WarZone

‘Russian hackers’ penetrate US power grid with ‘outdated Ukrainian malware’

… from Russia Today,  Moscow

Government, Security and the Media

[ Editor’s Note:  This Russian hacking story is turning into a Three Stoogies movie rerun. Experienced Intel people, even those who are not intimate code people know that setting up blinds, dead ends and pasties as diversions for hacks is a operational staple.

When VT was running down our own hack attack, tracing the packets back, the trail was running through major university and some defense contractor servers where endless fingers could be in the pie. But with more digging the trail ended at a US military base where “training” was done for doing this very thing.

Something thought it would be fun to screw VT over, but they underestimated that our friends tracked it right to the a very building on the base. It was handled quietly but semi-publicly at a wedding on the base where the commander was confronted for doing something so stupid, and illegal which would make our military look bad if it were made public. He stormed out of the wedding and we were never hacked from that location again.

The real hoax part of the story, which indicts all of Congress and corporate media, is that the US, Israelis and the Brits are major major hackers, and have been for a long time. Those who are being painted as threats, were of course major targets themselves, so would have a perfect right of retaliation, a kind of cyber war mutual destruction dance.

But here, where we live in a supposedly free country, with a free press and representative government, this very important framing is given to the public as it would make them less manipulable.

And lastly, as with Wikileaks and its massive data dumps, Israel continuous to miraculously escape any and all embarrassing disclosures. We are led to believe with the zero number of reported Israeli hacking cases against the US that they are not doing it, which is kind of funny.

Our own people are “Truth Hacking” the American public. I don’t remember that specifically being in the oaths of office that our people take, “and I refuse to hide from the public the massive hacking that the US government engages in for whatever reasons it deems necessary”.

When a government is an aggressive hacker, it knows it will be retaliated against, and thus must paint the retaliator as the aggressor to its public. We have no duty to swallow the lie, but the problem is how so many also don’t feel any duty to do anything about it, so we have only ourselves to blame for thatJim W. Dean ]

___________

– First published … December 31,  2016

A Vermont utility sounded the alarm after finding malware code on a laptop that the FBI and DHS had touted as associated with Russian hackers. However, cybersecurity specialists say the code came from an outdated Ukrainian hacking tool.

On Thursday, the FBI and DHS released a joint report on a hacking operation they called ‘Grizzly Steppe’. They claimed the operation was linked to the Russian government, alleging that it had targeted “US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.”

Along with the report, the US security agencies released a sample of the malware code allegedly used in the Grizzly Steppe operation to compromise US computer networks. The code was also shared with executives from 16 industries around the nation, including the financial, utility, and transportation sectors, according to a Washington Post report.

On Friday, Burlington Electric, a Vermont-based power company, released a statement saying that the malware code had been detected during a scan of a single company laptop that was not connected to the grid.

“We took immediate action to isolate the laptop and alerted federal officials of this finding. Our team is working with federal officials to trace this malware and prevent any other attempts to infiltrate utility systems. We have briefed state officials and will support the investigation fully,” the statement said.

The US media reported the incident as if Russian hackers had penetrated America’s electric grids, prompting some officials to call on the federal government to protect Americans from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Vermonters and all Americans should be both alarmed and outraged that one of the world’s leading thugs, Vladimir Putin, has been attempting to hack our electric grid, which we rely upon to support our quality-of-life, economy, health, and safety,” Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin said in a statement.

“This episode should highlight the urgent need for our federal government to vigorously pursue and put an end to this sort of Russian meddling,” he said.

Meanwhile, a number of IT specialists that have analyzed the code and other evidence published by the US government are questioning whether it really proves a Russian connection, let alone a connection to the Russian government. Wordfence, a cybersecurity firm that specializes in protecting websites running WordPress, a PHP-based platform, published a report on the issue on Friday.

Wordfence said they had traced the malware code to a tool available online, which is apparently funded by donations, called P.A.S. that claims to be “made in Ukraine.” The version tested by the FBI/DHS report is 3.1.7, while the most current version available on the tool’s website is 4.1.1b.

“One might reasonably expect Russian intelligence operatives to develop their own tools or at least use current malicious tools from outside sources,” the report says.

The second part of the analysis deals with the list of IP addresses provided by the US agencies. The report says they “don’t appear to provide any association with Russia” and “are probably used by a wide range of other malicious actors.”

This week, the Obama administration accused the Russian government of hacking US computer networks in order to influence the presidential to justify imposing some of the toughest sanctions on Russia yet, including the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and blocking access to two leisure compounds used by Russian Foreign Ministry personnel and their visitors.

Russia chose to ignore the punitive measures, calling their imposition a clear provocation, while saying that Moscow will build its relations with the US based on the policies of the next administration under President-elect Donald Trump, not President Barack Obama’s parting shots.

In October, Putin ridiculed the idea that Russia could influence the US presidential election, saying that America was not “a banana republic.”

____________

Biography
Managing Editor
Jim W. Dean is Managing Editor of Veterans Today involved in operations, development, and writing, plus an active schedule of TV and radio interviews.

He broke into television work doing Atlanta Public TV programs for variety of American heritage, historical, military, veterans and Intel topics and organizations since 2000. Jim's only film appearance was in the PBS Looking for Lincoln documentary with Prof. Henry Lewis Gates, and he has guest lectured at the Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Gordon, GA.

He is working to find time now to database his extensive video archive of Americana and interviews filmed during his public TV days so individual topic segments can be key word searched to quickly use in future multi-media projects.

Read Full Complete Bio >>>Jim's Archives 2009-2014

17 Replies to “‘Russian hackers’ penetrate US power grid with ‘outdated Ukrainian malware’

  1. So, the U.S. Keystone Cops identify The Little Rascals as Russia-Govt.-sponsored hackers, because they used outmoded Ukrainian hacking tools??? ROTF-LMAO (Rolling On The Floor — Laughing My Ass Off).

    Stuxnet & Opium is more probable — with U.S. Keystone Cops smoking the opium. Now, we know what they’re smoking.

    If this is the best level of U.S. cybersecurity detection, then I pity the U.S. Even Trump could do better. ;-).

  2. The amount of grey matter our current batch of fearless leaders employ can’t equate to even half the size of a single banana seed.

  3. Edward, must be a clip from the movie: Daze of Whine and Neuroses.
    Neither of these three companies has very much credibility anymore.

  4. As per editor’s note, always look for something such as this to originate within our own borders.
    Someone is definitely trying to push America into a war with Russia and it smells of zionism.
    Jim, Your note about being hacked by the U.S. military would make a great article, maybe even a book or a Youtube video. Entitled, ” How the U.S Government and Military Wages War On the American People.”
    My attitude towards the U.S. military just took another negative leap.

    1. Gordon published some of this, parts of it. a while back. We outlined it but did not name names. Our archives are filled with past battles. Of the 35,000+ archived articles Gordon must have done 3000. I am up to 1200. Just to go back and just skim over them is quite a trip down memory road.

  5. This is the reason why I asked lately on which Russians he pointed at, Benjamin Mileikowsky and his gang or Waltzman and his gang or another kind of Russians.There are so many Russian outside Russia who can be meant.

  6. I know it’s just a movie, but in Snowden, he says that the NSA installed bugs into the power grids of nations. He specifically mentions Japan and later in the movie, Syria’s grid goes out and people start going nuts. Why does the USG continue to embarrass itself, pointing the finger at Russia without providing any evidence?

    1. It’s all a matter of who is running America. The owners. The same ones who control the CIA, NSA, FBI etc. The American people have no control.

  7. Trump need to hire some independent hackers to study those so called hacks. I believe if that is done it will show that all those so called hacks were done by the US Intelligence Services to keep the Cold War alive. The US Intelligence Services has some of the best in the world, ask Merkel. If the Russians swayed the election for Trump they did a lousy job of it since Killery won the popular vote. And do tell me how they arranged the swing states to give Trump with the victory with so close of the vote. It seems to me if you are going to do it you would give your side a bigger lead and not have it so close. I’m not saying Russia doesn’t hack, they do but the US hacks more than anybody in the world with UK and Israel at the top. It’s a known fact Israel spy’s on the US and hacking is one way of spying, they don’t trust Obama, rightfully so. So every country spy’s, hacks more some then others so calling the kettle black when you are doing it won’t get my sympathy.

    1. Independend hackers ? And then what, sue those responsible at an independend court and by and independend judge and jury ? If you find them send me a note. Go dream on.

    2. No there is no way in the US to sue the Government, what I mean to put the nail in the coffin of Obama and the Secret Services that they were behind the so call Russian hackers. And again what I mean of independent hackers is hire real hackers to do the work that is not affiliated with the government. It is more to show McCain and Lindsey and their Neocons that Trump is three steps ahead of them and their Bushido.

Comments are closed.