Short Note on Media Disinformation: No, No, No… CIA is not Impersonating Others in Hacking Others … There is just not Proof!
Recently, with Wikileak’s release of so-called “Vault 7” of documents that revealed the vast array of tools the CIA on hacking and spying on American citizens, Western media is on a full-court press of disinformation in pushing back. One particular spin is how Wikileaks does not prove that CIA has framed or impersonated Russia. Even usually politically-neutral sites such as Wired has gotten into the act. U.S. might have taken tools from those bad boys in Russia … or China, but the goal is not to frame those countries, but to save American resources to use the tools there to advance American aims.
Wait … WAIT!
First, according to wikileaks, Vault 7 represents but 1% of the documents it has from the CIA. And even of the released documents, there has been redaction of materials that we do not get to see. And of course, even the full set of documents Wikileaks may have is but a small universe of what exists in reality. Let’s just say there is a lot more that we do not know. So just because what we do not see solid proof of CIA’s intentions one way or the other from released public documents doesn’t mean that its intention must be ergo be what Americans would like to believe to be.
But second, and more importantly, notice just how the media has re-framed the issues.
Remember the recent blah blah of Russian hacking and interference of American elections? Even though the publicly provided evidence was virtually nil, the allegations ripped like wildfire across the nation. Behind the veil of “national security,” all that is enough to pin the hacks as Russia are some references that the tools used was similar to what other Russian hackers have used … and that the attack was traced to an IP address that was Russian…
This was the same bull shit previously leveled against China and which we had previously analyzed before. But as we had pointed out so many times before: just because you find some Chinese tools or IP addresses doesn’t mean the attack was Chinese. Hacker’s tools are for the most part public tools – Chinese, Russian, or otherwise. Hackers will use each others’ tools – government, private, black hat, white hat, male, female, gay, straight, or others – for their own goals. So the mere fact that you find a Chinese being used could mean the actual person making the attack was a person of Chinese ancestry at the controls. We just don’t know!
As for IP addresses, as we also have explained, unless you traced the attack to a server that you have access to, IP addresses per se tell you Nada – Nothing – Zilch! If you do not have direct access to the server – the logs, the logins, etc. – you simply cannot know who actually controlled and launched the attack.
In an age where normal non-tech people use vpn’s to protect their “privacy,” you would think hackers – especially sophisticated state actors – would at least use some sort of multiple IP hops schemes to mask their identity. In an age where most people have seen emails from their “friend’s” email accounts which have been compromised and used as launching points for sending spams, you would think that most would understand that just because an attack appears to come from a particular server or email account, the actual attacker may be hidden several layers behind what things appear to be.
AND now Vault 7 proves how right we have been all along – with the CIA as a showcase!
Now we know how when the CIA uses tools to mount attacks how those attacks might look very much like attacks from other nations.
So does this prove that it was the CIA and not the Russians that hacked the DNC’s and Hillary’s computers? Of course not (albeit it sure does raise some interesting possibilities.) But if all the evidence is of some tools of Russian origin and some Russian IP addresses, well that is not evidence at all.
One more thing, just my conspiratorial mind working: remember Apple trying to step up to the U.S. government in the aftermath of the San Bernardino “terror attacks” in 2015? I’ve always thought that was a marketing stunt than anything else. For one thing, I always thought, come on, even if the iPhone were that difficult to crack, Apple must have built virtual machines of the iphones – for testing and other purposes. I am sure the U.S. government has the capability to scan any iPhone (encrypted) and put it in these virtual machines. While this per se would not break any encryption, the thing is that once you have it in virtual form, you can brute force try out codes because any “self destruction” would but “virtual” and can be restarted. In general, you can get under the encryption in so many ways if you know what you are doing!
Vault 7 shows that there are many ways to tap into the iPhone and get at data and control before things are encrypted. If the U.S. government had so much trouble with the San Bernardino iPhone, you think the same government – albeit different departments – could have developed such an extensive array of hacks into the iPhone (and other devices)?
In the real world, I am certain that the major manufacturers of computers, routers, electronics, mobile devices, etc. – willingly or not – have all been colluding with the U.S. government. When companies such as Apple or Google stand up to the U.S. government – it is all just for show. It is critical for these companies to do so – and for the U.S. government to help them to do – because business depends on it. If the thin facade of independence and non-subservience is broken – many people in the world would turn away from U.S. companies to supply these devices. That means the end of U.S. dominance in tech… and (more importantly) the end of such easy pervasive surveillance of the world by the U.S. government.