back to article Russian hackers target MH17 journalists for embarrassing Putin

Journalists investigating the downing of the MH17 flight over eastern Ukraine in 2014 have been hacked by Russia, according to security intelligence outfit ThreatConnect. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) recently announced that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Eastern Ukraine in July 2014 by a missile …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bellingcat

    Some say Bellingcat is an extension of the western security and propaganda apparatus, in the same way the Syrian Observatory on Human Rights is, claiming independence but state sponsored actors as much as those alleged to be attacking them.

    It is an increasingly murky world out there where we cannot tell what is fact and fiction, what is true attack and what is false-flag. Whatever the truth may be: we all know it is essential for the bad guys to be shown to be bad guys. Our bad guys are Russia and the Norks. It is not hard to guess who always gets the blame.

    The truth is out there. I am fucked if I can find it.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Bellingcat

      Some say Bellingcat is an extension of the western security and propaganda apparatus

      Some of the information which they have "provided" could be obtained only from classified NATO and/or Ukrainian military sources. A layman journo does not have access to any of the following: miltary satellite feeds, radio and especially GSM phone intercepts. Belingcat has "reported" (quotes intended) using these sources before any of them have become publicly available.

      That for me opens and closes the question on Belingcat being (or not being) a state actor. A non-state actor could not have these information sources without someone sitting on the gaol awaiting their day in court for violating the official secrets act of one or more NATO states.

      1. Daggerchild Silver badge

        Re: Bellingcat

        A non-state actor could not have these information sources without someone sitting on the gaol awaiting their day in court for violating the official secrets act of one or more NATO states.

        You're saying the military are unable to authorise restricted use or release of their information, or display it to a vetted third party in a controlled environment, which is all they needed to do here?

        And that an independent party could not have asked for, or been spontaneously offered, access to this information?

    2. Daggerchild Silver badge

      Re: Bellingcat

      Some say Bellingcat is an extension of the western security and propaganda apparatus ...
      Anyone else reading that in the voice of Jeremy Clarkson?

      1. Kimo

        Re: Bellingcat

        I read everything in the soothing voice of Morgan Freeman. It makes it impossible to be upset at the news.

        1. MrDamage

          Re: Bellingcat

          > "I read everything in the soothing voice of Morgan Freeman. It makes it impossible to be upset at the news."

          Good news everyone. My new invetions allows you to read everything in the soothing tones of Morgan Freeman!

          Now, whose voice did you read that in?

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Bellingcat

        "Anyone else reading that in the voice of Jeremy Clarkson?"

        I thought of John Cleese... and for the quoted parts, Michael Palin doing the 'Spanish Inquisition' voice

        then again, I'm a 'merkin' so I've only got monty python DVDs to fall back on for that kinda thing.

    3. Tom Paine Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Bellingcat

      SOHR is "an extension of the western security and propaganda apparatus"?

      Could you say more about that? Eg., evidence? RT.com and PressTV don't count, for obvious reasons.

    4. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

      Re: Bellingcat

      Looks like you got voted down by the PsyOps Astroturfing team based at Chicksands.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/15_Psychological_Operations_Group

      You've hit the nail on the head, the first caualty of war is truth, every time.

      There are many so-called self-styled lobby groups posing as something they're not, a well known example is Amnesty International, these are the same people who didn't like it when Gaddafi was voted human rights champion on their competition, so they pulled it early without an explanation.

      They're just another arm of the US military industrial complex. George Orwell would be proud.

      1. mwnci

        Re: Bellingcat

        Funny....Posts about truth being the first casualty, then accuses Amnesty International being part of the US Military Industrial Complex..You do realise it started in Britain off the back of 'missing prisoners' in Portugal under the rule António de Oliveira Salazar.

        Despite them being wrong on Gaddafi - Not seeing a connection with the Military Industrial Complex.

        On topic - By Russian Hackers do you mean Russian Government employee's per chance?

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Holmes

    Journalists or Churnalists?

    The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) recently announced that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Eastern Ukraine in July 2014 by a missile transported from Russia.

    ..."transported from Russia" on the wheeled missile-porting equipment, that is.

    Unfortunately, this still seems to be a dicey proposition.. It assumes that Russia would just hand over a long-range anti-air system without either the support systems or the team that knows how to handle it.

    And also:

    The JIT video report on the MH-17 case, which was released on Wednesday, also didn’t address questions about the location of several Ukrainian Buk missile batteries that Dutch (i.e. NATO) intelligence placed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, the day that MH-17 was shot down. A finding from the Dutch intelligence service, MIVD, released last October, said the only high-powered anti-aircraft missile systems in eastern Ukraine at that time, capable of bringing down MH-17 at 33,000 feet and killing all 298 people onboard, belonged to the Ukrainian military, not the rebels.

    Yes, someone pressed the button. Whether drunken Ukrainians or nervous rebels playing around we might never know for sure.

    1. James 51 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Journalists or Churnalists?

      I typed MIVD MH-17 into Google and on the entire first page of results there isn't a single news source I've ever heard of much less trust. Scattered among the results were pro-Putin/pro-Russia stories, a lot of them from the same sites as the story about how it was really the Ukrainians who shot the plane down. We might never know the truth as you say but that's because that's how Putin wants it and his trolls are kicking up as much dirt as possible to discredit all news agencies so no one believes anything any more. Wither you think he is responsible for shooting the plane down or not he went on a documentary and stated he invaded the Ukraine violating a memorandum regarding their sovereignty after they got rid of their nukes. The smoke screen he has thrown up around the plane is irrelevant. He still has a lot of blood on his hands

    2. Gideon 1

      Re: Journalists or Churnalists?

      MH17 crashed well inside rebel held territory. That simple fact makes all your assertions "dicey proposition"s.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Journalists or Churnalists?

        MH17 crashed well inside rebel held territory.

        Buk's official range at that altitude is ~ 40km or thereabouts. The plane crashed within less 20km of the frontline.

        Once again, what were you saying?

        1. Gideon 1

          Re: Journalists or Churnalists?

          Then there is the calculated trajectory of the missile, derived from physical evidence, which placed the missile launch within rebel held territory.

          1. Daggerchild Silver badge

            Re: Journalists or Churnalists?

            Then there is the calculated trajectory of the missile, derived from physical evidence, which placed the missile launch within rebel held territory.
            Pass the ketchup, please. I'll need some source for that.

            1. Rob D.

              Re: Journalists or Churnalists?

              https://www.om.nl/onderwerpen/mh17-vliegramp/presentaties/presentation-joint/ mostly section IV, although you will have to wait for any court proceedings to get all the actual evidence released I suspect. The report and associated documentation indicates the use of various forensic analyses including soil samples, intercepts, publicly available media and other sources. Unless you wish to adopt the position that the MH17 JIT is deliberately faking it (including the supporting information already released), the assessment of those professional investigators is that the location of the launch is established by evidence sufficient to stand up to examination in criminal court. And it was in rebel held territory.

              In my book that provides ketchup, HP, mustard and a small bowl of apple chutney.

            2. Gideon 1

              Re: Journalists or Churnalists?

              Dutch Safety Board report, Page 146:

              http://www.webcitation.org/6cFSGnsRg

      2. Glenturret Single Malt

        Re: Journalists or Churnalists?

        So what does that tell us about the Lockerbie disaster - that the plane was brought down by Scot Nats?

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Journalists or Churnalists?

      The report has failed to prove or disprove the use of one of the several (at least two if memory serves me right) Ukrainian Buks which were captured by the rebels at the beginning of the war.

      If you are going to put all the dots on all Is and cross all the Ts you have to start with in order of likelihood:

      1. The rebels, using equipment they have appropriated from the Ukrainian army with or without assistance from Russian "volunteers" (quotes intended and needed).

      2. The Ukrainian army, continuing its excellent form in shooting down civilian jets and after that doing "Presidential Level Coverup" of the majestic clusterf*ck involving everyone up to the head of state inclusive. They have done it before, hence the possibility that they have done it again has to be fully refuted as well.

      3. The rebels, using equipment provided by Russia "under the cover of darkness". Again, +/- "volunteers"

      4. The Russians operating on rebels behalf. Considering the level of saturation with spy gear of the area I find this one very difficult to believe in. Though, you never know - at about the same time the Graunidad published some video footage of "Glorious Units of the Ukrainian Liberation Army" shooting Grads at Donetsk. The trucks had either Polish or Baltic number plates - definitely not Ukrainian ones (wrong color). The same video contained Russian militarized fire engine (with spanking new paint) with a uniformed Russian military personnel from MChS extinguishing the results of the handywork. Right when Russia claimed none of its personnel is there (I LOVE when a journo publishes pics without having a clue what's in them).

      In addition to that:

      1. The report still fails to answer why the plane was given instructions by Ukriainian air traffic control to pass 20 km north of the center of the official air corridor right through the area where somebody took out two Ukrainian Su-25s the previous week

      2. If it was the same unit, how and who took out the Su-25s as the supposed time of "appearance on the scene" was after they were shot down. The tooth fairy? With a magic wand?

      3. If it was not the same unit, what happened to the unit which took out the two Su-25s in the same area

      4. All photos, etc which purport to show the Buk in question show it with one missile missing. Cute. What happened to the other two used on the Su25s? Also, I find it difficult to believe that if this was deployed by Russia it was not deployed without the reloader truck. Habeas corpus on that?

      All in all, the report has yielded the expected result requested for political expediency reasons. That may in fact be the true result. We will not know - until someone answers questions 1-4 above.

    4. Daggerchild Silver badge

      Re: Journalists or Churnalists?

      It assumes that Russia would just hand over a long-range anti-air system without either the support systems or the team that knows how to handle it.

      Uh? They deliver shipments of small arms strapped to 'passing Russian tourists'. Why not the mobile missile platforms?

      What makes you think it was ever handed over? Some of the hardware seen there is stuff Russia doesn't actually sell other countries..

  3. Dave 15

    They really need to learn

    The British government is much smarter at rubbishing stuff without people linking it.

  4. Daggerchild Silver badge

    Hrm.

    If you can't discredit what someone says, because it's obviously true, you have to insert something that isn't true, and then point it out.

    If I were the journalists, I'd check over their stuff to look for twiddled numbers, extra bits, and decoupled/overextended supporting connections that you will put your name to before it gets used to discredit you many moons later.

    It's a fun game. It's a very very very old game. Eat nothing you find there. Accept no gifts..

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Russian State Actors

    Well, I guess we now know a few Register ID's that are trolls from Olgino.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Russian State Actors

      One thing I learned is that communists never let go of defending Russia, viewing Putin like some kind of new era communist leader instead of the proto-fascist he's revealed to be.

      For them it's a kind of dogma, so there's no point arguing with them about it.

      1. Daggerchild Silver badge

        Re: Russian State Actors

        I do feel kinda proud of the Russians who will defend their own so valiantly. I've seen Russian coalitions in Eve slowly inexorably crushed, burned and scoured from reality, and still rise from the specks of the ashes to look once again into their enemies shocked uncomprehending faces as they drive the knife into their former occupiers' backs..

        But regrettably it doesn't change the fact that Russia is still just a class bully, and not self-stable unless taking their classified home-grown frustrations out on the other kids, taking their pocket money and eating their lunches.

        And yeah, I know survival of the fittest is the base rule, and all, but we really, really don't have time for this shit anymore as we *might* have accidentally set fire to the school and if we don't form a co-operative bucket chain soon, well.. nobody's graduating, ever.

        Also, China.

    2. Daggerchild Silver badge

      Re: Russian State Actors

      Well, I guess we now know a few Register ID's that are trolls from Olgino

      It may also be a demonstration of why you shouldn't use the same login and password on different websites.

      One gets popped anywhere, and your reputation elsewhere becomes someone else's asset...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh, the giggles!

    The mere notion of classifying Bellingcat as "journalism" is quite amusing, thank you for that. Well, at least they are not pretending to be an NGO, unlike certain other "organizations".

    I will not touch the MH17 can of worms. It is no use, the true facts are unavailable to me, and there are too many fruit bats out there that lost the ability to have any sort of decent discussion without childish name-calling. Usually the same clientele that suspends believing in the laws of physics during the month of September. It is sad, really, there used to be educated, intelligent adults out there.

    In the end, there is only so much force-fed propaganda I can take in a day, so please, let's all try and keep it civil on this site.

    Thank you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh, the giggles!

      BTW, I shall drink to every downvote. Cheers! :)

    2. find users who cut cat tail

      Re: Oh, the giggles!

      > I will not touch the MH17 can of worms. It is no use, the true facts are unavailable to me...

      This makes Putin very happy.

      He does not need (not at this moment anyway) everyone believing his propaganda. For him it is sufficient that people believe everything is propaganda, making truth worthless.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh, the giggles!

        It reads like you drank all my downvotes for me. Carry on.

  7. R Callan

    Am I the only person who finds it strange that the highly skilled "Russian government hackers" use network connections that are easily traced back to Russia? Surely they have some knowledge of VPN's, chained anonymous proxies or even TOR?

    All of these claims strike me as being more likely false flag attacks to blame the Russians for all of the ills of the world, just as in the bad old cold war days purely because an expert (hopefully) does not make stupid elementary errors or at least does not continue to make them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Please do not ask intelligent questions, it is most unfashionable. They bad. Us good. End of story.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      On the other hand, given how easy it is to use VPNs etc to change your purported point of origin, there's no need to bother because you can just claim "no no, it wasn't me, it was a hacker using my IP".

    3. Terje

      While this is a good point, I think it's highly likely that if this is a Russian operation one or both of the following is true.

      1. They don't care if they are found out.

      2. They Expect to be found out and send a message of the don't mess with us kind.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In Russia

    You will never know what the truth is

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: In Russia

      I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.

      Plus ça change...

  9. W Donelson

    Welcome to World War III

    Welcome to World War III

    :(

    1. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

      Re: Welcome to World War III

      Where the weapons are so terrifying, each country is too pussyfied to go hot.

      At least Corbyn admits he is not willing to "Push The Button™", unlike the sycophants clogging up the House of Conmen and (Day care centre) House of Frauds, who will say whatever their paymasters tell them to say

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019