another smear, ultimately from the CIA i would assume

Report: Israel Hacked Daesh Computers, Trump Leaked It to the Russians
Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com, Jun 12 2017

In the latest of several conflicting reports regarding how Pindostan got it in their heads to ban laptops on airplanes, reports now say that Israel made this discovery by hacking into the computers of a group of Daesh bombmakers, and that this was what Trump ended up leaking to the Russians. Other reports on the Trump “leak” related to the laptop bomb plot had suggested it was a spy in Daesh territory in a specific city, and that spy was initially reported as Israeli, though it was later suggested he was actually Jordanian. Yet that too was a change in the narrative surrounding the laptop plot, as way back in March, Pindo boxtops were suggesting that the bomb threat was from AQAP, not Daesh, and that they’d uncovered the plot in the course of the disastrous January SEAL raid in Yemen. The Yemen version of events likely was an attempt by the boxtops to justify the botched January raid, and since then boxtops up to & including Trump have publicly affirmed it was a Daesh plot. The question then becomes whether it was a spy that infiltrated Daesh, as presented in previous reports, or a hacking operation. If it was an Israeli hacking operation, as is now being reported, it makes even less sense for “leaking” that fact to Russia to have been a big deal, as it means there was no physically infiltrated spy to be accidentally outed by the intelligence-sharing, and indeed no-one would have known at all, outside of Russian boxtops, had the “leak” not become such a cause célèbre among former boxtops looking to make it into an issue.

Israel Successfully Hacked Daesh Computers, Trump Leaked It to the Russians, NYT Reports
Haaretz, Jun 12 2017

The source of the classified intelligence that Donald Trump shared with Russian boxtops in May was information Israel obtained after hacking computers belonging to Daesh, the NYT reported Monday. According to the NYT, which (as usual) cited an (unnamed) Pindo boxtop, Israeli “cyber-operators” managed to penetrate a Daesh cell of bombmakers based in Syria a number of months ago. According to the report, the information was so good that it allowed Pindostan to learn that the terror cell was working on explosives that could fool airport security by passing as a laptop battery. According to the report, the information helped support a ban since March on carrying electronics such as laptops on incoming flights from number of predominantly Muslim countries to Pindostan and Britain. According to a May article in the NYT, the source of the classified intelligence was Israel. The report cited a current Pindo boxtop & a former Pindo boxtop both unnamed). The intelligence was shared at a meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak. The unnamed boxtops (now they tell us) said Israel had previously urged Pindostan to be cautious with the information. The revelation that Trump shared sensitive intelligence with Russia raises the possibility that the information could be subsequently leaked to Iran. The NYT report said Israeli boxtops refused to confirm that Israel was the source of the information. But BuzzFeed quoted two (unnamed) Israeli intel boxtops as saying that Israel had shared information with Pindostan on a Daesh plan to sneak explosive-laden laptops onto airplanes. The NYT’s report that Trump had shared Israeli intelligence with Russia was Israel’s “worst fears confirmed,” one of the (unnamed) boxtops was quoted as saying. Cooperation between Israeli and Pindosi intelligence agencies has intensified over the past two decades, according to reports, with most of the joint operations directed against Iran but also targeting Hezbollah and Hamas (What the hell does this have to do with either 9/11 or Pindo homeland security? Zero! This is the ZOG! – RB). An official agreement in 2008 for comprehensive cooperation, including the disclosure of sources and methods, reportedly led to impressive results, including the disruption of the Iranian nuclear program. In January, it was reported that Israeli intel boxtops were concerned that the exposure of classified information to their Pindo counterparts in the Trump administration could lead to it being leaked to Russia and onward to Iran. The intelligence concerns, which had been discussed in closed forums, were based on suspicions of ties between Trump or his associates and the government of Vladimir Putin in Moscow. According to the January report, Pindo boxtops under Obama implied that Israel should “be careful” when transferring intelligence information to (that filthy orange-fingered barbarian in) the White House, or to the NSC, following the inauguration on Jan 20.

Pindo Cyber-weapons Used Against Iran and North Korea Are a Disappointment Against Daesh
David Sanger, Eric Schmitt, NYT, Jun 12 2017

FASCHINGSTEIN — Pindostan’s fast-growing ranks of secret cyber-warriors have in recent years blown up nuclear centrifuges in Iran and turned to computer code and electronic warfare to sabotage North Korea’s missile launches, with mixed results. But since they began training their arsenal of cyber-weapons on a more elusive target, internet use by Daesh, the results have been a consistent disappointment, say (anonymous) Pindo boxtops. They have discovered that the effectiveness of the nation’s arsenal of cyber-weapons hit its limits against an enemy that exploits the internet largely to recruit, spread propaganda and use encrypted communications, all of which can be quickly reconstituted after Pindo “mission teams” freeze their computers or manipulate their data. It has been more than a year since the Pentagon announced that it was opening a new line of combat against Daesh, directing CYBERCOM, then six years old, to mount computer network attacks. The idea was to disrupt the ability of Daesh to spread its message, attract new adherents, pay fighters and circulate orders from commanders, but in the aftermath of the recent attacks in Britain and Iran claimed by Daesh, it has become clear that recruitment efforts and communications hubs reappear almost as quickly as they are torn down. This is prompting the boxtops to rethink how cyber-warfare techniques first designed for fixed targets like nuclear facilities must be refashioned to fight terrorist groups that are becoming more adept at turning the web into a weapon. Joshua Geltzer, who was the senior director for counter-terrorism (under Obama) at the NSC until (sacked by Trump in) March, said:

In general, there was some sense of disappointment in the overall ability for cyber-operations to land a major blow against Daesh. This is just much harder in practice than people think. It’s almost never as cool as getting into a system and thinking you’ll see things disappear for good.

Even one of the rare successes against Daesh belongs at least in part to Israel, which was Pindostan’s partner in the attacks against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Top Israeli cyber-operators penetrated a small cell of extremist bombmakers in Syria months ago, the (anonymous again) boxtops said, and that was how Pindostan learned that the terrorist group (not AQAP after all, then) was working to make explosives that fooled airport X-ray machines and other screening by looking exactly like batteries for laptop computers. The intelligence was so exquisite that it enabled Pindostan to understand how the weapons could be detonated, according to two (unnamed) Pindo boxtops familiar with the operation. The information helped prompt a ban in March on large electronic devices in carry-on luggage on flights from 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority countries to Pindostan and Britain. It was also part of the classified intelligence that Trump is accused of revealing in the Oval Office last month to Lavrov and Kislyak. His disclosure infuriated (unnamed) Israeli boxtops. Daesh’s agenda and tactics make it a particularly tough foe for cyber-warfare. The Jihadis use computers and social media not to develop or launch weapons systems but to recruit, raise money and coordinate future attacks. Such activity is not tied to a single place as Iran’s centrifuges were, and the militants can take advantage of remarkably advanced low-cost encryption technologies. Daesh, said the (anonymous) boxtops, has made tremendous use of Telegram, an encrypted messaging system developed largely in Germany.

The most sophisticated offensive cyber-operation Pindostan has conducted against Daesh sought to sabotage its online videos and propaganda beginning in November, according to unnamed Pindo boxtops. In the endeavor, called Operation Glowing Symphony, the NSA and CYBERCOM obtained the passwords of several Daesh administrator accounts and used them to block out fighters and delete content. It was initially deemed a success because battlefield videos disappeared. But the results were only temporary. (Unnamed) Pindo later discovered that the material had been either restored or moved to other servers. That setback was first reported by the WaPo. The experience did not surprise (unnamed) veteran cyber-operators, who have learned through hard experience that cyber-weapons buy time but rarely are a permanent solution. The attacks on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility, begun in the Bush 43 administration and codenamed Olympic Games, destroyed roughly 1,000 centrifuges and set back the Iranians by a year or so. The amount of time is still hotly disputed, but it created some room for a diplomatic negotiation. The attacks on North Korea’s missile program, which Obama accelerated in 2014, were followed by a remarkable series of missile failures that Pres Trump noted in a conversation which leaked recently with Pres Duterte of the Philippines. But recent evidence suggests that the North, using a different kind of missile, has overcome at least some of the problems. The shortcomings of Glowing Symphony illustrated the challenges confronting the government as it seeks to cripple Daesh in cyberspace. The disruptions often require fighters to move to less secure communications, making them more vulnerable, yet because the Islamic State fighters are so mobile, and their equipment relatively commonplace, reconstituting communications and putting material up on new servers are not difficult. Some of it has been encrypted and stored in the cloud, according to (unnamed) intelligence boxtops, meaning it can be downloaded in a new place. Geltzer, who now teaches law at Georgetown University Law Center, said:

There were folks working hard on this stuff, and there were some accomplishments that had an impact, but there was no steady stream of jaw-dropping stuff coming forward, as some expected. There was no sort of shining cyber-tool.

The Obama administration’s frustration with the lack of success against Daesh was one factor in its effort to oust Adm Rogers as director of NSA and commander of CYBERCOM, according to several (unnamed) former admin boxtops. They complained that the organizations were too focused on traditional espionage and highly sophisticated efforts to use networks to blow up or incapacitate adversary facilities, like those in Iran and North Korea. The (unnamed) boxtops said that then-Sec Def Ashtray Carter traveled to NSA HQ at Fort Meade on several occasions to voice his displeasure at the slow pace of the effort and to stoke new initiatives like Glowing Symphony. But the fundamental problem of how to use cyber-techniques effectively against Daesh remains. That was evident in the frustration voiced by PM May of Britain after the recent attack in London. She focused on how the internet creates “a safe space” for radical ideology, and said that “the big companies that provide internet-based services” would have to join the fight more fully. They already police for gruesome videos and overt recruitment, and a (unnamed) former NSA boxtop noted recently that CYBERCOM was also highly attuned to taking down anything that seemed to celebrate the deaths of Pindostanis or other Westerners. But in Pindostan, any crackdown is likely to run headlong into First Amendment issues, where the advocacy of an ideology, short of direct incitement to violence, is protected speech. (unnamed) Pindo boxtops say that even with the loss of territory in Syria and Iraq, and a broad military effort to disrupt Daesh’s activities, the militants have proved remarkably resilient. Nicholas Rasmussen, the director of the National Counter-Terrorism Center, said in a speech in Faschingstein last month:

The global reach of Daesh right now is largely intact. The group also continues to publish thousands of pieces of official propaganda and to use online apps to organize its supporters and inspire attacks.

Rasmussen’s assessment came a year after some of the best of the newly-created cyber-mission teams joined more traditional military units in the fight. The teams are the cyber equivalent of SOF dispatched around the world to work on defending Pentagon networks or launching cyber-attacks in coordination with more traditional operations. Cyber-operations are also closely integrated with Iraqi ground combat and allied air missions to maximize the impact on Daesh fighters hunkered down in their two major strongholds: Mosul and Raqqa. Lt-Gen Jeffrey Harrigian, the allied air commander, said in an interview at his headquarters in Qatar in December:

We’re able to either blind them so they can’t see or make sure they can’t hear us. There are things we are doing both with space and cyber that are being effectively synchronized to achieve important effects even in Mosul and Raqqa.

Lt-Gen Sean MacFarland, who was the top army commander in Iraq until August, said:

Secialists from CYBERCOM assisted us in disrupting enemy command and control during our offensive operations, and that support improved over the time I was in command.

Other (unnamed) senior military boxtops said the number and quality of tools in Pindostan’s cyber-arsenal against Daesh had expanded over the past year. Some of the effects are employed repeatedly over days. Locking Daesh propaganda specialists out of their accounts, or using the coordinates of their phones and computers to target them for a drone attack, is now SOP. Harrigian said that the Pindo vassals were also employing cyber-weapons and techniques against Daesh that Pindostan did not. Without identifying specific countries or skills, he said:

The vassals can do things we can’t do. Some cyber-activities that they have authority to execute that we do not.

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