucci and the light of Lucifer”). It is actually more a sort of inside hacker homage to the original Guccifer, a Romanian hacker named Marcel Lazar Lehel. Lehel is something of a hacker folk hero in some quarters, because despite limited technical education, and using only a smart phone and an out of date laptop, he managed to hack into the accounts of Romanian and American politicians and celebrities, including Colin Powell, members of the Rockefeller family, an aide to former U.S. president Bill Clinton, and, somewhat oddly, Candice Bushnell, author “Sex and the City,” a book that was made into a television series. He was considered to have a quirky sense of humor, and seems to have some strange ideas about the world being run by the “illuminati”, among other things, which seem odd in the mainstream world, but are common themes in the hackerverse. He was arrested in 2014 in Romania, and extradited to the United States. He is currently in jail in Alexandria, Virginia. It’s a strange and interesting story. There is a Wikipedia page on him.

  • fred

    I think if I had leaked confidential information to the press I’d be happy for people to believe Russian hackers had done it.

    It’s like if a bank manager has been embezzling money and crooks blow the safe one night, he isn’t going to tell the police they didn’t get anything because he’d already stolen it.

    If the CIA want to believe the Russians did it let them then they won’t be looking for the person who did do it.

    • philw

      The CIA know it wasn’t the Russians.

      The point is to whip up anti-Russian hysteria, especially amongst Trump-haters, to back the new Cold War.

      I dont think all Team Clinton has given up hope of stealing the election either.

      • fred

        That’s as may be but if the leaker ever goes to trial the CIA claims will be most useful to the defence and Craig’s testimony most useful to the prosecution.

        I think if I were the person who had leaked the emails I’d have rather he kept quiet about it and let everyone think it was Russian hackers.

    • giyane

      Fred, exactly.
      The bent Shrewsbury solicitor who set up a scam to bypass death duties on my mother’s will, has been quietly dismissed by his employers and has moved to another firm with a greater appreciation of his soliciting skill.

  • Aubrey

    It was fun to read! I wonder if this is just an bugaboo of Russian bear! Looks like you are a lucky one with Russian and USA attacks, I have a full list of Chinese and India attacks! Wanna trade?

  • MJ

    Jill Stein’s efforts to get the election overturned on the grounds of vote-fixing have fallen apart after the Michigan recount discovered widespread evidence of voter fraud – in Clinton’s favour.

    I blame the Russians.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      I do too, especially since Trump got potential voters chanting voluntarily “Lock her up!” after he claimed that Hillary Clinton was a liar, cheat, and pedophile.

      They had nowhere else to go after FBI Director James Comey believed it too, thanks to claims by his subordinates, and writing that letter to Congress ten days before the presidential election..

      Even the Soviets never descended to such election management.

      • giyane

        Sikh motto: ” If you’re clever enough to do it …”
        Maybe this will be a turning point for Russian democracy, if Putin is clever enough to do what Hillary’s taught him how to do.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Still suspect that Putin feared that The Donald had ruined the plot by overdoing the claims, especially alluding to Hillary having eaten Cathy O’Brien when she wanted sex.

        See Tranceformation of America, p 155.

        That why Trump’s and Comey’s people were so interested in seeing John “Pedo’ Podesta’s emails.

      • Harry Vimes

        “Even the Soviets never descended to such election management.”

        The FBI was probably trying to mimic the DNC election management playbook and looking through your contributions on this matter Trowbridge they are not the only ones.

        The other day I read a piece somewhere about a police force in the UK which resorted to staging a street mugging on a drug dealer to get access to the information and evidence on his smart phone whilst he was talking on it. I don’t know when the case is up before the beak but I’m sure, for the sake of consistency, that he can rely on someone to argue his corner that the issue is not one of his criminal acts of drug dealing but the fact that the police tricked him into revealing evidence of his criminal activity. In much the same way that the Clinton led anti democratic activities of the corrupt DNC is being ignored by those like yourself supporting the practice of a crude form of misdirection aimed at how the information was obtained rather than the election management and manipulation it reveals.

        Just as the top echelons of the US State belly ached about that leaked video showing US troops shooting civilians from a helicopter in Iraq which supplied by Bradley/Chelsea Manning. Some people just cannot or will not recognise the difference between a mote and a beam. One hopes that those who fall into this catagory are at least getting paid for it rather than acting as a UI?

        • Trowbridge H. Ford

          I have never ignored the criminal activities of the Clintons anywhere, especially when they tried to have me killed during 1995-6. and had Obama resume it when he became POTUS in 2009.

          I just don’t think what they did to sideline Bernie Sanders justifies supporting an uncontrollable nut to become POTUS.

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            Because she has learned that the world is a most dangerous place which could experience a world war, and Trump. if he even is somehow informed of the risks, thinks wars are fun.

          • lysias

            If she didn’t mean to really bring about a no-fly zone in Syria, which would predictably cause war with Russia unless Russia shows unusual restraint for a great power, then why did she call for it in the last debate, days before the election? That was bound to scare off voters, so I don’t see why she would say it if she didn’t really mean it.

            And we have her record to go by. Kosovo. Iraq. Libya. “We came, we saw, he died, (cackle).” Are those not the words and the laugh of a psychopathic warmonger?

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            If one is sticking to what the candidates said during the campaign, why nothing about Trump’s most reckless comments and proposals which certainly made Hillary say that she would stand up to the alleged do-nothing administration so as not to scare off voters.

            What I find most intriguing about Putin seeking revenge against Hillary, there is absolutely no mention of Edward Snowden being in Russia, and leading its hacking against her to Trump’s advantage.

            One would think that Putin has sent Snowden off to Siberia.

            This country is just crap.

          • lysias

            Hillary has been calling for that no-fly zone in Syria for years. She didn’t suddenly start calling for it in this year’s campagin.

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            I read her Hard Choices book which was published in JUne 2014, and I don’t recall any reference to a no-fly zone nor can I find anything about it now.

            Can you supply a reference to it back then?

            Still looking too for that reference about my being a semi-comatose octogenarian who is incompetent with computers.

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            Oh, right, i and the Turks were to have their intelligence services examine the possibility of establishing a no-fly zone to stop clashes between Jordanian and Syrian troops!

            Some warmonger!

          • lysias

            Diana Johnstone, the author of Hllary Clinton: The Queen of Chaos speaking in an interview on Hillary’s performance as Secretary of State:

            MÓC [the interviewer]: You write that the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Barack Obama “went on to outdo even his predecessors in useless aggressive war-making—with moments of hesitation, however, which we cannot expect from Hillary”. What makes you believe that a Clinton presidency would be less hesitant than Obama to use U.S. military force?

            DJ [Diana Johnstone]: Simple: whenever Obama hesitated, Hillary did not. She urged war in Libya, a no-fly zone in Syria, and from all she says, would have been urging stronger action against Russia when her former spokeswoman Victoria Nuland was leading the anti-Russian coup in Kiev. Her chuckling over the bestial murder of Gaddafi shows an absence of any human feeling for her adversaries. She dismisses them as subhuman. In addition to her absence of compassion, she seems to have no doubts about the ultimate ability of the United States to prevail in any armed conflict—and this is most dangerous of all. She is ready to push every adversary as far as possible, apparently certain that the “bad guy” will back down—even if it happens to be nuclear-armed Russia.

            Obama apparently lacks Hillary’s assurance. His lavish use of murderous drones reflects the military recognition of the limits of U.S. ground forces. He has been under constant pressure from the War Party. Sometimes he has resisted their pressure, as in the case of chemical weapons in Syria, after Kerry had replaced Clinton as Secretary of State.

          • Harry Vimes

            “I just don’t think what they did to sideline Bernie Sanders justifies supporting an uncontrollable nut to become POTUS.”

            Unfortunately that is not the issue. The issue is that what they did to sideline Sanders led directly to the Trump outcome by choosing an unpopular candidate when many polls had shown Sanders had the better chance. At a time when it was obvious to a blind man on a galloping horse that there exists and continues to exist a widespread popular discontent with the status quo the shenanigans of the Clinton dominated DNC in trying to force through someone whose very body language, never mind the verbal cues and all the other obvious baggage, screamed I (along with much of the Corporate media and Wall Street) expect to be Coronated as a matter of course was arrogant, hubristic, self serving and downright criminal. The time for belly aching on the subject and the obvious outcome it produced was at the Democratic Convention, which is when the “oh look, that big bear over there did it” meme started. If too many people had not fallen and continue to fall for this pathetic misdirection during that period like as not we would not be having this conversation.

  • Becky Cohen

    ” anti-Russian racism”

    Hmm…a racist who hates Russians will view Russian as a race (so it’s as good or rather bad as racism), but in reality Russian is actually a nationality, not a race. “Caucasian” is used by the police to describe white people generally, but in reality refers to a group of people who have their origin within the Caucasus. Russian people can be white, black, semitic, Asian etc….in fact, anyone who identifies as Russian.

  • Robert

    Methinks Craig doth protest far, far too much.

    Probably he has a guilty conscience for his small part in getting The Donald elected.

    Of course the Russians assisted Trump in his campaign – the evidence (from myriad sources) is pretty overwhelming. I can’t help but think it would be more interesting to ask the question if the new President of the USA is a conscious traitor, or simply what Lenin would have called a “useful idiot”.

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