Thursday, October 31, 2019

GMO mosquito disaster in Bahia, Brazil again

11 September 2019

   According to a new scientific publication, genetically engineered mosquitoes produced by Oxitec (Intrexon) have escaped human control after trials in Brazil.  They are now spreading in the environment. The yellow fever mosquitos (Aedes aegypti) are genetically engineered to make it impossible for their offspring to survive. After release they were supposed to mate with female mosquitos of the species which are transmitting infectious diseases, such as Dengue fever, to diminish the natural populations. However, the now published research shows that many offspring of the genetically engineered mosquitos actually survived and are spreading and propagating further.  According to the scientists, between 10-60 percent of the mosquitoes in the region concerned are inheriting parts of the genome of the mosquitoes released in the trials. These findings are also confirmed in neighboring regions where no such trials were conducted.
The long-term consequences for the transmission of diseases, the number of insects and the interactions with the environment cannot be predicted.  The mosquitoes used for the genetic manipulation are originally from Cuba and Mexico. These insects used in the laboratory have now mixed with the Brazilian insects to become a robust population which can persist in the environment over a longer period of time. They might replace the original insects on the long term and even enhance the problems associated with the mosquitoes.
“The Oxitec trials have led to a situation that is largely out of control. The company has released its patented insects although it was known before that some insects could survive in the environment. The expectations of their investors was more important than the protection of health and the environment. There is no insurance and no fast-track mechanism to prevent severe damage in a worst-case scenario,” says Christoph Then for Testbiotech. “This incident must have consequences for further applications of genetic engineering. Preventing the spread of genetically engineered organisms within natural populations has to become a priority.”
Several research institutions players are planning to create genetically engineered trees, bees, corals, several insect species and other organisms that can spread in natural populations. The long-term impacts of such trials are generally unpredictable. Unintended effects can disturb or disrupt ecosystems and lead to the extinction of species. Therefore, Testbiotech is proposing to introduce new criteria for the risk assessment of genetically engineered organisms to make sure they can be prevented from spreading uncontrolled into the environment.
10-2-19  A British-American gene-editing company has released millions of genetically modified mosquitoes containing a dominant lethal gene, each week for 27 months in the Bahia, Brazil region in a test to see if the gene-edited mosquitoes would mate with local mosquitoes carrying Zika, malaria or other mosquito-borne diseases. A new study documents the alarming fact that following an initial reduction of the target population of mosquitoes, after some months the “population which had been greatly suppressed rebounded to nearly pre-release levels.”  Scientists to date have no idea what dangers are presented by the new mutations.  This once more highlights the dangers of uncontrolled gene-editing of species
  According to a new published study in Nature Reports journal, genetically engineered mosquitoes produced by the biotech company, Oxitec, now part of the US company Intrexon, have escaped human control after trials in Brazil and are now spreading in the environment. 
  On paper the theory was brilliant. Strains of “yellow fever” male mosquitoes taken from Cuba and Mexico were altered using gene-editing to make it impossible for their offspring to survive. Oxitec then began a systematic release of tens of millions of the manipulated mosquitoes over more than two years in the the city of Jacobina in the region of Bahia in Brazil. The Oxitec theory was the altered mosquitoes would mate with normal females of the same type which carry infectious diseases like dengue fever, and kill them off in the process.
Unanticipated Outcome…’
A team of scientists from Yale University and several scientific institutes in Brazil monitored the progress of the experiment. What they found is alarming in the extreme. After an initial period in which the target mosquito population markedly declined, after about 18 months the mosquito population recovered to pre-release levels. Not only that, the paper notes that some of the mosquitos likely have “hybrid vigor,” in which a hybrid of the natural with the gene-edited has created “a more robust population than the pre-release population” which may be more resistant to insecticides, in short, resistant “super mosquitoes.”
The scientists note that, “Genetic sampling from the target population six, 12, and 27–30 months after releases commenced provides clear evidence that portions of the transgenic strain genome have been incorporated into the target population. Evidently, rare viable hybrid offspring between the release strain and the Jacobina population are sufficiently robust to be able to reproduce in nature…” They continue, “Thus, Jacobina Ae. aegypti are now a mix of three populations. It is unclear how this may affect disease transmission or affect other efforts to control these dangerous vectors.” They estimate that between 10% and 60% of the Bahia natural Ae. Aegypti mosquitoes now had some gene-edited OX513A genome. They conclude that “The three populations forming the tri-hybrid population now in Jacobina (Cuba/Mexico/Brazil) are genetically quite distinct, very likely resulting in a more robust population than the pre-release population due to hybrid vigor.”
This was not supposed to happen. Professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, Jeffrey Powell, senior author of the study, remarked on the findings: “The claim was that genes from the release strain would not get into the general population because offspring would die. That obviously was not what happened.” Powell went on to note, “But it is the unanticipated outcome that is concerning.”
A Gates Foundation Project
The Brazil study deals a major alarm signal on the uncontrolled release of gene-edited species into nature. It calls to mind the horror plot of Michael Crichton’s 1969 science fiction novel, Andromeda Strain. Only it is no novel. 
The Oxitec mosquitoes were developed using a highly controversial form of gene-editing known as gene drive. Gene Drive, which is also being heavily funded by the Pentagon’s DARPA, combined with CRISPR gene-editing, aims to force a genetic modification to spread through an entire population, whether of mosquitoes or potentially humans, in just a few generations. 
The scientist who first suggested developing gene drives in gene-editing, Harvard biologist
Kevin Esvelt, has publicly warned that development of gene editing in conjunction with gene drive technologies has alarming potential to go awry. He notes how often CRISPR messes up and the likelihood of protective mutations arising, making even benign gene drives aggressive. He stresses, “Just a few engineered organisms could irrevocably alter an ecosystem.” Esvelt’s computer gene drive simulations calculated that a resulting edited gene “can spread to 99 percent of a population in as few as 10 generations, and persist for more than 200 generations.” This is very much what has now been demonstrated in the mosquito experiment in Brazil.
Notable is the fact that the Oxitec Brazil mosquito experiment was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In June, 2018 Oxitec announced a joint venture with the Gates Foundation, “to develop a new strain of Oxitec’s self-limiting Friendly™ Mosquitoes to combat a mosquito species that spreads malaria in the Western Hemisphere.” The Brazil results show the experiment is a catastrophic failure as the new strain is anything but self-limiting.
The Gates Foundation and Bill Gates have been backing development of the radical gene-editing technology and gene drive technology for more than a decade. Gates, a long-time advocate of eugenics, population control and of GMO, is a strong gene-editing promoter. In an article in the May/June 2018 magazine of the New York Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Affairs, Gates hails gene editing technologies, explicitly CRISPR. In the article Gates argues that CRISPR and other gene-editing techniques should be used globally to meet growing demand for food and to improve disease prevention, particularly for malaria. In his article he adds, “there is reason to be optimistic that creating gene drives in malaria-spreading mosquitoes will not do much, if any, harm to the environment.
Every bit as alarming as the failure of the Brazil gene-editing mosquito experiment is the fact that this technology is being spread with virtually no prior health or safety testing by truly independent government institutions. To date the US Government relies only on industry safety assurances. The EU, while formally responsible to treat gene-edited species similarly to GMO plants, is reportedly trying to loosen the regulations. China, a major research center for gene-editing, has extremely lax controls. Recently a Chinese scientist announced an experiment in human gene-editing allegedly to make newborn twins resistant to HIV. Other experiments are proliferating around the world with gene-edited animals and even salmon. The precautionary principle has been thrown to the winds when it comes to the new gene-editing revolution, not a reassuring situation. 
Currently Oxitec, which denies that the Brazil results show failure, is now trying to get regulatory approval from the US Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a similar experiment with the same gene-edited species in Texas and Florida. One of the people involved in the attempt, Texan Roy Bailey, is a Washington lobbyist and close friend of Randal Kirk, the billionaire CEO of Intrexon, owner of Oxitec. Bailey is also a major Trump fundraiser. Let’s hope that regulatory prudence and not politics decide the outcome
-F. William Engdahl
CAMPINAS, BrazilJune 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Oxitec Ltd., a UK-based biotechnology company specializing in developing novel, environmentally-sustainable pest management solutions, today announced the successful completion of the first field trial in Brazil of its 2ndGeneration Friendly™ Aedes aegypti technology. In partnership with the municipal vector control authorities in the city of Indaiatuba, the pilot project demonstrated the new strain's effectiveness in suppressing populations of the Aedes aegypti mosquito - the primary vector of dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever - in four densely populated urban communities across the city. 
Releases of Oxitec's Friendly™ Aedes aegypti were conducted in four separate communities under approval issued by Brazil's national biosafety authority, CTNBio, during a year-long trial starting in May 2018. The trial was designed to test a number of performance features of the 2nd Generation Oxitec's Friendly™ Aedes aegypti technology, including the performance outcomes generated by the use of two different mosquito release rate levels in dense urban environments

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

kowtow to Putin OR ELSE

10-30-19    Meanwhile, the repressive measures of the authorities have not only survived the demonstrations but have gained new impetus with the addition of more detainees. 
Against this almost theatrical backdrop stand the immense and far-reaching machinations of the FSB.  For weeks on end, there have come almost daily reports of how the agency has frozen all the bank accounts of yet another activist — and oftentimes that person’s relatives as well.  The same tactic is applied against journalists and business people who have expressed support publicly for opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

"Now safety and security have returned to Xinjiang”

0-30-19    “We are an open democracy.  China is a Communist Party state.  We have different political, economic and cultural systems, and values.  Turning a blind eye to all human rights violations means an acceptance of behavior that undermines the foundations of international peace and stability.  Where there is no challenge there is no progress.  Our long-term interests depend on our taking a firm stand, even if it displeases some of our counterparts, some other countries, in the short term,” AU Def. Min. Payne said.
  She added that Australia would continue “deepening our engagement with regional and like-minded powers,” going on to name the United States as an important ally.  “Our relationship with the United States is firmly fixed in our history and our values.
  “It is the case that some Australians will query the approaches taken at times by the current administration.  Let me simply say this though: the United States has a record unmatched in modern times of leading an international system aimed at benefitting all people, not just its own.  Precisely because it has built a reputation over many decades as a country that looks to express its power internationally for the broader good, we reflexively look to the U.S. to take responsibility when there is a problem.  That is still the case.  The world has high expectations of the superpower.”
10-27-19    The state controls everything you say and do.  As long as your cellphone is connected to the internet, you will be monitored the moment you mention a sensitive word,” the employee told Bitter Winter.  He added that for many years any comments that mention June 4 (the Tiananmen massacre in 1989), Taiwan, Xinjiang, or Hong Kong independence, Mao Zedong and Xi Jinping, come under the scope of government’s control.  As soon as a comment related to one of these topics is posted it is immediately deleted.
  “You can only say good things about the CCP online, no bad comments are allowed,” the employee said.  If someone makes a dissenting comment, it is blocked, and the person receives a warning.  In serious cases the internet police will take appropriate action and monitor or arrest the person who posted the remark.
  In August Mr. Xiang from the southeastern province of Fujian bypassed the “Great Firewall of China” and posted two images captioned “Love Freedom, Support Hong Kong” on Twitter.  He also included a photo of the back of his ID card.  He said that he wanted to let Hong Kong residents know that people in mainland China are not afraid to support them.  He expressed hope that the protestors in Hong Kong will persist with their struggle and remain confident because “Hong Kong is the hope of China.”
  Because of his comments and photos Mr. Xiang came under the radar of the local police and was summoned to the police station two days after his post on Twitter.  The police questioned him about whether “he was colluding with foreign forces and had accepted money from the United States.”
  Although Mr. Xiang knew that his support of Hong Kong would get him into trouble, the unwarranted charge still made him angry.  He was released after signing a statement “not to post improper remarks and comments that are detrimental to national interests.” 

10-29-19  "We call on the Chinese government to uphold its national laws and international obligations and commitments to respect human rights, including freedom of religion or belief, in Xinjiang and across China," Pierce of UK said.  The group of 23 nations urged China to implement recommendations by independent UN human rights experts and to refrain from holding Uighurs in arbitrary detention. …
  Reacting to the statement, Belarus Ambassador Valentin Rybakov addressed the committee on behalf of 54 countries, including Pakistan, Russia, Serbia, Egypt, Bolivia and the  Democratic Republic of Congo.  Rybakov defended China's actions in Xinjiang as what effective anti-terror and deradicalization methods. 

  "Now safety and security have returned to Xinjiang and fundamental human rights of people of all ethnic groups there are safeguarded," Rybakov said.  "We commend China's remarkable achievements in the field of human rights.”
10-29-19   The United States and 22 other countries at the United Nations pushed China on Tuesday to stop detaining ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims, prompting China's UN envoy to warn it was not "helpful" for ongoing trade talks between Beijing and Washington.

across China," UK UN ambassador Pierce said.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

‘I must live, you must die, never to fight again.’

10-23-2019    The campaign to steal information is aggressive; Chinese spies now make up about 90 percent of perpetrators in U.S. espionage cases, according to Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.
  Earlier this year an adjunct professor at the University of California Los Angeles was convicted for his role in an elaborate scheme to fraudulently acquire sensitive microchip technology from a U.S. firm, and illegally export it to China.
The semiconductor chips in question have both commercial and military applications, including in missile guidance systems for the U.S. military.
  Yi-Chi Shih, 64, a dual U.S. and Taiwanese citizen, in violation of U.S. export controls, managed to ship the chips to a Chinese company that he oversaw, which was building a factory in the southwestern city of Chengdu to produce the same type of devices….
  Meanwhile the FBI has more than 1,000 active investigations into intellectual property (IP) theft, “almost all leading back to China,” FBI Director Christopher Wray told U.S. senators at a congressional hearing in July….
  Nicholas Eftimiades, a former U.S. senior intelligence official and author of “Chinese Intelligence Operations,” told the Epoch Times that he’s compiled a database of 464 cases of China’s overall espionage efforts around the world, based on public prosecutions.  “Most of … [the cases] fall into the technologies identified in ‘Made in China 2025,’” Eftimiades said.  About 200 of those cases involve military or dual-use technologies, he said, and in turn about half of those are related to aerospace or aviation technology….
  In December the NIH published a report placing the spotlight on the Chinese state-sponsored recruitment program, the “Thousand Talents Plan,” which aims to attract foreign experts to work in China.  The report raised concerns that the program could be used to transfer key research--often produced with federal research grants—to China….
  The private sector and academia need to be trained and educated on the threats and also share relevant information with each other….
Casey Fleming, espionage expert and CEO of BlackOps Partners, said that every American needs to understand that China is a Communist country governed by a party that has been running a covert war against the United States.

  While most Americans may subscribe to the concept of “win or lose,” he said “the Chinese Communist Party is another level above that.  “They believe in ‘live or die:  I must live, you must die, never to fight again.’”

the menace of treachery and destruction lies precisely in omissions and in slumber.

80.  Reflect on the manifestation of thought.  Realize its omnipresence and rejoice at the laboratory of thought that, from the mineral cell up to the Infinite, links all kingdoms. The magnetic wave, electric spark and thought--these three voyagers greet those who strive into the Infinite.   -M:  Agni Yoga 1929
373.  How many of the ills of humanity are due to insufficient cooperation!  Understanding of cooperation readily brings one to cooperation with the forces of nature.  Where is the boundary between the forces of nature and spiritualization?  The servant of the Spirit must attain spiritual omnipresence.   -M:  Heart 1932
84.  Thought does not exist without Fire, and Fire is transformed into creative thought.  The manifestation of thought is already understood; let us also realize the great Fire--aum!   -M:  Fiery World 1933
140.  It is necessary not only to recognize that there is no void but also to understand the surrounding life.  The understanding of life as intertwined and mutually nourishing brings realization of the omnipresence of finer energy....Varied currents, rays and chemisms pass through masses of beings, but finer energy not only does not retard them but transmits them farther.  When we speak of the most pure air, even about the purest prana, we nevertheless presuppose all-containment, and in this containment various tensions.  Picturing such physical saturation will aid the realization of higher worlds.  Actually everything is alive and everything manifests the same energy.  In this primitive position rests also the possibility of transmutation of everything existing.  Death becomes a transposition and life becomes unavoidable cooperation....It is sad to see how people limit themselves and try to destroy the universe. Perhaps overproduction, competition and distortion of the meaning of life will bring humanity into a blind alley, and then it will be obliged to stop and think.  Because by setting aside all limitations the recognition of the higher worlds will come along. 
 -M:  Fiery World 1934
146.  Space breathes, space resounds and creates.  Little is known about spatial currents as about the other higher worlds.  The fiery essence which permeates all that lives is cosmic Fire emanating from the depths of the cosmos and proceeding into infinite creative manifestation.  Rightly have been related the miracles of life.  Fiery creativeness is a law of the cosmos; the impregnation of cosmic energy is a law of the cosmos.  In omnipresence it attests its tension.  Its omnipresence is expressed in all life. This Fire of space impregnates thought by unification of subtle energies.  Space contains subtle forms ready for materialization.  One has but to awaken in oneself those energies which can be unified for creative power.  Thought and aspiration are the forerunners which can attract spatial fertilization.  In ancient times the significance of invocations to the higher beings was known. Therefore 
thought-creativeness is a great manifestation in the cosmos, for the Fire of space assumes forms in the spirit manifested on the planet. Thus the unification of worlds is vitally affirmed.
277.  When hostile forces disclose an assault it is needful to think about foresight.  The servitors of llght must realize that actually not only do the hostile forces breed treachery, but the menace of treachery and destruction lies precisely in omissions and in slumber. Rightly has she who guides under the Star of the Mother of the World spoken about the fact that a leader values truth, for on the field of battle it is important to know which swords have been sharpened. Only ego impels the spirit to the suppressing of truth, but an irresponsible warrior can cast each beautiful beginning into destruction.  Not to conceal but to reveal is a most primary duty of the servant of light. Verily when truth is concealed the servant of darkness can act through a servant of light. 
597.  And so the greatest misconception lies in the fact that people prepare themselves for death instead of educating themselves for life.  They have heard often enough that the very concept of death is vanquished. They have heard often enough of the need for changing the seven sheaths--it has been sufficiently emphasized that these changes take place with the closest cooperation of Fire. This means that one should assist fiery transmutations since they are inevitable.  Why spend ages and millenniums on that which can be accomplished far more quickly!  We should prepare our consciousness for  fiery receptivity of our concentrated bodies.  If something is subject to a fiery action, let this good be accomplished in the shortest possible time.  Thinking about such transmutation in itself greatly helps our organism to assimilate this process into  consciousness. You already know that accepting something into  consciousness means a bodily assimilation also.   In our general conceptions it is high time to become accustomed to the scope of the fiery realm.  We are amazed at the difference between an idiot and a genius, but our imagination falls short in extending this divergence into infinity.  Our imagination is equally uneducated in visualizing the closeness of the fiery realm, obscured solely by our body. Thus let us become accustomed to the fiery realm as the only destiny of men.   

                  -Morya:  Fiery World 1935
33.  In certain mysteries the broadening of consciousness was likened to the awakening of spring.  No one can follow the entire process of the growth of grass, but every heart rejoices on seeing the first flowers of spring.  It is likewise impossible to perceive the details of the broadening of consciousness, but a person's transformation is quite evident.  He who has become transformed does not know when and how his renewal began and cannot say how his consciousness was broadened.  Frequently he will cite insignificant events but omit the most important event that influenced him.    -M:  Supermundane 1, 1938


Monday, October 28, 2019

authorities detaining as many Uyghurs as possible in camps/jails

A facility believed to be an internment camp located north of Kashgar, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, June 2, 2019.      10-23-19    Nearly half of the residents of a village in a Uyghur-majority of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) have been sent to internment camps amid a policy of mass incarceration targeting minorities in the area, according to an official source.
  Reports suggest that authorities are detaining as many Uyghurs as possible in internment camps and jails regardless of their age, prior service to the ruling Communist Party, or the severity of the accusations against them—as part of a bid to satisfy “quotas” ordered by the regional government....  
   In October 2017, officials from two villages in Hotan (Hetian) prefecture’s Qaraqash (Moyu) county told RFA that they had been given a target quota for sending residents to internment camps.A police officer in one of the villages said he had been informed during an “online conference” in mid-June of that year that his department was to detain 40 percent of the local population for exhibiting signs of “religious extremism.”
5-6-19  Chinese intelligence agents acquired National Security Agency hacking tools and repurposed them in 2016 to attack American allies and private companies in Europe and Asia, a leading cybersecurity firm has discovered. The episode is the latest evidence that the United States has lost control of key parts of its cybersecurity arsenal.
Based on the timing of the attacks and clues in the computer code, researchers with the firm Symantec believe the Chinese did not steal the code but captured it from an N.S.A. attack on their own computers — like a gunslinger who grabs an enemy’s rifle and starts blasting away.
The Chinese action shows how proliferating cyberconflict is creating a digital wild West with few rules or certainties, and how difficult it is for the United States to keep track of the malware it uses to break into foreign networks and attack adversaries’ infrastructure.
The losses have touched off a debate within the intelligence community over whether the United States should continue to develop some of the world’s most high-tech, stealthy cyberweapons if it is unable to keep them under lock and key.
The Chinese hacking group that co-opted the N.S.A.’s tools is considered by the agency’s analysts to be among the most dangerous Chinese contractors it tracks, according to a classified agency memo reviewed by The New York Times. The group is responsible for numerous attacks on some of the most sensitive defense targets inside the United States, including space, satellite and nuclear propulsion technology makers.
Now, Symantec’s discovery, unveiled on Monday, suggests that the same Chinese hackers the agency has trailed for more than a decade have turned the tables on the agency.

Some of the same N.S.A. hacking tools acquired by the Chinese were later dumped on the internet by a still-unidentified group that calls itself the Shadow Brokers

Saturday, October 26, 2019

meet GRU Unit 74455

  This for Matonis was ominously familiar territory:  for more than two years he and the rest of the security industry had watched Russia launch a series of destructive hacking operations against Ukraine, a relentless cyberwar that accompanied Russia's invasion of the country after its pro-Western 2014 revolution.
  Even as that physical war had killed 13,000 people in Ukraine and displaced millions more, a Russian hacker group known as Sandworm had waged a full-blown cyberwar against Ukraine as well:  it had barraged Ukrainian companies, government agencies, railways, and airports with wave after wave of data-destroying intrusions, including two unprecedented breaches of Ukrainian power utilities in 2015 and 2016 that had caused blackouts for hundreds of thousands of people. Those attacks culminated in NotPetya, a worm that had spread rapidly beyond Ukraine's borders and ultimately inflicted $10 billion in damage on global networks, the most costly cyberattack in history.
  In Matonis' mind, all other suspects for the Olympics attack fell away. Matonis couldn't yet connect the attack to any particular hacker group, but only one country would have been targeting Ukraine, nearly a year before the Pyeongchang attack, using the same infrastructure it would later use to hack the Olympics organizing committee—and it wasn't China or North Korea.
  Strangely, other infected documents in the collection Matonis had unearthed seemed to target victims in the Russian business and real estate world. Had a team of Russian hackers been tasked with spying on some Russian oligarch on behalf of their intelligence taskmasters? Were they engaged in profit-focused cybercrime as a side gig?
  Regardless, Matonis felt that he was on his way to finally, definitively cutting through the Olympics cyberattack's false flags to reveal its true origin: the Kremlin.
  After Matonis had made those first, thrilling connections between Olympic Destroyer and a very familiar set of Russian hacking victims, he sensed he had explored beyond the part of Olympic Destroyer that its creators had intended for researchers to see—that he was now peering behind its curtain of false flags. He wanted to find out how much further he could go toward uncovering those hackers' full identities. So he told his boss that he wouldn't be coming into the FireEye office for the foreseeable future. For the next three weeks, he barely left his bunker apartment. He worked on his laptop from the same folding chair, with his back to the only window in his home that allowed in sunlight, poring over every data point that might reveal the next cluster of the hackers' targets.
  A pre-internet-era detective might start a rudimentary search for a person by consulting phonebooks. Matonis started digging into the online equivalent, the directory of the web's global network known as the Domain Name System. DNS servers translate human-readable domains like into the machine-readable IP addresses that describe the location of a networked computer that runs that site or service, like
Matonis began painstakingly checking every IP address his hackers had used as a command and control server in their campaign of malicious Word document phishing; he wanted to see what domains those IP addresses had hosted. Since those domain names can move from machine to machine, he also used a reverse-lookup tool to flip the search—checking every name to see what other IP addresses had hosted it. He created a set of treelike maps connecting dozens of IP addresses and domain names linked to the Olympics attack. And far down the branch of one tree, a string of characters lit up like neon in Matonis' mind:
  A photographic memory can come in handy for an intelligence analyst. As soon as Matonis saw the domain, he instantly knew he had seen it nearly a year earlier in an FBI “flash”—a short alert sent out to US cybersecurity practitioners and potential victims. This one had offered a new detail about the hackers who, in 2016, had reportedly breached the Arizona and Illinois state boards of elections. These had been some of the most aggressive elements of Russia's meddling in US elections: Election officials had warned in 2016 that, beyond stealing and leaking emails from Democratic Party targets, Russian hackers had broken into the two states' voter rolls, accessing computers that held thousands of Americans' personal data with unknown intentions. According to the FBI flash alert Matonis had seen, the same intruders had also spoofed emails from a voting technology company, later reported to be the Tallahassee, Florida-based firm VR Systems, in an attempt to trick more election-related victims into giving up their passwords.
  Matonis had found a fingerprint that linked the Olympics attackers back to a hacking operation that directly targeted the 2016 US election.
  Matonis drew up a jumbled map of the connections on a piece of paper that he slapped onto his refrigerator with an Elvis magnet, and marveled at what he'd found. Based on the FBI alert—and Matonis told me he confirmed the connection with another human source he declined to reveal—the fake VR Systems emails were part of a phishing campaign that seemed to have also used a spoofed login page at the domain he'd found in his Olympic Destroyer map. At the end of his long chain of internet-address connections, Matonis had found a fingerprint that linked the Olympics attackers back to a hacking operation that directly targeted the 2016 US election. Not only had he solved the whodunit of Olympic Destroyer's origin, he'd gone further, showing that the culprit had been implicated in the most notorious hacking campaign ever to hit the American political system.
  When Matonis had finally outsmarted the most deceptive malware in history, he says he felt that same feeling, a rush that he could only compare to taking off on that Harley-Davidson in first gear. He sat alone in his DC apartment, staring at his screen and laughing.
  By the time Matonis had drawn those connections, the US government had already drawn its own. The NSA and CIA, after all, have access to human spies and hacking abilities that no private-sector cybersecurity firm can rival. In late February, while Matonis was still holed up in his basement apartment, two unnamed intelligence officials told The Washington Post that the Olympics cyberattack had been carried out by Russia and that it had sought to frame North Korea. The anonymous officials went further, blaming the attack specifically on Russia's military intelligence agency, the GRU—the same agency that had masterminded the interference in the 2016 US election and the blackout attacks in Ukraine, and had unleashed NotPetya's devastation.
  But as with most public pronouncements from inside the black box of the US intelligence apparatus, there was no way to check the government's work. Neither Matonis nor anyone else in media or cybersecurity research was privy to the trail the agencies had followed.
  A set of US government findings that were far more useful and interesting to Matonis came months after his basement detective work. On July 13, 2018, special counsel Robert Mueller unsealed an indictment against 12 GRU hackers for engaging in election interference, laying out the evidence that they'd hacked the DNC and the Clinton campaign; the indictment even included details like the servers they'd used and the terms they'd typed into a search engine.
 Deep in the 29-page indictment, Matonis read a description of the alleged activities of one GRU hacker named Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev. Along with two other agents, Kovalev was named as a member of GRU Unit 74455, based in the  northern Moscow suburb of Khimki in a 20-story building known as “the Tower.”
  The indictment stated that Unit 74455 had provided backend servers for the GRU's intrusions into the DNC and the Clinton campaign. But more surprisingly, the indictment added that the group had “assisted in” the operation to leak the emails stolen in those operations. Unit 74455, the charges stated, had helped to set up and even Guccifer 2.0, the fake Romanian hacker persona that had claimed credit for the intrusions and given the Democrats' stolen emails to WikiLeaks.
  Kovalev, listed as 26 years old, was also accused of breaching one state's board of elections and stealing the personal information of some 500,000 voters. Later, he allegedly breached a voting systems company and then impersonated its emails in an attempt to hack voting officials in Florida with spoofed messages laced with malware. An FBI wanted poster for Kovalev showed a picture of a blue-eyed man with a slight smile and close-cropped, blond hair.
  Though the indictment didn't say it explicitly, Kovalev's charges described exactly the activities outlined in the FBI flash alert that Matonis had linked to the Olympic Destroyer attack. Despite all of the malware's unprecedented deceptions and misdirections, Matonis could now tie Olympic Destroyer to a specific GRU unit, working at 22 Kirova Street in Khimki, Moscow, a tower of steel and mirrored glass on the western bank of the Moscow Canal….
  I had by then been following the hackers known as Sandworm for two full years, and I was in the final stages of writing a book that investigated the remarkable arc of their attacks. I had traveled to Ukraine to interview the utility engineers who'd twice watched their power grids' circuit breakers be flipped open by unseen hands. I'd flown to Copenhagen to speak with sources at the shipping firm Maersk who whispered to me about the chaos that had unfolded when NotPetya paralyzed 17 of their terminals at ports around the globe, instantly shutting down the world's largest shipping conglomerate. And I'd sat with analysts from the Slovakian cybersecurity firm ESET in their office in Bratislava as they broke down their evidence that tied all of those attacks to a single group of hackers.
  Beyond the connections in Matonis' branching chart and in the Mueller report that pinned the Olympics attack on the GRU, Matonis had shared with me other details that loosely tied those hackers directly to Sandworm's earlier attacks. In some cases, they had placed command and control servers in data centers run by two of the same companies, Fortunix Networks and Global Layer, that had hosted servers used to trigger Ukraine's 2015 blackout and later the 2017 NotPetya worm. Matonis argued that those thin clues, on top of the vastly stronger case that all of those attacks were carried out by the GRU, suggested that Sandworm was, in fact, GRU Unit 74455.
10-4-2018    A grand jury in the Western District of Pennsylvania has indicted seven defendants, all officers in the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), a military intelligence agency of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, for computer hacking, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering. 

According to the indictment, beginning in or around December 2014 and continuing until at least May 2018, the conspiracy conducted persistent and sophisticated computer intrusions affecting U.S. persons, corporate entities, international organizations, and their respective employees located around the world, based on their strategic interest to the Russian government.
5-20-2019  On Monday, RBC reported that a former commander at Unit 74455 is on trial in Russia for allegedly defrauding at least 17 people on promises of big profits from iPhone and MacBook imports.  Retired lieutenant-colonel Andrei Nikolenko, 45, and his wife Tatyana face more than 10 counts of fraud between 2013 and 2015, RBC cited investigative documents as saying. Two sources familiar with the investigation confirmed the documents’ authenticity.


Cristina Kirchner's dark clique exposed

8-8-2018  Between 2005 and 2015 the bags full of bribe money that the driver transported and logged into his notebooks totaled between $60 million and $160 million, prosecutors say  The driver, Oscar Centeno, not only specified the names of the companies where he picked up the bags of cash, and the executives who delivered them, he also detailed where he had taken the money.  According to his diaries, he made at least 70 deliveries to the apartment of late president Nestor Kirchner and his wife, Cristina, who was president during most of that period.
  The newspaper didn’t publish the contents of these notebooks immediately, but turned them over to a judge in order to corroborate the facts and allow the courts to investigate the case.  Now it’s all out, and more than a dozen people — including leading business executives — have been arrested.  At least four executives have already admitted making the payments, and a judge has requested that former president Cristina Fernandez be stripped of her congressional immunity as senator so that he can order a raid into her home.
5-16-16  THE former Argentine President could go behind bars for two decades over
allegations that she defrauded the state out of billions.  Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was charged with defrauding the Argentine state out of £3.5 billion.

the dark clique:   C. Kirchner,  Foreign Minister Timmerman, Luis D'Elía, Fernando Esteche (in order).

Read more here:

Friday, October 25, 2019

meet GRU Maj-General


  Andrey Averyanov was born in 1967 in Turkmenistan and graduated from the Taskhent Military School (TVOKU) in Soviet Uzbekistan in 1988.  In the '90’s he lived – likely as a result of military deployment – in a village near the southwestern Russian city of Samara and later in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar.  As of early 2000’s he was already deployed in Moscow and resided with his family at the dormitory of the GRU Academy, at Narodnogo Opolchenia 50.
  The character of his military services in the early 2000’s is yet unknown to us; however he continued posting under his own name at the website of his alma mater, and displayed an energetic activity in keeping tabs on its former alumni – and even publicly arranging help for ill or injured former classmates.  While many of these posts were deleted after 2011, some snippets of his posts remained in quotes by other military school alumni – one even included his telephone number.
     A reverse search in contact-list sharing apps under this and other telephone numbers linked to his name shows that he was listed under names such as “Director 1”, “Andrey Crimea”, and “Andrey – Senezh”.  Notably, our investigative team has been able to establish that Andrey Averyanov – just like Colonel Chepiga and Dr. Mishkin – is a non-disclosed recipient of the Hero of Russia award, which was bestowed namely for his participation in the Crimea annexation operation.
Photograph of Maj. General Andrey Averyanov taken from the Odnoklassniki account of a family member

so the Money Trust cried out "We will write the law!"
   for this fine interview with Edward Griffin exposing the Federal Reserve System

“giving the entire Uighur people a voice”

Ilham Tohti
Ilham Tohti, convicted of “separatism”File photo: Amnesty International.   
  10-25-19  European Parliament head David Sassoli urged China to immediately release Ilham Tohti as he announced the award, which was certain to sow diplomatic tensions with Beijing.  “Despite being a voice of moderation and reconciliation, he was sentenced to life in prison following a show trial in 2014,” Sassoli told a plenary session of parliament.
“By awarding this prize, we strongly urge the Chinese government to release Tohti and we call for the respect of minority rights in China”, added the top MEP from Italy.  Tohti, who turns 50 on Friday, in September won another of Europe’s top human rights awards, the Vaclav Havel prize, for “giving the entire Uighur people a voice”.
He “has worked for over 20 years on the situation of the Uighur minority and on fostering inter-ethnic dialogue and understanding in China,” the Council of Europe, Europe’s leading rights body, said after nominating Tohti for the Vaclav Havel prize.  Before his arrest in January 2014, Tohti founded and ran the UighurOnline website, which wrote in Uighur and Chinese about social issues. He gained prominence as a moderate voice drawing attention to ethnic tensions in the region.