note: FSB security chief sacked & his deputy under investigation

Russia Responds To Pindosi Threats Of Retaliation Over Cyber-Attacks
Jeffrey Carr,, Jan 17 2017

While the Russian government has consistently denied and even mocked claims of interference with the Pindo election, it has taken threats of a Pindo response seriously as indicated by the following three events.

  1. Dec 6 2016: Russia issues a new Information Security doctrine; an important document that informs that nation’s national security strategy across every strata of society, from intelligence and military affairs to intellectual property theft and financial crime. Section 12 specifically calls out foreign interference:

    (12) The scale is being expanded of the use of assets by intelligence services of individual states for conducting information and psychological operations aimed at destabilizing internal political and social situations in various regions of the world leading to undermining the sovereignty and violating the territorial integrity of other states. Religious, ethnic, human rights and other organizations are engaged in this activity, as well as individual groups of citizens, and the capabilities of information technologies are being widely used. A trend is being noted in the increase of the volume of materials in foreign mass media containing a prejudicial assessment of the state policies of the Russian Federation. Russian mass media overseas are often subjected to open discrimination and obstacles are created for Russian journalists that prevent them from performing their professional activities. Information attacks on the population of Russia are being expanded, primarily against the youth for the purposes of eroding traditional Russian spiritual and moral values.

  2. Dec 14 2016: Duma member Alexei Chepa of the FAIR RUSSIA party gives a speech about the new doctrine and specifically ties it to the Pindosi government’s intention to launch cyber-attacks against Russia. He specifically refers to the Russian elections of 2018, saying:

    In mid-October, Vice Pres Joe Sixpack called on to give a symmetrical response to Russia’s actions and commit cyber-attacks to Russian government agencies, his quote: “At the right time and with the greatest effect.” A little later, the media reported that the administration announced the preparation of such attacks. I see this as a veiled order to carry out the possible preparation of the impact on the system of counting votes, the Central Election Commission of Russia, thus putting into question the results of the will of our citizens in the elections of the Russian President in 2018, which could then be used as an argument for denying international recognition held elections. I urge the authorities to take seriously such statements by senior US officials and to consider such risks in the preparation of elections in 2018. In addition, I believe that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation should act in the UN with the initiative equating implementation of information technology impact on public institutions of a foreign State in acts of aggression, the implementation of which is contrary to the UN Charter and principles of international law.

  3. Jan 13 2017: Kommersant announces that Andrew V. Gerasimov, head of the FSB’s Information Security Center (Vch 64829) has been asked to take an early retirement (i.e. resign) while one of his deputies is being investigated. The cause of the investigation isn’t clear. Andre Soldatov speculated that the FSB was cleaning house. In brief, the Russian government is taking steps to identify and tag its scientific assets and information infrastructure as critical to its national security, and views cyber attacks on those targets as an aggressive use of force. Since the U.S. isn’t in a position to defend its own critical infrastructure from attack, the Trump administration should be very cautious in approving any cyber operations against Russia.

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