Oh Nothing, Just Russia Literally Declaring War On America While Trump Beats Off To OANN
Donald Trump has one more gift for Vladimir Putin, and quite appropriately, it's that he's going to let Russia literally declare war on America without saying a word about it. What has America ever done for Trump? It sure didn't vote to give him a second term. (Didn't vote to give him a first term either, but Putin did.) Trump doesn't love America, he thinks our troops are suckers and losers, and his foreign policy goals have pretty much always been the same as Putin's, from biggies like skullfucking NATO and supporting the Russian war on Ukraine, to smaller weird things like hating on Montenegro.
You might have heard there's been a big Russian hack. Like, a REALLY big and scary one, the endgame of which we still don't know. Maybe it's just spying, maybe it's more than that. Former Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) chief Chris Krebs did his job a little bit too well, which made the election really hard for Russia to hack and steal for Trump. (Don't worry, he got fired for that!) But wouldn't you know it, Putin's boys have been getting into a lot of other shit to hurt America.
News started to break on Sunday that Russia had hacked the Commerce and Treasury departments, specifically its SVR intelligence service. (SVR is more or less analogous to our CIA. It's the big boys.) Then we learned it was the Department of Homeland Security too, and also the National Institutes of Health and the State Department. As of yesterday, it was also the Pentagon and the US Postal Service. And then came the biggie in the late afternoon yesterday: They also got into the Energy Department, annnnnnnnd also the National Nuclear Security Administration. In other words, our nukes.
They think we're going to find out about more, plus a bunch of companies. (As many as 425 Fortune 500 companies may have also already fallen victim.) The Russians got in through networking software used by these agencies, made by a company called SolarWinds, in what's called a "supply chain" hack, which according to people in the know is a sign of a really well-planned and extensive hacking op. In other words, you use the third party software, it downloads an update, and it also downloads the Russians. SolarWinds isn't the only "supply chain" company they hit either, as a cybersecurity company called FireEye, which discovered the hack in the first place, also got hit.
As the Washington Post notes, DHS is the organization that's supposed to be busy protecting everybody from this sort of thing. CISA, which is part of DHS, got hacked. So this is a big fucking deal.
How long has this been going on? Since at least March or so. The Post reminds us of what sorts of things have been happening the last nine months:
That's a nine-month stretch that included — to name just a few of the important events that would have created computer files interesting to spies — the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, the historically fast development of vaccines using novel technology, and the U.S. presidential and congressional elections.
Probably no big.
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin called this "virtually a declaration of war by Russia." Sen. Richard Blumenthal was even more shaken:
Stunning. Today’s classified briefing on Russia’s cyberattack left me deeply alarmed, in fact downright scared. Ame… https://t.co/AzYrIjqDoT— Richard Blumenthal (@Richard Blumenthal)1608070820.0
Glenn Greenwald is trying to cover for the Russians, so you know it's a big deal:
I know it doesn't matter. I know it's wrong to ask the question. I know asking the question raises grave doubts abo… https://t.co/zRrVvNynm4— Glenn Greenwald (@Glenn Greenwald)1608210814.0
The Russians deny it, after all! They believe very strongly that it wasn't them, to paraphrase Donald Trump with his proverbial mouth around Putin's balls in Helsinki!
Glenn Gerstell, the NSA's general counsel until recently, told NPR this is like waking up and finding out your house has been burglarized every night for the last six months.
Meanwhile, Tom Bossert, who was Donald Trump's Homeland Security adviser, published an op-ed in the New York Times explaining just how grave this is, and what it really means. "The magnitude of this national security breach is hard to overstate," says his sub-headline. Not only are we in the middle of a global pandemic, we're in the middle of a presidential transition where the loser candidate is refusing to accept reality and throwing up roadblocks to the new team at every turn.
The Russians have had access to a considerable number of important and sensitive networks for six to nine months. The Russian S.V.R. will surely have used its access to further exploit and gain administrative control over the networks it considered priority targets. [...]
While the Russians did not have the time to gain complete control over every network they hacked, they most certainly did gain it over hundreds of them. It will take years to know for certain which networks the Russians control and which ones they just occupy. [...]
The logical conclusion is that we must act as if the Russian government has control of all the networks it has penetrated. But it is unclear what the Russians intend to do next. The access the Russians now enjoy could be used for far more than simply spying.
Bossert concludes with advice for what we must do to fight back, including this advice for his former boss:
President Trump must get past his grievances about the election and govern for the remainder of his term. This moment requires unity, purpose and discipline. An intrusion so brazen and of this size and scope cannot be tolerated by any sovereign nation.
We are sick, distracted, and now under cyberattack. Leadership is essential.
Fat chance, friend. Donald Trump's feelings are hurt and that is the most important crisis facing the whole planet right now. Obviously, Trump has said and done nothing about this, just like he said and did nothing when he found out Russia was paying bounties for severed American troops' heads. Besides deciding which members of the crime family get pardons, he's not doing any other work. He's just jacking off to OANN and Newsmax.
As for other action by the Trump administration, ain't nobody home but these chickens. Wait, we forgot, National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien decided to cut short his romantic winter tour of Europe on the taxpayers' dime to come home and see what the Russians did. That's comforting hashtag best people.
Aaron Blake writes in the Washington Post about how Trump has always told us that nobody has ever been tougher on Russia than him, and also argued that because he and Putin kiss all the time with tongue, Russia will obviously be much nicer to us. It's a kinder, gentler kind of deterrence, you see! Saner minds have always responded that this has been like Christmas for Putin, who's free to destroy America any way he wants, because his traitor is in the White House.
So yeah. This is happening. President Russian Asset is leaving the entire US government compromised by Russia. It was always going to end this way.
Welcome to your presidency, Joe Biden. Just add this to your list of disaster shitshows you get to pull us out of. Mazel tov!
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