The dastardly Russians have been naughty again
With President Trump facing an impeachment trial over his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, Russian military hackers have been boring into the Ukrainian gas company at the center of the affair, according to security experts.
The hacking attempts against Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company on whose board Hunter Biden served, began in early November, as talk of the Bidens, Ukraine and impeachment was dominating the news in the United States.
It is not yet clear what the hackers found, or precisely what they were searching for. But the experts say the timing and scale of the attacks suggest that the Russians could be searching for potentially embarrassing material on the Bidens — the same kind of information that Mr. Trump wanted from Ukraine when he pressed for an investigation of the Bidens and Burisma, setting off a chain of events that led to his impeachment.
The Russian tactics are strikingly similar to what American intelligence agencies say was Russia’s hacking of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman and the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential campaign. In that case, once they had the emails, the Russians used trolls to spread and spin the material, and built an echo chamber to widen its effect.
The hackers fooled some of them into handing over their login credentials, and managed to get inside one of Burisma’s servers, Area 1 said.
“The attacks were successful,” said Oren Falkowitz, a co-founder of Area 1, who previously served at the National Security Agency. Mr. Falkowitz’s firm maintains a network of sensors on web servers around the globe — many known to be used by state-sponsored hackers — which gives the firm a front-row seat to phishing attacks, and allows them to block attacks on their customers.
“The timing of the Russian campaign mirrors the G.R.U. hacks we saw in 2016 against the D.N.C. and John Podesta,” the Clinton campaign chairman, Mr. Falkowitz said. “Once again, they are stealing email credentials, in what we can only assume is a repeat of Russian interference in the last election.”
Okay folks look at the definitive headline that tells people that it actually happened, but inside the article there are a bunch of maybies and might have happens.
American officials are warning that the Russians have grown stealthier since 2016, and are again seeking to steal and spread damaging information and target vulnerable election systems ahead of the 2020 election.
[Read: Even as American election defenses have improved, Russian hackers and trolls have become more sophisticated.]
In the same vein, Russia has been working since the early days of Mr. Trump’s presidency to turn the focus away from its own election interference in 2016 by seeding conspiracy theories about Ukrainian meddling and Democratic complicity.
The result has been a muddy brew of conspiracy theories that mix facts, like the handful of Ukrainians who openly criticized Mr. Trump’s candidacy, with discredited claims that the D.N.C.’s email server is in Ukraine and that Mr. Biden, as vice president, had corrupt dealings with Ukrainian officials to protect his son. Spread by bots and trolls on social media, and by Russian intelligence officers, the claims resonated with Mr. Trump, who views talk of Russian interference as an attack on his legitimacy.
The Biden campaign responds...
"Donald Trump tried to coerce Ukraine into lying about Joe Biden and a major bipartisan, international anti-corruption victory because he recognized that he can’t beat the vice president,” said Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the Biden campaign.
“Now we know that Vladimir Putin also sees Joe Biden as a threat,” Mr. Bates added. “Any American president who had not repeatedly encouraged foreign interventions of this kind would immediately condemn this attack on the sovereignty of our elections.”
Not only dastardly, but also lazy.
"The Burisma hack is a cookie-cutter G.R.U. campaign,” Mr. Falkowitz said. “Russian hackers, as sophisticated as they are, also tend to be lazy. They use what works. And in this, they were successful."
From Zero Hedges:
Color us skeptical, alt-right, conspiracy-wonk, Putin-puppets; but the transparency and timing of tonight's "bombshell" report from The New York Times of an 'alleged' hacking by 'allegedly' Russian hackers of Burisma - the Ukrainian energy firm that VP Biden's crack-smoking, energy-ignorant son was paid $50,000 per month as a board member - reeks so strongly of foundational narrative-building for something "embarrassing" that is coming, it is stunning just how dumb the deep state must think the American public really is. Actually, maybe not all that stunning.
So who wrote that article?
Mr. Falkowitz is a significant donor to Democrats; and even more intriguing, the company's CSO - Blacke Darche - also worked at the NSA and most notably, Crowdstrike.
While NYT admits it is not yet clear what the hackers found, or precisely what they were searching for, that did not stop them speculating, based on more anonymous sources.
Or, you could choose to believe that the Russians - who allegedly were so dumb last time as to make it obvious it was them doing the hacking - have done it again... following the same pattern, and getting caught in their "meddling"? Oh wait, they have answer for that 'conspiracy theory' - that Russian hackers are "lazy"...
So here we go again with the made up stories about how ByeDone would have won the election if Russia hadn't interfered. Again. But what news is ready to come down the pike? We already saw the video of Joe bragging about how he got "that sonofabitch" fired.