Streetwise Professor

April 14, 2011

Revealing Priorities

Filed under: Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 3:48 pm

The FSB is seriously concerned about the threat that Skype and Gmail pose to the Glorious Motherland:

Alexander Andreechkin, a Federal Security Service official, said at an April 8 government meeting that “uncontrolled use” of services such as Google Inc.’s Gmail and Microsoft Inc.’s Hotmail, which use foreign-made encryption technology, may lead to a “large-scale security threat in Russia,” RIA Novosti reported.

Although the Kremlin quickly shot down Andreechkin’s proposal (even though a Putin spokesman said it was “well-reasoned”), this does provide a fascinating insight into the FSB’s mindset.  One can understand their serious concern that Russian citizens might actually communicate among themselves and the outside world without spooks listening in!  I mean, it’s not like the FSB needs to worry about hacker rings in Russia running vast botnets to engage in a world-wide cybercrime wave.

Uhm, except that there are:

The U.S. Justice Department said it disabled a “massive fraud scheme” that infected more than 2 million computers worldwide with malicious software.

. . . .

“The scale of the botnet is huge,” said Don Jackson, the director of intelligence at Dell Secureworks, a cyber security firm that said it first discovered Coreflood. “The scale of the operation itself, in terms of the core team, is very small and very close-knit.”

People in Russia

The company, based in Atlanta, concluded that the botnet is controlled by as few as three people in Russia, Jackson said. The hackers specifically targeted corporations, downloading private e-mails and confidential financial data, he said.

Botnets, hacks against social networking sites heavily used by Russians (including many critical of the state), cyberwars against sovereign nations.  All routine in Russia.  Indeed, one of the few things in which Russia and China are peer competitors vying for world leadership is hacking and computer crime.

But the FSB is worried about Skype.

Go figure.

Could it be that the security services (and other parts of the state) are involved in the hacking?  Or benefit from it or exploit it for financial or political reasons?  Or just don’t give a damn as long as it is directed at foreigners and suspect elements in the country?

Regardless of the explanation (or explanations), the obsession with Skype (this isn’t the first time that the service has been criticized as a security threat) and the complete indifference to–or complicity in–colossal cybercrime waves tells you a lot about the priorities of Russian security services–and the political figures whom they spawned.  Political figures that repeatedly praise these services as the embodiment of Russian patriotic values.

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  1. Skype is eating into the profits. That is all.

    Comment by So? — April 14, 2011 @ 4:17 pm


    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — April 14, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

  3. Obviously, the FBI is just as seriously concerned about the threat that Skype poses to the Glorious Homeland.

    PS. And when will the DoJ launch investigations against the anti-Wikileaks hackers?

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — April 14, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

  4. Sublime Oblivion is truly a pathologically sick and evil person, a perfect example of the only sort of vermin Russia can call “friend” (other examples are the crazed rulers of Venezuela, Iran and North Korea).

    Russia has just launched massive DDOS attacks on the three most prominent sources of criticism of the Putin regime (Live Journal bloggers, Navalny and Novaya Gazeta) and now it is seeking to ban all significant forms of Internet communication, and all this raving lunatic can do is justify these actions.

    If the United States decides to be Jim Jones II and drink toxic Kool Aid, does that mean it’s just fine if Russia does the same?

    Does the United States have a history of decades of totalitarian darkness and mass murder?

    Does Russia have the same sort of furious public debate and criticism of executive policy that America does?

    Sublime IDIOT doesn’t care to answer any of these questions. Instead, all he cares to do is repeat the idiotic propaganda spewed out to moronic sheep like those at NASHI by the Kremlin in defense of its obscene corruption (just LOOK at Putin’s palaces!) so as to help Russia continue destroying itself.

    With “friends” like Sublime PSYCHOPATH, Russia needs no enemies.

    Comment by La Russophobe — April 15, 2011 @ 12:52 am

  5. LJ has a hefty infrastructure. It cannot be DDOS’ed just like that. More like they screwed up themselves.

    Comment by So? — April 15, 2011 @ 1:20 am

  6. @LR:

    Why such cheap and infantile ad hominem insults? Grow up, child.

    Comment by Ostap Bender — April 15, 2011 @ 1:51 am


    You just made a cheap and infantile ad hominem attack, you hypocritical fanatic.

    The comment was full of substantive content along with the personal attacks, yet you TOTALLY ignore that and your own comment has ZERO substantive content of any kind.

    You are a typical Russian idiot and hypocrite, existing in your own weird world and being laughed at by the rest.

    Comment by La Russophobe — April 15, 2011 @ 5:28 am

  8. SO:

    You’re a braying jackass. TWITTER and FACEBOOK have been similarly victimized, as has WORDPRESS. You simply have NO IDEA what you are talking about, and you IGNORE the attacks on NAVALNY and NOVAYA GAZETTA. You ignore the fact that ANTON NOSIK, dean of the Russian Internet, has blamed the Kremlin. Your frenzied, pathological attempt to divert attention from the Kremlin’s misconduct is neo-Soviet in character and fails just as miserably.

    Comment by La Russophobe — April 15, 2011 @ 5:31 am

  9. So-I always appreciate your comments and responses.

    Comment by pahoben — April 15, 2011 @ 7:12 am

  10. Would it be possible for So, LR, and O to meet in real life and go have a few drinks? If President Reagan and Speaker O’Neill could pal around why don’t you all give it a shot? Of course, it might result in a brawl. But, what the hell?

    Comment by David Hoopes — April 15, 2011 @ 10:41 am

  11. I know nothing about these other sites. But LJ has recently switched to a new caching system and have had issues prior to the “DDOS attack” as well. Huge sites cannot be DDOS’ed just like that. It’s not 2001 anymore. Though I’m willing to believe that Twitter could be. Their original setup was as amateurish as can be, and they may suffer from the legacy of that.

    Comment by So? — April 15, 2011 @ 5:51 pm

  12. Obama, Harry Reid, Holder et al have just saved the US from the massive criminal threat posed by online poker players.

    Maybe after they clean this up they will focus on TARP irregularities…nah.

    Comment by pahoben — April 15, 2011 @ 7:22 pm


    Impeach the bastard now.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — April 15, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

  14. This development has opened my eyes to the true nature of the Obama regime.

    Bailouts and bonuses for their pet banksters, arbitrary confiscations of the property of independent entrepreneurs who rely on skill and guile rather than connections and smoke-filled backroom deals.

    I had my doubts about Obama. No prosecutions of Bush era criminals. War against whistleblowers. Gathering authoritarian tendencies. But this is the breaking point. Rest assured these Chicago mobsters will never get a free pass from me again.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — April 15, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

  15. He has the same underlying elitist ideology of rule by people and not rule by law that is held in the Kremlin. Impeachment would be a dream come true.

    Comment by pahoben — April 15, 2011 @ 10:28 pm

  16. There are so many parallels, the Department of Homeland Security is becoming increasingly similar to FSB. Now the DHS will have an increasing role in “internet oversight”. Wow-who could possibly support that.

    Comment by pahoben — April 15, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

  17. Hey pahoben, maybe the Kremlins concern over Google/Facebook/Twitter has something to do with this?

    Poor Sergey Brin didn’t want to meet Medvedev when he came to Silicon Valley because he didn’t want the hassle of a contact report for his other set of bosses.

    You mentioned Soros in the previous thread. Prokofy Nutcase worked for Soros. While I don’t think Sean Guillory loses sleep over being Google-bombed by her, I do think all meticulously maintained at the top of search result libelous posts were paid for by somebody. Any lady who’d stoop to accusing a kid of faking the fact that he’s dying of AIDS is a nutcase…but one useful to somebody.

    Comment by pahoben lite — April 15, 2011 @ 10:59 pm

  18. @LR:

    If you want grown-ups to pay attention to what you are saying, you should stop uttering childish and hysterical insults.

    Comment by Ostap Bender — April 15, 2011 @ 11:42 pm

  19. Huge sites cannot be DDOS’ed just like that…

    As far as I recall, you prefer numbers to hand waving. How huge is your huge and what exactly is “just like that”?

    Here’s a semi-official account of what was going on on March 30. What, in your opinion, is wrong with their numbers?

    Comment by peter — April 16, 2011 @ 4:52 am

  20. What else do you expect them to say? Of course it’s a Kremlin Konspiracy™!

    Comment by So? — April 16, 2011 @ 5:57 am

  21. lite-thanks for the info. I found some of the background-likely still Soros. No doubt that Google has been politicized in the Soros direction.

    Comment by pahoben — April 16, 2011 @ 10:02 am

  22. Sorry pahoben, I forgot to include the links.

    Here’s looking at you Phobie…
    Kid with AIDS tells Prok he really has AIDS
    Prokofy Neva in the flesh at Second Life Chicago 2007

    Comment by pahoben lite — April 16, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

  23. What else do you expect them to say?

    Do you always answer a question with a question?

    Comment by peter — April 16, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

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