RUSSIA LAUNCHED ANTI-HACKING CENTER ONE DAY PRIOR TO US ELECTIONSNovember 15, 2016
Over the past couple of days I've been blogging about some very strange goings-on that were taking place during the run-up to the American elections, and immediately thereafter. This has included strange trips of US Secretary of State John "Ketchup" Kerry, cyber-attacks on Russian banks that occurred just as polls were opening in the USA, and an all-too-convenient explosion of a Russian powerplant at the Arctic city of Murmansk, with a population of over 300,000, and in a key region of Russia's defensive system for its naval forces, including the all-important naval and submarine base at nearby Polyarny. In my high octane speculations about these events, I suggested that they were not coincidental, but perhaps either cyber-attacks being staged either to aid Mrs. Clinton, to warn off the Russians, or to prepare a softening up of Russia in conjunction with current NATO deployments against that country in anticipation of a Clinton victory. Howsoever one parsed the motivations and players behind these events, however, I argued that they pointed to coordination and deliberate attack.
There was another story that appeared during the election hoopla and broohaha that tends to confirm these views, and it appeared on Russia's RT news site, and was shared by Ms. S.:
The timing here is significant in my opinion, for this story appeared on Nov 7 on RT's site, one day before the US elections. Obviously, launching such a center means that this center was in the planning and development stage for some time, and the Kaspersky announcement of cyber attacks a few days later seems to indicate that the center was up and running, coordinating with the world-famous Russian cyber-security firm, in defeating those attacks.
In my high octane speculation of the day, however, the timing of the announcement suggests that the Russians might have been sending a message to the West, namely, that they were expecting something to happen, given all the hysteria in the USA about potential Russian attempts to manipulate the computerized voting machines and attempt to swing the election for Mr. Trump. Personally, I was always quite suspicious of these stories, for Russia's own polling probably showed them what the internal polling for Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton were showing them, namely, that she was going to lose, making any such Russian effort not only superfluous, but risky. This was never a real possibility, though we now hear Frau Merkel echoing the Clinton campaign on this score in Germany. The massive amount of voter and election fraud being reported in the USA prior to and during election day suggests that this was mostly coming from inside the USA, and largely from Mrs. Clinton's covert supporters, rather than from Russia.
If the Russians were sending messages, then I suspect that this adds a bit of strength to the argument I've been advancing in the past couple of days, namely, that the Murmansk explosion and the cyber attacks on major Russian banks were part of one operation, a kind of "double whammy," attacking a sensitive military area's infrastructure while simultaneously attacking their banking system. If one had limited countermeasure resources, which would one defend? I don't know about you, but I'd defend the banks, as the military region can be quickly brought back to operational status (and indeed, I doubt that the Murmansk powerplant explosion affected the Russian military bases in the region, would would have their own backup power systems). The more sensitive long term target in such "software wars" would be the banks, and this indeed appears what the Russians successfully defended against.
But whether or not these high octane speculations and interpretations are true or not, one thing this story does indicate is that we are entering the age of cyber-warfare coupled with psychological and economic warfare, and countries will increasingly make use of these techniques and technologies over the coming years and decades when the geopolitical situation is tense.
All the more reason, then, to diffuse those tensions and inaugurate, if not an era of cooperation, then at least one of detente.
See you on the flip side...