SCW RUSSIAWIRE: “Russian spies accused of targeting watchdog investigating UK chemical attacks, probe into MH17 crash[; U.S. indicts Russian military intelligence figures” – Fox News

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code, adapted from image at ornl.gov

“Russia’s military spy service has been behind a wave of massive cyber attacks … with targets ranging from the international chemical weapons watchdog group to the probe into the downing of a Malaysian Airlines plane over Ukraine, officials said Thursday. … the [UK] National Cyber Security Centre … [indicated] that Russia’s GRU has engaged in ‘indiscriminate and reckless’ cyber attacks … target[ing] ‘political institutions, businesses, media, and sport.’ * * * ‘… demonstrat[ing] their desire to operate without regard to international law or established norms … with a feeling of impunity and without consequences,’ U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said. … [T]he cyber attacks … [are said to] include the 2016 hack of the [DNC] … published … by WikiLeaks, and the leaking of top athletes’ medical records. Also on Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department charged seven Russian military intelligence officers with hacking anti-doping agencies and other organizations either remotely or … ‘on-site’ ….

[The] indictment … said that the GRU targeted … hacking victims … [for] support[ing] a ban on Russian athletes … and … condemn[ing] Russia’s state-sponsored … doping …. Prosecutors said the Russian spies also targeted a Pennsylvania-based nuclear energy company and an international organization … investigating chemical weapons in Syria and the poisoning of a former GRU officer.”

Click here for: “Russian spies accused of targeting watchdog investigating UK chemical attacks, probe into MH17 crash” – Fox News



Kremlin and St. Basil's at Night





NEWSWATCH: “In a first, U.S. blames Russia for cyber attacks on energy grid” – Reuters – SCW RUSSIA WIRE

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code, adapted from image at ornl.gov

“The Trump administration … blamed the Russian government for … cyber attacks stretching back at least two years that targeted the U.S. power grid … the first time the United States has publicly accused Moscow of hacking into American energy infrastructure. … Russian government hackers sought to penetrate multiple U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, including energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation and manufacturing …. a ‘multi-stage intrusion campaign by Russian government cyber actors’ had targeted the networks of small commercial facilities ‘where they staged malware, conducted spear phishing, and gained remote access into energy sector networks.’  * * *  … Thursday’s alert provided a link to an analysis by … Symantec last fall that said a group it had dubbed Dragonfly had targeted energy companies in the United States and Europe and in some cases broke into the core systems that control the companies’ operations. …”

Click here for: “In a first, U.S. blames Russia for cyber attacks on energy grid” – Reuters







SCW RUSSIAWIRE: House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence: Russia Investigation

U.S. Capitol file photo

House Permanent Select Committee on #Intelligence
#Russia Investigation

Overview

Following a more than yearlong, bipartisan investigation into Russia active measures targeting the 2016 U.S. #election, the House Intelligence Committee has completed a draft report of 150+ pages, with 600+ citations. The draft report addresses, in detail, each of the questions within the agreed parameters of the investigation, as announced in March 2017. It analyzes: 

  • Russian active measures directed against the 2016 U.S. election and against our European allies;
  • The U.S. government response to that attack; 
  • Links between Russians and the Trump and Clinton campaigns; and 
  • Purported leaks of classified information. Initial Findings


The draft report contains 40+ initial findings that describe: 

  • A pattern of Russian attacks on America’s European allies; 
  • Russian cyberattacks on U.S. political institutions in 2015-2016 and their use of social media to sow discord; 
  • A lackluster pre-election response to Russian active measures; 
  • Concurrence with the Intelligence Community Assessment’s judgments, except with respect to Putin’s supposed preference for candidate Trump; 
  • We have found no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians; 
  • How anti-Trump research made its way from Russian sources to the Clinton campaign; and 
  • Problematic contacts between senior Intelligence Community officials and the media.


Proposed Recommendations

The draft report includes 25+ proposed recommendations for Congress and the executive branch to improve: 

  • Election security, including protecting vote tallies;
  • Support to European allies; 
  • The U.S. government response to cyber-attacks; 
  • Campaign finance transparency; and 
  • Counterintelligence practices related to political campaigns and unauthorized disclosures.


Conclusion

The draft report will be provided to the Committee minority on March 13 for review and comment. After adoption it will be submitted for a declassification review, and a declassified version will be made public. The report’s completion will signify the closure of one chapter in the Committee’s robust oversight of the threat posed by Moscow—which began well before the investigation and will continue thereafter.

Additional follow-on efforts arising from the investigation include oversight of the unmasking of Americans’ names in intelligence reports, FISA abuse, and other matters.







VIDEOS: Russia and 2016 Elections – Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing

U.S. Capitol file photo

The Senate Intelligence Committee hears testimony from witnesses on cybersecurity, #Russian hacking capabilities and U.S. and European elections, in two sessions on March 30, 2017.









 

NEWSWATCH: “Potential ‘smoking gun’ showing Obama administration spied on Trump team, source says” – Fox News

White House File Photo
“Republican congressional investigators expect a potential ‘smoking gun’ establishing that the #Obama administration spied on the #Trump transition team, and possibly the president-elect himself, will be produced to the House #Intelligence Committee this week …. Classified intelligence showing incidental collection of Trump team communications, purportedly seen by committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and described by him in vague terms … came from multiple sources …. The intelligence corroborated information about surveillance of the Trump team that was known to Nunes, sources said, even before President Trump accused his predecessor of having wiretapped him …. The intelligence is said to leave no doubt the Obama administration, in its closing days, was using the cover of legitimate surveillance on foreign targets to spy on President-elect Trump, according to sources. The key to that conclusion is the unmasking of selected U.S. persons whose names appeared in the intelligence, … the paper trail leaves no other plausible purpose for the unmasking other than to damage the incoming Trump administration. …”

Click here for: “Potential ‘smoking gun’ showing Obama administration spied on Trump team, source says” – Fox News







NEWSLINK: “Montenegro ‘to indict Russian spy behind coup plot'” – Daily Telegraph

Map of Europe Highlighting Montenegro

“#Montenegro is reportedly preparing to indict the #Russian #intelligence officer it accuses of masterminding a bloody coup plot to stop the Balkan nation joining #Nato. …”

NEWSLINK: “Russia and China bombard Blighty with 188 cyberattacks in 3 months; Security secrets and private businesses are all fair game” – Register (UK)

“Britain has been hit by 188 “high-level attacks” in the last three months. Some of these attempts include Russian state-sponsored hackers trying to steal defence and foreign policy secrets, according to the UK’s newly appointed National Cyber Security Centre chief Ciaran Martin. Russian and Chinese attacks on defence and foreign policy servers are among those being investigated by the organisation. Security vendors said that high-level malfeasance by foreign espionage agencies is an issue for Western businesses as well as governments. …”

NEWSLINK: “Emmanuel Macron aide blames #Russia for #hacking attempts; Russia watchers say Moscow is deploying considerable resources to swing the French election.” – Politico.EU

Map of France

“A top aide to French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron accused #Russia on Monday of trying to hack into his campaign’s computer systems and spreading disinformation about him via Kremlin-backed news media.”

NEWSLINK: “#Kasparov: Comparing USA to #Russia like comparing surgeon to Jack the Ripper” – The Hill/Garry Kasparov

Kremlin and St. Basil's at Night

“The chairman of the Human Rights Foundation, Russian chess master Garry #Kasparov, criticized President Donald #Trump Sunday for implying this weekend that the United States isn’t so pure when it comes to condemning #Russia’s human rights record. ‘Comparing the USA to Putin’s Russia is like comparing a surgeon to Jack the Ripper because they both cut people with knives,’ Kasparov tweeted, referencing Russian President Vladimir Putin and the 19th century London serial killer who slashed his victims.”

 

NEWSWATCH: “DOJ hints at shaming Russia for political hacks” – The Hill

Binary Code with Stylized Eye

… Justice Department officials dropped hints … they plan to hold Russia accountable for what is suspected to be a broad hacking campaign targeting U.S. political organizations and election databases. … Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, who leads the National Security Division * * * listed Russia as one of the ‘four main actors’ involved in supporting hackers targeting the U.S., alongside North Korea, Iran and China. The U.S. has taken action against hackers from the other three states, he noted, over hacks against Sony Pictures, financial institutions and U.S. companies. … ‘The message is clear: You are not safe because you are doing it under another nation’s flag. We can figure out who did it … and when we do, we’re committed to holding people accountable.’

Click here for The Hill: “DOJ hints at shaming Russia for political hacks”





NEWSWATCH: “Russian Hackers Reportedly Target The New York Times” – Fortune

Binary Code with Stylized Eye

In the latest disturbing account of Russian hacking, the #FBI is reportedly investigating a series of #cyber-attacks targeted at journalists from the New York Times and other U.S. media outlets. … [that] could allow hackers to obtain confidential communications between reporters and …sources in the government. It could also potentially allow Russia to release information, which would embarrass key political leaders as well as obtain insight into U.S. diplomatic or military strategies. … Russia is also the mostly likely suspect behind last week’s ‘Shadow Brokers’ incident … [exposing] a top-secret set of cyber-weapons developed by the #NSA.

Click here for Fortune: “Russian Hackers Reportedly Target The New York Times”

 



NEWSWATCH: “Exclusive: Congressional leaders were briefed a year ago on hacking of Democrats – sources” – Reuters

U.S. Capitol file photo

U.S. intelligence officials told top congressional leaders a year ago that Russian hackers were attacking the Democratic Party, three sources familiar with the matter said … but the lawmakers were unable to tell the targets … because the information was so secret. … disclosure … would have revealed that U.S. intelligence agencies were continuing to monitor the hacking, as well as … sources and … methods …. The congressional briefing was given … in a secure room called a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or SCIF, to … four Republicans: Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell … Speaker John Boehner … Senator Richard Burr and Representative Devin Nunes, the House and Senate intelligence committee chairs. Their Democratic counterparts were: Senator Harry Reid and Representative Nancy Pelosi … Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Adam Schiff of the intelligence committees. * * * One of the sources said the Clinton campaign first detected attacks on its data system in early March, and was given what the source described as a “general briefing” about it by the FBI later that month. The source said the FBI made no mention of a Russian connection in that briefing and did not say when the penetration first took place.

Click here for Reuters: “Exclusive: Congressional leaders were briefed a year ago on hacking of Democrats – sources”