Russia FSB (old KGB) contractor hacked, 7.5TB data exposed

There is nothing newsworthy in the projects exposed here, everything was known or expected. The fact of the breach itself, its scale and apparent ease is of more note. Contractors remain the weak link in the chain for intelligence agencies worldwide—to emphasize the point, just last week, a former NSA contractor was jailed in the U.S. for stealing secrets over two decades. And the fallout from Edward Snowden continues to this day.

also see source article (in Russian) referenced in the above, from BBC:

There’s a big difference between contractors working for the NSA and the FSB. The FSB uses hackers (and so does the GRU – in theory, military intelligence, but they also do regular spying work, and active destabilization).

They get in touch with cyber-criminals, and they make them an offer they can’t refuse : either you work for us and we’ll turn our backs while you’re doing your day job, or you might end up in a nice post-Gulag place where guards routinely torture and rape prisoners.

So the guys foisting ransomware on hospitals, or hacking your bank account, are also the ones destroying a steel furnace through the Internet in your country, working for the Russian secret political police and spying agencies. That’s a unique combination.

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I hate articles like this when they don’t include a link to the data.

It’s like some form of gatekeeping.

“We have seen it, and it’s out there, but you will just have to listen to us talk about it first, and we won’t give you the link”

Well, that’s called journalism. Most of the important news you get are from an entity called a newspaper, or a magazine, or a TV station. Many of those have now websites, but the basics of news gathering have not changed.

Those organisations employ people who are called journalists. This is a particular trade. Journalists ask questions from important people such as heads of state, company bosses or policemen. Those people give them original information, because they trust them to report about it in a truthful manner.

You don’t get to speak to heads of state or policemen, because you’re a nobody. So you, in your turn, need to trust journalists. You do that the way that important people do : by checking their track record. If they have been truthful in the past, you can trust them.

There’s no “link to the data” because “links to the data” are an exception, not a rule. You don’t have any sort of human right to see “the data”. Especially since it’s stolen data.

Don’t assume the whole world works like the computing sector and the Internet, because it does not. There are still a few normal people left out there, and they lead their lives like everybody did for centuries.

@Zlivovitch I don’t post much on this forum, but your comment at other people here is really uncalled for. I personally find your comment to come off as toxic.

I’d like to kindly ask you to not be so quick to judge people.

Here are all the things I respectfully disagree with:

Well, that’s called journalism. Most of the important news you get are from an entity called a newspaper, or a magazine, or a TV station. Many of those have now websites, but the basics of news gathering have not changed.

That does not mean it always has to stay this way. And it hasn’t, the internet changed everything.

It’s a typical tradition fallacy, please read this: https://www.softschools.com/examples/fallacies/appeal_to_tradition_examples/487/

You don’t get to speak to heads of state or policemen, because you’re a nobody.

First of all, please keep it civil in here.

Second, I see literally not a single person in this thread asking to talk to heads of state or policemen.

Additionally, most of the nicer cops I know are mostly open to have a conversation or answer a quick question.

You are calling people a “nobody” and divide people between “the nobody” and the ahem “elite” “journalists” and “bosses” and “policemen” and “heads of state”

Do you realize that literally all of these people are literally just that: people. It are the same people.

You might enjoy authority figures, and that’s you’re right to feel that way.

However, there is no such thing as a nobody, because “the nobody” holds the exact same jobs as you consider the elite.

So why put people in this thread down and call them nobody?

How do you know you might not be speaking to a journalist?
After all, those are better than a nobody right?

Would you take the person you’re responding to more serious if he or she was a journalist?

Do you understand that journalists get information from people? People that mostly aren’t journalists?
Experts? Scientists?

Are these nobodies not allowed to have an opinion?
Are these nobodies not allowed to ask for a better source of information?
Are these nobodies not allowed to ask for the data?

Not to mention, the current (lack of) ethics in journalism are a complete joke. Journalism is hilarious these days.

There’s no “link to the data”

Also wrong. Enjoy my friend, the freedom of information has arrived:

mega.nz/#F!qItHGQAT!i57Q2YKUraP1KCNoed3vfA

mega.nz/#F!GR8AVYqS!xNWBHEA7b2ciTNN3Qtk_wQ1

archive.is/tYq1f

Enjoy the links… of the actual content. Not some journalistic fluff piece.

You don’t have any sort of human right to see “the data”

It’s not about human rights. Someone asked for the data, I provided it. So now what? Are you going to call the internet police?

Don’t assume the whole world works like the computing sector and the Internet, because it does not.

Again you’re stuck in tradition. The internet has changed our lives in many ways. There’s no such thing as a world without it, because it is everywhere. So yes, it does work like that these days.

There are still a few normal people left out there

I don’t know what you’re problem. Why imply that the person you’re responding to is not normal?
No offense but it sounds like you are acting arrogant.
What if you just replied to the head of the CIA?
Would that make it better? More normal?

and they lead their lives like everybody did for centuries.

Again with the tradition, please learn about traditional fallacies.

You’re perfectly welcome to disagree with me. In fact, I love it when people disagree with me, and take pains to explain why.

However, I reject your calling my comments “toxic”. That’s a slanderous concept I don’t acknowledge. There are no “toxic” comments. There are true comments, and wrong comments.

I also reject your request to me for being civil. I’m perfectly civil. My calling “you” a nobody is perfectly civil. That’s a rhetorical “you”. It does not mean you personally. It means : just about anybody, except journalists and heads of state.

This means I’m a nobody too. I’m just describing facts. If I try to reach the president of Microsoft on the phone, I will get nowhere, because obviously I’m a nobody to him.

If a journalist (with the right connections and background) does it, he will succeed, because he is what he is.

I don’t feel a lesser man for that. I’m sorry if you thought I wanted to belittle you. I did not.

was going to try d/l (thanks for the links!)
but then I remembered 7.5TB
com

I can’t speak for NSA contractors specifically, but in general if you’re not American, I don’t think there is much difference between US or Russian agencies. I am certain that NSA (and other US agencies) routinely get involved in various criminal activities. I also doubt they would have any issues with murdering or torturing non-Americans.

And at the end of the day, Snowden did have to flee to Russia because he was afraid of what the US government would do to him.

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There’s a huge difference between US and American agencies. There’s no US agency which has done the following to peaceful European countries by cyber-war means:

  • Destroyed a state TV station.
  • Destroyed the stock exchange.
  • Destroyed a steel furnace.
  • Destroyed the power grid, cutting off electricity for citizens in the middle of the winter (repeatedly).

There’s no US agency which has done the following to peaceful European countries by cyber-disinformation means (notably, fake social network accounts and bots):

  • Spread fake news to sow discord between citizens, and between citizens and their government.
  • Spread fake news to meddle in elections, so as to skew the result to the benefit of its government.

I am certain that NSA (and other US agencies) routinely get involved in various criminal activities.

It depends on what you call criminal. Spying is illegal in all countries, so of course 100 % of spying activities of 100 % of countries are “criminal” in that sense (including Switzerland and Luxemburg – I don’t know if the latter has a spying agency ; the former certainly has).

But it would be disingenuous in that sense. Surely, you’re not saying that we should not spy against our enemies ?

I also doubt they would have any issues with murdering or torturing non-Americans.

One needs not entertain doubts on the subject. What they do is well-known. Of course the CIA does murder people, and fortunately so. That’s called war. War is good. War is needed. Surely, you don’t object to the CIA “murdering” Oussama Ben Laden ?

The point is not whether they kill (right word) people or not. The point is who they kill and how.

As for torture, everything is known, too. The CIA uses (very rarely) what’s officially called “enhanced interrogation” techniques. It’s a soft form of torture. It’s all legal and documented. You can be for or against it. It has been debated to death in American media.

The CIA has also done, in the past, what is called “rendition”. It involves transferring Muslim terrorists to Muslim countries so they can be tortured there by Muslim governments.

That’s a good thing, too. You can’t fight Muslim terrorists unless you use their own methods. Let them sort it out between themselves.

The NSA has done nothing of the sort. The NSA is the electronic American spying agency. It does not do James Bond stuff. Most of the actionable intelligence obtained by the United States, and certainly the most useful, is produced by the NSA. The NSA is what prevents an untold number of Muslim atrocities all over the world – not only in the United States.

And at the end of the day, Snowden did have to flee to Russia because he was afraid of what the US government would do to him.

Of course. Snowden is a traitor. He was a double agent. He spied for Russia. So he defected to Russia (correct word). He did something highly illegal in his own country.

So no, it’s not “the US government doing something to him”. It’s him being legally and legitimately punished by the courts of his democratic and free country – key word here. If he ever sets foot on US soil again.

Which he won’t do, not if he can avoid it. He will die in Russia, forgotten and destitute, like all Western defectors before him.

@Zlivovitch

In no way do I support the Russian government and/or their foreign policy actions. I am well aware of their actions in Eastern Europe (more than most Americans or EU citizens). As far I am concerned they are a group of liars and criminals. Russia is literally run by a bunch of mafia types. I would even go as far as saying the Russian public acts as an enabling force for the criminal actions of their government.

I also agree that all in all, USA is a greater force for “good” than say Russia or China. However, that doesn’t mean I am going to blindly buy into polemics about American moral exceptionalism.

I recognize that any intel agency has certain priorities and real politik is a thing. But there is no to need to constantly position American actions as being uniquely moral. This is just a practical thing; if you’re not a US citizen, you have to be cognizant of the failings of the American political and economic model. Sometimes they get things right and do the right thing and sometimes they don’t. And when they don’t get it right, you often have disastrous consequences (e.g. civilian deaths during the invasion of Iraq which was justified by non-existent WMDs).