Cyber Warfare Rising

With markets set to open about flat this morning, we can help but notice the huge increase in level-of-play between the U.S. and Russia over cyber security.

As you may have read, president Obama has imposed sanctions on Russia for the alleged hacking efforts this past fall. The report, GRIZZLY STEP (here) outlines why the US believes it was Russia state-actors who were involved in the attempts.

The report blames Russian Intelligence Services (RIS) and claims:

“This activity by RIS is part of an ongoing campaign of cyber-enabled operations directed at the U.S. government and its citizens. These cyber operations have included spearphishing campaigns targeting government organizations, critical infrastructure entities, think tanks, universities, political organizations, and corporations leading to the theft of information. In foreign countries, RIS actors conducted damaging and/or disruptive cyber-attacks, including attacks on critical infrastructure networks. In some cases, RIS actors masqueraded as third parties, hiding behind false online personas designed to cause the victim to misattribute the source of the attack. This (joint analysis report -g) JAR provides technical indicators related to many of these operations, recommended mitigations, suggested actions to take in response to the indicators provided, and information on how to report such incidents to the U.S. Government.”

Central to the Obama administration decision to sanction Russia is the belief that the hacking efforts were indeed state sponsored.

However, anyone with a fair working knowledge of economic conditions inside Russia might be a little slower to conclude the hack efforts were “official.”

Having worked with numerous Russia (and Eastern European – Ukrainian) programmers, I can tell you they are extraordinarily bright – and terribly underpaid. Thanks to global criminal elements, there is a strong market for hacked information. With white-hat jobs are scarce, private enterprising can easily be tipped past gray.

Russia figures it will play the “Who US?” game a while longer, too. This will leverage public lack of depth on highly technical hacking attempts.

To play their role, the NY Times is reporting that Russia is set to expel 35 U.S. diplomats as a “payback.”

On the analytic side, while it’s true that there are some Russian digital fingerprints involved, that may not be conclusive.

Other state actors we’re aware of (N. Korea, China, el al) have major-league hacking resources and might simply be framing the Russians.

Piecing the Antarctic Puzzle

Further to our report of Thursday, where we related that Russian president Vlad Putin is making plans to visit the Antarctic this year, we could another interesting piece of the putting today in the Jakarta Post.

This news service reports “An Indonesian researcher from Gadjah Mada University (UGM) in Yogyakarta is currently taking part in an expedition in the Antarctic.”

While some have speculated that a vast new source of energy might be found in the Antarctic, we are much more reserved in our outlook. More likely, from our read of things, is that evidence of a past high civilization may have been found.

The what makes the presence of Nugroho Imam Setiawan is that he’s in the rock-dating business using “a multimethod geochronological approach.”

Thus while we give credence to a possible mystery under the ice, we continue to wonder if the game-ball this year may be accurately dating and understanding how a previous Earth cataclysm may have occurred.

If actual remnants, objects, or structures have been found, it would certainly explain the rush of heads-of-state to the region. Not to mention the importance of how the geological clock ran at the time.

As always, time will tell.

Quiet Year End

Other than a dream about a deck or bridge collapsing this weekend, doesn’t seem to be much going on as the year wraps up. A couple of minor interest rate settlements today, but mostly it promises to be a half-day most places.

One question we find ourselves asking during 2-1/2 day workweeks like this: Why can’t we live this way all the time?

People might live longer (half the stress) and the number of jobs could be increased.

As the year ends, the average work-week is still too damn long. Government should be offering people “thinking grants.”

The idea’s pretty simple: Offer those interesting in pursuing some nut-job theories federal underwriting.

Sure, most of the time the money will go down a rat-hole, but remember the Russians have plans to engineer teleportation by 2035.

We all love America – Trump gets that, too.

Problem is?

We have only a general basket of ”Make America Great Again” but the Russians have done us one better this year.

Management schools teach MBA types (like Ures truly) that GOALS must be “specific, measurable, achievable, and durable.”

I don’t know how to measure “Great” but I can sure as hell measure teleportation.

Coupled with the Russian science of Invention approach embodied in TRIZ (teoriya resheniya izobretatelskikh zadach, literally: “theory of the resolution of invention-related tasks) America’s mush-mindedness still clouds our ability to put point on the scoreboard.

Maybe el presidente will reveal “20 measures of Greatness” as part of his Inaugural speech.

And yeah, Elaine and I have both read his “Art of the Deal.

But if there’s a single book everyone in the new administration needs to read, it’s “And Suddenly the Inventor Appeared: TRIZ, the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving .”

Success comes again in 2017 to those who clearly understand you can have ANYTHING you want, but you can’t have EVERYTHING you want.

Around the Ranch

Lots on the agenda today: Some analysis of our trading model versus buy-and-hold investing for Peoplenomics readers tomorrow.

Plus that “fine-tuning home audio” discussion.

For reading:  Finish the latest Clive Cussler novel and read The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration.

Free and a good read is my buddy6 Gaye’s article over at “Do You Think Prepping Has Died?”

Markets go up people get complacent.  So have a plan and work it…

Yep, just another workday…

See you next year…

26 thoughts on “Cyber Warfare Rising”

  1. I used to tell my daughters you can do anything you want well they found out they can do anything they want just like you said but they can’t do everything that they want so after they got through the frustration of not being able to do everything they want they settle down for the one thing that they wanted to do first ,one thing at a time

  2. “The idea’s pretty simple: Offer those interesting in pursuing some nut-job theories federal underwriting.”

    What about ‘basic income’ for everyone?

    P.s. Unavoidable in the long run, IMO!!
    NO, I will not benefit by doing it ;-(.

    • An interesting statistic. In 2015, the bonuses paid to USA banking and finance people was $28.4 billion. The total wages paid to minimum wage workers was $ 24 billion.

      At least 3/4 of those receiving bonuses had a six figure base salary.

      Now ask yourself, where did the money for those bonuses come from? Those people did nothing other than type on keyboards, talk on the phone, and move paper.

      And all the revenue generated by these financial people was used in calculating the USA GDP. Eliminate this and the USA GDP is at least 10% smaller than China’s.

  3. Read your two posts today, G. Loved the Dragnet. I have a link regarding this past year. Seems I am not the only person who viewed 2016 as the worst yet. It was turned into a horror movie. Campy, but well made. :)

    Here’s to hoping 2017 will be better. HNY to you and yours.

    • You have seen nothing yet. Just walk into a store and imagine life when the price of every imported good has doubled, but your income has not.

      And BTW, the USA is a net importer of food. But don’t worry, about a third of the food in the USA goes into the dumpster.

  4. When I was 21, I figured I OWNED the world! Ten years later I finally figured it out, the world OWNED me!

    Happy New Year George, and to all of your readers.

    • Actually, you are just loaned to this mundane sphere for your lifetime, after that, it is your choice whether to continue your service by returning in spirit or in body. But you have plenty of time to consider your choice. Happy New and Renewing life, anonymous!

  5. Speaking of Trump and the Russians….. President Trump in my humble opinion is about to launch a worldwide oil and gas diplomacy strategy to get some improved control of Russia and the Middle East area. Under the new energy policy America will become fully energy independent via fracking and new (previously banned) drilling, and subsequently sell American product to western Europe as well.

    Russia needs to ship $80 per brl oil to make its economy work. Trump from the onset will control the price of oil so it stays below $50. This will thus become a sort of vailed sanction to both Russia and the Middle East that will give America tremendous diplomatic bargaining power. And guess what…. Rex Tillison the new Secretary of State is the best person on the planet to make this all work without firing a shot!

    • No what Trump needs to understand is that its not like the end of WW2 when we were the junk yard dog of the world, for now there are at least three, and if he fails to work with those then we will be left in the dust..

  6. Speaking of Trump….. President Trump in my humble opinion is about to launch a worldwide oil and gas diplomacy strategy. Under the new energy policy America will become fully energy independent via fracking and new drilling, and will subsequently sell American product to western Europe as well. Russia needs $80 per brl oil to make its economy work. Trump from the onset will control the price of oil so it stays below the $40-50 range. This will thus become a sort of vailed sanction to both Russia and the Middle East that will give America tremendous diplomatic bargaining power in those areas.

    And guess what….Rex Tillerson is the best person on the planet to impliment this policy without having to fire a shot. I’m thinking Art of the Deal.

    • Sorry, but Russia is doing well with $50 oil. Their production costs are second lowest in the world at less than $25 per barrel.

      Russia’s difficulties are from the illegal sanctions imposed on them. But these sanctions are doing twice the damage to European economies as to the Russian economy. Sanctions which USA businesses regularly ignore. Just another benefit of being an “ally” of the USA empire.

  7. Russian story:Fake News(still trying to suss out why)
    Why we are in Syria: Fake News(hint – it’s about who gets to control the gas pipeline that runs near… surprise! Aleppo)

    • Iraq – fake weapons of mass destruction and yellow cake uranium and bush and rice going from sea to shining sea screaming about mushroom clouds. Murdered the sovereign leader. (Got all the oil wells, destroyed the infrastructure of the country and got to practice using those uranium tipped bombs. Opened up their country to all the globalists corporations and set up their little WTO/IMF Global banking cartel.) Generational destruction through DNA.

      Afghanistan – just an easy in to get to Iraq. (Got all the oil wells AND special rare earth minerals and tons of other wonderful minerals, elements, etc.; destroyed the infrastructure of the country and got to practice using those uranium tipped bombs. Opened up their country to all the globalists corporations and set up their little WTO/IMF Global banking cartel.)

      Libya: Repeat/ditto. Murdered their sovereign leader. Destroyed all the infrastructure. Generational destruction through DNA.


      We’ve had upheavals in Somalia, YEMEN (Look who is killing who over there and for what?), Pakistan upheavals.

      Ukraine – color revolution funded by George Soros and NATO (which means the USA!)

      Egypt, etc….it goes on and on and on and on! Street fights, armed depots, up and down the middle east, fighting somewhere every night!!!! Yeah Journey!

  8. George,
    I believe you have a friend in India? I am wondering if he has commented on the cash ban and what he is seeing on the ground over there.

  9. Cyber Warfare Rising
    Means we dont need any aircraft carriers deployed for the first time since WW11

  10. When discussing the DHS report on the so-called Russian hacking, it’s important to read the fine print, in this case the disclaimer at the beginning of the report. ” The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within”, which can be read as “We don’t even believe this crap. You shouldn’t either.”

  11. My 2016 Horror Year started Nov. 2015 and ended Nov 2016. Frankly, I am in the process of taking the trash out myself.

    • Ditto. Let me see here. Divorce second wife, custody battle with ex #1 and #2, im a good father and boyfriend not a good husband, ohhh I died in the hospital for 5 min with pneumonia (was in icu for 6 days) , got a hernia at work.. all behind me now. 2016 was one hell of a year.

      “Success comes again in 2017 to those who clearly understand you can have ANYTHING you want, but you can’t have EVERYTHING you want.” That is always the case. God always answers in 3 ways. Yes, No and you will just have to wait.

  12. Happy new year george.
    Among the people I talk with prepping is alive and well.
    The feds are still printing like theres no tomorrow, people are as afraid of the outcome.
    I personally feel a little releaved that trump is in office my hopes are that his razzor sharp negotiation skills will prevail. He still has a congress that I think is controlled by the puppet masters that is even now trying to undermine his administration before hes even taken office.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t even declare a war before he took office.
    My real fears are once he’s in office.the question I fear is What will the puppet masters do next if they dont successfully undermine his administration.

    • Prepping may be alive and well, but there are laws on the books and executive orders in place that if an emergency is declared all prepping supplies will be confiscated and distributed as the government sees fit.

      If you don’t have the courage to stop paying income tax, you don’t have the stones to resist the government demanding you turn in your prepping supplies.

      • Confiscation laws are a very bad joke and contain only hollow threats. Logistically, the federal government doesn’t even have the manpower to secure all the road/waterways and urban/rural areas, let alone go door-to-door siezing food/weapons. A full-scale national Martial Law would be FAR MORE difficult to implement -and maintain- than most fearful citizens realize and the success of such a desperate operation would depend ENTIRELY upon VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE. This is precisely why -in times of vilolent dissent- Martial Law is only enacted in small, confined areas and then rescinded as quckly as possible; the long-term risks are far to great to minimize and control.

        Then there’s that still-pesky spectre of a latent Posse Comitatus sentiment that would morally prevent our American military from ever following such an obscene order. And, while pessimists state confidently that NATO would fill in the jack-booted forces, they would be met with even greater resistance than our own men in uniform and it would truly be the end of this nation. Even in the best of economic times very few nations have successfully defended themselves upon a divided front and none will risk total collapse by fighting an external enemy as well as insurrection within its own borders.

        But, here’s why the concept of a national Martial Law can never succeed: there is no longer such a thing as all-for-one-one-for-all and the average Joe will be out solely for himself & his immediate family and the rest of the world be damned. The miasma of greed will conquer quaint Christian charity in a heartbeat simply because those hearts have become stonecold by the moral decline of the entire globe. And, I’m no better than the rest. A Christian? Of course I am. A realist? Even more so.

        One final note, my good ExPat: is it more noble for a man to stand and fight for what he believes to be right and just… or to bail and preserve his own personal status quo? You already know what my answer would be – and I thnk I know your own, as well.

      • To humbly disagree. I think that it will be very easy to declare and enforce martial law. For example, Austin, easy in and easy out as far as blocking the roads and all the traffic in/out. Many of our major cities are exactly the same way and that is where 75% of the population centers are. When I travel up and down I35 I see all the concrete barriers lining the road, in a real emergency, you cannot even turn around and head in another direction. When you realize that the police and national guard went door-to-door in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and confiscated weapons from law-abiding citizens, you know that a large scale operation will work out just fine and the military and police force will follow orders just fine. Have you traveled East out of California on Interstate 10 lately? It is a pretty crummy road, and ALL cars, trucks, everyone has to go through a road block check and the mexican national asks you if you are an American citizen. You think it won’t be hard to stop all of California from leaving California, think again. Obama’s kerry signed the Small Arms Treaty with the UN. There is a law right now, in our congress, waiting to be enacted here, a gun law to put more restrictions on gun ownership, look it up. Do I think paul “lyin” ryan is going to all of a sudden play nice with Trump, no he is not. He played nice with obama too many times for him to turncoat on his globalist handlers and care about America. Have you read up on Agenda 21, and Agenda 2030? If you have, you will notice that America is right in lock step with it. It isn’t greed or fear of dying or not caring about each other in America. American CITIZENS are bombarded daily, through EVERY SINGLE AVENUE OF INFORMATION CHANNELS and have been for decades, with propaganda and lies, which has caused confusion, dismay, despair and apathy. EVEN if they want to find the truth, they have to take the time to dig through so much trash in order to find it, most people tire of dumpster diving. Didn’t you hear that in the obama NDAA that he just signed into law allows the government to go after ‘fake news and now the attacks are beginning on the alternative news outlets. It is the alternative news outlets that finally WOKE up Americans. MANY are still asleep, but the media, during the presidential campaign, did tap them pretty strongly in the center of their forehead where the pineal gland is located and knocked off some of that toxic fluoride that is stored there, allowing them to have a bit better clearer vision.

        Let’s not forget those mass controlling weapons that they have where they can target thousands of disrupters with news weapons and heat weapons not to mention high powered water canons. We don’t even know the HALF of what our government has created to control the masses. We do know they can turn off all cell phones, internet traffic and electricity at a moment’s notice.

        My one last comment is on the supposed Russian hacking. Don’t believe it. They are not the ‘state sponsored’ agent that I would look to.

        And finally, Yahoo, got hacked TWICE, the first time, they didn’t reveal it for over a year, then the second time a few months ago, they revealed it faster. Do you realize that over a BILLION account holder’s information was hacked? They first told us it was 500 million, what is the population of America, and how many of that population has yahoo accounts? HAVE YOU HEARD ANYONE BLAME THAT HACKING ON RUSSIA YET? NO, NOT A PEEP! BUT IT WAS A STATE SPONSORED HACK!!!

        There goes everyone’s contacts, personal security questions, all pictures, contracts, attachments, every family member you’ve ever emailed, any and all of everything, all of your personal and private business for the last X years, my accounts go back to 1997. IF that isn’t DATA MINING I don’t know what is!

        Do, I think that Russia hacked our elections? NO. But I know who did. The DNC is on record for rigging the primaries for Hillary. Obama sued the states that tried to do minimal for cleaning up our elections, like having to show an ID before voting. So, yeah, I am not worried about Russia. I am worried about our country, our government, and the globalist’s and their corporations trying to ‘transform America’ into a vision of decay. I am worried about the European Union’s sanctions against Russia, and now our sanctions. I see the belt tightening to try to take Russia down and out. THEY always start with Sanctions and end up with war. EVEN a dirty underhanded war like in Syria.

  13. Hold the presses! Got info about carriers from source whom had urban legend-yrs. ago mixed in. didnt help but former Navy intel.(J.E. Dyer) whom writes for Liberty Unyielding et-al stated it was “rare to have 5 docked in Va. but did happen”. Have request into Factcheck now to see how rare for none to be deployed. Thanks

  14. George:

    What really frosts me about this whole Russian flap is that we -the U.S.- have been doing exactly the same thing [or trying to!] since the first PC hit a CIA desk. Like you, I’m old enough to remember Gary Powers who was hailed a hero for flying into restricted airspace, taking spy shots and getting shot down/captured, but somehow that too ended up the Soviet’s fault for having restricted airspace in the first place. And as far as rigging elections is concerned, along with supreme hypocrisy, we also hold the shabby honor of doing just that whenever we can get away with it… and we usually do by installing puppet governments wherever there is a petroprofit to be had. Even this harkens back to the days of WWII when our soldiers were actually ordered to hand out Hershey bars and silk stockings like some crusading Santa Claus to make us beloved to the newly-liberated masses… only today instead of candy, it’s cellphones, Reeboks, Levi’s and Pokemon cards to eager, war-weary natives; those in charge may even get a laptop or big-screen TV, by golly! But the result is still precisely the SAME: we buy the votes in those so-called “free and Democratic elections” to install our own marionettes, hand-picked by the State department and Oval office. The whole thing reeks of the old MAD magazine’s “Spy vs. Spy” cartoon with it’s tit-for-tat mentality! Just once it would be nice for everyone to admit publicly that we ALL have dirty hands and promise to do right by one another in the future. The Russians may give it a whirl… but don’t ever expect D.C. to do likewise!

  15. “Coupled with the Russian science of Invention approach embodied in TRIZ (teoriya resheniya izobretatelskikh zadach, literally: “theory of the resolution of invention-related tasks) America’s mush-mindedness still clouds our ability to put point on the scoreboard.”

    The Russians invented a medical device called a SCENAR. It is very much Star Trek technology in how it helps heal many problems with the human body.

    Try to do that here and the FDA will be all over your Butt!! Remember what they did to Dr. Royal Rife!

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