Following Following @JuliaDavisNews
#Russia's state TV: Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, resorts to outright insults, diplomacy is out the window at this point. She says that "Theresa May's complaint that Moscow's response is an affront to common sense means that it wasn't directed at her personally."
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“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
Probably one of the greatest intelligence blunders of all time. The Russian GRU gave the alleged Salisbury poisoners plus 38 other suspected GRU agents consecutive passport numbers. Now they can be identified and tracked to their respective missions.
British spies 'hacked into Belgian telecoms firm on ministers' orders'
Report by Belgian prosecutors believed to support allegations made by Edward Snowden
Daniel Boffey in Brussels
Fri 21 Sep 2018 18.03 BST Last modified on Fri 21 Sep 2018 21.55 BST
British spies are likely to have hacked into Belgium’s biggest telecommunications operator for at least a two-year period on the instruction of UK ministers, a confidential report submitted by Belgian prosecutors is said to have concluded.
The finding would support an allegation made by the whistleblower Edward Snowden five years ago when he leaked 20 slides exposing the targets of hacking by the British intelligence service GCHQ.
According to unconfirmed reports in the Belgian media, the federal prosecutors’ report suggests the hackers closed their operation within a matter of minutes of being exposed in August 2013. It is believed the interception of Belgacom, now Proximus, had been ongoing since at least 2011.
The justice minister, Koen Geens, has confirmed he has received the report and that it will be discussed within the national security council, led by the prime minister, Charles Michel.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... ims-report
Russian Official Linked to Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Trump Tower Lawyer, Is Dead
A Russian official accused of directing the foreign operations of Natalia Veselnitskaya, the lawyer who met senior Trump campaign officials in 2016, has plummeted to his death in a helicopter crash.
Russian Deputy Attorney General Saak Albertovich Karapetyan was exposed in a Swiss court this year for a plot to enlist another nation’s law-enforcement official as a double-agent for the Kremlin.
Media reports in Russia say he died Wednesday night when his helicopter crashed into a forest during an unauthorized flight in the Kostroma region, northeast of Moscow.
Karapetyan was intimately familiar with some of the most notorious operations carried out under the orders of Vladimir Putin. He worked closely with Veselnitskaya as well as running some of Moscow’s most high-profile efforts to thwart international investigations into Russia’s alleged crimes.
It was Karapetyan who signed a letter from the Russian government refusing to help the U.S. in a civil case it was pursuing linked to the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who was trying to expose a $230 million fraud in Russia. Leaked emails have since shown that Veselnitskaya helped to draft the document sent with that letter.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/08/worl ... &smtyp=cur
Skripal Poisoning Suspect Is a Russian Military Doctor, Report Says
New blow to GRU: More Russian military spies exposed
It seems like open season on the GRU.
The Russian military agency had its inner workings exposed again Friday as determined journalists and Kremlin critics remain focused on uncovering its secrets. A new report details the alleged misbehavior and bizarre bureaucratic decisions that allowed a Russian journalist to identify people he says are GRU officers.
Journalist Sergei Kanev said he wants to call attention to problems within an organization he thinks has moved from traditional spying into unchecked violence and foreign interference. But his story portrays the agency as more sloppy than scary: one finding was that suspected GRU agents appeared to blow their own covers. ...
Kanev, who lives in self-imposed exile in Europe, told The Associated Press he uncovered the identities by using databases purchased on the black market from Moscow police, traffic police or security agents. He said he cross-checked them with open sources and discussions with security sources. Other Russian journalists have described using similar methods.
Kanev's reporting was funded and published by Kremlin opponent Mikhail Khodorkovsky's Dossier Project, and also released by Russian independent broadcaster Dozhd TV.
The details of the report couldn't be immediately verified. But it fits in a pattern of embarrassing exposures that has caused some to question the GRU's professionalism - and highlighted corruption that has allowed leaks to occur.
The Guardian - Luke Harding: 'A very different world' - inside the Czech spying operation on Trump
Exclusive: files reveal Trump was the target of an extensive spying operation in the late 1980s by the country’s intelligence service, with ‘friends’ from the KGB
Law & Crime: Soviet-Linked Spies Targeted Trump After He Married Ivana, Knowing He Wanted to Be President One Day
cause I just picked up the above Guardian article listed by Addie, coming from a different angle, here the quote:
Czechoslovakia ramped up spying on Trump in late 1980s, seeking US intel
Exclusive: aided by Ivana Trump’s father, intelligence service with KGB ties targeted high-level government information, files show
‘A very different world’ - inside the Czech spying operation
Luke Harding in Prague
Mon 29 Oct 2018 06.00 GMT Last modified on Mon 29 Oct 2018 16.46 GMT
The communist intelligence service in Prague stepped up its spying campaign against Donald Trump in the late 1980s, targeting him to gain information about the “upper echelons of the US government”, archive files and testimony from former cold war spies reveal.
Czechoslovakia’s Státní bezpečnost (StB) carried out a long-term spying mission against Trump following his marriage in 1977 to his first wife, Ivana Zelníčková. The operation was run out of Zlín, the provincial town in south-west Czechoslovakia where Zelníčková was born and grew up.
Ivana’s father, Miloš Zelníček, gave regular information to the local StB office about his daughter’s visits from the US and on his celebrity son-in-law’s career in New York. Zelníček was classified as a “conspiratorial” informer. His relationship with the StB lasted until the end of the communist regime.
New archive records obtained by the Guardian and the Czech magazine Respekt show the StB’s growing interest in Trump after the 1988 US presidential election, won by George HW Bush. The StB’s first directorate responsible for foreign espionage sought to “deepen” its Trump-related activity.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... ism-spying
The CIA's communications suffered a catastrophic compromise. It started in Iran.
Zach Dorfman and Jenna McLaughlin-,Yahoo News•November 2, 2018
In 2013, hundreds of CIA officers — many working nonstop for weeks — scrambled to contain a disaster of global proportions: a compromise of the agency’s internet-based covert communications system used to interact with its informants in dark corners around the world. Teams of CIA experts worked feverishly to take down and reconfigure the websites secretly used for these communications; others managed operations to quickly spirit assets to safety and oversaw other forms of triage.
“When this was going on, it was all that mattered,” said one former intelligence community official. The situation was “catastrophic,” said another former senior intelligence official.
From around 2009 to 2013, the U.S. intelligence community experienced crippling intelligence failures related to the secret internet-based communications system, a key means for remote messaging between CIA officers and their sources on the ground worldwide. The previously unreported global problem originated in Iran and spiderwebbed to other countries, and was left unrepaired — despite warnings about what was happening — until more than two dozen sources died in China in 2011 and 2012 as a result, according to 11 former intelligence and national security officials.
The disaster ensnared every corner of the national security bureaucracy — from multiple intelligence agencies, congressional intelligence committees and independent contractors to internal government watchdogs — forcing a slow-moving, complex government machine to grapple with the deadly dangers of emerging technologies.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/cias-communi ... 18710.html
The article analyzes also the problems that the Trump administration is facing
Marriott Data Breach Is Traced to Chinese Hackers as U.S. Readies Crackdown on Beijing
From the first revelation that the Marriott’s computer systems had been breached, there was widespread suspicion that the hacking was part of a broad spy campaign to amass Americans’ personal data.
By David E. Sanger, Nicole Perlroth, Glenn Thrush and Alan Rappeport
Dec. 11, 2018
WASHINGTON — The cyberattack on the Marriott hotel chain that collected personal details of roughly 500 million guests was part of a Chinese intelligence-gathering effort that also hacked health insurers and the security clearance files of millions more Americans, according to two people briefed on the investigation.
The hackers, they said, are suspected of working on behalf of the Ministry of State Security, the country’s Communist-controlled civilian spy agency. The discovery comes as the Trump administration is planning actions targeting China’s trade, cyber and economic policies, perhaps within days.
Those moves include indictments against Chinese hackers working for the intelligence services and the military, according to four government officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The Trump administration also plans to declassify intelligence reports to reveal Chinese efforts dating to at least 2014 to build a database containing names of executives and American government officials with security clearances.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/11/us/p ... trade.html
related article viewtopic.php?f=51&t=11414&p=1066180#p1066180PROJECT RAVEN --- INSIDE THE UAE’S SECRET HACKING TEAM OF AMERICAN MERCENARIES
Ex-NSA operatives reveal how they helped spy on targets for the Arab monarchy — dissidents, rival leaders and journalists.
BY CHRISTOPHER BING + JOEL SCHECTMAN
FILED JAN. 30, 2019 • WASHINGTON
Two weeks after leaving her position as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. National Security Agency in 2014, Lori Stroud was in the Middle East working as a hacker for an Arab monarchy.
She had joined Project Raven, a clandestine team that included more than a dozen former U.S. intelligence operatives recruited to help the United Arab Emirates engage in surveillance of other governments, militants and human rights activists critical of the monarchy.
Stroud and her team, working from a converted mansion in Abu Dhabi known internally as “the Villa,” would use methods learned from a decade in the U.S intelligence community to help the UAE hack into the phones and computers of its enemies.
Stroud had been recruited by a Maryland cybersecurity contractor to help the Emiratis launch hacking operations, and for three years, she thrived in the job. But in 2016, the Emiratis moved Project Raven to a UAE cybersecurity firm named DarkMatter. Before long, Stroud and other Americans involved in the effort say they saw the mission cross a red line: targeting fellow Americans for surveillance.
“I am working for a foreign intelligence agency who is targeting U.S. persons,” she told Reuters. “I am officially the bad kind of spy.”
The story of Project Raven reveals how former U.S. government hackers have employed state-of-the-art cyber-espionage tools on behalf of a foreign intelligence service that spies on human rights activists, journalists and political rivals.
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/sp ... ing-raven/
From that article:
So no law against it...Because the US employs ex-agents of other countries? Who would trust spies to merely share general spycraft...Use those petrodollars while you can...The Raven story also provides new insight into the role former American cyberspies play in foreign hacking operations. Within the U.S. intelligence community, leaving to work as an operative for another country is seen by some as a betrayal. “There’s a moral obligation if you’re a former intelligence officer from becoming effectively a mercenary for a foreign government,” said Bob Anderson, who served as executive assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation until 2015.
While this activity raises ethical dilemmas, U.S. national security lawyers say the laws guiding what American intelligence contractors can do abroad are murky. Though it’s illegal to share classified information, there is no specific law that bars contractors from sharing more general spycraft knowhow, such as how to bait a target with a virus-laden email.
Either give me more wine or leave me alone. - Rumi
Alleged US Air Force defector walked into Iranian spy recruiting ground
Monica Witt allegedly defected after attending Iranian conferences.
By Lee Ferran, Desiree Adib and Luke Barr
More than a year before she allegedly defected, U.S. Air Force counterintelligence officer Monica Witt attended a film conference in Iran – an event that U.S. officials and former intelligence officers said was likely a recruiting ground for Iranian spy masters.
“It’s an intelligence targeting platform for the Iranian security apparatus,” former longtime CIA case officer Darrell M. Blocker said of such conferences. “It’s not sold as an intel thing, but of course the [U.S.] intelligence community is aware of them.”
An indictment unsealed against Witt Wednesday alleges that in February 2012 she traveled to Iran for a conference called “Hollywoodism” put on by an organization known as New Horizon. On its website, the organization bills itself as a Tehran-based non-governmental organization (NGO) that hosts conferences that cover topics including “Iranophobia,” “Zionist Lobby” and “US State hostility towards Afro-Americans.”
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/alleged ... d=61075450
New York Times
Russian Flag Flies on Cathedral in English Town Where Ex-Spy Was Poisoned
LONDON — Two weeks before the anniversary of a nerve agent attack against a former Russian spy in Salisbury, England, someone unfurled a large Russian flag on the city’s cathedral overnight, in what residents took to be a mockery of the ordeal they suffered last year.
Images of the Russian flag, fluttering from scaffolding around the cathedral, were widely circulated on social media.
It was not clear who climbed the scaffolding surrounding the building to put up the flag, which was hastily removed Sunday morning. The authorities have not yet made any comment on the case.
The attempted assassination of Sergei V. Skripal, a former Russian spy, with a military-grade nerve agent on March 4, 2018, upended life in Salisbury for much of last year. Mr. Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, survived the attack, but the city suffered sprawling collateral damage.
Medium - Nina Burleigh
Spy vs. Spy
Ex-CIA spooks talk Trump-Russia, JFK, and more at Valerie Plame’s inaugural espionage conference
It was just a week after my return from Spies, Lies & Nukes, a weekend espionage seminar hosted by former CIA agent Valerie Plame in November at a hotel in downtown Santa Fe, when one of the conference attendees — let’s call him Snow Goose — buzzed my cell with some urgent news.
He wanted me to know that, based on his professional judgment, honed over decades in covert intelligence, one of our fellow guests at the conference was now playing for Moscow. His evidence was far from conclusive: Now officially retired, the other spy — call him Copernicus — had simply stated the opinion, to anyone who would listen, that presumed Russian meddling in the 2016 election on behalf of the Trump campaign was overblown. He’d pushed the same line in a private conversation with me.
To Snow Goose, Copernicus’ arguments hewed suspiciously close to Kremlin spin.
“I know what it looks like because I used to to do it myself, for our side, ” he told me on the phone. He said he planned to alert the FBI, just to be prudent, and warned me not to be surprised if I got a call from the bureau asking about my one-on-one chats with Copernicus.
I thanked him for the warning.
The conference had drawn an audience of 175 academics, historians, and espionage groupies, each of whom had paid up to $500, not including hotel rooms, for a series of presentations and panels bearing titles like “Terrorism, Intelligence, and the Paradigms of Perception” and “The Cuban Missile Crisis: A Secret Intelligence Perspective.”