The Latest In Facebook’s Dragnet: Propaganda From Russian Military Intelligence
According to The New York Times, the NSA is monitoring approximately 100,000 computers worldwide with spy software named Quantum. Quantum enables the NSA to conduct surveillance on those computers on the one hand, and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks on the other hand. Among the targets are the Chinese and Russian military, but also trade institutions within the European Union. The NYT also reported that the NSA can access and alter computers which are not connected with the internet by a secret technology in use by the NSA since 2008. The prerequisite is the physical insertion of the radio frequency hardware by a spy, a manufacturer or an unwitting user. The technology relies on a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards inserted surreptitiously into the computers. In some cases, they are sent to a briefcase-size relay station that intelligence agencies can set up miles away from the target. The technology can also transmit malware back to the infected computer.
The latest in Facebook’s dragnet: Propaganda from Russian military intelligence
[00:08:45] Russia's preeminent hackers from the GRU, their intelligence agency, came in, compromised the tax software company, got into the software update. So that when all of these Ukrainian companies downloaded the latest, greatest version of this tax software, they weren't just downloading the tax software. They were downloading a GRU backdoor. And once they were inside their GRU unleashed, what was essentially a digital weapon of destruction. It looked like ransomware, which is just code that holds your data hostage with encryption until you pay up, only there was no way for the victims to pay. So all of a sudden, all of these Ukrainian government agencies couldn't access anything on their network. They can access email or anything else. They had to hop on Facebook to communicate with the country to say we're still standing, but it also hit railways. People couldn't get tickets on trains. It hit the postal service. People are still not getting pension checks that they were owed back in 2016, 2017. It held up the radiation monitoring systems at Chernobyl, the old nuclear site.
At least two authoritarians, in the US and RU, have grossly violated the first Law of Autocratic Survival: keep the generals happy. Drump's war with the American officer class is well known; Putin's problems are evident from the transparently miserable faces of his leading generals in ludicrous state-sponsored propaganda photographs celebrating the Russian military during such events as Navy Day, and such embarrassments as several very revealing strategic technology failures, leaks from Russian spy agencies, etc. Massive protests in Chicago and Moscow have further demonstrated the fundamental weakness of both regimes.