Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Russia is interfering in German elections.

26 April 2017

The Friedrich Ebert (click here) and the Konrad Adenauer Foundations were targeted by hackers in March and April this year, Feike Hacquebord of IT security company Trend Micro told Reuters news agency.
A hacker group, dubbed “Pawn Storm” by the company, set up a server in Germany from where fake email were sent out to employees of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, which is associated with Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democrats.
According to Mr. Hacquebord, a computer in the Ukraine was used in attempts to spy on the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, which is linked to the Social Democratic Party (SPD). The cyber spy group, also known Fancy Bear or Apt 28, apparently targeted the foundation’s employees with email phishing tricks and attempts to install malware....

It is a global strategy by Russia. KGB. Putin.

April 26, 2017

...In the Netherlands, (click here) Dutch authorities counted paper ballots in a recent election by hand to prevent foreign governments—and Russia in particular—from manipulating the results through cyberattacks. In Denmark, the defense minister has accused the Russian government of carrying out a two-year campaign to infiltrate email accounts at his ministry. In the United Kingdom, a parliamentary committee reports that it cannot “rule out” the possibility that “foreign interference” caused a voter-registration site to crash ahead of Britain’s referendum on EU membership. And in France, a cybersecurity firm has just discovered that suspected Russian hackers are targeting the leading presidential candidate. “We are increasingly concerned about cyber-enabled interference in democratic political processes,” representatives from the Group of Seven—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S.—declared after meeting in Italy earlier this month. Russia, a member of the group until it was kicked out for annexing Crimea, wasn’t mentioned in the statement....

...What’s novel today is that 1) the Russian government does seem to have revived its Cold War-era “active measures” against the political systems of rival countries; 2) the digital era has afforded the Kremlin and other state and non-state actors new tools in such efforts, from phishing attacks against campaign staffers to fake news distributed through social media; 3) the targeted countries are especially vulnerable to this type of sabotage at the moment; and 4) targeted countries aren’t sure how to respond to this modern form of political warfare.

As the Russia expert Fiona Hill once told me, Vladimir Putin, in apparently ordering a campaign to hack and leak Democratic Party emails, didn’t create toxic partisanship or deep distrust of government in the United States. Instead, he exploited this political dysfunction by turning the strengths of an open, technologically advanced country into weaknesses. Barack Obama’s belated retaliation against Russia at the end of his presidency, and the beleaguered congressional investigations into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election, speak to the U.S. government’s profound struggles to process Putin’s challenge to the soft underbelly of contemporary democracy....

...In February, Macron’s campaign reported thousands of attempted hacks of its computer servers and accused Russian state media outlets of spreading slanders about Macron, including an article in Sputnik—headlined “Ex-French Economy Minister Macron Could Be ‘US Agent’ Lobbying Banks Interests” and based on an interview with a pro-Russia French lawmakerthat aired rumors about Macron’s sexual orientation and personal life....

France is far more open about lifestyles and sexual identity. Europe has some of the most incredible schools for children that are transgender. A scandal in Russia is not necessarily a scandal in France.

Mr. Macron needs to address the truth and avoid any appearance of discrimination regarding the sexual identity of voters. People want the truth and it is that desire that creates the so called scandals. 

12 April 2017
By Joe Watts

Germany has warned Russia (click here) it must come to the negotiating table if it wants any other country to help bear the huge financial burden of rebuilding war-ravaged Syria.

The country’s Foreign Minister said it is impossible for Russia to alone pay for Syria's regeneration and that Moscow will have to ensure there are no more pictures of “children murdered by poison gas” if it wants to be a respected international partner.

Speaking following Boris Johnson’s failure to win strong backing for new sanctions on Russian and Syrian figures, German chief diplomat Sigmar Gabriel said there could be no “solution overnight” to the conflict....