Russian Cyber Attacks Targets and Purpose

Russian Cyber Attacks Targets and Purpose

Russian hackers are causing world wide problems.

Russian Cyber Attacks Targets and Purpose

By Joseph Wales and D. S. Mitchell


A Consistent Threat

Headlines linking Russia to a web of cyber attacks against a variety of sovereign nations has become daily bread for decision-makers and the public alike. Whether it’s the NotPetya attack, the recent shut down of the Colonial Pipeline, or meddling in foreign elections; Russia is a consistent and aggravating threat. Russia uses cyber operations alongside non-military and military methods to pursue its strategic goals. It views this as an ongoing information confrontation.

Back in Time

Russia began attacks on the United States in 1996 with the Moonlight Maze attack. The Moonlight Maze resulted in the theft of a massive amount of classified information from several U.S. government agencies. Those effected included NASA, the Department of Energy, the Defense Department, and numerous private sector entities and defense contractors. The attack caused a serious breach, compromising national security interests, strategies, and capabilities.

Ukraine Intimidation

Russian state-sponsored attacks are on the rise, most famously Russian cyber ninjas are behind the recent mischief in Ukraine. Several cyber events have  knocked out major government websites this month. This cyber-intrusion is aimed to intimidate society and destabilize the situation in the country, stopping the work in the public sector, and crushing citizens trust in the governing authorities.

What It Includes

Russia’s cyber warfare units employ hacker attacks, internet surveillance SORM technology, dissemination of  propaganda and misinformation, political trolling, and all means of social media manipulation. Most of these attacks, although not technically in house operations,  are still coordinated by the Russian FSB. The FSB replaced the notorious KGB, but a change in initials doesn’t change the mission.

How Many From Russia?

Over the past year, 58% of all cyber-attacks observed by Microsoft from nation-states came from Russia. Moreover, these attacks are increasingly effective, jumping from a 21% rate in 2020, to a 32% successful compromise rate in 2021. Russian nation-state attacks are increasingly targeting government agencies for intelligence gathering, which saw a hike from 3% to 53% in a year—these attacks target agencies involved in national security, defense, and foreign policy. The top three nations targeted by Russian cyber attacks were Ukraine, UK, and the United States.

Common Causes For Cyber Attacks

Most often, cyber-attacks occur because the attackers want something:

  • IT infrastructure
  • Clients’ lists
  • Customer database
  • Customers or staff’ email addresses and login details
  • Sensitive personal data
  • Customers’ financial details such as credit card data
  • Business’ financial details

Russian Motives

Putin’s motivation is different.  Putin life goal is to restore the territory lost with the collapse of the former Soviet Union. The Russian president views cyber-attacks as a natural extension for achieving his goals. For instance, how the Russian military hacked Olympic enemies for revenge, and how it hacked the Democratic National Committee to bolster Trump’s chances in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Russians are mainly interested in influence operations without physical manipulation.

Classic Influence Operation

What we saw in the 2016 U. S. elections was a classic influence operation. This was also Putin’s aim when hacking Russia’s perceived Olympic enemies. Russia wanted information it could use against these enemies in social media campaigns. Manipulation of the news, creating new mind sets, instigating social rifts.

China, A Different Animal

On the other hand, China has also been actively involved in passive cyber-attacks. However, in the case of China, their main focus seems to center on economic, technology both military and civilian. They are going after intellectual property and stealing it to improve their advantage in world trade. For instance, they infiltrated and copied the plans of the fighter jets F-35 and F-22. The Chinese now have the largest navy in the world, thanks to learning many western secrets. The issues of Hong Kong and Taiwan are just below the surface.

Any Cut Back Coming?

Evelyn Farkas, a former defense official for Obama, argued that the Russian government would not be stopping state-sponsored cyber-attacks against America or any other nation, unless the consequences  were so painful that continuation of such behavior would be unthinkable. Despite President Biden’s meeting with Putin recently, the Russians seem immovable, denying responsibility for their ongoing computer attacks. During their meeting, Biden argued that some crucial infrastructures such as energy and water systems should be off-limits to any type of attack. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is enough mettle in the whole of the U.S. government to go after Putin and/or Xi Jinping with a cyber sledge hammer. Unless Putin and his cyber ninja forces are caused real pain, the attacks will continue.


DANGER AHEAD: Cyber Hacking On The Rise

Cyber threats to world economies is growing daily


Cyber Hacking On The Rise

Colonial Pipeline was hit with a devastating ransomware cyberattack in May 2021 that impacted computerized equipment managing the pipeline. The attack forced the company to shut down approximately 5,500 miles of pipeline in the United States, crippling gas delivery systems across the Southeast and Mid Atlantic states and panicking consumers.

By William Jones and D.S. Mitchell

Terrorists. Criminals and Cowboys

The ongoing digitization of all aspects of modern life should be concerning.  Governments world-wide are facing new challenges to keep both business and government secrets private in an increasingly threatening world of cyber criminals, state sponsored terrorists, and cowboy hackers. With increasing online and data usage, government databases have become primary targets for hackers and other cyber terrorists and criminals. Recent events have shaken the U.S. government and citizen confidence. Hackers can compromise data and as Chris Krebs said recently, ransomware attackers are the greatest threat to our digital world. Krebs served as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the United States Department of Homeland Security from November 2018 to November 2020.

Cyber Warfare

Cyber warfare is defined as actions by a nation-state to penetrate another nation’s computers or networks to cause damage or disruption. It may also include non-state actors, such as terrorist groups, private companies, political or ideological extremist groups, criminal organizations, and activists.  Cyber attacks  have been a cause of concern for years, as the frequency of data breaches has increased along with their complexity and (economic, military, and political) implications, including elections and military catastrophe an ever growing possibility.

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Alexi Navalny: Enemy of the Rogue State

Alexi Navalny: A Thorn In Putin’s Side

Putin has political opponents he just doesn't care how he silences them

Alexi Navalny:


By Trevor K. McNeil


Rebel Roots

No nation has ever been completely peaceful, no matter what some might like to claim. As though in a self-aware correction to this, some don’t even bother to try and appear civilized, such as the Mongols or the Spartans. Others go through periods of stability, though the next invasion, rebellion, conquest or border war isn’t a matter of if, but when.

On a Reverse Trajectory

One of the main perpetrators of the meat-grinder of Europe was Russia or, as it was known for the majority of the century, the Soviet Union. That doesn’t mean the Czarist period was a picnic, either. Under the czars, someone was always fighting or planning to fight, someone else. Even during the days  of the purges, the threat of being purged surely was enough to make a lot of people angry. Russia, is a direct rebuke to the notion of history progressing in a linear trajectory.  Putin’s Russia more closely resembles 1961 than the first attempts at democratization in 1991. If anything they are moving backwards. Now, as then, there are those opposing the government, often at risk to their lives by way of assassination by the state. One such death-defying rebel is Alexi Navalny.

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OPINION: Trump Keeps Up The Shock Treatment

Calamity and Lucifer Can't believe what they are hearing?

Are you listening to the “National Moron”? Trump is in full meltdown. Don’t worry Lucifer, the guys in white jackets with injectable medication are on their way, I think. Careful, kitty, I’ve read he’s “pathologically dangerous”.


Trump Keeps Up The Shock Treatment

By D. S. Mitchell

“Unhinged” In Real Time

I had to get off Twitter, to write this post. I’ve watched the ‘National Moron’s’ press conference. What an embarrassment to our country. His misdirected anger, his contentious behavior, his defiance, his lies, his betrayal of our country, his vile insults against an elected congressman, his cursing, even his attempted fondling of the Finnish president’s leg. Anyone watching this horror show, can’t continue to support this very damaged man. He is as #Omarosa said, in her book about her time in the White House, “Unhinged.” In addition to the Omarosa book, I refer my readers to, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” from 2017. Available on Amazon.

“The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump”

The “Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” was a compilation of 27 essays written by no less than 37 psychiatrists and a variety of mental health professionals. The book  published in 2017, came early in Trump’s administration. The book describes Donald Trump as “psychologically dangerous”.  Using the “duty to inform and protect” the co-authors lay out the dangers a Trump presidency. These mental health professionals see Trump as “a clear and present danger.”  What we saw this morning in the Oval Office was a president in mental collapse. ** (That book has been updated, though I admit, I have not yet seen it).

“Perfect Call”

Trump and the White House have totally implicated themselves. They admitted to the crime and then provided proof of that criminal activity. Now we’ve got Trump claiming the whistleblower is lying. The truth here is, that Trump has confirmed nearly everything in the whistleblower complaint. How can the president be allowed to continue his smear of the whistleblower and private citizens. It is outrageous.  This call was not “perfect”. Nor was it placed by a “perfectly stable genius”. Instead we have a glass-chewing maniac, performing as a mafia boss, extorting an underling.

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The Trump-Russian Collusion Timeline

The Trump-Russian Collusion Timeline

D. S. Mitchell

centers on 12 dates. The Sept-Oct 2018 issue of Mother Jones magazine draws a painful conclusion; the Russian Investigation Is NO hoax.  So, if you have clung to the belief that a president of the United States would never betray his country to win an election,  you better check out the timeline Mother Jones has drawn of the Trump campaign activities & Trump speeches and collusion, is the only conclusion.

June 15/2016: As reports surfaced of the Democratic National Committee hacks, Trump & Team issued the following: “We believe it was the DNC that did the “hacking” as a way to distract from the many issues facing their deeply flawed candidate.”

June/16/2018: Donald Trump, Jr and three Trump campaign officials, including Paul Manafort, meet with a Russian attorney with known ties to the Kremlin to discuss, offered “dirt” on Hillary.

7/27/2016: Trump makes his now famous plea to Putin, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” A recent disclosure in a Mueller indictment, reveals that Russian Intelligence first targeted a key Hillary Clinton email provider, “on  or about” the same date.

9/7 & 8/2016: Obama officials alleged publicly that the Russians were likely behind the DNC hack. The Trump response came on Kremlin backed RT no less, during an interview, “I think maybe the Democrats are putting that out. Who knows, but I think it’s pretty unlikely.”

9/26/2016: During the first presidential debate, candidate Trump said, “I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia…it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay?”

10/9/2016: During the second debate when Clinton accuses Trump of benefiting from Russian interference his response was to deflect, “She doesn’t know if it’s the Russians doing the hacking. Maybe there is no hacking.”

12/9/2016: Trump’s transition team attacks CIA’s published conclusion that Russia had interfered in the 2016 elections to help Trump.  According to Trump, “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”

12/31/2016: Trump announces, “I also know things that other people don’t know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation.”

1/13/2017: Trump posts  to Twitter, “Russia says nothing exists.”

9/22/2017:  Facebook’s announcement that Russian operatives had purchased ads on their platform, drew the following response, a “hoax”.

11/12/2017:  After a private meeting with Putin, Trump says, “He said he absolutely did not meddle in our elections. He did not do what they are saying. I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it.”

7/16/2018: In Helsinki, Putin & Trump take the stage together and Trump sides with Putin over US Intel agencies. “They said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

“As emails stolen from the DNC and HRC were disseminated by WikiLeaks and Russian intelligence,” something soon became clear, “These actors weren’t just snooping; they were weaponizing what they found, using a noxious brew of fake news, astroturfed social-media posts, and bots.”

For the entire article, written by Pema Levy and AJ Vicens pick up a copy of Mother Jones at the news stand or subscribe for home delivery. I get mine delivered.

Please, support THE BLUE WAVE PROJECT, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley’s action group raising money for progressive candidates nationwide.


Trump Threatens Country’s Top Lawmen

Trump Threatens Country’s Top Lawmen

D. S. Mitchell

The New York Times evening edition for 7/19/2017 bi-lined by Peter Baker, Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haherman published an angry, rambling, nonsensical interview with President Donald Trump.  The President does not seem to fully understand how serious the investigation in to the Russian activity during the 2016 election had become.

Trump told the interviewers that he would never have hired Sessions for the job of Attorney General if he had known that Sessions would recuse himself from the Russian investigation. Ignoring the fact that Sessions had a perceived conflict of interest and as such, was basically forced by law and tradition to recuse himself.

Sessions was deeply involved in the Trump campaign.  How could he not recuse himself when there was such obvious conflict of interest?  The rule of law?  Does the president even understand the role of his  appointees? Does he understand that these people are supposed to be working for the people of the United States, not Donald Trump personally.

I’m beginning to wonder if Trump has any concept of the law, or the restraint that the law imposes on government officials, not just disregard the law, but even understand it’s basic constraints.

The Russia inquiry has in Trump’s words,” cast a dark cloud” over his floundering administration, calling Session’s recusal “very unfair to the president”.  Oddly, Trump speaking of the Presidency in the third person.  “The president” feels it was Sessions decision to recuse himself that led directly to the appointment of a special counsel, “that never should have happened.”


From then on the President sent volley after volley aimed at the top law enforcement officials in the country.  First it was his own chosen Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, then he attacked the Deputy AG, Rod Rosenstein.  Trump wasn’t finished however.  In a wandering interview he took potshots at the acting FBI Director, Andrew McCabe and then before moving on to other topics, Trump slammed Robert Mueller and warned that he would be stopped in his tracks if Trump felt the investigation was moving away from anything that wasn’t directly Russian related, telling the Times reporters there “was a red line.”

Apparently he blamed Rod Rosenstein for appointing Mueller as special counsel, furthermore he seemed to blame Rosenstein for recommending the dismissal of then FBI Director, James Comey, although Trump has  previously said the recommendation from Rosenstein was unimportant because he had already decided to fire Comey because of the ongoing Russian investigation.  And, in fact told then Russian Ambassabor Kisylak in an unprecedented Oval Office meeting , that he thought that firing Comey would shut down the investigation, or at least reduce the heat.

That is why, Mr. President they are looking at you for obstruction of justice.   Mr. President, we have audio and video of this stuff.  We can fact check you.  Jesus, man, not everyone is so in love with your ass that we ignore what you say.

I seriously wonder if this president has any memory of what he said 30 minutes ago.  The most recent press blurb indicated you have been documented making 836 separate public lies and misleading statements just since taking office.

On the subject of Comey, the President extended his complaints, insisting that Comey had perjured himself during the congressional hearings, stating again, “I never asked him for a loyalty oath.” Furthermore, Trump further claims he never asked Comey to end the investigation into former NSA, General Michael Flynn.

He further bullied the now private citizen, Comey, indicating he felt Comey had attempted to leverage FBI information detrimental to the President to hold on to his job.

Trump said that Comey had taken him aside and described a secret dossier containing multiple salacious allegations against the president, including sexual escapades in Moscow.  Trump called the dossier a bunch of “junk–a phony deal.”

Trump continued, stating he believes that Comey told him about the negative information and his intention, according to Trump, was to hold it over his head. Previously Comey has stated he told Trump of the dossier’s existence to warn him of the potential fall out if the information was published.

Reporters summarized Trump’s attack against Mueller  for, “running an office rife with conflicts of interest and warned investigators against delving into matters too far afield from Russia.”

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“Follow The Trail Of Russian Bodies”

Follow The Trail Of Russian Bodies

D.S. Mitchell

Calamity Politics is a progressive political blog that attempts everyday to provide interesting and topical articles, focused primarily on the U.S. national political scene.  Topics of analysis and commentary are determined by me.  Sometimes I discuss the headlines of the day, sometimes I veer off and talk about things that make me smile and others that make me mad. Today, I am going to reach back in to recent history.  The news of the day, again involves the Russians and possible disclosure by President Trump of highly classified information.  So, I thought it might be good to have a refresher course on Russia’s war against our democratic institutions.  Sources for this article are Del Quentin Wilker, the LA Times, Melissa Ryan Extra Newsfeed, and AP correspondents, Deb Reichmann and Eileen Sullivan, and finally CtrlAltRightDelete.

On March 30, 2017 Clint Watts, terrorism and espionage expert, Robert A. Fox Fellow, Program on the Middle East and Senior Fellow, Program on National Security, appeared before the Senate Intel Committee to discuss the Russian intervention in the 2016 presidential election.  Watts gave the committee and the American public a history lesson into the activities of the Russians, tracing the Kremlin’s efforts to influence our elections as a decades long effort using misinformation to undermine our democracy.

Wilker in his LA Times article declared, “Watts provided a road map to better understand” the shady practices by Moscow. To understand the activities, he urged the Senate and the U.S. government to “follow the money” to figure out “how misinformation websites and social media outlets are being funded.”

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Breaking News

D. S. Mitchell

Big News

After a day of testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee, Comey rs drops a bombshell.  The Trump campaign and the Russian government “are being investigated” for collusion during the 2016 election.  Comey flatly said there was “no basis to Trump’s claim of wire tapping by Obama”


Reuters News:  Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State has cancelled April meeting with NATO heads, and INSTEAD is planning on visiting Russia. When this news broke, Rep. Adam Schiff ranking Democrat on the House Intel Committee was on the Rachel Maddow Show.  I did not tape the show, however he basically said, “After what the Russians have done to this country, the only imaginable reason Tillerson would go to Moscow would be to return the Order of Friendship Medal that Putin gave him.”

Well, said, Rep. Schiff.

Tillerson And The Russians

My comment is, WOW!!!  Pretty fucking ballsy.  Secretary Tillerson, you are acting very strange, and your well-known affiliation with the Russian government does not help your reputation.  Your boss, the President, and his campaign are under investigation for possible collusion with the Russians.  Hmmm.  More Russians. It’s Trump and the Russians.  Sessions and the Russians. Manafort and the Russians.  And now Tillerson and the Russians. How many Russians are in this story?  Right now, it looks like way too many.

You Aren’t Exxon Mobil CEO

My first ‘effing complaint about Tillerson is his refusal to travel with the U.S. press corp. When you are Secretary of State you take the press with you when you travel, it’s that simple.  You are now employed by the people of the United States America and we want to see our officials in action.  You are not the CEO of Exxon Mobil.  Maybe Exxon Mobil thought it was okay to slink around in the shadows, but American citizens don’t like their officials behaving in that way.

Putin Over NATO

If the news of you choosing Putin over NATO is correct, I think the Congress should insist the President fire your ass.  There is absolutely no conceivable moral reason for a visit by the Secretary of State of the United States to Moscow.  To do what?  Hold court with that murdering thug, Putin. What is your intent? More colluding on abandoning sanctions? Or maybe you want to talk about opening up the Arctic oil reserves to drilling?  I can smell the corruption from here. Careful, Mr. Tillerson, you are standing on thin ice.

Calamity Response

The Editorial Desk at Calamity Politics is kept busy trying to decipher the nutty, stumbling, bumbling and incompetent statements being issued by the Trump White House. Every day a new story. Every day a new distraction. Each day there’s another lie. As a political analyst, commentator and progressive liberal organizer I want every one to be ready to agitate our Congressional representatives until they are scared shitless. Nothing shapes up an elected official as much as a potential threat to their elected position. Both Trump and Tillerson, like the Russkies way too much. Why? We need to find out. I suspect it is about fossil fuel and that equals money.


The battlefield of right, versus left, is a twisted and distorted terrain. It is hard to navigate the U.S. political scene without getting emotional. I’m Darlene, and I am here to pull my hair, and scream profanities, it is all just theater, a device to get attention and action.

Join the Resistance,

Let’s Talk About Russia

Let’s Talk About Russia

By D. S. Mitchell

Chores Done

I’ve walked the dog, made the coffee, run the vacuum, and now I’m ready to sit down and pass on the latest political gossips from the shadowy world of Russian hackers and the Donald Trump 2016 Presidential election campaign. The U.S. political discussion on television, and print media has ramped up the conspiracy talk, recently. It’s like James Bond. Wow, who would have guessed, that American politics could be so exciting.

D.C. And Beyond

Lily and I, are mesmerized.  Explosive rumors and innuendos have filled the newspapers and cable news networks. Actually, Lily is not that interested in the DC uproar. She thinks of walks, treats and visiting her neighborhood friends. I however, can’t get enough of the political hysteria. Sometimes the fireworks are in D.C. sometimes in Mar-a-Lago. It just depends where our golf course hopping president wants to park his golf cart this week.  But, wherever this clown goes he does attract a crowd of reporters and spectators.

Political Persecution

Nigel Farage is a vocal supporter of Trump. He visited the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, on Thursday.  Everyone is asking, why would he be at the embassy? As most everyone on the planet knows, the embassy gave Julian Assange political asylum, in 2012 and he is still there.  The founder and editor of WikiLeaks, has claimed political persecution. Either Farage was visiting Assange or he plans a vacation to Ecuador.

Kremlin Ties

Putin used WikiLeaks to publish stolen documents hacked from Western individuals and governments for years.  It was WikiLeaks that orchestrated the dissemination of emails stolen by Russian hackers during the 2016 presidential campaign  Clinton was a known enemy to Putin’s agenda. Donald Trump was the Russian favorite in the 2016 election, and Putin used Wikileaks to damage the reputation of Hillary Clinton.

Today’s Visit

Assange has just released damaging CIA documents compromising spying techniques and diminishing the United States standing on the world stage. Forage was in the Embassy for about 40 minutes. As Farage exited the building he was met by a gaggle of reporters. The question on everyone’s mind was why was he at the embassy? When he was asked if he had visited Assange, Farage replied, “I never discuss where I go, or who I see.”

As far as I’m concerned his answer  pretty much tells us he was there to see Assange.  It also tells us, that Trump, knew about the visit and will soon know about the details of the visit.

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