Friday, December 23, 2016

So you want to know why the CIA and FBI think the Russians hacked the DNC computers?

Here you go. From CyberBrief:

New evidence suggests the same hackers that targeted the Democratic National Committee (DNC) earlier this summer also targeted the operational capability of Ukrainian artillery in 2014. Crowdstrike, the cybersecurity company that originally investigated the breach of the DNC and attributed the attacks to Russia, reportedly found a unique piece of malware both within the DNC’s network and embedded in an Android application developed by a Ukrainian soldier to assist in processing targeting data. The hackers infected the app with this unique piece of malware that then spread - via the app - throughout the Ukrainian military to reveal the positions of Ukrainian artillery units. During the same timeline, pro-Russian artillery launched over 120 attacks on Ukrainian forces, destroying 80 percent of their D-30 Howitzers and forcing their retreat over hundreds of kilometers of border territory.


The Cipher Take:
The unique malware found in both the DNC and the Ukrainian application, called X-Agent, allows for remote command execution, file transmission, and keylogging. Much like regular people, hackers are creatures of habit and often take the path of least resistance—usually meaning approaching problems in a similar way. Like connecting bank robberies based on the reoccurring methodology deployed, multiple hacks can also be connected. Moreover, both attacks align with Russian strategic objectives – neither China nor a 400 pound hacker is likely to have an interest in targeting the combat capabilities of the Ukrainian military in 2014. Moreover, X-Agent has not been found in open source malware depositories, nor is it being shared in underground forums in the dark corners of the Internet. While this analysis does not create evidence beyond reasonable doubt, it is useful for probabilistic-based assessments commonly relied upon by intelligence agencies.


Doubtless Trumpophiles (and Trump) will continue to deny reality. But consider the evidence- and the capacity both Donald Fredovich and his followers have for, well, denying reality.

The President-elect's buddy Vladimir Putin did the hacking. And like so much else that Donald Trump and his followers stubbornly refuse to believe despite there being no real doubt that it's true, reality in this matter, too, will be remarkably unaffected by their denial of it.

Except, of course, to the extent that any reality stubbornly denied by the President of the United States affects the entire world. And I fear that it affects it to a far greater extent than any reasonable person should be willing to accept.

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