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.

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152 thoughts on “The Russian Bear Uses a Keyboard

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  • Robert

    As for Edward Snowden, I can only imagine that Putin will hand him over to Trump in the next few months as a “friendship gift”, and that he will be spending the rest of his life in federal prison.

    Personally, I hope that Obama pardons him in the next few weeks, or at least arranges a plea deal for a symbolic year in prison. Realistically, it’s his last hope.

    You see, that’s also what Assange has helped to do!

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      No chance of Putin handing Snowden over to Trump unless he tells him that his AG will not prosecute him.

      And there is no chance that Obama will pardon Snowden.

      And Assange just helped create dangerous problems for Snowden by failing to redact his leaks which were published, so we owe him little,and he certainly won’t be pardoned by anyone.

      • Robert

        I’ll bet you a lot of good money on that one.

        I’m afraid Snowden is now in a very very difficult position. And he must know it.

        • Trowbridge H. Ford

          Name the price of any bet.

          Snowden has done too much for Putin, especially help elect Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton by his directed hacking, for the Russian President to put him at any risk.

          Snowden does have to worry about NSA’s Special Collection Service killers doing him in, you indicate.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Trowbridge H. Ford December 15, 2016 at 18:07

        Leave me out! Trump’s ‘Pardon’ wouldn’t be worth the paper it was written on; Snowden, even with ten thousand pardons, would have a ‘Boston Brakes’ car ‘accident’ (like Putin’s chauffeur, except it was the other car that got hacked) or he would get ‘mugged’, like Seth Rich, or have an unfortunate ‘heart attack’ out of the blue.
        If I were Julian Assange, I wouldn’t go near Ecuador if he gets the chance, I would ask Russia for sanctuary, not because the Ecuadorean authorities would harm him, but it would be outside the power of Ecuador to protect him, especially with the Evil Empire’s renewed ‘Regime Change’ activities in South and Central America.

  • Roderick Russell

    The real story of conspiracy should be the huge and almost unanimous campaign of propaganda that the Mainstream Media ran against Trump. It’s amazing that he won given how one sided the reporting by the MSM was.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Oh, right, the media should have sunk Hillary by posting all Trump’s criminal complaints about her, and claiming repeatedly that the election system was stacked against him!

    • lysias

      The American people have come to so distrust those Mainstream Media that their campaign probably helped Trump.

      • Matson

        You are there not alone. We have same disease in Europe too. The collapse of western mainstream media has been gigantic.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Roderick Russell December 15, 2016 at 18:42
      Absolutely. But Trump was playing soft-ball with Clinton; he MUST know far more dirt on the Clinton’s than he spoke of, as any ‘Truther’ worth their salt knows. Not that Trump is a ‘Truther’, but if we know it, so does Trump, even if only through his supporters.

      • lysias

        If Trump wants to really retaliate against the CIA, he need only reveal to the American public the truth about the JFK assassination and other CIA crimes. I very much hope he does so. The CIA has been a cancer on the American polity for far too long.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Of course, they have because if the Russians did it, the USA would have Hell to pay, starting with the removal from office of President-elect Donald Trump for using its contents to steal the election, and firing FBI Director James Comey for falling for it to help defeat Hillary.

      Just think of all their subordinates who would have to go too.

      Russia won because these loonies exploited Moscow’ hacking aka spying.

  • lysias

    ZeroHedge: Clinton Investigation Back On: FBI Agents In NY Ordered To Continue Foundation Probe:

    After the election, many speculated that the probe of the Clinton Foundation would be laid to rest. But now, according to an exclusive report from the Daily Caller, senior officials at FBI headquarters in Washington DC have apparently instructed agents in the New York field office to continue their investigation of the Clinton Foundation. According to the source, the instructions were passed on to the NYC field office last week and involves operations in at least five cities, including: New York, Little Rock, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Miami.

    Payback for the soft coup?

    • Paul Barbara

      See, those pesky Russkis even control the FBI! (Actually, pity they don’t; the world would be a much saner and safer world).

  • kashmiri

    Craig, your reasoning is technically flawed. It is one thing to log in to a website via HTTP protocol, which can easily be routed via VPN, Cloudflare, et al, and it is another thing to take control over a server using, say, SNMP protocol which cannot be routed via proxies. You seem to confuse hacking a database server (using one or more of control protocols) with unauthorised login attempts to a website (via HTTP protocol). The difference is whether originating IP can be concealed, and if so then how easy.

    Note that any country’s hackers can easily operate physically from another country, or with a little bit of effort and resources, can use another country’s IP range.

    This of course does not mean that Russia did the hack; it is only a technical side note that your argument is not very sound technically.

      • Pádraig Ó Raghaill

        I think what he means, is if a technical, not starter, uses a VPN, then what do you think a professional hacker would be like. The trail left behind, is not a little smelly, it downright stinks. The entire extended narrative from the election onwards is no more than agitprop of the poorest quality. It might sucker in some people, but as there is one born every minute, even catfish has an audience.

    • jesse

      What? That’s not correct. First, SNMP is a routable protocol even if you don’t have a protocol-specific proxy like a HTTP proxy. You just need something that can get IP packets to where you want them to appear from such as a VPN. Some types of attacks can be done with spoofed source addresses when you don’t care about getting responses back, but for everything else, it’s standard practice to route your traffic through proxies/jump servers to both conceal your identity and make it easier to continue operations if your primary attacking control server is blocked or otherwise compromised. Even for actually non-routable protocols, those can still be used for attacks via tunneling your malicious traffic through proxies you’ve landed in their network.

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘Did Russia Hack the DNC … Really?’:

    ‘But former CIA, State Department, and House Intelligence Committee security expert Fred Fleitz notes:

    Only two intelligence entities – the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – have weighed in on this issue, not 17 intelligence agencies [as Hillary Clinton had claimed]. And what they said was ambiguous about Russian involvement. An unclassified October 7, 2016 joint DNI-DHS statement on this issue said the hacks

    “. . . are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow — the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europa and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”

    Saying we think the hacks “are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts” is far short of saying we have evidence that Russia has been responsible for the hacks. Maybe high-level officials would have authorized them if Russian hackers were responsible, but the DNI and DHS statement did NOT say there was evidence Russia was responsible….’

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      You really have hutzpa by continuing on here after complaining about Hillary’s pedophilia with Cathy O’Brien since it was the best basis for the hacking of the DNC correspondence to see if John’ Pedo’ Pedesta’s emailsl had anything to say about it.

  • Bhante

    The blatent – blatently criminal and blatently treasonous – manipulation of the US presidential elections by the CIA is mind-boggling. Whilst the CIA has certainly manipulated several US presidential elections in the past, I am sure none of them could have been anything like as blatent and as open as this time with their idiotic claims of Russian hacking and fake news. These are not normal times by any means, they are very extraordinary times, which naturally lead to the question of why the CIA leadership should take such extraordinary risks. If they lose and Trump is able to accede to the presidency then CIA heads will certainly roll and could even face long prison terms. Yet with such gross and blatent criminality even if they manage to get Clinton into the White House, the risks of their plans exploding and leading to long prison terms is still surely significant.

    So what could explain such wild risk-taking? I believe this is most plausibly directly related to other major issues some of which have received (I think, I could be wrong) relatively little coverage even in the alternative news (and almost none of course in the MSM):

    1) Even as Allepo is liberated, Obama is anouncing – incredibly – an expansion of his illegal proxy terrorist war in Syria with more relaxed rules for the supply of arms directly to terrorists;

    2) 4000 ISIS terrorists have suddenly turned up in Palmyra with large numbers of tanks, heavy artillary etc that certainly couldn’t have been transported hundreds of miles without being noticed by American satellites – thus US support for the ISIS retake of Palmyra is absolutely incontrovertible;

    3) The US/NATO have VAST quantities of heavy armaments in storage in caves in northern Norway very close to the Russian border in preparation for a large-scale invasion of Russia. Recently the US has been adding large quantities of updated heavy weapons to this collection;

    4) Norway has been persuaded to abandon its longstanding (since its admission to NATO in 1949) policy of not allowing foreign military a permanent stationing on its territory. As from next month the US will be stationing a permanent (rotating, which of course doesn’t mean much) force of rapid action marines in the far north of Norway very close to the Russian border;

    5) Bulgaria has been persuaded to allow (effectively) the US to operate a naval force under Bulgarian flag permanently in the Black Sea, where they would otherwise not be allowed to station a permanent naval force. With the new pro-Russian president just elected in Bulgaria, hopefully this might now be reconsidered;

    6) NATO is at this moment rapidly setting up new command centres in several countries in Eastern Europe close to the Russian border, and has been negotiating with governments across Europe for a Military “Schengen” arrangement whereby active and fully armed military forces can be moved anywhere across Europe and in any quantities without notifying the countries they transit or occupy and without the possibility of any say of those governments;

    7) Many many non-nuclear EU states now have military aircraft that are readied to carry and deliver nuclear bombs, and crew that have been trained to operate and drop US nuclear bombs – including Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and many other countries;

    8) NATO forces have been carrying out offensive exercises and training on an unprecidented scale in all the countries bordering or in the vicinity of Russia, and seem to be feverishly russing to prepare for offensive war with Russia as quickly and massively as possible;

    9) As Lysias stated above Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency has ordered all local authorities to make sure that they are prepared for war. Sweden warns it is ‘preparing for war’: Officials are ordered to ensure civil defence infrastructure are ready as fear of Russian invasion grows.

    10) And of course, the level of MSM and diplomatic propaganda directed at bashing Russia is deafening.

    These massive and frenzied preparations are not of the nature of normal defensive safeguards – they are unmistakably active preparations for large scale warfare in the near future. They seem to presage an expectation that the US and its vassel states will invade Russia in the very near future. Clinton in the White House was central to those plans. In this scenario, expect the US constitution to be immediately abrogated and replaced by martial law. If that happens does it matter if everybody sees the CIA acted criminally in blocking Trump from the presidency? From that point on, not at all, they will do whatever they like. If the US constitution is abrogated under martial law expect something similar right across all the US vassel states.

    Just one week before the invasion of Iraq started I was travelling northwards on the motorway in Sweden at about 100km/hr. On the other side of the motorway we passed a solid non-stop convoy of new-looking heavy weapons – tanks, personnel carriers, artillary of all kinds, military trucks, the lot. We were passing the convoy non-stop for over 2 hours. Every service area on the other side we passed was also jam-packed with more of the same. Assuming the convoy was moving at around 50km/hr (maybe more) and we were doing about 100km/hr, the convoy we passed would have been at least 300km long, plus all the parked vehicles in the service areas. Presumably this was just some of the hardware stationed in caves in northern Norway, on its way to Iraq overland through eastern Europe and Turkey. That is a lot of hardware!

    Wild speculation – but who knows? These are extraordinary times.

  • Old Mark

    The allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US election remain just that; the fact that the MSM takes CIA claims at face value isn’t in itself ‘hard evidence’ (ditto the MSM’s acceptance at face value of ‘intelligence’ showing that ‘Saddam has weapons of mass destruction he can deploy against us in 45 mins’- which were similarly a pile of cack.)

    If (and it’s a pretty big if) these allegations are given substance by hard evidence, as opposed to appeals to authority (itf the CIA says so it must be so), they still wouldn’t justify the orgy of self righteous Russophobia they have helped to ignite in the MSM- after all, 20 years ago, the ‘respectable’ media in the US was boasting in plain sight how clever manipulation by US ‘advisors’ was essential to Yeltsin’s re-election that year-

    Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander ‘n’ all dat…

  • Hieroglyph

    I’ve never seen such a concerted attack on a candidate in my lifetime. Influential figures are, quite openly, trying to give Clinton the presidency, and exclude the winner from office. They are advising electoral college members to vote for Clinton, even though their district went Trump. And they are actually giving these electoral college members security briefings, where they make up all sorts of lies about Russia. All of this is happening, and not in secret, but publicly, right now. It remains possible that Trump will not become President; I don’t personally think this is likely, but neither can it be entirely ruled out. What kind of banana republic is the US? And all for such an odious, toxic, crooked liar like Clinton-bot.

    And you wonder at their long-term plan. If they are successful, they have just broken their own democracy, because now electoral college members will just do what they like. And there is a live chance of a civil war, as very serious military figures indeed will weigh in against the usurper Clinton. You can be sure your average 3-star general knows all about the Clinton clan, and will not take it lying down. Trump won, end of story. I don’t think much of his climate-change denials, or his immigration policy, but such is life, sometimes your candidate gets beat.

    On the upside, I was too young to really enjoy the Cold War, the games and the lies. So, it’s quite fun to see some Cold War bullshit all over the air-waves. And Putin does look like a Bond villain, so that’s cool. HIs grandad worked for Lenin I believe, as a cook, so some good back-story there too. Amusing and entertaining stuff, but much of it bullshit.

  • Dave Lawton

    It was the British who hacked Hillary`s server they were well ahead of the game.Secret Office’. Formed around 1653 (even the date of its inception is a mystery), the office operated within the shadows of the General Post Office (GPO) as a covert state spying institution.The office carried out secret interceptions.
    The main role of the Secret Office was to intercept mail between Britain and overseas, and to read it. Foreign post and official dispatches passed between Britain and the rest of the world via the Packet Service: a fleet of fast ships sailing regular routes. Foreign mail bags were sent to the office, where on their arrival teams of translators and decipherers read through the contents to copy out any relevant information in English.…/5-things-you-didn%E2%80…

  • Diane Rejman

    Yeah, Ann. A voice of reason.
    Would you believe another voice of reason is – ready for this – Sean Hannity of Fox News. Seriously. He interviewed Assange, and believes it was a leak, not a hack. It’d be great if we could get you and Ray McGovern on Hannity’s show. (Have you seen or heard any of Ray’s interviews?)
    I’m horrified Obama is now seeking “retaliationa’ over unsubstantiated rumors. “Because the CIA ‘concludes,’ it must be true.” Such bs. No data trail. No actual evidence.

  • Sharp Ears

    Clinton’s Defeat and the “Fake News” Conspiracy
    by Jonathan Cook / December 18th, 2016

    ‘The Washington Post quoted CIA director John Brennan saying: “Earlier this week, I met separately with [the FBI’s] James Comey and [director of national intelligence] Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election.”

    Craig Murray, a former British ambassador turned whistleblower on British government collusion in torture, has said he personally received * the leaked emails on behalf of Wikileaks. The data came, he said, not from Russian security agencies, or even from freelance Russian hackers, but from a disillusioned Democratic party insider. Russia experts in the US have similarly discounted the anti-Putin claims, as have former US intelligence agents.

    But either way, what is being overlooked in the furore is that none of the information that has come to light about the Democratic party was false. (Though the US intelligence services did indeed try to make that claim initially). The emails are real and provide an accurate account of the Democratic party’s anti-democratic machinations, including efforts to undermine the campaign of Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s challenger.’

    * link to

  • Sharp Ears

    Assange:Forget Russia,The Real Threat to America comes from Israel and the Israel Lobby
    18 December 2016

    From his refuge in the Ecuador Embassy in London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange addressed a press conference of his supporters in Berlin on Tuesday, amid speculation that he planned to reveal potentially threats to America.

    But early into his speech, Assange said that while more revelations were to come, he would not be making any major announcements, asserting that there would be no point in dropping making such revelations at a time when most Americans would be sleeping.

    “Russian actions on its own doorstep in Eastern Europe do not in fact threaten the United States or any actual vital interest. Nor does Moscow threaten the U.S. through its intervention on behalf of the Syrian government in the Middle East. That Russia is described incessantly as a threat in those areas is largely a contrivance arranged by the media, the Democratic and Republican National Committees and by the White House. Candidate Donald Trump appeared to recognize that fact before he began listening to Michael Flynn, who has a rather different view. Hopefully the old Trump will prevail,there is, however, another country that has interfered in U.S. elections, has endangered Americans living or working overseas and has corrupted America’s legislative and executive branches. It has exploited that corruption to initiate legislation favorable to itself, has promoted unnecessary and unwinnable wars and has stolen American technology and military secrets. Its ready access to the mainstream media to spread its own propaganda provides it with cover for its actions and it accomplishes all that and more through the agency of a powerful and well-funded domestic lobby that oddly is not subject to the accountability afforded by the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) of 1938 even though it manifestly works on behalf of a foreign government. That country is, of course, Israel” Said Assange.


    (A German website apparently although this ‘About AWDNEWS’ does not work.)

    • Macky

      Well, well, this should an end the silly notion that Assange is deliberately soft on this particular issue, and ironically highlights the lack of freedom to debate his contention, even here on this very blog.

  • Matson

    Craig – i recommend at least moving from Windows to Linux. Some 15 years i suffered that worm& trojan & virus sucker until i finally gave up and made the right decision. This is not add – Linux is totally free.

  • Alan

    It’s also strange that since I bought “Sikunder Burnes” I have also been under some kind of attack, with money taken from my bank account, if the bank hadn’t been awake, and today I got an email telling me I bought a new TV from a certain big company at M1 J13, “from their store in Wales”.

    • Alan

      Incidentally, I kinda tricked the hacker into revealing his present location. Alexandria, just north of Glasgow.

  • Robert

    The Guardian today has a very interesting interview with Julian Assange, which makes clear his strong links to the Kremlin, and in which he welcomes the election of Donald Trump. Also, there have been more revelations about “Fancy Bear” hackers, including the revelation that they hacked the targeting system of Ukrainian artillery pieces. So, all in all, it’s about time to stop spreading ridiculous lies and to admit the truth of this, isn’t it?

    • Lisa

      Robert, I recommend that you re-read the article. Guardian has updated it, deleting the reference of Assange’s links to Russia, obviously as it was completely false. Also, Assange does not welcome Trump’s election but has mixed feelings about it. Spreading ridiculous lies should really be stopped.
      The article in Guardian is a summary of an interview in La Repubblica, an Italian newspaper. Guardian’s headline is misleading, but there is a link to the original article. It is much more informative.

  • Flat Eric

    “So we have to believe that the Russian security services set up top secret hacking groups identifying themselves as “Cozy Bear” and “Fancy Bear”.

    Well, no, obviously not. These are the names that have been given to these hacker groups by Western cybersecurity. The useless and biased MSM managed to report this all over the place, but obviously you wouldn’t have noticed that as you get your news from more trustworthy sources.

  • Charles Crawford

    Classic Murray burbling throwing up irrelevant pseudo-details to make a silly noise.

    It’s safe to say that the Americans are more than capable of identifying with unerring technical accuracy the origins of most phishing and other Russian-inspired attacks on American computers. The Russians likewise have amazing technical guile. A fantastically complex game of ecat v emouse rumbles on in cyberspace.

    In this case the Americans of course will not reveal everything they know, as that could show too much of what they know and how they find it out.

    Therefore? All conclusions you draw are worthless.

  • NoComment

    Why do you use a VPN?

    Would you recommend it even even if only every day web browsing, checking emails etc?

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