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Obama: US Will Retaliate Against Russian Cyberattacks In Proportional Manner
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Crypt0L0cker
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Crypt0L0cker,
User Rank: Strategist
12/18/2016 | 2:31:13 AM
Re: Cryptolocker 2016
We have already heard this "bla-bla-bla" in October, 2016 from another White House official. What is the time and place? North Pole in 2050?
BruceR279
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BruceR279,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/17/2016 | 1:46:20 PM
Observations on content of article
Thanks for posting the article Jai. Have some comments, observations, and questions of some items. First, I reviewed recently the blog of Dmitri Alpervitch about the findings and analysis of their work for the DNC, the gist of which was the detection by the CrowdStrike forensics team of obvious signs that the cyber-attacktics amd operational signature indicated the incursions and activities were attributable to CozyBear and FancyBear:

[from the blog titled

Bears in the Midst: Intrusion into the Democratic National Committee


"immediately identified two sophisticated adversaries on the network – COZY BEAR and FANCY BEAR. We've had lots of experience with both of these actors attempting to target our customers in the past and know them well."

I have not looked at any of the forensic evidence collected and analyzed by CrowdStrike, so my next few comments are obviously speculation. That being said, I would point out that since CrowdStrike has knowledge of the operational signatures of Cozy and Fancy, other cyber intelligence and even cyber-threat agents as or even more sophisticated then the CrowdStrike team would obviously also know these "operational signatures". And with that knowledge, other sophisticated cyber threat agents would be able to and likely would emulate these operational signatures as part of the offensive attacktic of false attribution to cover tracks. CrowdStrike does indicate that one of the operational tactic signatures they detected was the use of metamorphic actions, but even that attacktic can be sufficiently randomized to approximate the CozyBear / FancyBear signiature.

My main point here is that there really is no way to rule out the distinct possibility that either a different threat actor had penetrated and potentially took total super-user control over the DNC, DCCC, and Podesta e-mail systems or perhaps even multiple sophisticated threat actors were traversing in and out of those systems. As a professional cyber expert involved in work on critical infrastructures, I would have preferred that CrowdStrike and Dmitri had rendered their reports using the specification of probablities of occurence which is really all that CrowdStrike or any other credible incident response / forensics team should be including in both their reports and public statements (like the recent interview that Dmitri had with Wolf Blitzer and als NPR).

On your discussion about the reports from Recorded Future about the incursions and leaks of US EAC database access credentials, I am concerned that the system administrators of the EAC infrastructure did not utilize best practice implementations of security controls to have those database access credentials deployed using data-at-rest encryption with salted hashes and also deployed in the relatively common deployment of Active Directory or LDAP. The poor implementation of readily available NIST 800-53 or ISO 2700x series security contols is actually the largest vector to all of these incursions - DNC, DCCC, Podesta, and US EAC.

Looking forward to your thoughts on these factors.


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