back to article Guccifer 2.0 outed, Kaspersky slammed, Oz radio hacker in the slammer, and more

Here's your easy-to-digest round up of information security news beyond everything we've already covered this week. DNC hacker outed as Russian 007 Guccifer 2.0, the hacker busy stealing and leaking emails from US Democratic Party servers amid the 2016 presidential elections, turned out, surprise, surprise, to be a Russian …

  1. DCFusor Silver badge

    You guys never give up

    Guccifer was an obvious put up job.

    Files were copied consecutively at 22 mB/second and pushed to Wikileaks. Despite being wiped, like with a cloth. I'm sure someone built a nice cable to the Russkies for that data rate. Sure. I also have this bridge for sale.

    Funny that while the heinous crime of releasing the DNCs secrets was so horrible, even they don't claim fabrication of any of that. The DNC really DID DO that awful stuff, which they confirm by their silence, and no, it's too late to change your mind now. Not even false outrage and accusations of fabrication?

    El Reg, FYI - SF is a hotbed of people with a political opinion that obviously does not reflect most of the US, and allowing editorializing based on that bias might not be wise in terms of retaining readership.

    The facts and the usual sexual double entendres will do by themselves, thanks.

    So, they caught the guy out. I'm supposed to sit here happy with the idea of you calling me and mine morons because some skiddy did some ignorant junk and we believed it - which was magically more powerful and influential than the zillions of bucks spent by the candidates? So, you're, calling them morons too? The cognitive dissonance is strong with this one.

    1. Carpet Deal 'em
      Thumb Up

      Re: You guys never give up

      > Funny that while the heinous crime of releasing the DNCs secrets was so horrible, even they don't claim fabrication of any of that.

      This is exactly my sentiment. What does it matter who hacked the DNC? The only thing that matters is the content of the leaked material; it wouldn't change a damn thing if it were some Columbian or Seth Rich.

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: You guys never give up

        I participated in political organization to a meaningful degree in college, got a graduate degree in political science, and have generally followed politics in the US for the following half century or so. After seeing a quick summary of the DNC secrets I thought of better ways to spend time than paying much attention to them. I do not think anything in them came as a surprise to a professional or semi-professional politician in the US, or probably anywhere else.

        There were consequences, in that the Bernicrats were outraged, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, of course, had to go, and those Republicans who had the time were mildly amused and some of them probably relieved that it hadn't yet happened to them. Aside from the Sanders supporters, it probably had little effect, but there is a small probability that enough of them bolted and voted for Jill Stein in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania to deny Clinton the presidency she didn't deserve. Instead we got Trump, who had all the qualifications of the average tavern hangabout who knows what it takes to turn the country around and make things right.

        As an occasional political scientist, I think of this as a confirmation that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others. And a confirmation that people, generally, act in ways well known to those who authored the Constitution, and of justification of deep suspicion of those who claim they know and represent the public interest, deny personal motives, and seek election in order to impose their perception of it on the rest of us.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You guys never give up

          "Instead we got Trump, who had all the qualifications of the average tavern hangabout who knows what it takes to turn the country around and make things right."

          Clinton was hopelessly corrupt as witnessed by her shenanigans at the Clinton Foundation. Trump may yet prove worse in that respect, but people voted for the lesser of two evils.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You guys never give up

          > "I do not think anything in them came as a surprise to a professional or semi-professional politician in the US, or probably anywhere else."

          So when we find out for sure that a political party is totally corrupted, we just ignore that knowledge because it only confirms what we suspected about politicians in general?

      2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: You guys never give up

        DNC-> "nothing to hide, nothing to fear"

        Hahahahahahahahahaaaa!

    2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: You guys never give up

      "22 milliBytes per second" is a fairly low data rate.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You guys never give up

        "22 milliBytes per second" is a fairly low data rate.

        Give the commentard a break already,

        He/she may have been employed at CenturyLink/ Qwest or other ISP at one time where not one employee knows the difference between a megabyte/megabit and instead toss around the term "Gig" when referring to their internet "speed" and nonexistent "Fiber Optic".

        http://www.ronstauffer.com/your-internet-speed-megabits-vs-megabytes/

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You guys never give up

      DCF observed that "Guccifer was an obvious put up job."

      10 PRINT "When something is 'obvious', then it is itself obviously another layer of misdirection."

      20 GOTO 10

      Yes, it's misdirection all the way down.

      Don't be so proud that you've figured out the first layer.

    4. Comments are attributed to your handle

      Re: You guys never give up

      "...at 22 mB/second and pushed to Wikileaks... I'm sure someone built a nice cable to the Russkies for that data rate."

      They most likely did not directly exfiltrate the data from the compromised system. It's common to move it within a compromised organization first. It seems in your quest to find anything wrong with the explanation you overlooked this obvious detail.

    5. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: You guys never give up

      Are you reading the same article as me? There is no name-calling and as far as I can see, no party politicking either.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sadly, for some reason or other, President Trump seems unwilling or unable to accept this.

    More interesting which major power did not meddle in that election. It looks like all chicken came home to roost and had a massive diarrhea .

    Russians - check

    British - check. Was intentional or someone had an oxford red brick stuck up a humanitarian graduate arse syndrome to let SCL/CA off the leash is irrelevant. What is done is done.

    Chinese - I bet.

    Who else?

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      Add the Israelis and likely a Saudi or several.

      The British also blessed us with Christopher Steele as a Democratic party hireling.

      The list, at this point, probably is woefully incomplete.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        The list, at this point, probably is woefully incomplete.

        Given the geopolitical and material power and importance of the US - which, while not as great as many here in the USA seem to think, is still considerable - I'd be surprised if an outside entity with the capability didn't try to influence a US election. The likes of Henry L. Stimson, showing some restraint in covert action against your ostensible allies, have always been rare.

        And, after all, if you have the interests of your own nation foremost, it's not a huge leap into realpolitik to engage in such "meddling".

        I might not like it (though to be honest I can't seem to summon up much outrage, however much I might believe Trump is a lazy, willfully ignorant, megalomaniacal bully with little self control), but I understand it. Similarly, while I really don't like the DNC (or the RNC, or any of that sort), like Tom I am not at all surprised by the revelations. It is impossible that a major political party under the US system would not have such an organization.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trump

    " Sadly, for some reason or other, President Trump seems unwilling or unable to accept this."

    The reason is simple: Fox and Friends didn't say it was the rooskies. As soon as they do (yea right), then Trump will be looking for his big red button.

    1. s2bu

      Re: Trump

      Cold War 2.0!

      Aka the US is upset that somebody else dare do to us what we constantly do everywhere else on a routine basis and even admit to doing it!

  4. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    New software for routers

    "Slingshot was a very advanced piece of malware that infected routers..."

    Is that why one of my Wi-Fi routers, which was previously as unstable as a South American economy, has been rather well behaved lately? Have the government hackers overwritten the dodgy OEM firmware with their own high quality malware?

    If so: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  5. elDog Silver badge

    "DDoS so cheap

    In other pwnage news, it appears that it has never been cheaper to launch a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. A report by security outfit Armor found marketplaces offering to DDoS a target for just $10 an hour, or $500 for the week.

    Other offers included $100 WordPress exploits, hacking tutorials for $50, or selling ATM skimmers for $1,500 a pop. It seems it has never been cheaper to become an online scumbag. ®"

    How much to DDoS the twitter account of the pResident of the USofA?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "...the twitter account of the pResident of the USofA?"

      It's already seemingly under the control of a raving lunatic.

      I'm not sure how that could have happened.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "...the twitter account of the pResident of the USofA?"

        ^- One down vote? -^

        LOL

        Come on civilized world, let's see who agrees...

  6. John Deeb

    Moscow Elite

    Let me get this straight, someone uses Elite VPN, "a virtual private networking service that had an exit point in France but was headquartered in Russia". And then determines that some IP is showing up from the capital of Russia where Elite also has its HQ and operates servers as well.

    What seems to be missing from this is some kind of falsification of that Moscow address not being another Elite exit. Plus it does not sound that convincing that one activates a Russian VPN to hide tracks leading to... Russia?

    A better theory might be to take into account that "Fancy Bear" used the same Moscow VPN node at times to connect to other proxies. As thousands of other parties might have done for their own reasons. In any case the leading theory does not sound convincing unless the "real" IP can be determined to not have been part of any Moscow VPN service at the time. They might have but simply do not present enough details.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Moscow Elite

      If Guccifer 2.0 had used the "VPN" that is bundled with Kaspersky (Hot Spot Shield) we would have a much easier time pinpointing his actual location.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Moscow Elite

      convincing unless the "real" IP can be determined to not have been part of any Moscow VPN service at the time.

      Which does not preclude jump boxes, proxies, Tor exit nodes and god knows what else.

      To put it bluntly, the only proof is when you have got the suspect while at the keyboard or when you have got him while taking a payment. Anything else is a conjecture.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Moscow Elite

        "...the only proof is when you have got the suspect while at the keyboard..."

        Not even then. Perhaps there was nation-state malware on their computer pretending to be them, while they were just harmlessly surfing The Register and occasionally typing in silly comments.

        ...Oh, there's somebody banging on the door. OMG, they've broken down the door, and they'r

    3. Kabukiwookie

      Re: Moscow Elite

      Plus it does not sound that convincing that one activates a Russian VPN to hide tracks leading to... Russia?

      I do all my hacking from my home broadband. The reason... plausible deniability.

      Hang on there's someone knocking on my door. brb.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Moscow Elite

        Huh. I do all my hacking from your home broadband too. What a coincidence.

  7. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Terminator

    Guccifer the Russian intelligence officer :]

    What would be more interesting is an article on the actual contents of the DNC and Clinton emails.

    "Guccifer 2.0, the hacker busy stealing and leaking emails from US Democratic Party servers amid the 2016 presidential elections, turned out, surprise, surprise, to be a Russian intelligence officer, according to a well-source report."

    Do you seriously expect anyone believes this kind of contrived baloney anymore. Do you seriously expect a Russian intelligence officer would connect to the internet using an IP address registered with the fricking street of the FSB.

    What really happened regarding the 'American election meddling' was the MSM assumed it was a slamdunk for Hillary (I will nuke Iran) getting to be President, Trump was the amusement, they gave him massive amounts of air time, good for ratings. Unfortunately in the process they inadvertently legitimised his candidacy, and in the process the American voter chose the wrong candidate.

    It took till now for the Washington to come up with this bogus 'Russians hacked the election' contrivance. The United States military industrial complex, desperately in search of a new enemy to legitimize their existence. How can the Russian Federation, a country with a GDP the size of Italy and a defense budget one tenth the size of NATO be a threat to anyone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Guccifer the Russian intelligence officer :]

      "Do you seriously expect a Russian intelligence officer would connect to the internet using an IP address registered with the fricking street of the FSB."

      Given the tendency of even the most competent human to make mustakes, I would have to say, "YES!"

      1. jdanny

        Re: Guccifer the Russian intelligence officer :]

        NEVER underestimate your enemy. "Given the tendency of even the most competent human to make mistakes" I am sure, they have implemented some measures to prevent this..

    2. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Guccifer the Russian intelligence officer :]

      I can't decide whether this merits an upvote or a downvote.

      Could an officer of a generally respected intelligence service make a mistake? Certainly; that is one of the ways spy networks are broken and taken down.

      The paragraph on Clinton's non-victory is not too far from the mark, although her somewhat indolent campaigning didn't help, nor her (and her husband's) well known history. It is far from clear that the media attention to Trump helped him much. The consistently anti-Trump bias of the reporting is unlikely to have swayed many voters toward him. More likely it firmed up the opinions of those already leaning one way or the other. Neither of the major candidates really had much to offer, and although I am not a Democrat, I suspect that if they had nominated Sanders and got behind him wholeheartedly, he would not be the President. As it happened, well over 90% of the voters chose the wrong candidate.

      As for the Russian threat, it is rather hard to forget that they have a large number of nuclear weapons, ample means to deliver them, and a rather obvious inclination to meddle in the affairs of other nations. The fact that those statements are true also of the US does not change that.

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: Guccifer the Russian intelligence officer :]

        Bad proof reading: I meant to write "I suspect that if [the Democrats] had nominated Sanders and got behind him wholeheartedly, he would now be the President."

        Although I could not stomach Clinton, I probably would have voted for Sanders as the Democratic nominee, partly on the basis that he is better qualified than she, as well as apparently quite honest (in the universe of elected officials) and has demonstrated the skills and demeanor needed to work productively with other elected and appointed officials. The Congress probably would have spurned most of his proposals, but he doesn't seem the type to take it personally.

      2. jdanny

        Re: Guccifer the Russian intelligence officer :]

        ..inclination to meddle in the affairs of other nations is called protecting national interests. The UK has been doing it for ages, this is probably who the Russians learned this trade from. What do you think happening now with Skripal's case? Someone has poisoned the poor bustard and achieved what was planned. EU / US are united again and russkies attempting to prove it were not them and about to lose the world championship. Nobody cares about the truth anymore. The mission has been successfully accomplished.

    3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Guccifer the Russian intelligence officer :] ... and Brains Before Brawn ...

      ...... for Win Winning and Never Losing Every Time in Any and All Spaces

      How can the Russian Federation, a country with a GDP the size of Italy and a defense budget one tenth the size of NATO be a threat to anyone. .... Walter Bishop

      Without a much greater intelligence machine supporting them it would not be possible, WB, ergo they have more than enough smarter virtual terrain team players providing worrisome competition and effective opposition to Sub-Prime, Bankrupt of Novel Future Thought In Greater IntelAIgent Game Theory Players .... the Morally Corrupt and Universally Ignorant State and Non-State Actors in Politically Ugly and Inept SOAPs, whenever you subscribe to the Notion and Potion that All the World is a Stage with Media Producing and Directing/Bringing to Life Chosen Scripts ..... with Penny Dreadful Awfuls polluting Vast Sees of Genuine Masterpieces with Myriad Stagnant Pools of Waste/Rotting Garbage well past its Best Before and Use by Dates.

      Or perhaps you exist in a Perpetual State of Arrogant Bliss where things just happen, appearing right out of Nowhere and with no one responsible for anything that transpires because they be just reacting to events way beyond the Ken of their SCADA Command and Control Structured Systems?

      Is that how things work in your world/life/existence?

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Guccifer the Russian intelligence officer :] ... and Brains Before Brawn ...

        Ugly and Inept SOAPs

        I can accept that the Simple Object Access Protocol is ugly and inept, but I don't think we can blame the Russians for it.

    4. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Guccifer the Russian intelligence officer :]

      How can the Russian Federation, a country with a GDP the size of Italy and a defense budget one tenth the size of NATO be a threat to anyone.

      1. By using it in a significantly smarter than we do. There is something in their Plan-B/Plan-A combination on everything instead of committing to one "super weapon". Examples: Liner/Bulava, ECM+avionics+weapons upgrade on all aircraft/Su-57, T90 upgrade/Armata. From older days - Slava class/Frunze (Peter The Great) class. THIS WORKS. They can always park, put on the afterburner, redesign, revisit and redo the next greatest. We cannot - we are committed to it and we have scrapped the current too early. This is quintessentially Russian by the way - they do it outside weapons - in normal engineering as well. As a result, they manage on a significantly lower budget despite doing what looks like more work.

      2. By having some serious issues where their military development goes. I do not know if there is a super-injunction or May has exercised the powers Thatcher introduced for the IRA (*). It was first published by their opposition press on Friday and by this point their press has dug out a mountain of dirt the size of mount Vesuvius. Including their ACTUAL violations of the chemical weapons conventions (not the ones our idiot humanitarian graduates with an Oxford red brick stuck up their arse are trying to stitch them with). And their are scary as hell. Orders of magnitude beyond compared to what we are trying to blame them for. With a document trail too. So no denying it. It is by now in the European press as well. If you know a language different from English - go trawl it, you will find it.

      (*)We do not have the porn control in yet. If it was in I suspect that all Russian opposition newspapers as well as half of the newspapers on the rest of the continent would have had a rating of "no you cannot view it at all" by now.

    5. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: Guccifer the Russian intelligence officer :]

      "...and in the process the American voter chose the wrong candidate."

      Hah. Like one catfood advertising mishap. Classic setup - a grey bowl with "ordinary" catfood and a decorated bowl with The Bestest Catfood Ever. In comes the cat. Takes a quick sniff and starts eating from the grey bowl. Angry yell from behind the camera: "Aarrgh! I'll kill that f... cat!"

    6. jdanny

      Re: Guccifer the Russian intelligence officer :]

      baloney it is, the same old trick with a 'highly placed", "reliable" ANONYMOUS source who has captured a stupid Russian hacker behind his keyboard at Lubyanka HQ in Moscow. Mentioned GRU btw with is RU Military Intelligence service, stealing military secrets - not Clinton's mail.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About the alleged Russian intelligence officer, I notice that no actual evidence is offered - it is an anonymous source to a media organisation which has a stake in the the question. The anonymous source comes from an agency not known for being forthcoming with the truth, which also has a great interest in pushing the narrative.

    This has been going on for more than 12 months with three separate high level enquires, and none of this has made it out yet. Methinks this is just adding to the noise.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't the sabre rattling getting louder?

    This slow but steady escalation is just to build up an excuse for both sides to use at last those cool nukes they have lying around. Just listen to them, "Real Men(TM) don't take no shit from scumbag foreigners", and Trump /Putin both play "Real Men(TM)" on TV.

    The idea is most likely that a little destruction will allow both sides to literally erase their growing internal social, political and economical problems: Nothing like living in a radioactive wasteland to enhance the feeling of community and the loyalty of the masses. The few who survive will have better things to do than to complain, for many long years.

    As for the governments themselves, they can always follow their assets to Switzerland/Monaco/Lichtenstein (to improve customer service of course). Just temporarily, hardly a century, the time the plebs clean up and rebuild some luxury hotels and gourmet restaurants. So, why hesitate?

  10. Louis Schreurs BEng

    HERE in the US

    I nearly barfed when I read that;

    THERE in the USA

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: HERE in the US

      You are not, I take it, familiar with the concept of the byline.

      Or the concept of the semicolon, apparently.

  11. Louis Schreurs BEng

    HERE in the US

    I nearly barfed when I read that;

    THERE in the US

  12. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Woah these exclusive revelations are coming fast.

    Said шпион forgot to turn on their VPN to disguise their public IP address and location, when visiting either Twitter or WordPress, we're told, thus revealing to American investigators their true identity – a member of GRU, Russia's military intelligence arm.

    Does anyone believe this?

    Oh wait, El Reg does.

    Russia - always both extremely hard-hitting evilly professional and both .. so sloppy. It's like I was really watching a Jason Bourne movie.

    Guccifer 2.0 claimed he was a Romanian, but showed a troubling lack of knowledge of his professed language. Now it turns out Uncle Sam's g-men know who is behind Guccifer 2.0 right down to the street of their Moscow government office, according to sources speaking to the Daily Beast.

    Hahaha. Retarded.

    This is going to make claims that the Russians weren't involved in American election meddling much more difficult to dodge. Sadly, for some reason or other, President Trump seems unwilling or unable to accept this.

    I have no doubt that Bolton will. RELEASE NUKES!! LET'S GET THIS OVER WITH BECAUSE I DON'T GIVE A FUCK ANYMORE.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Woah these exclusive revelations are coming fast..... Giving 00MPH to ITs AIDrive Machine

      Please be Reassured, Destroy All Monsters, and Realise Significantly Further Advanced IntelAIgent Others have Free Open Access to Global Controls and they would Lever their Assets to Create an Altogether Quite Different Earth with an AlieNation Program to Topple and Treat Madness from ITs Dearly Beloved Pedestals.

      What would like that to be ..... a Cake Walk in the Park for Portal Holes into the Darker and Heavier Sides of LOVE Hosting ........ or a Crap Turkey Shooting Match parading as Attractive War?

      Live Operational Virtual Environments ..... when Everything is Done for the Love IT gives, is Everything and Anything Possible in this Rich RAW Space, for Secret Field Beta Testing towards Pillars of Excellence for Revelation/Presentation to the Masses.

      AIBit of a NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive Explosion there, El Reg. If you Need Cover are All Souls Welcome here and everywhere else too for Secret Field Beta Testing towards Pillars of Excellence for Revelation/Presentation to the Masses.

      Which One Imagines is an AIRole for Media to Play and Help ReCreate Impossible Futures if they be AIReady Fit and Able Body for Works in Imaginative New Virtual Presentation ..... to See what the Future is Giving for ITs Creations of Brave New Worlds down on Earth.....

      If Earth was an Alien Planet, how would you Go about making IT Spaces and Early Terraformed Places Comely and Homely and Heavenly? Or would you busy yourself doing something completely different for whatever reason, and even, and madness may play a part here, for no reason at all ......when justified as a random spontaneous non-thinking act , which always lead to mighty levels of responsibility and reckoning/unavoidable accountability.

      * Don't discount a newly uncovered/recovered/discovered COSMIC Source with an Infinity AIDrive Machine for the Capturing and ReProgramming of Failed Exclusive Executive Office Systems of Operations.

      For some New Fangled and Entangling 00MPH Feed

      1. 404 Silver badge

        Re: Woah these exclusive revelations are coming fast..... Giving 00MPH to ITs AIDrive Machine

        Began reading first sentence... Full Stop. Look up. Oh, amanfrommars1.

        It's just not funny any more(if it ever was). Next.

  13. dan1980

    Kaspersky and US spyware

    Who cares if it was used to target IS and other terrorist groups?

    When you have the FBI allowing the police to use their Stingray tech to nab someone who stole some fried chicken and vast troves of NSA-collected data now available to pretty much any law enforcement for whatever reason, the government doesn't have the moral high ground here. (Did it ever?)

    You just can't claim that some mechanism should be protected because it is used to fight terrorism and then use it to fight fast-food theft and expect that people will in anyway respect that.

    If these types of tools are SO important to catching the worst of the worst then treat them that way - as exceptional measures for exceptional circumstances. As soon as you start using them outside these edge cases, you show us all that they aren't that important to you. If they were, you'd ensure they are kept aside for the most dire cases.

    Even if this particular tech nasty hadn't been used to catch litterers yet, the track record is so poor that there's simply no point believe anything they say. They have been lying to the public for years - not at a pinch, not in extreme cases; as a matter of ongoing policy.

  14. Mahhn

    Wrong man

    So hilldogy killed the wrong man. I hope she at least apologizes to Seth and his family. As if she has ever apologized in her life.

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