Spy vs. Spy

There are charges that Russians tapped into the Democratic National Committee for more than a year, and have now released some e-mails through Wikileaks that have so far caused the resignation of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz — with more e-mail grenades yet to come!
And you think the Russians didn’t hack Hillary’s home brew computer?

Russia, the US, China, North Korea, Britain, Germany and a dozen nations have both nation-state programs, and pirate operators, all spying, developing spyware, committing espionage and developing espionage programs. Sometimes the pirates of a nation cooperate with their governments, sometimes not. In Russia, pirates are more likely to cooperate, or they tend to die.

The (probable) NSA program, designated “Flame” collected information from computers around the globe, friend and foe for five years before it was discovered and taken down. (It was discovered thousands of miles away from its target, purely by accident.) 

The first kinetic software was “Wiper”, a (likely) Israeli program that erased the hard drives of hundreds of Iranian computers in the oil industry.

Russia (likely) over pressured a pipeline owned by British Petroleum in 2008, and put the pipeline out of commission for months. They left no trace.

Iran retaliated to Wiper with Shamoon, which destroyed the hard drives of the Saudi based Aramco oil conglomerate in 2012.

Meanwhile, an absolutely vicious worm had been destroying portions of the Iranian Nuclear Program. STUXNET had begun under George Bush as an alternative to Israel bombing the Iranian facilities. After much consternation that the STUXNET electronic bullet might be considered an act of war, it was deemed less dangerous than bombing.

STUXNET was a joint American (NSA) and Israeli operation, and it attacked the centrifuge controllers of Siemans Corporation, used in Iran, and when the Russian (Kaspersky) and American (Symantec) major manufacturers of anti-spyware saw the code they couldn’t believe the sophistication and elegance of STUXNET. A small three person German firm actually broke most (but not all) of STUXNET.

What we know is that all nations have an arsenal of various small and huge electronic weapons. Privateers both develop, and sell all and portions of spyware and kinetic software in an open market, and both private and nation-state actors are constantly involved with each other 

It’s the Wild West in electronic spying, and actual destructive warfare. As Secretary of State, Hillary knew of all of this (and more). 


 (And I might add, and not incidentally, almost all of these sophisticated software programs used were removed with absolutely no evidence they were ever there. It is much, much simpler to withdraw a program without a trace than it is to write the insertion and trigger, without exposing it except for the destruction left behind!)


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