There are two separate stories in today's blog which, when considered together, have me wondering. The was shared by W.G., and the second by B., and a thank you to both for taking the time to pass them along. The first concerns a recent hack of the Pentagon's Microsoft servers, and the second a recent policy decision by the Bidenenko regime:
Not surprisingly, the Microsoft--Pentagon hack is being attributed to corporate fronts for Communist China:
The US military is reviewing its networks following a hacking spree linked to a vulnerability that gave backdoor access to tens of thousands of Microsoft Exchange servers, in a massive attack the company has blamed on China.
“We are aware of the Microsoft threat intelligence center’s report. We are currently assessing our networks right now for any evidence of impact,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters at a Friday presser. “We’re also taking all necessary steps to identify and remedy any possible issues related to the situation.”
Joint Force headquarters… is coordinating with the National Security Agency and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on guidance and directives to make sure we can protect DoD networks and IT systems.
Microsoft announced the massive cyber breach on its Exchange email platform earlier this week, noting a vulnerability in its servers had given “long-term access” to hackers while attributing the attack to a group named Hafnium – an allegedly “state-sponsored” outfit operating out of China – with “high confidence."
Now, whether or not Communist China actually did hack Microsoft's Pentagon servers - and I have no doubt that they can and would and probably did - is beside the point here. What I find intriguing is that a narrative seems to be being prepared, when one turns to these statements in the second article:
The Biden administration is gearing up to carry out cyberattacks aimed at Russian networks, the New York Times has reported, describing the provocation as a retaliatory measure designed to send Moscow a message.
Citing officials familiar with the operation, the Times said that a “series of clandestine actions” aimed at Russia is expected to begin over the next three weeks and that the cyberattacks are intended to be “evident” to President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s intelligence services, but not to the “wider world.”
The allegedly imminent cyberattack has been framed as a retaliatory measure in response to the high-profile SolarWinds breach. The hack, first reported in December, provided backdoor access to a widely used network-management program distributed by the Texas-based SolarWinds company. The hackers were able to use the exploit to compromise the systems of more than 100 commercial firms around the world, as well as nine US government agencies. Described as one of the largest and most sophisticated cyberattacks to date, it took eight months before the breach was discovered.
Washington has argued that the attack could have only been carried out with the assistance of a foreign government. US intelligence agencies have alleged that the hack was “likely Russian in origin,” but has not provided evidence for the claim. Moscow has denied any involvement in the incident, calling the accusation “yet another unsubstantiated attempt” by the US to smear Russia.
Again, I have no difficulty believing that Russia can, and would hack a foreign nation's networks, and again, whether it did in the instance cited is really beside the point here, for again, a narrative seems to be being prepared; we'll get back to that in a moment. Let's face it, any major power probably has such cyber warfare divisions in most of its intelligence agencies; Britain has admitted as much, and the USA just did by the Bidenenko regime's announcement.
Needless to say, these two articles have my high octane suspicion motor running in overdrive, for as I've often stated in blogs having to do with cyber warfare and other covert intelligence operations, those types of things are games two people can play. Bidenenko has announced it plans some sort of "message" to Mr. Putin to get him to crawl back to the table, but that won't be evident to the general public. Yea... good luck with that. More probably it will simply provoke a measure of like retaliation.
There's something much deeper bothering me about the context for all this. Firstly, were the alleged Chinese and Russian hacks coordinated? Possibly, But digging deeper, I recall those strange attacks in California in recent years, one on an electrical substation at the southern end of Silicon Valley, and the other, a physical attack on internet cabling in San Franfreakshow. In both instances (and particularly the first), the attackers were in and out in a matter of minutes, and were assessed as being "professional jobs," just the sort of things that specops in intelligence might do. (I've blogged about these attacks on this website. Simply search on the website for "California substation attack" and various articles and blogs will come up.)
Then there was a similar incident in Arizona a few years ago, where the internet cable between Flagstaff and Phoenix was physically severed. (See https://gizadeathstar.com/2015/07/you-tell-us-vandals-sever-another-internet-cable-in-california-so-whats-going-on/ and https://gizadeathstar.com/2015/03/internet-service-cut-between-phoenix-and-flagstaff/).
My point in raising these stories is to point out that (1) hacking is only one way to conduct cyber-warfare, and (2) that it appears to have been going on for some time. And that's what disturbs me, because now such incidents - given the narrative "preparation" we are seeing - can be presented as "foreign interference". Electrical power grid hacked and shutdown? It was Russia. Internet servers down? Blame it on China. Again, not that they wouldn't have the capability of doing such things, but such things could be done by anyone with boots on the ground and hackers in a bunker. One could cloak such actions done by oneself, by blaming it on someone else. One could accomplish several "stacked operations and agendas" all at once: interfere with a segment of the population one doesn't like, or which is not on board with the agenda, while blaming it on foreign interference, which might be construed as an act of war. Indeed, policy pronouncements on this score have already been made (See this story from 2011: https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304563104576355623135782718)
Add to this technologies that can mimic and cloak action as "acts of God" or as "acts of nature" - the inconvenient tornado or earthquake or systems of rain that seem stuck in places that feed the Yangtze River - and you get the picture...
See you on the flip side...