Monday, June 27, 2016

Why I don't fear Big Brothersky, late June 2016 edition

In my previous posts in the "why I don't fear Big Brother" vein, I've pretty much concentrated on U.S. organizations. Because I live in the United States, I know that the FBI-CIA-DHS is not this one monolithic agency. But when I am looking at governments that I don't know a lot about, that knowledge goes out the window.

Take Russia. Back in the day when Russia was part of the Soviet Union, we thought of it as an "evil empire," controlled by Darth Vader-like forces, and always working together under control of the Soviet king. The rules of bureaucratic infighting apply just as much in Russia as they do in the United States, as the two recent hacks of the Democratic National Committee demonstrate.

Yes, two hacks.

One group, which [security company] CrowdStrike had dubbed Cozy Bear, had gained access last summer and was monitoring the DNC’s email and chat communications, Alperovitch said.

The other, which the firm had named Fancy Bear, broke into the network in late April and targeted the opposition research files [on Donald Trump]. It was this breach that set off the alarm.

In passing, it should be noted that the hacker groups are probably really upset that they are now known as "Cozy Bear" and "Fancy Bear." But who are they?

The two groups did not appear to be working together, Alperovitch said. Fancy Bear is believed to work for the GRU, or Russia’s military intelligence service, he said. CrowdStrike is less sure of whom Cozy Bear works for but thinks it might be the Federal Security Service, or FSB, the country’s powerful security agency, which was once headed by Putin.

So these hackers were from separate parts of the Russian government. Well, why didn't they just work together? Because it is rarely in the interest of separate bureaucracies to work together.

“There’s an amazing adversarial relationship” among the Russian intelligence agencies, Alperovitch said. “We have seen them steal assets from one another, refuse to collaborate. They’re all vying for power, to sell Putin on how good they are.”

And now things will get even worse, since Fancy Bear - Putin's ex group - is the one that ruined the party for both groups. Cozy Bear will now call Fancy Bear a bunch of incompetents, while Fancy Bear will ask Putin to exterminate Cozy Bear just because.

And what did Fancy Bear learn about Donald Trump? The Post article doesn't say, but presumably there's a Fancy Bear report somewhere that says that Trump likes women and likes shooting off his mouth.

(An aside for my regular readers - the deeplinks in this post will probably result in a follow-up post in the Empoprise-MU music blog - even if I didn't work Bob Dylan or Doris Day specifically in there somehow.)
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