The emphasis in on “know.”
Putin Flatly Denies That He’s Behind Recent US Cyberattacks
Russian President Vladimir Putin denied that he was behind the recent cyberattacks across the United States, calling the allegations against him “farcical.”
“We have been accused of all kinds of things,” Putin told NBC News Monday. “Election interference, cyberattacks and so on and so forth. And not once, not once, not one time, did they bother to produce any kind of evidence or proof. Just unfounded accusations.”
Russian intelligence and Russian-speaking groups have launched wide-ranging cyberattacks in recent months, affecting American consumer goods ranging from gasoline to meat.
Unless US intel cares to share their proof that Putin personally ordered the alleged 2016 election hacks, I’m undecided on these recent ransomware attacks. I think it’s 50:50 whether it’s Russian intelligence or Russian mobs. Or a combination.
But say it is an actual Russian government op. Do you really think the head of state of any country knows absolutely everything some bureaucrat — especially bureaucrats already working in the dark — is up to? And there might not be much paperwork to track it down through.
Imagine someone wants funding for a black op. But they want to keep it black, and not even explain to… say, the SSCI by asking for the money. So you do an off-the-books operation to make money. Maybe you’ll secretly sell arms to one country, and use the profits to fund the black op you really. Iran Contra ring any bells?
Maybe you could create an entire shell company, like Air America.
So, yeah; there could be an op more-or-less run by the Russian government that even Putin wouldn’t have been told about. In fact, given stories I’ve heard about the interchangeability of gov and mob in Russia, I could be convinced to consider it likely. You’ve got this great hacking tool, and your upper level bosses don’t know it. It’s making millions for you. Not only is it funding the stuff you want to do, but…
There’s all that money just sitting there. Completely off the books, ready to skim. You cut your supervisor and co-workers in to keep them quiet. You buy a pleasant little dacha in the country.
Maybe the hacking started as an official op, but again,those great tools are just sitting there, begging to be used. So maybe you extort a couple more US companies on your own time. Boss and co-workers don’t even know, so you keep all. More dachas! But all strictly freelance; sorta like playing solitaire all day on company time.
Now, allowing for Putin’s intel background, he probably understands this. And so long as the fallout is useful, he won’t ask uncomfortable questions. But if it starts getting awkward, he’ll put out a quiet word. And maybe demand his own cut.
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