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Government Security Microsoft Privacy United States Technology

FBI and Homeland Security Detail Russian Hacking Campaign In New Report (theguardian.com) 404

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and FBI have released an analysis of the allegedly Russian government-sponsored hacking groups blamed for breaching several different parts of the Democratic party during the 2016 elections. The 13-page document, released on Thursday and meant for information technology professionals, came as Barack Obama announced sanctions against Russia for interfering in the 2016 elections. The report was criticized by security experts, who said it lacked depth and came too late. "The activity by [Russian intelligence services] is part of an ongoing campaign of cyber-enabled operations directed at the U.S. government and its citizens," wrote the authors of the government report. "This [joint analysis report] provides technical indicators related to many of these operations, recommended mitigations, suggested actions to take in response to the indicators provided, and information on how to report such incidents to the U.S. government." The government report follows several from the private sector, notably a lengthy section in a Microsoft report from 2015 on a hacking team referred to as "advanced persistent threat 28" (APT 28), which the company's internal nomenclature calls Strontium and others have called Fancy Bear. Also mentioned in the government document is another group called APT 29 or Cozy Bear. The Microsoft report contains a history of the groups' operation; a report by security analysts ThreatConnect describes the team's modus operandi; and competing firm CrowdStrike detailed the attack on the Democratic National Committee shortly before subsequent breaches of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign were discovered.
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FBI and Homeland Security Detail Russian Hacking Campaign In New Report

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  • by Kunedog ( 1033226 ) on Friday December 30, 2016 @09:03AM (#53578087)
    Not so fast, comrades! We'll teach you to inform our electorate!
  • meanwhile, the DNC is name-calling because that's all that's left to do.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    "What... Trump says the election is rigged? Calm down folks, it's not like anyone could HACK us or anything, sheesh"

    -after election-

    "the russians!"

  • by nehumanuscrede ( 624750 ) on Friday December 30, 2016 @09:11AM (#53578107)

    is that, when you really need folks to believe you, it just doesn't happen.

    Maybe if the US Government understood this fact, we might actually care what they have to say.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 30, 2016 @09:21AM (#53578159)

      Please look at what they provided. There is literally no evidence given in the document, not even an attempt. They make up some names, put them in a diagram and say that is proof. They didn't even try.

      This document is one of those DNC talking points that isn't valid. Now the DNC supporters will be screaming that the FBI released proof of the attack, but not one of them will even look at it to see that the document doesn't contain anything even attempting to prove it. Its just a placeholder to give DNC supporters talking points to use. Watch over the next week how many of them cite this document is unquestionable proof and will refuse to hear anyone question it.

      "The FBI and DHS have shown proof that the Russians did it."
      "Are you questioning the integrity of the FBI by saying the document is lying?"

      Mark my words, you will hear the above non-stop now.

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashiki@@@gmail...com> on Friday December 30, 2016 @10:01AM (#53578301) Homepage

        Please look at what they provided. There is literally no evidence given in the document, not even an attempt. They make up some names, put them in a diagram and say that is proof. They didn't even try.

        Yep. It's 13 pages of absolute garbage containing no proof of anything. If people need an example of propaganda and fake news though? That's the bullshit being pumped right there.

        And since we're running dry on the news cycles right now, you're likely going to be spot on. The flappy heads in the media will push--and push hard that this is proof. You're also likely going to hear the various progressive groups trying to use it as an attempt that "Trump is illegitimate" or some other steaming pile of BS. The kicker? Part of the source is a 3rd party investigation...from an outside group, that was paid for by the DNC. Not actual intelligence analysis, not actual attributable information.

      • by T.E.D. ( 34228 ) on Friday December 30, 2016 @10:30AM (#53578457)

        Please look at what they provided. There is literally no evidence given in the document, not even an attempt. They make up some names

        That's because you don't have both a security clearance and a need-to-know. Revealing *how* they figured out that different attacks came from the same group, and where that group is based, would allow such groups to figure out how to hide their tracks from the FBI better. That would obviously be injurious to the US and ....

        ...OH! I see what you are doing now. Nice try, Anonymous Comrade.

  • The US intelligence hacking center is documented enough. I understand what it is and I'm not part of that community.

    Let me state the publicly unknown... the equivalent of deep blue can diagnose the location of hackers. Yes is is 1% error prone.

    Actually it's more proficient that deep blue and it can program it's own viruses in real time. But... just like people it can be wrong.

    What people/companies need is meta alerts.. with details!!! for reanalysis.

    Difficult when the conclusion is a hunch from a recursi

  • palpable irony. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Friday December 30, 2016 @09:22AM (#53578167) Homepage
    that we, the united states, have worked to skew elections and overthrow governments for nearly fifty years as though it were nothing more than another element of common foreign policy. However, whenever a foreign nation tries to influence our elections, its somehow a capital offence the world must take seriously.

    If sanctions didnt work for Ukrane, they wont work here. Although they do an amazing job of allowing you to avoid the fact of the matter which is that Hillary Clinton was a turd of a candidate who rigged the parties primary, and enjoyed limited popularity outside major metropolitan areas. She never set foot in places like Wisconsin, took a gamble that LA was somehow bigger than all the midwest, and lost.
    • Sanctions have never worked, at any time they have been implemented. Sanctions as a politician's tool to say they did something without actually making a tough decision. Especially with 20 (make that 19 now) days left in his presidency, this move means nothing. It's all getting rolled back anyway. Too little, too late.

      All this report does is confirm that the Russians didn't hack the election. They might have released a few E-Mails, but Hillary did her own part to make E-Mail a meaningful factor in the el

      • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )

        Sanctions have never worked, at any time they have been implemented.

        Untrue. It is true that they aren't as quick and viscerally satisfying as dropping bombs on someone, but they have been known to be quite effective. Particularly if they are targeted to the class of people who actually have the power (/money) in the country, and can be universally enforced.

        It is true that they *can* be quite ineffective, if improperly targeted or implemented. But the same holds true for a military strike (or really anything).

    • Re:palpable irony. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Friday December 30, 2016 @09:49AM (#53578259) Journal

      that we, the united states, have worked to skew elections and overthrow governments for nearly fifty years as though it were nothing more than another element of common foreign policy. However, whenever a foreign nation tries to influence our elections, its somehow a capital offence the world must take seriously.

      I've been hearing this argument a lot from Republicans lately. It's interesting that suddenly so many patriotic people on the Right are on a "blame America" tour. [Note: I'm not talking about you here, nimbius, I'm talking about the argument.]

      This massive reversal of roles has me thinking that their outrage is less than genuine.

      If sanctions didnt work for Ukrane, they wont work here.

      And yet, people on the Right are absolutely certain that sanctions work when it comes to Cuba, Iran, etc, and that Obama is unpatriotic for removing them. The hypocrisy all around is stunning.

      • by nimbius ( 983462 )
        I agree, but see the Blame America tour as an attempt to stave off buyers remorse. you cannot make great again that which has been performing arguably well to date...and so there seems to be this tacit communal agreement that its best to find some fault -- any fault -- or tread the perilous route of having to defend legitimate economic, domestic, and foreign policy decisions that may be against the interest of many constituents.
    • by poity ( 465672 )

      If sanctions didnt work for Ukrane, they wont work here.

      Sanctions have hurt Russia, and as a tool they are highly effective for the US, HOWEVER don't expect new sanctions to be a response to hacking. Any new sanction will most likely be a response to US setbacks in Syria that are made in the guise of responding to hacking during the election.

      Why do I say this? China has hacked the US many times in the past with few repercussions outside of reprimands. Sanctions in response to hacking would be extraordinarily atypical.

    • it's especially ironic considering the USA's CIA destabilized the Ukraine government and precipitated the whole situation. And why are we sad autonomous Russian area of Ukraine voted to rejoin Russia again, I forgot

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Did you borrow your foreign policy from the 80's?

    DNC hacks - perks for the rich, perks for the poor, make the working class pay for it all.

    This is why you lost the election.

  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Friday December 30, 2016 @09:27AM (#53578191) Journal
    If true, this raises the ethical question of America justifying meddling in the next Russian Presidential Election in 2018, or the one after that.

    I bet the rest of the World can pause and find this amusing, since we Americans probably sought to influence more elections the last century than any nation... looking at you Central & South America.

    I'm as bewildered as the next fellow as to how we ended up our newest Commander-in-Chief, but I also believe it's time he and the former administration started working together like big boys.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Well, it's easier to tip a working system between relatively equally matched candidates than it is an already rigged one.

    • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )

      If true, this raises the ethical question of America justifying meddling in the next Russian Presidential Election in 2018,

      Not really. According to Russia, the US (particularly the State Department) has been meddling in every Russian Presidential election since the USSR dissolved. According to the US, all of Putin's elections since his first have been sham elections, so "meddling" in one of them would be a complete waste of effort. So no matter which side of the Putin-verse you are on, this isn't an issue.

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      If true, this raises the ethical question of America justifying meddling in the next Russian Presidential Election in 2018, or the one after that.

      That's cute. You think there's going to be another Russian election soon. Don't you know Putin has pretty much assured he will be in power as long as he wants?

  • by RobRyland ( 960596 ) on Friday December 30, 2016 @09:31AM (#53578201)

    An article talking about Russia trying to influence American politics, but not mentioning George Soros or foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation...
    That is propaganda.

    • Don't worry, I covered Saudi Arabia & Qatar's influence in a comment up here [slashdot.org] with links to some of the relevant emails.

      If anyone wants bonus points, start reading the bylines of all these stories and compare them to the reporters who were working for the DNC, coordinating messaging with them, having their articles reviewed and approved, etc. and feel free to tag the relevant authors as #fakenews on Twitter with a link back to Wikileaks.

      I suggest starting with Glenn "I have become a hack" Thrush [wikileaks.org].

    • They were full of platitudes and bull shit. Hilary took their money and gave them a shit sandwich in return. Meanwhile you're guy is about to hand the Crimera over to Russia without a peep.

      Maybe the world is a little more complex than you want it to be? Maybe your anti-Clinton straw men are full of shit instead of straw?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The DNC is not the US Government. Voting machines weren't hacked. While hacking the DNC might be against the law, influencing elections is not. I just want some one to tell me how the Russians releasing emails is not unlike the Koch brothers buying advertising? At least the emails were truthful. As long as business can set up their super-PACs to influence elections can we really object to a foreign government doing the same?

    • by Lakitu ( 136170 )

      As long as business can set up their super-PACs to influence elections can we really object to a foreign government doing the same?

      Are you fucking serious? Citizens can influence their own government and own elections all they want, it's an inalienable birthright of their citizenship. It's the very basis of government as enshrined in the Constitution.

      Foreign governments leveraging their power to change government policy and elections isn't influence, or someone's opinion, it's espionage and can be punished by deportation or death. How many foreign leaders can you name that came out and said something like "I prefer x candidate over y c

      • Oh please, Billionaires and multinational corporations should be viewed as the same level of threat to our democracy as foreign actors. In fact, they are a great deal more effective.
        • by Lakitu ( 136170 )

          That's an infinitely more sensible attitude than "why shouldn't foreign entities be allowed to do this?" as the OP was.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 30, 2016 @09:53AM (#53578267)

    Pages 1-3: overview of recent activities of some hacking groups
    Page 4: list of these groups
    Pages 5-12: suggested security measures (copied from "Cybersecurity for dummies"?)
    Page 13: contacts

    Again, no evidence of Russian involvement. Or anything that can be called a detailed analysis.

  • Clinton Lost. (Score:3, Informative)

    by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Friday December 30, 2016 @10:02AM (#53578307)

    Full Stop. This was not "Trump Winning" or "Russia Hacking" it was the DNC being so completely out of touch with parts of the country they knew they would win than they still don't accept that they lost there. Michael Moore nailed it in 5 Reasons Trump Will Win [michaelmoore.com].

    The whole election loss can come down to a few swing states. A few extra thousand voters one way or another in a state that is solid Red or Blue isn't what got Trump elected. (Just like Clinton getting massive numbers in California didn't win her the election, that's not how the rules were set before the game)

    I'll just point out the 2 states I'm most familiar with, Wisconsin and Michigan. Not coincidentally both of those states they had completely wrong in the Primary as well. Both states were "Sure" Clinton states and Sanders proved them wrong. Clinton didn't visit Wisconsin once for the general election. She sent a bunch of proxies. She did hit Michigan late but more or less completely ignored it prior to their number crunchers going "eh maybe we're wrong". The Russians didn't tell her not to go to Wisconsin. The Russians didn't push Sanders over the top in the Primaries. The Russians didn't collude to keep Sanders out of the nomination. [And even IF they did, I don't think 'Those guys did something illegal to illustrate something I was doing illegal" is a justifiable defense in court]

    Stein and Johnson ran in both 2012 and 2016 so you can use them as a 'control' between the candidates. Personally Michigan's Green bump in 2012 and the corresponding Democrat drop should have been an indication 4 years ago that something was up.

    Wisconsin's numbers:

    Republican Presidential votes:

    • 2008 - 1262393
    • 2012 - 1407966
    • 2016 - 1405284

    Democratic Presidential votes:

    • 2008 - 1677211
    • 2012 - 1620985
    • 2016 - 1382536

    Libertarian Presidential votes:

    • 2008 - 8858
    • 2012 - 20439
    • 2016 - 106674

    Green Presidential votes:

    • 2008 - 4216
    • 2012 - 7665
    • 2016 - 31072

    Michigan's numbers look similar.

    Republican Presidential votes:

    • 2008 - 2048639
    • 2012 - 2115256
    • 2016 - 2279543

    Democratic Presidential votes:

    • 2008 - 2872579
    • 2012 - 2564569
    • 2016 - 2268839

    Libertarian Presidential votes:

    • 2008 - 23716
    • 2012 - 7774
    • 2016 - 172136

    Green Presidential votes:

    • 2008 - 8892
    • 2012 - 21897
    • 2016 - 51463
    • is that people cast votes, and our elections are won or lost, on whether or not a candidate comes to their state and tells them what they want to hear.
      It boggles my mind that it still works. We live in an age where information - real, massaged, and fabricated - is available 24/7. Yet politics is still just politics, where you don't have to be a good candidate to win. You just have to be a better shyster.

      We should have a "neither" option, and if neither wins, we go back and start over.

      I know why that won'

    • Re:Clinton Lost. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Lakitu ( 136170 ) on Friday December 30, 2016 @11:02AM (#53578659)

      Does that make it OK that the DNC was hacked and its private communications were released in an attempt to influence the election?

      The oversensitivity with regards to Trump's election win is sad. Anyone calling his win illegitimate or whatever is an idiot and should be treated as such, but for some reason a whole bunch of people want to continue living out their partisan fantasies after the election is over.

      The fact that so many people can then use this as an excuse to not even care about espionage conducted against our election process is nothing short of pathetic.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Does that make it OK that the DNC was hacked and its private communications were released in an attempt to influence the election?

        Like I asked, does someone doing something illegal to point out your shady dealings make them the ones at fault? If the leaks happened and they didn't show the DNC colluding to keep out Sanders or CNN spoon feeding questions would she have won? (Likely not). The only thing the e-mails did was validate the opinions most people had, the people that protest voted against Clinton would have "known" she colluded or cheated in the primaries evidence or not.

        Most people I knew had their minds made up as soon as the

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dgatwood ( 11270 )

        Anyone calling his win illegitimate or whatever is an idiot ...

        Call me an idiot, then. By all rights, Trump lost by more than a 2% margin. The only reason he was declared the "winner" is that the electoral college is fundamentally rigged to be biased in favor of low-population states, so people in rural areas, which have leaned heavily Republican for as long as I've been alive, get more of a vote than urban areas, which means that the entire system is biased in favor of Republicans.

        And not just a little,

        • Do you think the Senate is a good idea to protect against the flaws of democracy?

          If so, why would those some protections not be a good idea for a different branch of government?

          POTUS leads a union of states, not a mob.

    • by radl33t ( 900691 )
      Charlatans are too obvious when they claim genius in hindsight.
    • by 4im ( 181450 )

      Clinton lost. Just as all the rest of the US of A. And the western world.

  • On Jan 19th, Obama says... Because we wuz hacked, the election results cannot be allowed to stand. And since Russia has shown that it can hack our elections, we can't trust any future American elections. Therefore I am suspending the electoral process, and proclaiming myself president-for-life

  • by poity ( 465672 ) on Friday December 30, 2016 @10:17AM (#53578393)

    What happened that we truly know of:
      1. In the summer of 2015, someone (evidence points to Russian) spear-phished passwords from unsavvy staffers on the DNC email server
      2. Almost a year later, Wikileaks publishes a dump of DNC emails. It is assumed by many to have come from the previous infiltration, though there are other ways Wikileaks could have obtained the data, and no definitive link connecting the two events have so far been presented.
      3. Through the email dump, the American public is able to see the DNC's inner workings, including:
        - party officials colluding to hinder Bernie Sanders
        - party insider helping the Clinton campaign to cheat during debate
        - astroturf campaign to create illusion of spontaneous public protest against opponent
        - journalists coordinating with party officials to ensure party messaging is on track
    4. Some voters may have reconsidered their voting decisions, or even the decision to participate in this cycle, due to the above information.
    5. Critical states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania which were assumed to be safe states for Clinton (and who as a result did not campaign aggressively there), instead fall to Trump during the general election, ensuring a GOP win.

    What the press & defeated party instead want you to think:
      1. Russia hacked America
      2. Trump is now the President
      3. "... we're not saying Trump administration is a creation of the Russian state... *wink wink nudge nudge* but the Trump administration is obviously a creation and stupid dumb puppet of the Russian state... for realz tho... also, don't listen to fake news"

    There is an immense effort right now to make us take mental shortcuts, to skip certain events in our memories, to forget that certain misdeeds were done not by Russians but by Americans.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 30, 2016 @10:37AM (#53578491)

      There is evidence of spear phishing going on (and Podesta falling for it at least once) however you left out one big critical point:

      The murder of Seth Rich, his access, and what may have prompted his assassination, along with Assange's specific assertion that an insider had given him information at least once and that it wasn't "the Russians".

      If the DNC didn't get hacked because they were just stupid, then they got hacked because someone went sour on their ethics. There is no need for the whole "it's the Russians" loop in any of this... especially when you look for "ok, what did the Russians DO with the information they stole?" "Uhm...well nothing?"

      There is no credibility at all in the Russian theory of this.

  • Incumbent wins (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fulldecent ( 598482 ) on Friday December 30, 2016 @11:08AM (#53578687) Homepage

    An alternate reading of this news produces the following news:

      * Government agencies and political parties have continued the discussion without a modicum of doubt on document authenticity.
      * Agencies have successfully dominated news cycles on this topic and zero discussion has been made regarding DNC primaries tampering.
      * No mass media has mentioned, let alone considered why, Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Communications Director Luis Miranda, Chief Financial Officer Brad Marshall and Chief Executive Amy Dacey all resigned from DNC.

    That is the real news in my opinion.

    • by radl33t ( 900691 )
      Sorry what is the news here ? Petty corruption in the internal management of a private organization? Zero fucks given, here.

      The bigger story is beyond the election, the media, fake news, or the new administration. With or without the influence of foreign actors, a fast increasing majority of Americans are expressing their total lack of faith in all of our institutions and actively propagating this belief. Game over. There is no plan here, no way to recover, this self-destructive behavior, whether it be
  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Friday December 30, 2016 @02:43PM (#53580123)

    13 pages... more like 3 pages followed by nonsense and boiler plate security "advice".

    The pages offer only assertions unsupported by any provided evidence and describe techniques that are widely used by everyone. They don't even bother to explain linkages between APT xx and the Russian government.

    I don't trust TLA's. They have a long history of being weasels and publically selling lies to support themselves and their masters political agendas. My view the government should either provide actual evidence to support its assertions or STFU.

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