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back to article Cyber battle apparently under way in Russia-Ukraine conflict

Ukraine's mobile phone infrastructure is under attack: with equipment installed in Russian-controlled Crimea interfering with the phones of members of parliament, a senior Ukrainian government official alleges. The head of Ukraine's SBU security service told a press conference on Tuesday that the attack has been running for at …

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"All state information security systems were unprepared for such a brazen violation of the law."

Aha I see .... their security systems were only prepared for the more friendly kind of aggressor who does not brazenly violate the law but asks politely whether he can invade your country, and certainly wouldn't tamper with your phone systems unless he had your explicit permission.

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Anonymous Coward

so this will be the 550 GCHQ JTRIG'ers doing False Flag?

Snowden's docu-cache revealed the Government Communications HQ Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group has fully trained 150 operatives (in 2013).

The GCHQ documents helpfully explained further that another 400 operatives were coming online.

These 550 who are trained in False Flag cyberwar & False Rescue & everything else cyber-bad you can imagine can logically control sock-puppet "10 plausible identities per workstation" (at least)

It's therefore highly likely that GCHQ JTRIG is currently attacking UA on behalf-of or in proxy for RU; as when GCHQ deploy this magnitude of Cyberwarriors to attack social media or whatever they view today as legitimate targets - for the average internet user it means we can no longer believe what we read, as there are so many smoke & mirror operatives deployed that almost anything "CYBER" can be made-up. In fact I don't even believe this opinion comment and I think I wrote it!

I certainly won't believe whatever the next 5500 commentards say in reply to this as I know where they work! I don't believe that UA is being attacked by RU unless I can see the .pcap files and you show me what the UK JTRIG operatives were doing all day instead of causing false-flag cyberwar!

the only good thing about False-Flag cyberwar & social media manipulation by JTRIG & no-doubt the FSB equivalent is that once we know that it is available and being used, then this stops most of us believing what is claimed.

/rant

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Re: so this will be the 550 GCHQ JTRIG'ers doing False Flag?

Except British Intelligence would immediately charge against the wrong web sites, be wiped out but regard it as a glorious historical incident.

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Re: so this will be the 550 GCHQ JTRIG'ers doing False Flag?

It would be very pleasant to know that it be so, and such abilities and facilities are a walk in the park for them, AC.

However, to put good money on it being so, is something which is best avoided methinks unless one can afford to lose one's shirt.

The Russians though, who led everyone into space with Sputnik, may very well be way ahead in Great Cyber Gaming of Systems and that is bound to be a cause of major concern to mined nations.

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Aha I see .... their security systems were only prepared for the more friendly kind of aggressor who does not brazenly violate the law but asks politely whether he can invade your country, and certainly wouldn't tamper with your phone systems unless he had your explicit permission.

Dr Who,

I suspect Ukraine's cyber defence systems aren't very well funded. Their government finances would probably be pretty sad, even if their last few governments hadn't been horribly corrupt.

But I suspect the thing they weren't prepared for was their internal systems to be captured on day one of conflct. Normally planners expect a build-up to hostilities. Total surprise invasions are pretty rare, as there's normally a build-up to conlict, where both sides do a bit of negotiating. Or at least a build-up of tension. Which gives the defences times to get prepared, and the diplomats time to strut their funky stuff - and try to avoid trouble.

But in this case there was a bit of Russian unhappiness, followed by Russian mobilisation (or "military exercises"), and invasion on the same day. And Ukraine was at the second disadvantage of being in the middle of forming a government at the time as well.

It's easier to defend against an external attacker than it is to deal with one in physical control of some of your own networks. And that would be true even if Ukraine was a match for Russia's capabilities, which I severely doubt it is.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: so this will be the 550 GCHQ JTRIG'ers doing False Flag?

It's therefore highly likely that GCHQ JTRIG is currently attacking UA on behalf-of or in proxy for RU

Given the position of the UK Government I think it's highly unlikely that GCHQ would be acting on behalf of the Russians.

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Re: so this will be the 550 GCHQ JTRIG'ers doing False Flag? .... @obnoxiousGit

It's therefore highly likely that GCHQ JTRIG is currently attacking UA on behalf-of or in proxy for RU

Given the position of the UK Government I think it's highly unlikely that GCHQ would be acting on behalf of the Russians.

Given the sub-prime ministerial leadership qualities of the UK Government, to imagine GCHQ having any responsibility and accountability for their actions would be a global admission to all and sundry of a lack of in-house intelligence provision/source generation.*

And surely, obnoxiousGit, nothing is ever as it seems and most probably always as it would never have been expected nor even imagined to be, in the Great Game that …… well, Top Secret Special Compartmented Intelligence Services play for Command and Control of Earthly Assets with Unilateral Key Accesses to Prime Proprietary Drive Protocols.

Such simply be Universal Stealth, and in AI too be situations not at all dissimilar but quite different, because of ITs Ethereal Alien Virtual Nature there, and to try and combat IT with anything at all, rather than seek to enhance its securities and reinforce overall protection, has one tilting at windmills and creating phantom base enemies which defeat one ever increasingly quickly and catastrophically at every new play and crazy desperate move.

* That would not be all doom and gloom though, for whenever true, would opportunity knock and provide a kings ransom and fortune to that which and/or those who deliver that which be missing and needed for seeding and feeding into operating systems.

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Look, the Russian hackers aren't Russian hackers because Putin has categorically not deployed Russian hackers; they're just concerned Ukrainian hacker groups whose T-shirts look like Russian hackers.

If there were Russian hackers (which there aren't), they're only on the network to protect it from fascists and anti-Semites.

Love and kisses and wishes for a peaceful solution;

Don Putin.

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Re: so this will be the 550 GCHQ JTRIG'ers doing False Flag?

"It's therefore highly likely that GCHQ JTRIG is currently attacking UA on behalf-of or in proxy for RU"

I'm assuming you're either a troll or a total moron.

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"Aha I see .... their security systems were only prepared for the more friendly kind of aggressor"

Like all IT security systems they weren't prepared for a rival government to have full physical access.

Once someone has physical access to your machine, it doesn't matter who you are or how well prepared: It's not your system any more, it's theirs.

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Coat

Times change

Sochi seems so long ago now doesn't it?

There was a clue with the failing ring though......

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Re: Times change

Not really, it may have played well in the CIS but all the coverage I saw in France and the UK were constantly giving Putin and the games a lot of stick.

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Mushroom

Got to love Putin.....

...Ban on gays, macho-posturing over territory, riding shirtless on a horse for a photo shoot, add that to his well below average height and boy do we have some issues that need airing. C'mon, Putin, sit down and let's have a chat....tell me about your mother.

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Re: Got to love Putin.....

My mother ... I'll tell you about my mother!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Got to love Putin.....

He can breathe alright, 'long as nobody unplugs him.

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Re: Got to love Putin.....

If Putin wants to show how macho he is why can't he just follow the traditional route and get himself 50 concubines and father hordes of bastards? Much cheaper (and more fun) than demonstrating that he's all man and not-at-all-in-any-way-a-gay-icon by invading the neighbours.

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A Russian cyber-plod spokesman is quoted as saying:

"Nothing to see guv - no Crimea."

Seriously - a cyber attack on the parliamentary phone system? How will Ukraine get any decisions made now?

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Paris Hilton

Western media (except el Reg of course) seems so shocked that Pootin stood firm against an orchestrated attack on one of Ruskies main buddies (see historic links about Kursk).

If that is true rather than deception then they are far bigger fools than I give them credit to be.

Like Pootin is going to say something like: Please be helping yourselves to all of our arms bases and airyplains and sea ships with guns n missiles.

Like "Oh? Really?"

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Coat

@no name needed

Sorry, but I don't get your "point", perhaps you use the wrong icon. Anyway Kursk is a town and perhaps more known as submarine that blew up it self without any western help, a tragedy no matter your, what ever background you have, if you are a human being. To understand what is going on in Ukraine you have to start from the WWII when Russia invaded countries in Eastern Europe and become a much larger Soviet Union. A super power through nuclear weapons, psychologically even more unprepared than the USA. Next the house of cards fell with much joy both within Russia and the occupied countries. Again, so to say, without any western help and more like from the inside. We have all heard the expression "American exceptionalism", share rubbish which many Americans can smile at without feeling un-American. In the Soviet Union the similar exceptionalism grew much deeper much because traveling abroad was still more a no no and typically (pun intended) learning languages was silly when foreigners naturally loved to learn the language of the master race. So what happens, all those countries "liberated from the Nazi" by the Soviet Union, celebrate independence without any feeling of gratitude towards the Soviet Union or Russia for the superb seventy years of happiness and prosperity within the union. In stead they smiled towards the west and the EU and Nato and farted towards the east. Putin is a child of the Soviet Union, one of many who is unhappy with a feeling things where better then and that evil powers are eating his cake. Ukraine is a pain in the arse for Putin, it's too close and now again they are looking towards the EU and what if later towards NATO. And there is Crimea and Sevastopol. But most of all people where able to ditch a president by "demonstration" on the streets. Hell, suppose people in Belarus start to get ideas and try to ditch my bastard friend who does not look towards the EU and suppose my own people start to get ideas too, if I decide to be prime minister then president for the next thirty years.

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Paris Hilton

Okay...

... I'll be even more contentious.

Think the "phones going down" is tough titty?

Try getting a mobile to Bil'in or Nil'in.

Maybe someone might like to distribute video capable smartphones with a nice bit of independent telecoms to support them?

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Re: Okay...

That's not so much contentious as incomprehensible.

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It was only a matter of time...

Putin really knows how to engender himself with the neighbours, doesn't he? Is a leader who makes enemies of all who surround his country a good leader? I think not. Putin is digging himself and Russia a giant hole.

As for the claim that CGHQ is involved - what is the motivation? False flag? The Russians just invaded Ukraine, was that a false flag as well? Did the GCHQ bods cut those cables? I'm sceptical of much, and certainly of this claim. GCHQ will be listening as much as they can to determine what is going on, before perusing some random peoples webcams across the UK for kicks.

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Re: It was only a matter of time...

"As for the claim that CGHQ is involved - what is the motivation?"

Not a thick enough layer of tinfoil in the OP's hat.

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Re: It was only a matter of time...

@smackbean

This is the one good thing that has come out of the crisis. Russia has shown itself for what it really is. The same kind of antics we hear about in their domestic sphere now extend to their international actions.

It almost makes me laugh (I'm too terrified) when the Russian nationalists in Krim excuse their actions by saying Kiev was taken over by ... wait for it ... nationalists. Their view of history is a tiny bit skewed, ignoring that many of the Russians now living as minorities in the ex-Soviet states are the result of Stalin's russification effort: sending entire populations to Siberia and transplanting Russians in their place. But history is history. I actually hope they get their way, provided the secession happens peacefully and isn't too much of a repeat of that one time someone decided all Germans must live in one country. It must be great to live in Russia, may their dreams come true.

If/when and however painfully the Russian minority issue is eventually resolved in Ukraine and a bunch of other places (it's not just Krim, see South Ossetia, Abhkazia and other Russian majority enclaves), the people there will have a much stronger sense of national identity, one largely defined by being non-Russian. Way to go, Putin.

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Anonymous Coward

We (I mean the NATO countries) could limit Russia's access to the rest of the Internet.

I do not mean port 80. Let them watch as much Facebook as they want. I mean all the other ports.

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We (as NATO) can also limit their access to the Med.

Turkey is well within rights to close the Helspont to military vessels.

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Turkey did close the straits in 2008. Both ways. To cool things down.

But the cruelest thing to do would be to cut off Mercedes exports. Now that'd create an almighty mess.

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The Mercs in Russia are all stolen ones from the rest of Europe. I suspect that less than 5% are legitimate imports.

It's almost like all the people with money in Russia are members of criminal organisations...

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Times have changed. A shiny new Merc, straight from Stuttgart, with legit papers, is the most desirable. Other variants not so much. BMW has a factory in Russia, but Beverian ones are still more prestigious.

Cutting these supply lines would be perceived as the greatest geo-political catastrophe of the 21st century.

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