Tag: US

HIC: US DID Spy On Trump!

House Intelligence Committee Just Admitted US Did In Fact Spy On Trump

By Jay Syrmopoulos

U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said this week that U.S. intelligence intercepted and unmasked Trump team communications “on numerous occasions” and produced “dozens” of reports that were “widely disseminated” throughout the intelligence community.

Nunes said he would not disclose who provided him with the intelligence reports, but revealed that he was provided specific intelligence that, in fact, revealed the communications of Donald Trump and his associates had been intercepted, and that the intercepts had produced “dozens” of intelligence reports, which “contained details about persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little apparent foreign intelligence value (that) were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.”

Read more at Source  ActivistPost

Is This The Real Reason For The Electronic Device On Airflights Ban?

FOUND THIS ON MY MSN FEED TODAY< NO AUTHOR CREDITED:

http://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/analysis-trump-won%e2%80%99t-allow-you-to-use-ipads-or-laptops-on-certain-airlines-here%e2%80%99s-why/ar-BByAhpT?li=BBqdg4K&ocid=SK2MDHP

From Tuesday on, passengers traveling to the U.S. from 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority countries will not be allowed to have iPads, laptops or any communications device larger than a smartphone in the cabin of the plane.

If you are traveling from Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, or the UAE on Egypt Air, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, or Turkish Airlines, and you want to use your laptop on the flight, you are probably out of luck.

So why is the United States doing this, and how can it get away with it?

Emirates passenger planes at Dubai airport in United Arab Emirates.© AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File Emirates passenger planes at Dubai airport in United Arab Emirates.

The U.S. says it’s all about security

The Trump administration says the new rules were introduced because of intelligence that shows terrorists are continuing to target airlines flying to the United States.

An unidentified person familiar with the issue has told The Washington Post that officials have long been worried by a Syrian terrorist group that is trying to build bombs inside electronic devices that are hard to detect.

However, as Demitri Sevastopulo and Robert Wright at the Financial Times suggest, non-U. S. observers are skeptical of this explanation.

They note that the United States has not been forthcoming about whether the ban is based on recent intelligence or long-standing concerns. There is also no explanation for why electronic devices in the cabin are a concern, and electronic devices in the baggage hold are not.

There is an alternative explanation

It may not be about security. Three of the airlines that have been targeted for these measures — Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways — have long been accused by their U.S. competitors of receiving massive effective subsidies from their governments.

These airlines have been quietly worried for months that President Trump was going to retaliate. This may be the retaliation.

These three airlines, as well as the other airlines targeted in the order, are likely to lose a major amount of business from their most lucrative customers — people who travel in business class and first class.

Business travelers are disproportionately likely to want to work on the plane — the reason they are prepared to pay business-class or first-class fares is because it allows them to work in comfort. These travelers are unlikely to appreciate having to do all their work on smartphones, or not being able to work at all.

The likely result is that many of them will stop flying on Gulf airlines, and start traveling on U.S. airlines instead.

As the Financial Times notes, the order doesn’t affect only the airlines’ direct flights to and from the United States — it attacks the “hub” airports that are at the core of their business models.

These airlines not only fly passengers directly from the Gulf region to the United States — they also fly passengers from many other destinations, transferring them from one plane to another in the hubs.

This “hub and spoke” approach is a standard economic model for long-haul airlines, offering them large savings. However, it also creates big vulnerabilities. If competitors or unfriendly states can undermine or degrade the hub, they can inflict heavy economic damage.

The United States is weaponizing interdependence

As we have argued in the past, and talk about in forthcoming work, this can be understood as a variant form of “weaponized interdependence.”

We live in an interdependent world, where global networks span across countries, creating enormous benefits, but also great disparities of power. As networks grow, they tend to concentrate both influence and vulnerability in a few key locations, creating enormous opportunities for states, regulators and nonstate actors who have leverage over those locations.

In this context, the United States is plausibly leveraging its control over access to U.S. airports, which are central “nodes” in the global network of air travel between different destinations.

It is using this control to attack the key vulnerabilities of other networked actors, by going after the central nodes in their networks (the hub airports) and potentially severely damaging them.

There may not be much that Gulf airline carriers can do

Gulf airlines have tried to defend themselves against political attacks from U.S. competitors by appealing to free trade principles. The problem is that standard free trade agreements, such as World Trade Organization rules, don’t really apply to airlines (although they do apply to related sectors, such as the manufacture of airplanes).

This has allowed the Gulf airlines to enjoy massive subsidies, without having to worry too much about being sued in the WTO.

However, it also makes it hard for Gulf states or the states of other affected airlines to take a WTO case against the new U.S. rules, even if these rules turn out to be motivated by protectionism and the desire to retaliate, rather than real underlying security questions.

If this were happening in a different sector, it would make for a pretty interesting case. States preserve carve-outs from international trade rules when they feel that their security is at stake.

Would the United States prevail in a case like this, where there is a colorable security justification, but where there is also a very plausible argument that the real motivation doesn’t have much to do with security?

Or would the WTO defer to the United States’ proposed justification? It’s very likely that the Trump administration will make more unilateral rules that are justified using the language of national security, but are plausibly motivated by protectionism, so we may find out.

Trump Takes On The Entire CIA – Media Nexus

Trump Takes-on the entire CIA-media nexus

By Jon Rappoport

Image result for trump media cia

Trump’s attack on the CIA came into focus after the CIA claimed Putin subverted the election on behalf of Trump.

 

The Trump team retorted: Ridiculous; reminds us of the CIA’s phony assessment of Saddam’s WMDs that led to the disastrous war against Iraq.

 

Then the CIA’s gloves came off.

 

But there is more to it than that.

 

All along, Trump has been hammering the mainstream press, calling them biased, idiots, fake, etc. Certainly through his advisor, Steve Bannon, and quite probably through other sources, Trump knows about the CIA-major media connection. This connection, of course, goes way back to the Mockingbird CIA operation of the early 1950s. Major news outlets have been infested with CIA operatives since that time.

 

When Trump goes after mainstream news, he’s also going after its shadow brother, the CIA; and vice versa. This is no accident. You can’t put a heavy dent in one without putting a heavy dent in the other.

 

As the mainstream press continues to stir the pot and attack Trump on every possible front, day after day, they strive to impart the impression that the escalating war between Trump and the CIA is a sign that the president’s administration is in a condition of severe imbalance, heading toward the edge of the cliff.

 

Two points about that: the press is trying to protect its shadow brother, the CIA; and the reason a war between a president and the CIA hasn’t broken out since JFK and the Bay of Pigs is, simply, no president has dared to challenge the CIA openly.

 

Or to put it another way, every president since Kennedy SHOULD have gone to war with the CIA, but no president did.

 

Trump, so far, is carrying out his version of a war.

 

He may stop, he may make peace, he may turn away, he may decide the consequences are too steep, but so far he’s doing, in this respect, what he should be doing, because the CIA has believed, for a long, long time that it is the president, it runs the country, it decides the important issues, it fronts for mega-corporate incursions into foreign nations, it decides foreign policy, it calculates when a regime should be overthrown, it decides how to foment wars that will end up funneling huge chunks of cash to the military-industrial complex…

 

People with attention spans of less than six seconds think rooting out corruption in high places can be done with the stroke of a pen and an executive order. No. Afraid not.

 

Digging out, exposing, and getting rid of the rot and corruption inside the CIA is on the order of turning around an oil tanker in a small lake.

 

That rot and crime wasn’t built to its present level overnight. It has been built since 1948.

 

The people who constructed it (with Allen Dulles right up there at the head of the line) assumed they could stage a coup. A national coup. They could essentially take over the country. And to a large extent, they did. JFK’s assassination removed a potential obstruction early in the game.

 

Then, nothing. Until Trump.

 

Maybe he’ll throw up his hands and forget about going after the CIA. Maybe he’ll focus on other parts of his agenda. Maybe he’ll prove to be completely ineffective and unwilling, as regards the Agency. But he has sounded an alarm, just as he sounded an alarm about Globalism, the so-called “free trade” treaties, and the brutal theft of jobs in America by those Rockefeller forces who want to torpedo economies, as a step toward exercising greater international control over the lives of billions of people.

 

The CIA and major media in this country are in lock-step. They feed each other. They produce a picture of reality that is entirely shallow and false. They want compliance, obedience, and silence. They want to make black white and white black. They want to fulfill Orwell’s 1984 prediction.

 

The best of these little “journalists” are leeches and adoring cowards. They cling to the higher-ups who run the show. The worst of them are psychologically and spiritually mongrelized sociopaths, for whom sadism is the only way of life. Like their CIA brothers, they believe (or did believe until recently) that no one could remove their entitlements.

 

Steve Bannon knows—and I’m sure he’s told Trump—that a war against the media is the best way to go right now. On many fronts, the media are the funnels for presenting inside out lies, from the CIA, to the American people.

 

In other words, if the head of the snake is too hard to cut off at the moment, go for other parts of the body.

 

 

Ryancare Dead On Arrival: Can We Please Now Try Single Payer Please?

VIDEO: Let the States Provide Single Payer Health Care

The Canadian plan also helps Canadians live longer and healthier than Americans. . . . We need, as a nation, to reexamine the single-payer plan, as many individual states are doing.  — Donald Trump, The America We Deserve (2000)

The new American Health Care Act has been unveiled, and critics are calling it more flawed even than the Obamacare it was meant to replace. Dubbed “Ryancare” or “Trumpcare” (over the objection of White House staff), the Republican health care bill is under attack from left and right, with even conservative leaders calling it “Obamacare Lite”, “bad policy”, a “warmed-over substitute,” and “dead on arrival.”

The problem for both administrations is that they have been trying to fund a bloated, inefficient, and overpriced medical system with scarce taxpayer funds, without capping its costs. US healthcare costs in 2016 averaged $10,345 per person, for a total of $3.35 trillion dollars, a full 18 percent of the entire economy, twice as much as in other industrialized countries.

Ross Perot, who ran for president in 1992, had the right idea: he said all we have to do is to look at other countries that have better health care at lower cost and copy them.

So which industrialized countries do it better than the US? The answer is, all of them. They all not only provide healthcare for the entire population at about half the cost, but they get better health outcomes than in the US. Their citizens have longer lifespans, fewer infant mortalities and less chronic disease.

President Trump, who is all about getting the most bang for the buck, should love that.

Hard to Argue with Success

The secret to the success of these more efficient systems is that they control medical costs. According to T. R. Reid in The Healing of America, they follow one of three models: the “Bismarck model” established in Germany, in which health providers and insurers are private but insurers are not allowed to make a profit; the “Beveridge model” adopted in Britain, where most healthcare providers work as government employees and the government acts as the single payer for all health services; and the Canadian model, a single-payer system in which the healthcare providers are mostly private.

A single government payer can negotiate much lower drug prices – about half what we pay in the US – and lower hospital prices. Single-payer is also much easier to administer. Cutting out the paperwork can save 30 percent on the cost of insurance. According to a May 2016 post by Physicians for a National Health Program:

Per capita, the U.S. spends three times as much for health care as the U.K., whose taxpayer-funded National Health Service provides health care to citizens without additional charges or co-pays. In 2013, U.S. taxpayers footed the bill for 64.3 percent of U.S. health care — about $1.9 trillion. Yet in the U.S. nearly 30 million of our citizens still lack any form of insurance coverage.

The for-profit U.S. health care system is corrupt, dysfunctional and deadly. In Canada, only 1.5 percent of health care costs are devoted to administration of its single-payer system. In the U.S., 31 percent of health care expenditures flow to the private insurance industry. Americans pay far more for prescription drugs. Last year, CNN reported, Americans paid nearly 10 times as much for prescription Nexium as it cost in the Netherlands.

Single payer, or Medicare for All, is the system proposed in 2016 by Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. It is also the system endorsed by Donald Trump in his book The America We Deserve. Mr. Trump confirmed his admiration for that approach in January 2015, when he said on David Letterman:

A friend of mine was in Scotland recently. He got very, very sick. They took him by ambulance and he was there for four days. He was really in trouble, and they released him and he said, ‘Where do I pay?’ And they said, ‘There’s no charge.’ Not only that, he said it was like great doctors, great care. I mean we could have a great system in this country.

Contrary to the claims of its opponents, the single-payer plan of Bernie Sanders would not have been unaffordable. Rather, according to research by University of Massachusetts Amherst Professor Gerald Friedman, it would have generated substantial savings for the government:

Under the single-payer system envisioned by “The Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act” (H.R. 676), the U.S. could save $592 billion – $476 billion by eliminating administrative waste associated with the private insurance industry and $116 billion by reducing drug prices . . . .

According to OECD health data, in 2013 the British were getting their healthcare for $3,364 per capita annually; the Germans for $4,920; the French for $4,361; and the Japanese for $3,713. The tab for Americans was $9,086, at least double the others. With single-payer at the OECD average of $3,661 and a population of 322 million, we should be able to cover all our healthcare for under $1.2 trillion annually – well under half what we are paying now.

The Problem Is Not Just the High Cost of Insurance

That is true in theory; but governments at all levels in the US already spend $1.6 trillion for healthcare, which goes mainly to Medicare and Medicaid and covers only 17 percent of the population. Where is the discrepancy?

For one thing, Medicare and Medicaid are more expensive than they need to be, because the US government has been prevented from negotiating drug and hospital costs. In January, a bill put forth by Sen. Sanders to allow the importation of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada was voted down. Sanders is now planning to introduce a bill to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, for which he is hoping for the support of the president. Trump indicated throughout his presidential campaign that he would support negotiating drug prices; and in January, he said that the pharmaceutical industry is “getting away with murder” because of what it charges the government. As observed by Ronnie Cummins, International Director of the Organic Consumers Association, in February 2017:

. . . [B]ig pharmaceutical companies, for-profit hospitals and health insurers are allowed to jack up their profit margins at will. . . . Simply giving everyone access to Big Pharma’s overpriced drugs, and corporate hospitals’ profit-at-any-cost tests and treatment, will result in little more than soaring healthcare costs, with uninsured and insured alike remaining sick or becoming even sicker.

Besides the unnecessarily high cost of drugs, the US medical system is prone to over-diagnosing and over-treating. The Congressional Budget Office says that up to 30 percent of the health care in the US is unnecessaryWe use more medical technology then in other countries, including more expensive diagnostic equipment. The equipment must be used in order to recoup its costs. Unnecessary testing and treatment can create new health problems, requiring yet more treatment, further driving up medical bills.

Drug companies are driven by profit, and their market is sickness – a market they have little incentive to shrink. There is not much profit to be extracted from quick, effective cures. The money is in the drugs that have to be taken for 30 years, killing us slowly. And they are killing us. Pharmaceutical drugs taken as prescribed are the fourth leading cause of US deathsafter heart disease, cancer and stroke.  

The US is the only industrialized country besides New Zealand that allows drug companies to advertise pharmaceuticals. Big Pharma spends more on lobbying than any other US industry, and it spends more than $5 billion a year on advertising. Lured by drug advertising, Americans are popping pills they don’t need, with side effects that are creating problems where none existed before. Americans compose only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet we consume fully 50 percent of Big Pharma’s drugs and 80 percent of the world’s pain pills. We not only take more drugs (measured in grams of active ingredient) than people in most other countries, but we have the highest use of new prescription drugs, which have a 1 in 5 chance of causing serious adverse reactions after they have been approved.

The US death toll from prescription drugs taken as prescribed is now 128,000 per year. As Jon Rappaport observes, with those results Big Pharma should be under criminal investigation. But the legal drug industry has grown too powerful for that. According to Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, writing in 2002:

The combined profits for the ten drug companies in the Fortune 500 ($35.9 billion) were more than the profits for all the other 490 businesses put together ($33.7 billion). Over the past two decades the pharmaceutical industry has [become] a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit, [using] its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way, including the US Congress, the FDA, academic medical centers, and the medical profession itself.

It’s Just Good Business

US healthcare costs are projected to grow at 6 percent a year over the next decade. The result could be to bankrupt not only millions of consumers but the entire federal government.

Obamacare has not worked, and Ryancare is not likely to work. As demonstrated in many other industrialized countries, single-payer delivers better health care at half the cost that Americans are paying now.

Winston Churchill is said to have quipped, “You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing after they have tried everything else.” We need to try a thrifty version of Medicare for all, with negotiated prices for drugs, hospitals and diagnostic equipment.

Ellen Brown is the founder of the Public Banking Institute and a Research Fellow at the Democracy CollaborativeShe is the author of a dozen books including the best-selling Web of Debt, on how the power to create money was usurped by a private banking cartel; and The Public Bank Solution, on how the people can reclaim that power through a network of publicly-owned banks. She has written over 300 articles, posted at EllenBrown.com; and co-hosts a radio program on PRN.FM called “It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown.”

Must Watch. Rumsfeld gets a Grilling

 

Cynthia McKinney has Rumsfeld by the balls in this 2005 archival footage. Child trafficking, 911, and missing $trillions are all questioned here. A timely reminder.

 

Look who the Hawaii judge met with before ruling against Trump’s executive order!

Image result for trump hawaii judge

Well well well… Look who the Hawaii judge met with before ruling against Trump’s executive order!

Full article here:  http://redstatewatcher.com/article.asp?id=68118

President Trump’s revised travel ban was put on hold Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii just hours before it was set to take effect after hearing arguments that the executive order discriminates on the basis of nationality. According to reports, Watson met with President Obama the day before requesting a temporary restraining order on President Trump’s new executive order.

 

Department Of Justice Official Release On Yahoo Hack Charges

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/us-charges-russian-fsb-officers-and-their-criminal-conspirators-hacking-yahoo-and-millions

Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

U.S. Charges Russian FSB Officers and Their Criminal Conspirators for Hacking Yahoo and Millions of Email Accounts

FSB Officers Protected, Directed, Facilitated and Paid Criminal Hackers

A grand jury in the Northern District of California has indicted four defendants, including two officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), for computer hacking, economic espionage and other criminal offenses in connection with a conspiracy, beginning in January 2014, to access Yahoo’s network and the contents of webmail accounts. The defendants are Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev, 33, a Russian national and resident; Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin, 43, a Russian national and resident; Alexsey Alexseyevich Belan, aka “Magg,” 29, a Russian national and resident; and Karim Baratov, aka “Kay,” “Karim Taloverov” and “Karim Akehmet Tokbergenov,” 22, a Canadian and Kazakh national and a resident of Canada.

The defendants used unauthorized access to Yahoo’s systems to steal information from about at least 500 million Yahoo accounts and then used some of that stolen information to obtain unauthorized access to the contents of accounts at Yahoo, Google and other webmail providers, including accounts of Russian journalists, U.S. and Russian government officials and private-sector employees of financial, transportation and other companies. One of the defendants also exploited his access to Yahoo’s network for his personal financial gain, by searching Yahoo user communications for credit card and gift card account numbers, redirecting a subset of Yahoo search engine web traffic so he could make commissions and enabling the theft of the contacts of at least 30 million Yahoo accounts to facilitate a spam campaign.

The charges were announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions of the U.S. Department of Justice, Director James Comey of the FBI, Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord of the National Security Division, U.S. Attorney Brian Stretch for the Northern District of California and Executive Assistant Director Paul Abbate of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch.

“Cyber crime poses a significant threat to our nation’s security and prosperity, and this is one of the largest data breaches in history,” said Attorney General Sessions. “But thanks to the tireless efforts of U.S. prosecutors and investigators, as well as our Canadian partners, today we have identified four individuals, including two Russian FSB officers, responsible for unauthorized access to millions of users’ accounts. The United States will vigorously investigate and prosecute the people behind such attacks to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Today we continue to pierce the veil of anonymity surrounding cyber crimes,” said Director Comey. “We are shrinking the world to ensure that cyber criminals think twice before targeting U.S. persons and interests.”

“ The criminal conduct at issue, carried out and otherwise facilitated by officers from an FSB unit that serves as the FBI’s point of contact in Moscow on cybercrime matters, is beyond the pale,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General McCord. “Once again, the Department and the FBI have demonstrated that hackers around the world can and will be exposed and held accountable. State actors may be using common criminals to access the data they want, but the indictment shows that our companies do not have to stand alone against this threat. We commend Yahoo and Google for their sustained and invaluable cooperation in the investigation aimed at obtaining justice for, and protecting the privacy of their users.”

“This is a highly complicated investigation of a very complex threat. It underscores the value of early, proactive engagement and cooperation between the private sector and the government,” said Executive Assistant Director Abbate. “The FBI will continue to work relentlessly with our private sector and international partners to identify those who conduct cyber-attacks against our citizens and our nation, expose them and hold them accountable under the law, no matter where they attempt to hide.”

“Silicon Valley’s computer infrastructure provides the means by which people around the world communicate with each other in their business and personal lives. The privacy and security of those communications must be governed by the rule of law, not by the whim of criminal hackers and those who employ them. People rightly expect that their communications through Silicon Valley internet providers will remain private, unless lawful authority provides otherwise. We will not tolerate unauthorized and illegal intrusions into the Silicon Valley computer infrastructure upon which both private citizens and the global economy rely,” said U.S. Attorney Stretch. “Working closely with Yahoo and Google, Department of Justice lawyers and the FBI were able to identify and expose the hackers responsible for the conduct described today, without unduly intruding into the privacy of the accounts that were stolen. We commend Yahoo and Google for providing exemplary cooperation while zealously protecting their users’ privacy.”

Summary of Allegations

According to the allegations of the Indictment:

The FSB officer defendants, Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin, protected, directed, facilitated and paid criminal hackers to collect information through computer intrusions in the U.S. and elsewhere. In the present case, they worked with co-defendants Alexsey Belan and Karim Baratov to obtain access to the email accounts of thousands of individuals.

Belan had been publicly indicted in September 2012 and June 2013 and was named one of FBI’s Cyber Most Wanted criminals in November 2013. An Interpol Red Notice seeking his immediate detention has been lodged (including with Russia) since July 26, 2013. Belan was arrested in a European country on a request from the U.S. in June 2013, but he was able to escape to Russia before he could be extradited.

Instead of acting on the U.S. government’s Red Notice and detaining Belan after his return, Dokuchaev and Sushchin subsequently used him to gain unauthorized access to Yahoo’s network. In or around November and December 2014, Belan stole a copy of at least a portion of Yahoo’s User Database (UDB), a Yahoo trade secret that contained, among other data, subscriber information including users’ names, recovery email accounts, phone numbers and certain information required to manually create, or “mint,” account authentication web browser “cookies” for more than 500 million Yahoo accounts.

Belan also obtained unauthorized access on behalf of the FSB conspirators to Yahoo’s Account Management Tool (AMT), which was a proprietary means by which Yahoo made and logged changes to user accounts. Belan, Dokuchaev and Sushchin then used the stolen UDB copy and AMT access to locate Yahoo email accounts of interest and to mint cookies for those accounts, enabling the co-conspirators to access at least 6,500 such accounts without authorization.

Some victim accounts were of predictable interest to the FSB, a foreign intelligence and law enforcement service, such as personal accounts belonging to Russian journalists; Russian and U.S. government officials; employees of a prominent Russian cybersecurity company; and numerous employees of other providers whose networks the conspirators sought to exploit. However, other personal accounts belonged to employees of commercial entities, such as a Russian investment banking firm, a French transportation company, U.S. financial services and private equity firms, a Swiss bitcoin wallet and banking firm and a U.S. airline.

 

During the conspiracy, the FSB officers facilitated Belan’s other criminal activities, by providing him with sensitive FSB law enforcement and intelligence information that would have helped him avoid detection by U.S. and other law enforcement agencies outside Russia, including information regarding FSB investigations of computer hacking and FSB techniques for identifying criminal hackers. Additionally, while working with his FSB conspirators to compromise Yahoo’s network and its users, Belan used his access to steal financial information such as gift card and credit card numbers from webmail accounts; to gain access to more than 30 million accounts whose contacts were then stolen to facilitate a spam campaign; and to earn commissions from fraudulently redirecting a subset of Yahoo’s search engine traffic.

 

When Dokuchaev and Sushchin learned that a target of interest had accounts at webmail providers other than Yahoo, including through information obtained as part of the Yahoo intrusion, they tasked their co-conspirator, Baratov, a resident of Canada, with obtaining unauthorized access to more than 80 accounts in exchange for commissions. On March 7, the Department of Justice submitted a provisional arrest warrant to Canadian law enforcement authorities, requesting Baratov’s arrest. On March 14, Baratov was arrested in Canada and the matter is now pending with the Canadian authorities.

 

An indictment is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

 

The FBI, led by the San Francisco Field Office, conducted the investigation that resulted in the charges announced today. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, with support from the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs.

Defendants: At all times relevant to the charges, the Indictment alleges as follows:

    • Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev, 33, was an officer in the FSB Center for Information Security, aka “Center 18.” Dokuchaev was a Russian national and resident.
    • Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin, 43, was an FSB officer, a superior to Dokuchaev within the FSB, and a Russian national and resident. Sushchin was embedded as a purported employee and Head of Information Security at a Russian investment bank.
    • Alexsey Alexseyevich Belan, aka “Magg,” 29, was born in Latvia and is a Russian national and resident. U.S. Federal grand juries have indicted Belan twice before, in 2012 and 2013, for computer fraud and abuse, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft involving three U.S.-based e-commerce companies and the FBI placed Belan on its “Cyber Most Wanted” list.  Belan is currently the subject of a pending “Red Notice” requesting that Interpol member nations (including Russia) arrest him pending extradition. Belan was also one of two criminal hackers named by President Barack Obama on Dec. 29, 2016, pursuant to Executive Order 13694, as a Specially Designated National subject to sanctions.
    • Karim Baratov, aka “Kay,” “Karim Taloverov” and “Karim Akehmet Tokbergenov,” 22. He is a Canadian and Kazakh national and a resident of Canada.

Victims: Yahoo; more than 500 million Yahoo accounts for which account information about was stolen by the defendants; more than 30 million Yahoo accounts for which account contents were accessed without authorization to facilitate a spam campaign; and at least 18 additional users at other webmail providers whose accounts were accessed without authorization.

 

Time Period: As alleged in the Indictment, the conspiracy began at least as early as 2014 and, even though the conspirators lost their access to Yahoo’s networks in September 2016, they continued to utilize information stolen from the intrusion up to and including at least December 2016.

 

Crimes:

Count(s) Defendant(s) Charge Statute                 18 U.S.C. Conduct Maximum Penalty
1 All Conspiring to commit computer fraud and abuse § 1030(b) Defendants conspired to hack into the computers of Yahoo and accounts maintained by Yahoo, Google and other providers to steal information from them.

 

First, Belan gained access to Yahoo’s servers and stole information that allowed him, Dokuchaev, and Sushchin to gain unauthorized access to individual Yahoo user accounts.

Then, Dokuchaev and Sushchin tasked Baratov with gaining access to individual user accounts at Google and other Providers (but not Yahoo) and paid Baratov for providing them with the account passwords. In some instances, Dokuchaev and Sushchin tasked Baratov with targeting accounts that they learned of through access to Yahoo’s UDB and AMT (e.g., Gmail accounts that served as a Yahoo user’s secondary account).

10 years
2 Dokuchaev

Sushchin

Belan

Conspiring to engage in economic espionage § 1831(a)(5) Starting on Nov. 4, 2014, Belan stole, and the defendants thereafter transferred, received and possessed the following Yahoo trade secrets:

  • the Yahoo UDB, which was proprietary and confidential Yahoo technology and information, including subscriber names, secondary accounts, phone numbers, challenge questions and answers;
  • the AMT, Yahoo’s interface to the UDB; and
  • Yahoo’s cookie “minting” source code, which enabled the defendants to manufacture account cookies to then gain access to individual Yahoo user accounts.
15 years
3 Dokuchaev

Sushchin

Belan

Conspiring to engage in theft of trade secrets § 1832(a)(5) See Count 2 10 years
4-6 Dokuchaev

Sushchin

Belan

Economic espionage §§ 1831(a)(1), (a)(4), and 2 See Count 2 15 years (each count)
7-9 Dokuchaev

Sushchin

Belan

Theft of trade secrets §§ 1832(a)(1), and 2 See Count 2 10 years (each count)
10 Dokuchaev

Sushchin

Belan

Conspiring to commit wire fraud § 1349 The defendants fraudulently schemed to gain unauthorized access to Yahoo’s network through compromised Yahoo employee accounts and then used the Yahoo trade secrets to gain unauthorized access to valuable non-public information in individual Yahoo user accounts. 20 years
11-13 Dokuchaev

Sushchin

Belan

Accessing (or attempting to access) a computer without authorization to obtain information for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain. §§ 1030(a)(2)(C), 1030(c)(2)(B)(i)-(iii), and 2 The defendants gained unauthorized access to Yahoo’s corporate network and obtained information regarding Yahoo’s network architecture and the UDB. 5 years

(each count)

14-17 Dokuchaev

Sushchin

Belan

Transmitting code with the intent to cause damage to computers. §§ 1030(a)(5)(A), 1030(c)(4)(B), and 2 During the course of their unauthorized access to Yahoo’s network, the defendants transmitted code on Yahoo’s network in order to maintain a persistent presence, to redirect Yahoo search engine users and to mint cookies for individual Yahoo accounts. 10 years (each count)
18-24 Dokuchaev

Sushchin

Belan

Accessing (or attempting to access) a computer without authorization to obtain information for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain. §§ 1030(a)(2)(C), 1030(c)(2)(B)(i)-(iii), and 2 Defendants obtained unauthorized access to individual Yahoo user accounts. 5 years

(each count)

25-36 Dokuchaev

Sushchin

Belan

Counterfeit access device fraud §§ 1029(a)(1), 1029(b)(1), and 2 Defendants used minted cookies to gain unauthorized access to individual Yahoo user accounts. 10 years (each count)
37 Dokuchaev

Sushchin

Belan

Counterfeit access device making equipment §§ 1029(a)(4) Defendants used software to mint cookies for unauthorized access to individual Yahoo user accounts. 15 years
38 Dokuchaev

Sushchin

Baratov

Conspiring to commit access device fraud §§ 1029(b)(2) Defendants Dokuchaev and Sushchin tasked Baratov with gaining unauthorized access to individual user accounts at Google and other Providers and then paid Baratov for providing them with the account passwords. In some instances, Dokuchaev and Sushchin tasked Baratov with targeting accounts that they learned of through access to Yahoo’s UDB and AMT (e.g., Gmail accounts that served as a Yahoo user’s secondary account). 7 ½ years.
39 Dokuchaev

Sushchin

Baratov

Conspiring to commit wire fraud § 1349 See Count 38 20 years
40-47 Dokuchaev

Baratov

Aggravated identity theft § 1028A(a)(1) See Count 38 2 years

Dmitri Dokuchae et al Indictment Redacted

17-278

National Security Division (NSD)

USAO – California, Northern

Topic:

Counterintelligence and Export Control

Updated March 15,

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/us-charges-russian-fsb-officers-and-their-criminal-conspirators-hacking-yahoo-and-millions

 

 

SEE ALSO:

https://www.wired.com/2017/03/yahoo-hack-russia-indictment/

 

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