Russian hacking; still not proved

The U.S. government released a report to prove that the Russian government was hacking, and apparently (I'm no IT security expert, so I rely on others) this is no more convincing than the infamous Iraqi WMD claims.

The attribution of hacking is almost impossible if the hacker isn't careless or incompetent. Nowadays you can use open wifi to access the internet. You can disrupt tracebacks by transmitting data in part through a 'private' directional radio communication to another computer that's connected to the hacker only by one time pad encrypted messages routed to various countries whose governments are not really cooperating with traceback requests.

So essentially you need multiple defectors or whistleblowers - insiders who give away the secret identity of the hacker.

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Personally, I don't doubt that teh Russian government is doing espionage, sabotage and manipulation through the internet.
it is a matter of principle to not believe a liar without solid evidence, though. The U.S. govenrment and in particular its intelligence services were exposed as liars too many times to be considered reliable sources. I don't hold the bar up very high; I don't believe the German government in regard to Russian hacking either. I believe the Russian overnment does hack, but I do not trust Western intelligence services' allegations.
These intelligence services serve first and foremost themselves, second they serve the political leadership. To serve the citizens is an odd idea to them. No doubt their personnel would disagree, but I think that's a problem of lacking self-awareness.

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Now what should we (Western countries) do in this affair?

  • We could simply defend and endure whatever attacks bypass our defences. This is in itself a highly unsatisfactory (and politically unsustainable ) option.
  • We could retaliate and be lucky enough to hit the right address. How could this possibly succeed? We cannot attribute attacks properly, so we wouldn't even learn if and when retaliation had convinced the offending government to cease its attacks. Much more likely we would enter a spiral of escalations.
  • We could retaliate and be unlucky enough to hit the wrong address. Oops. Sadly, we wouldn't even notice our mistake.

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Maybe there is a way out. We could "retaliate" with something that's not offensive in itself, but rather something we could and may should do anyway. A government in Moscow lost a cultural war before*; we could defeat one such government again in a competition of quality of life.
That would happen to benefit us directly.


*: The Soviet Union lost the Cold War much more sdue to economic reasons and a long-hidden political brittleness than to the appeal of Jeans and McDonalds, but the attractiveness of Western life was most disconcerting to the East german governemnt. Nowadays most Russians are exposed to seeing how life is in the West as the East Germans whoe were able to receive West German TV stations.


  1. There was even one opportunity to see John Podestas hacked emails on Russian Twitter before they were officially released by (if not from the very start, then now without debt) Russian intelligence front organization WikiLeaks.

    Donald Trump was cultivated by Russian intelligence services from 1987, former Czechoslovak StB agency worked on him even for longer. It surely dosn`t mean he is an agent himself. But he is "shaped" by people like Page or Flynn.

    Most intelligence specialists in the U.S. - and most military experts, by the way - were opponents of intervention in Iraq. Speaking about unrealiable people such as convinced liar Clapper, however, that`s another question.

    You surely know work of Bernard Fall? When Viet Cong started to kill village chiefs in South Vietnam, the Americans started "assymetric" response, trying to offer better "quality of life" to villagers, and in some ways even succesfully. But Fall still predicted that you cannot respond to perceived threat in such "positive" way and ignore it, or you lose.

    In terms of GDP per capita, there is already slightly better life in Kazakhstan than in Russian Federation (see OECD). Czech Republics GDP is 150 % of Russian GDP, but we got pro-Russian president paid by Russian campaign money anyway.

    When people are scared by perceived threat, no GDP is big enough, ever. Before our presidential elections, there was really massive anti-German propaganda for Zeman, sowing fear. Germany is our biggest economic partner (40 % of all exports) and still "problem". EU and Germany are routinely blamed for Czech problems, even if much of these were created by those very politicians that are now so "patriotic" and anti-German/anti-EU.

    I was raised in communist country and I can tell you that now situation is completely different than in 1989. When communism colapsed, people were fascinated by the West, Western culture and of course by Western goods. Now they increasingly see West as corrupted, arrogant and distant, they fear that "multikulti" will destroy their way of life. Of course, much of this is pure (often almost surely Russian) propagandist bulshit, but you cannot fight these beliefs on completely different level, by money or consumer goods. People are so scared by Muslims even in complete periphery of this European semiperiphery, almost without any foreigners present, when their president is an pro-Russian islamophobe constantly condemning Muslims.

    As far as I know, German "Ossis" are still much more prone to far right or Russian propaganda than "Wessis".

  2. Unfortunately I can't find the post I'm about to reference quickly. The summary was that unlike GBUs, when you attack a target electronically, the "warhead" is not consumed by use. The obvious potential to repackage this and use it in false flag operations is quite high, and I should be surprised that if that news item gains traction that information ops aren't conducted along those lines by the Russians. "It wasn't us, you can't trust your NATO allies, they believe the Cheezit-in-Chief is going to pull out or not honour Article 5 so it's just like a radiostation on the Polish-German border in 1939. Wake up sheeple." The answer to "well where did they get the code from then?" would be "Anti-Russian fascist elements in Estonia" or the same in Georgia.

    Cynicism feels like a cop-out, but when a major American outlet proceeds to use screenshots from a fucking game to illustrate the attack, it's really hard to invest a lot of faith in one's own society.

  3. "Nebel des Krieges" and "All war is deception" surely aplies here. We always have to make decisions on incomplete information. Informational and political war is still war. And with contemporary Russian Eurasianism, there is always "Eastern", i.e. broader and more complex concept of war than Western conventional wisdom prefer.

    Great irony is that I personally was labeled as "anti-American" activist up until 2011. When I finally gave up all efforts to find common ground with Russians, then all of a sudden started real epidemy of appeasement. Like those wise people who were not able to treat Weimar Republic well, but new regime was suddenly "worth of it". - It was too late. So is now.

    Now is the time to stay firm against Kremlin, now matter what.