Former Intelligence Officer On The Bogus Russian Hack

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

If there’s one thing that’s certain in the intelligence business, it’s that there’s rarely any certainty.

That’s pretty much the first thing they teach you at spy school.

Back in the early days of my intelligence career, I had one instructor who explained it in a way that I’ll never forget.

“If you present your analysis as if it’s fact, instead of conjecture, the person who’s relying on your intelligence could end up making a bad decision that gets people killed.”

Intelligence is not about definitive conclusions. It’s about gathering data and coming up with plausible theories that connect the dots.

Sadly, sometimes those theories are influenced by personal or political agendas.

Back in 2002-2003, the Bush White House had a pretty clear predisposition that Iraq possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs).

Miraculously, the intelligence reports conformed to that narrative.

And America went to war based on an “unassailable conclusion” from the intelligence community that Iraq had WMDs.

The facts were largely bogus, circumstantial at best. But this became the rallying cry behind every politician and media outlet’s patriotic bloodlust.

How quickly they all forget.

Here we are today with a new assertion: those dastardly Russians hacked Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

I read it in the New York Times, so it must be true.

Once again there is a chorus of condemnation from the intelligence community and political establishment based on supposed rock-solid conclusions.

Yet once again the assertions are nothing more than theories that connect some very circumstantial dots.

Here’s the actual evidence:

The hacks were executed using two types of malware known as Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear.

(Yes that’s what they’re actually called.)

Fancy Bear is malware that takes a conventional “phishing” approach.

A phishing attack is when a hacker creates a web page that’s almost an exact copy of one that you’re used to.

For example, they’ll create a website that looks like your bank’s login page.

So if you click on a malicious link in your email that takes you to the fake page, you’ll inadvertently supply a hacker with your bank username and password.

They’ll then use that information to compromise your bank account.

Fancy Bear allowed hackers to gain access to private emails… primarily because the users at the DNC got duped into providing their login credentials.

Cozy Bear is the second piece of malware that installs itself on a computer, typically after a user clicks on a malicious web link.

One installed, the Cozy Bear malware deploys Remote Access Tools (known as RATs), providing a remote hacker access to the machine and its files.

If, however, Cozy Bear finds that the machine has advanced security software that could detect the malware and cause problems for the RATs, Cozy Bear will self-terminate.

So the first thing to point out here is that the DNC (and potentially the people who were administering Hillary’s private email server) weren’t maintaining the latest security patches and updates on their systems.

Someone at the DNC clicked on a malicious web link that installed the malware, and it didn’t self-terminate because they weren’t bothering to use advanced security software.

Duh.

This is a simple competence issue, and I’m surprised it never came up in the news.

More importantly, Cozy Bear was used against the DNC as far back as summer 2015… as in just before, or right after, Donald Trump entered the race.

So it’s hard for me to believe that Vladimir Putin was actively hacking the DNC to support a candidate that had barely (or not even yet) materialized.

Most importantly, just because cybersecurity experts detected Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear doesn’t mean that the Russians were behind the attacks.

These assertions aren’t based on concrete facts; they’re just speculating that Colonel Mustard did it in the library with the candlestick.

(Apologies to our readers who are too young to have played Clue.)

But facts (or lack of facts) don’t matter.

Whenever something bad happens, the US government blames Russia… and everyone believes it without taking any time to question the evidence.

blame-russia

It’s as if we’re living in some lame espionage movie from the 1980s where the Russians are always the bad guys.

Look, I have absolutely zero regard for the Russian government (as is the case with just about every country’s government).

But I find it almost hilariously short-sighted how quickly everyone rushes to judgment against the Russians. Or the Chinese. Or the North Koreans.

Sure, maybe the Russians did it. And I’m happy to believe that’s the case once clear evidence is presented.

But it’s worth acknowledging right now that their assertions are nowhere near conclusive.

It’s not like this is the first time in US history that the federal government or one of its intelligence agencies could be wrong… or… have a reason to lie.

It’s notable that last week President Obama ordered the entire intelligence community to investigate the Russian hacks.

Given the Obama administration’s numerous statements about the Russians’ complicity, and the nonstop media coverage about the “conclusive” evidence, it’s pretty clear that the outcome of the report is already pre-determined.

Just like the Iraq/WMD analysis back in 2002-2003, this investigation is biased by the boss’s predisposition that the Russians are guilty.

What I find most disturbing, though, is how they can’t let it go that the Russians influenced the election and manipulated voter sentiment.

I’m sure we can all appreciate that the hacks, no matter who perpetrated them, constitute criminal activity.

But the information that was released as a result of the hacks shined a painful and embarrassing spotlight on the inner workings of the corrupt political establishment.

So when the papers and politicians complain that the hacks influenced the election (as if the US government has never tried to influence a foreign election), they’re really just whining that voters found out the truth.

They have that little respect for your dignity.

Do you have a Plan B?

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Fireman's picture

“If you present your analysis as if it’s fact, instead of conjecture, the person who’s relying on your intelligence could end up making a bad decision that gets people killed.”

 

Is that not the history of USSAN global military expansion ?

junction's picture

The real conjecture is will Obama and his neo-con Satanists fast track the entry into the United States of the jihadist killers now on the CIA payroll in Syria.  Once in the USA en masse, these killers will be near impossible to isolate and neutralize. 

AllTimeWhys's picture

The truth is inconvenient to the establishment

LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD's picture
LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD (not verified) AllTimeWhys Dec 13, 2016 5:06 PM

So Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear took down Cankles Bear.

Holy hand grenade of Antioch's picture
Holy hand grenade of Antioch (not verified) LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD Dec 13, 2016 5:10 PM

"It’s as if we’re living in some lame espionage movie from the 1980s where the Russians are always the bad guys"

 

But Simon ~ We ARE still livin' in the 80's because your Rochefocauld is still worth fifty bucks in Philly.

WordSmith2013's picture

http://stateofthenation2012.com/?p=60212

 

Rogue Elements in the CIA are Operating Against President-elect Trump
Thought Processor's picture

 

 

My guess is that there are a very few agencies around the world spending time jumping through hoops at the moment.  Information collection at a distance must be quite handy in times like these.

 

 

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

Yeah, something like that, along the lines of a combination of Goldiloots and the Three Bears and Little Red Robbing Hood.

LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD's picture
LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD (not verified) Shemp 4 Victory Dec 13, 2016 5:26 PM

Yeah, the Clinton Crime Family Foundation is about as corrupt as it can get.

Ignatius's picture

"A wise man once said

Some men rob you with a fountain pen

Didn't take long to figure out

Just what he was talkin' about."

--  Bob Dylan

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

Here's another former intelligence officer on the bogus Russian hack.

Clinton and her party are the criminals, not the Russians
http://non-intervention.com/2481/clinton-and-her-party-are-the-criminals...

Akzed's picture

 

Except when we isolate and neutralize them. With extreme prejudice.

 

brain_glitch's picture

I thought they were leaks (you know, as in wikileaks), not hacks.

Brazen Heist's picture

Its a truly sorry state of affairs to witness American politics going through this catharsis of retarded emotions.

847328_3527's picture

The neocons + far left radicals + Hillary + Jill Stein will stop at nothing to get control and keep Americans oppressed even if they have to destroy our nation, which is what they are doing now.

Justin Case's picture

Just as Karl Marx claimed that History had chosen the proletariat, neoconservatives claim that History has chosen America. Just as the Nazis proclaimed “Deutschland uber alles,” neoconservatives proclaim “America uber alles.” In September 2013 President Obama actually stood before the United Nations and declared, “I believe America is exceptional.”

Germany’s political leaders and those in Great Britain, France, and throughout Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan also believe that America is exceptional, which means better than they are. That’s why these countries are Washington’s vassals. They accept their inferiority to the Exceptional Country — the USA — and follow its leadership.

I believe they are reassessing that claim, the down grade probability is newest member of the banana republic.

bobbbny's picture

That's not how the US influences elections.

We do it with a bullet to the head.

dumbStruck's picture

A slice of yellow cake anyone ?

Rainman's picture

His name is Oblameo ... this is how he roll .

Ignatius's picture

Off topic, but related:  Caught a bit of BBC while in the car and had to endure US UN Ambasador, Samantha Power, equating the "fall of Aleppo" (it is, in fact, a liberation) to some unimanigeable humanitarian crisis, which I believe should come as quite a surprise to the cheering residents of Aleppo.  I was yet again stunned by the level of dissembling, obfuscation and lies. 

Leadership (used advisedly) that is such a depature from reality is a real danger to all of us.

Here's Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett addressing a UN panel:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebE3GJfGhfA#t=841

Here's Vanessa Beeley reporting from Aleppo (go to 1:39:00): http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/12/11/episode-164-sunday-wire-liberation...

BigDuke6's picture

The BBC....  thats banned in my house

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Unless it's an episode of Sherlock, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers or Black Adder.

Then it's "All hands to the Tele.  Chip, chip."

Ghordius's picture

a liberation can co-exist with a great humanitarian crisis
in fact, what IS this war, for the people living there or that fled?
exactly. a frigging huge humanitarian crisis

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

Ghordo, if you've never had the misfortune to witness a performance by Ambassador Samantha Power, then you lack the requisite memory of the sickening feeling (and, for US citizens, extreme embarrassment) that Sam Power induces. What you missed when Ignatius said that he was, "stunned by the level of dissembling, obfuscation and lies," is the unspoken tone of disgust and revulsion.

The woman's words are a verbal emetic, causing a visceral sense of nausea. It's not that she simply said that the "fall" of Aleppo is a great humanitarian crisis. Every hatred-dripping syllable of hers expresses the exact opposite of truth. She's been regurgitating the "noble, moderate Syrian rebels" narrative from the start, refusing to acknowledge the US role in prompting and maintaining the "rebellion", spinning imaginary accounts of a "brutal dictator gassing his own people" with magical Barrel Bombs®, and pushing the orchestrated theatrics of a fictional civil defense rescue group of first responders (who moonlight as terrorists) known as the White Helmets.

In her comic book Syrian scenario, America is all good, the foreign murderers in Syria are freedom fighters, Assad and Putin are co-Hitlers du jour, and the "fall" of Aleppo is a crushing blow to the aspirations of humble, downtrodden Syrians yearning to breathe the sweet air of freedom. In fact, as far as the Syrians are concerned, America is an evil menace, the "rebels" are Saudi-financed and American-supplied criminal gangs, Assad and Putin are heroes, the liberation of Aleppo signals the beginning of the end of the humanitarian crisis caused by Pox Americana and its European subsidiaries, and Samantha Power loathes Syrian civilians, especially women and children.

Ignatius's picture

Brilliant return off the wall, Shemp.  You should have authored my missive.

Killdo's picture

that's how psychopaths lie - the more outrageous the better. They have learned that normal people find it confusing  - they find it hard to believe anyone woudl lie so much and such outrageous lies. 

that's why they use it - that's how the psychos think. $hitlery does the same. She immediately blames everyone else for her faults and crimes. 

the faster they blame their victims for their own crimes, and the more outrageous the lies -  the more psychopathic these degenerates are

css1971's picture

It's irrelevant anyway. Wikileaks claim their stuff didn't come from a hack.

The Guccifer stuff for example differed markedly from the Wikileaks content.

blindfaith's picture

 

 

YOU CAN BET...Zoros have bets on death and destruction for America.

The devil, that knows no horror to bad to damage America with.

 

Fingerprints are all over the asses in DC, maybe inside some.

847328_3527's picture

Hillary and her Gangsters are desperate to 1) get control and 2) distract the sheeples from the contents of those emails. Notice how zero MSM have discussed the content of those emails showing the nefarious dealings of Hillary, Podesta, Huma, Mills, Brazille, Wasserman, and many others.?

Justin Case's picture

The American elite has such a short memory. It was only twenty years ago when American NGOs and advisors to then President Boris Yeltsin helped him, it is said, to steal the 1996 presidential election from Communist leader Gennadii Zyuganov. For the United States turn-about is never fair play.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Riddle me this, CIA/CYA...

    1. Is it possible to hack into a computer, and not leave a trail or unique fingerprint that leads back to You?  Especially if the hack is physically initiated from outside the location (country, company or building) from where the attack is shown to originate?  E.g. initiate hack from Macao or US (which is what I might have done, as a rank IT amateur).  Is it possible?  Yes or No? 

   2. Do you think that the Russian government, any other major Power or "Mr. Robot" hacker have the ability to do #1?  Yes or No?

If the answers are Yes to both these critical questions, then you got Nothing.  Zip, Zilch, Zero, Nada, Babkuss on "the Russians".  At best, all you have is Conjecture or a Staged Trail.

I do know this about the CYA and all intel agencies: NOTHING IS AS IT APPEARS ON THE SURFACE. Were it so, they and their Assets would not be in business for very long.  I therefore believe Putin (in this instance) when he said: "We did not do this. But if we had, you would not have known it was us, or could have proved it was us." Or something to that effect.

Justin Case's picture

Just judging the Russian leader, Putin, from his speaches and continuously reaching out to countries without aggression, in a diplomatic way, it's hard to fathom he would care less to interfer in any country's election.

He's a true statesman and a man who persues peaceful diplomatic solutions, not woar.

TheReplacement's picture

It all depends on the real capabilities of the NSA now doesn't it?  Either they are snooping and scooping up all or they are not.  Either they can decrypt it all or they cannot. 

If they can/can then the answers are no and no.  If either is a cannot then the anwers are maybe and maybe.  If both are cannot then both are maybe. 

I'd put my money on the sure thing, maybe.

Either way, it's all bullshit.  They don't care if Russia did it or did not do it.  What they care about is power and they are not going to go without a fight.

DuneCreature's picture

Let me help.

The NSA is the largest employer in the state of Maryland.

They have server farms the size of small cities. Their budget is the size of Mt St Helen and that's the budget that's on the books. .. They have state of the art everything and most of it is underground.

They scoop up every piece of traffic going anywhere to anywhere, even if you are connected to your next door neighbor on the same ISP. (Don't ask me how they pull that one off but they do.)

What do you think they do at all day at the NSA? Actually, they can sit on their ass a lot because all the snooping is highly automated. It has to be and therefore very, very thorough.

They can play The World of Warcraft all day with super and now D-Wave quantum computers and still catch every bit of web traffic passing thru the splitter routers and backbone tap points.

Then roll in their pals at Google, M$ and a dozen other Peeping Tom outfits that know what you ate for breakfast yesterday AND save, in data base(s) all over the place, the most minute scraps of info AND especially metadata (meaning tracking data) about FUCKING everybody and the dot gov (who owns NSA) is telling everyone they 'don't know' who hacks who? .... Notice how quiet the NSA stays through the lost Email horde horseshit and phony hacker wars? The kids are doing everything they can to not roll around on the floor laughing in lower level cafeteria in Ft Meade no doubt.

Fat fucking chance they don't have the data!

They know who visited what networks, Emails, chats, FTP directories, and porn sites through Tor, proxies, multiple router hops, network weaving and secret squirrel tunnels through a dozen different countries any time of the day or night. ... They know who left what network node with what and how it traveled back to whom and when. Right back to the MAC address of the machine that made the request.

If the hackers used the internet the NSA has the records. ..... This playing dumb about what the NSA does is getting old and lame.

Oh, and I don't care how encrypted things are either. .. But that's a different story. ... Besides who uses encryption? Most of the lazy dot gov dumbshits don't even use passwords and just wipe their servers with a cloth. ..... Who knows WHAT security was on the voting ballot carrying connections.

Oh, FBI. ... You super G-men over there. ... Go see your snoopy NSA dot gov brethren pals and get some answers about 'hackers', and Russians and Sue from St Lou, will ya?

And If NSA dropped the ball that day the Israelis have it all again in Tel Aviv.

Live Hard, What Is This, A Bad Soap Opera Or A Lame Saturday Morning Cobra Cartoon?, Die Free

~ Dc v4.0

EuroPox's picture

Craig Murray says it was not a hack, it was a leak, from 2 US sources (1 for DNC and 1 for Podesta) and he says he has met one of the leakers...

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/cias-absence-conviction/

monad's picture

Speculate this: The DNC rigged the election for sHitlery and sHe lost. The psychopaths know somebody outfoxed them, but they can't just come out and say "We rigged this election. We weren't supposed to lose!". So now the psychopaths are setting up Us against Them III because no matter which side did it the psychopaths will make sure they kill all the possible doers on both sides. Since these obviously homicidal maniacs are bearing down on us all, the hacks, no matter who perpetrated them, constitute self defense. Self defense is never criminal activity. Totally fucked if they are being set up by a mole in their own organization. Don't imagine they weren't going to kill you if they stole the election. They were just going to do it slower to enjoy it more, enriching themselves as much as possible in the process. 

 

CHoward's picture

They don't give a flying shit about me or anyone else - we all know that.  They ONLY care about themselves and the power and wealth they can amass and everyone else be damned.  Yeah and FUCK YOU too - Clinton, Podesta, Brennan, Obama, et al.

RagaMuffin's picture

Why in the hell would Putin back Trump, who has promised to crank up the shale oil "pump" that would  jepordize his fortune , let alone Russia's economy?  

DirtySanchez's picture

"If you present your analysis as if it’s fact, instead of conjecture, the person who’s relying on your intelligence could end up making a bad decision that gets people killed.”

This is how the Clintons operate.

LOL123's picture

Clintons skip all steps of analysis and go straight to lying... That's their MO.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

This False Narrative and Misdirection about "The Russians" sure seems like a nice cover for something else:  an INTERNAL INQUSITION of IT Hacking by US Gov Agents (in a Soft Coup v. Counter-Coup efforts):

It allows Obama to conduct a JIT Insqisition, to ferret out the Counter-Coup Gov Operatives (White Hats in the FBI, CIA or NSA), who staged a Counter-Coup, by hacking and leaking the DNC and Podesta emails to Wikileaks.

Q: will these White Hat Gov Agents then be "suicided" in the coming days and weeks?  After all, "Dead men tell no tales."  Will Obama have the names of people that he must pardon by Jan. 19?

It sure seems awfully convenient, if that were the case.  I assume that he does "Not waste a crisis", to use it as an Opportunity, if he follows Rahm Emmanuel's philosophy of politics.

nonclaim's picture

There's this talk that the CIA director is a Muslim convert... If that is correct a lot of things start to make more sense. For example, the recurring bombing of Muslim weddings, supposedly to take out terrorists. Doesn't that sound like it is more of an internal affair to Muslim factions that has nothing to do with the US Government proper? There are other things but this one hit me first...

Yen Cross's picture

   There's still MEGATONS of WMD in Iraq--- </sarc>

LOL123's picture

Simon Black, there ya go thinking again... Stop in the name of national security!

nakki's picture

The real problem isn't the hack itself. "If it weren't for those meddling kids she would have got away with it."

Blaming anyone and everyone but themselves for their incompetence is the new norm. You clowns got beat by Trump. Let me say it again, Hillary, you got beat by Donald Trump. 

Maybe America just wasn't that into you. Maybe Bernie would have beat The Donald if you had not rigged the democratic primary in the first place. What's the DNC so pissed about Goldman still in charge. Dems will be back in power after Trumps presidency does nothing for Joe Six pack, and the people that do nothing for a living but go on "reality" news shows can bitch for another 4 years.

Nobody in a position of power ever is to blame for their incompetence. CEO's not their fault, intelligence agencies never saw it coming. Finally failing up didn't happen, then again maybe HillBillary, America just wasn't that into you.

 

popcorn's picture

Why did we care that there may have been "WMDs"? Because we were told to - by the Israeli lobby in Washington and the media. Who actually cares about any of this and why is the US constantly angaged in war directly surrounding Israel? 

BarnacleBill's picture

Ever noticed that CNN's maps of Syria always label the areas controlled by the government as "under regime control"? It's because the US doesn't regard the government as legitimate. If the Clintonistas do manage to usurp Trump's position as POTUS, I for one will always refer to the new government as "the regime". I hope you will all join me in that. Pass the word along.