Krypt3ia

(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)

Archive for the ‘Influence Ops’ Category

A Real Cardinal of the Kremlin: An Asset In The Kremlin Exfiltrated and Blown By Russia and MSNBC

leave a comment »

Breathlessly and with great hyperbole the MSNBC report came across my iPad as I sipped my morning coffee. The reporter eagerly reporting on their “scoop” of locating, potentially, the Russian source inside the Kremlin’s whereabouts in Washington DC. As I sat agog at their reporting, a mix of “OMG OMG OMG LOOK AT US!” and “Sorry, I can’t report the details because two guys in an SUV came at us after we rang a doorbell!” as the bile rose inside of me. I then took to Twitter and began to get information that surprised me and made it all the worse. It turns out that MSNBC buried the real lede in their reporting. It seems their “tip” on the possible asset that was exfiltrated in 2017 was in fact from the Russian government by proxy of a news site called Kommersant.ru.

The Kommersant article, posted yesterday before MSNBC made their rush to the address of the alleged Russian asset in DC, gives the name plainly, which I will not do here, and links to earlier stories of the missing official who went on vacation in 2017 and “disappeared without a trace”… Of course the Russians would have readily known who the asset was after the EXFIL, but, to post it online was an interesting move. Originally “The Storm”, another Russian news outlet posted in October 2017 of the missing Russian official but no one in the media took note it seems. The updated story in Kommersant though was prompted by the stories in the media about how Trump could not be trusted with intel much like (think Lavrov and Kislyak in the Oval) where Trump released code word intel to them and blew an Israeli operation. As the stories swirled from CNN quoting that the exfil had happened because Trump, the Russians I am sure began to ponder how they could stick a finger in the eye of the US and the CIA.

What they did was just remind everyone that the name of the asset in their opinion was <REDACTED> and that his new address was <REDACTED> in Virginia USA. They actually gave the address in the article. MSNBC got the tip somehow (likely monitoring sites like Kommersant) and immediately dispatched a crew to go to the address and knock on the door Geraldo style and get the scoopy scoop and win the news day! Pay no mind to the potential intelligence disaster it may cause to someone who did a great service to this country.

…But hey HEADLINES! CLICKS! ADS! BYLINES!

Anyway, the asset has been moved I am sure but a lot still needs to be discussed here about this whole thing. I mean, why would they re-settle this guy and his family under his own name? Why would they allow them to purchase a rather large house under their names? I mean, once upon a time when you were exfiltrated from Russia (SOV Bloc) you got a new name and you got some money and lived quietly as you are consistently debriefed. Has the CIA lost it’s collective mind? Is this even the guy? What the hell is going on here? With that question upon my mind I will give this a bit of thought.

Is this the asset in question? … Given the details of their disappearance in 2017, and his role in the Kremlin, I am going to lean toward yes.

Why was this guy allowed to buy property and live in the open under his real name? … I honestly have a few theories:

  • The CIA wanted the Kremlin to know as a poke in the eye and a challenge. If this guy gets a polonium enema in the US, shit is gonna go plaid.
  • Also, the assets new life in a free country with considerable assets would perhaps entice others.
  • His EXFIL was pretty out in the open once he went RED RABBIT, so, perhaps there just was no need for an elaborate re-settlement and name change.
  • Lastly, perhaps there is some incompetence going on? Who knows, maybe the asset demanded they live free and under their own name?

What is going to happen now? … Well, if this asset has been moved as I suspect, then they likely will get that name change because they are spectacularly blown because of Kommersant and now MSNBC and all the other services. I mean, I did not name the guy here but Kommersant did and with just the name I tracked them down to the house through sales records online!

Jeez!

All in all, this whole affair just makes me scratch my head. I mean, we are really through the looking glass in 2019 with everything that has been going on since 2016 but wow. This whole thing at least moved me to post, something I have been uninterested in doing for a long while now, so there is that. I will watch the game unfold and see what plays out. I gotta say though, recent events regarding losses for the CIA in China and Iran have me worried that we have lost some of our skill sets in HUMINT. I would love to find out that this whole debacle was really a play at something larger by the CIA, but, I fear it wasn’t.

Interesting times…

K.

Written by Krypt3ia

2019/09/10 at 12:58

Influence Operations: We All Carry Them Out

leave a comment »

Screenshot from 2016-09-06 08-29-26

 

All of the hand wringing and whinge-ing over the possibility that Russia has hacked our completely insecure election systems has my bile up… Well that and it seems I am lactose intolerant and ate whole ice cream last night. Anyway, back to INFLUENCE OPS and their use globally. The article above from the Boston Globe really set me off this weekend. All of these guys in the corridors of power all hand wringing over the possible fact that Russia has been messing with our political process makes me want to fly to Washington and bitch slap people. This type of activity has been going on forever and it is not just Russia pulling these strings even today. If you take a look at the actual history of the world you will see many players playing the same games with or without the benefit of Wikileaks and computers both then and now. This is not new people and for fucks sake wake up and realize that the US playing the “hurt” card in this game is really quite absurd in the grand scheme of things.

Now once you have taken a little trip down history lane with those links I just provided, then I want to ruminate on the whole problem today of the hacks on our democratic systems. See, as a former pentester and now a blue team guy I often ran into places that just did not have a clue about security. Still today there are many places that are very clue free and that also includes our government and those bodies that comprise our election systems. Seriously? Seriously those election systems were not even being monitored? You are shitting me right that the alleged Russian hackers used Acunetix to scan and then just SQLi dumped shit right? …

And no one saw a god damned thing…

It’s hardly INFLUENCE OPS when all you need to do is run a shitty tool and just take what you want with a script kids. So really, stop with the hurt and surprised bullshit Congressman and Senators alike! Put on your big boy and big girl pants and get the fuck over the fact that someone would have the audacity to fuck with our already fucked up election cycle anyway! As to Putin’s comment on the subject recently ‘‘It doesn’t really matter who hacked this data from Mrs. Clinton’s campaign headquarters,’’ I agree, it doesn’t really matter because the fact of the matter here is that her actions alone concerning the BleachBit of her server days after it’s public disclosure should be enough to show us all just what fuckery is afoot without Russian intervention to begin with. What the paradigm change here is is that we now don’t have to send plumbers to Watergate’s to break into file cabinets to get the data. All one needs to do now is fucking Acunetix an IP and then run SQLi map to fuck with a national election and that is just fucking sad.

Screenshot from 2016-09-06 09-17-01Shut up Grandma Nixon!

At the end of the day I for one don’t care who hacked the shit, what I care about is that there is enough evidence to show that even with out information/influence operations that there’s some crooked shit going on. The problem is that this is the default state of our governance and election system so one tends to just become complacent about it. The hack on the election here and now, with the fate of the world in the balance so to speak, with Führer Trump or Grandma Nixon only makes it all the more piquant for the hungry news media but in the end means a choice between two terrible shit sandwiches to those paying attention here.

We are all fucked either way.

Move on.

Dr. K.

Written by Krypt3ia

2016/09/06 at 13:26