Say That Again

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
cyberwar, election, hack, hack back, leaks, nsa, russia

Companies:
nbc



US Officials 'Strategically Leak' That US Is Ready To Hack Russia If It Interferes With Election

from the oh-come-on dept

For the past few months, we've been covering the increasingly eager stance of some in the "cybersecurity" and government worlds to proactively launch offensive cyberattacks on Russia. Going all the way back to the early summer, when Russia's role in any hacks was totally speculative, some were already advocating for "cyberwar" as a response. As we reached the fall, suddenly it was leaked that many inside the government were getting itchy trigger fingers to launch some sort of digital attack. And, government officials really seemed to rely on the ever gullible reporters at NBC to push this story.

So it comes as little surprise that NBC has the rather clumsily, if strategically linked news that the US government is all ready to cause cyber havoc on Russia if it does anything serious to interfere with US elections. Think, for just a second, how people in the government and national security worlds would react if someone like Ed Snowden leaked the following bit of info:
U.S. military hackers have penetrated Russia's electric grid, telecommunications networks and the Kremlin's command systems, making them vulnerable to attack by secret American cyber weapons should the U.S. deem it necessary, according to a senior intelligence official and top-secret documents reviewed by NBC News.
But, of course, since it's the US government leaking this info, no one seems to care. Of course, that's because everyone knows what's going on here. This is US officials basically telling Russia: "Hey, don't mess with our election or we'll do some cyber stuff." The claim that the US has hacked into Russian systems is certainly believable. That's what the NSA does after all (y'know, when it's not collecting info on Americans).

But the whole story is just silly posturing in a weird election year filled with silly posturing about hacks and cyberwar. Who knows what's going to happen tomorrow, but it would be nice if it didn't involve any nation state feeling the need to break out "cyber weapons" for any reason.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 4:58am

    No worries, Russia has what, a couple thousand people in the entire country? It's all frozen up there, there can't be that many people can there?

    I mean this might be a disaster in waiting if we were talking about a country willing and able to stand up to the USG and return the favor if the USG picked a fight, but with a tiny country like Russia it's not like there's any risk of that, so it's hardly a case of idiot politicians trying to act tough and gungho, without realizing that the other side is fully capable of fighting back if they push it too far.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 5:57am

    Here, let me cyber- that for you.

    These cyber-leaks are directly cyber-responsible for cyber-loss of cyber-American cyber-lives and cyber-endangers cyber-field operatives' cyber-safety and that of their cyber-families at cyber-home. We need to cyber-find and cyber-jail these cyber-leakers as cyber-quickly as cyber-possible since that cyber-will cyber-obviously cyber-undo cyber-any cyber-harm cyber-that cyber-has cyber-occurred.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    alternatives(), 7 Nov 2016 @ 6:33am

    Has no one heard of "gladio"

    because actually killing people in an election seems far worse than 'hacking'.

    And if the FBI takes over a year to figure out the anti-goth cult who's gonna be the "qualified voice" to "prove" the 'hacking'?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 6:37am

    Dangerous game.

    So now if, say, a Russian missile were to take out a civilian target they can blame it on the US government. The US did, after all, admit that they had hacked the Russian systems.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Daydream, 7 Nov 2016 @ 2:43pm

      Re: Dangerous game.

      "We regret to inform the people of Russia that yesterday evening, an unidentified terrorist group seized control of our Veles squadron of remote-controlled military drones.

      We no longer have access to the drones, their programming has been altered to no longer respond to our command codes, they have been flown to an unknown location.

      We believe that the terrorists used vulnerabilities in our system created by hackers employed by the United States to seize control of our drones, and we are currently demanding full disclosure from the Americans regarding any involvement they have in our computer systems...

      In the meantime, Russia is in a state of emergency, and our air force will remain on full alert until such time the drones have been recaptured or destroyed...

      ...What do you MEAN they've been spotted in the United States?! Did those hackers put the vulnerabilities in our system to steal our...wait, what, the drones are bombing the Americans?...Huh, irony."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chrono§§, 7 Nov 2016 @ 6:39am

    msg from a hacker

    if you think you can\
    if you want you can/


    remember you don't always get what you want.....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 6:39am

    I am worried about Trump...

    His big mouth might get us into a war with someone...

    Except the Obama Admin is doing the same fucking thing?

    O wait... I keep forgetting, every nation eternally spies on and hacks the others anyways.

    Why is this even news? Next?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 7 Nov 2016 @ 6:50am

    "U.S. military hackers have penetrated Russia's electric grid, telecommunications networks and the Kremlin's command systems, making them vulnerable to attack by secret American cyber weapons should the U.S. deem it necessary, according to a senior intelligence official and top-secret documents reviewed by NBC News."

    I sure hope they will go after this senior intelligence official for leaking a top-secret document they way they went after Snowden and others.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      I.T. Guy, 7 Nov 2016 @ 6:50am

      Re:

      "the way they"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 7:57am

      Response to: I.T. Guy on Nov 7th, 2016 @ 6:50am

      There is no guy. We want Russia to waste resources hunting down unverified breaches. Just like how we staged an amphibious landing exercise in front of the press during the first gulf war.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 6:56am

    There's nothing more exciting than a newly elected commander-in-chief with a personal grudge against a major foreign power and a vast arsenal of (cyber)weapons at her disposal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    CanadianByChoice (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 7:07am

    What it really comes down to ...

    .. is that they have the toys .. now they want an excuse to play with them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 7:16am

    The election is being hacked...

    ...but it is not by the Russians, it is by the same party that rigged their own primary. You get 2 guesses as to who that is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Howard II, 7 Nov 2016 @ 7:24am

      Re: The election is being hacked...

      The Libertarians?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 7:53am

      Re: The election is being hacked...

      Oh, and they also tried to rig the first 2 debates with planted questions. But I am sure their morals draw a line at rigging the general election.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 8:20am

      Re: The election is being hacked...

      Given that the Republican leadership made no effort to stop the nomination of Donald Trump, no sir, none at all....

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 7:55am

    I honestly don't think Russia cares what the U.S. threatens to do here.

    Also claiming that we have hacked into Russia's infrastructure will only make them look into it and if they do they are likely to find the exploit being used and patch it and remove any infiltrating software. The Russians aren't dumb, not by a long shot.

    Also, isn't the U.S. supposed to be a bastion of free speech? Now they are trying to suppress Russia's free speech with threats? Really?

    If Russia says/releases something that changes the outcome of the election it's not Russia's fault, it's the faults of the candidates for being so vulnerable to such attacks. They should have taken a more favorable stance or not done whatever it is that changed the election outcomes.

    Furthermore any leaked information that would change an election outcome is probably knowledge that the public should know for that very reason, so that we can determine who the best candidate is. The fact that the U.S. wants to suppress information that may change an election outcome is evidence that the reason they are suppressing such info has little to do with the public interest and more to do with avoiding embarrassment and preventing the public from making informed decisions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 8:04am

    "interfere with US elections. Thing, for just a second, how people in"

    There is a typo, TechDirt was hacked!

    Time to call out the cyber forces and fill all comment sections with spam.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 8:31am

    Power Outages

    I'm waiting for power outages in all of these districts that use voting machines that can't do a recount. There, now we have a better election.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, 7 Nov 2016 @ 10:30am

    The Right Way To Vote

    I voted early in West Virginia, and they now have a system which is an intelligent combination of computers and paper. Yo go in, 1) show your ID and get marked on the voter rolls, and they give you a blank paper ballot. (2) you insert this in a slot in the voting machine, make your selections on the screen, and the machine prints them on the ballot and ejects it. (3) You read the ballot, and then carry it to the "ballot box," which is actually more like an ATM machine, and put the ballot in the slot, where it is automatically registered, and the light flashes. All in all, it is about as tamper-proof a system as one can ask for.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 14 Nov 2016 @ 7:38am

      Re: The Right Way To Vote

      All in all, it is about as tamper-proof a system as one can ask for.

      Unless the votes are then counted by machines with little to no security features.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 11:49am

    War with Russia they really seem to want this. Tough of course they won't be sending their children to fight, and will profit billions off of sending their fellow countrymen to die.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 2:32pm

    Leaks come from insiders here. Russians would, and likely did, hack Hillarys server instead of Google where podesta kept his emails. This suggest internal war at fbi between apparatchiks and fresh blood.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 5:13pm

    And the winner is President President Putin

    DUN DUN DDDDUN

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Shohi, 24 Nov 2016 @ 12:18am

    Как пользоватся програмой ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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