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[flagged] U.S. And U.K. Warn of Cybersecurity Threat from Russia (nytimes.com)
38 points by rbanffy 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 38 comments



I must say that by now, it is hard to tell what is the truth.


Understandably, since that press release is devoid of any real information. Seems quite reasonable to disregard it.

That's one thing that bothers me about security in general, that it's so super political and it's a bit hard to just be interested in the technical aspects of it without being sucked into political bickering to some degree (can't follow Twitter accounts of most security people for that reason). Of course, I understand that it comes with the field since many adversaries simply have political motives. Still annoying though.


Have any twitter accounts you find worthwhile? I currently follow Troy Hunt and occasionally check some of the people he talks with/retweets, would definitely like to expand that a bit.


> by now

I don't think much has changed, it's just that we see a lot more diversity than 30 years ago. Having grown up in East Germany, if I hadn't lived close enough to the Western border I could only have viewed East German TV and read East German newspapers. In the US you were (for the most part) not exposed to anything from Russia, and vice versa. Now more people get to see that the world is quite a bit more colorful, for both better and worse.

I don't think it matters all that much, because apart from passive news consumption, what would you actually do (that is impacted by the information)?


Note that nobody in West Germany used to watch East German TV during that time.

Meaning: it’s not all propaganda, with each side being equally bad and the truth to be found by triangulation.


Not vote for Trump / Brexit / BoJo (heaven forbid)?


They have wiretapped the entire world with PRISM and other similar secret programs. They have seized and vanished a countless number of people to black site secret prisons.

Who cares about Russia.


А у вас негров линчуют (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And_you_are_lynching_Negroes)

The bad actions of the US and their allies does not excuse the same actions of Russia (or China, or any other country).


Probably less about whataboutism and more about retaliation. Not saying one actor would stop if another did, but still.


Excuse, no. But there's nothing wrong with pointing out hypocrisy.


Highlighting the crimes of actor B to excuse the crimes of actor A is not "pointing out hypocrisy", it's an attempt to excuse a crime and confuse the conversation.


I a more worried about the UK government having access to my data as its more relevant being a citizen of the UK. I think that's the point.


You certainly should be worried if a future UK government turns out to be a drastically more coercive nature than the present. And that's on the cards.


No, it's highlighting the fact that US and UK are redirecting attention from their crimes to Russia.


I think based on the conversation you can view, this entire thread has been derailed. whataboutism confirmed, no one is discussing the article and now this thread that _should_ be discussed here will get erased from the front page.

>“Once you own the router, you own all the traffic, to include the chance to harvest credentials and passwords,” said Howard Marshall, deputy assistant director of the cyber division at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “It is a tremendous weapon in the hands of an adversary.”

if this were true, more effort needs to be done to encrypt traffic fully, not enabling it to be broken with trusted certificates but disabling the ability in the first place (application) from being decrypted.


"Whataboutism" is just a buzzword for people who want to avoid looking at issues holistically. "Evil Actor A says look out for Evil Actor B" warrants the response "well, they're both evil actors".


And this is why the headline reads "U.S and UK want to harm Russia" to me.


It's really kind of hard to harm Russia more than it manages to harm itself. Yes, Hitler did manage to kill more Russians than Stalin did, but you could also lay the blame for at least some of that at Stalin's door, through the purges in the thirties.


> Hitler did manage to kill more Russians than Stalin did

It's debatable. Stalin's tactics of "scorched earth" and fighting with human waves may shift the toll.


Yes, I was trying to give Russia at least a little bit of wiggle room there... but honestly, they've done far more damage to themselves than anybody has done to them, pretty much throughout their history.


there is when it derails conversation. this is called whataboutism.

we can have a separate conversation about that separate issue which I agree needs to be addressed, but not in this thread..

if you need help understanding what whatboutism is here is a great john oliver explanation [0] that will help why this is bad and that pointing out hypocrisy does not create a moral equivalency.

please try to focus on the conversation, and open up a new thread on the issue you would like to discuss, not here.

[0] skip to 6 minutes if you would like to get to that point, I think the entire video is worth a look. [0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZAPwfrtAFY


Russia isn’t part of the liberal order. They’ve done things like leak tapped phone calls to the press (“fuck the EU”) and they’re less likely to care about collateral damage. Nato already has the worlds most reliable and powerful military so as things go cyber physical there isn’t a delta in terms of power balance for them, but there is for Russia and countries that nerve agent attack on foreign soil already show a lack of restraint. We shouldn’t take it lightly.


> They’ve done things like leak tapped phone calls to the press

Yes, citizens knowing what their democratically elected government is doing is a terrible idea.


I do care

And those who aren't caring aren't paying attention


you either care about all of them or about none of them, the in-between is a double standard


Whataboutism...


Could we ban/flag it on HN?


Should we declare an International Factory Reset Your Router Day?

Edit: I know this is not a permanent solution. But it could be effective if combined with efforts to study the propagation of attacks and with efforts to educate the public about properly securing their routers.


Now that we understand a bit more about the behaviour of the system at scale, lets iterate and build the internet again, from scratch, but better this time. Factory resetting routers isn't enough, we need to factory reset the internet.


Agreed. <Insert Ideological Post About Blockchain Here>


How does factory reset help your router from being pwned again though?


It doesn't. But it's an easy action step that could be organized en masse for people who aren't knowledgeable enough to properly secure their routers in the first place that might temporarily deter these kinds of attacks. I don't know, realistically it might only set attackers back by hours or days, but it could also be used to study how attacks propogate through the system and to raise awareness and educate people about properly securing their routers.


Meanwhile, propaganda threat from US and UK governments remains high.



Slightly off topic (article mentions routers as prime targets): what do you guys consider a secure/affordable router these days?


Rules for thee, but not for me.


Fair game, IMO. Pretty sure Russia and the West are incompatible, at least for a long while. If you ask Russia they'll say that NATO violated the verbal agreement of not coming near Russia via membership, but NATO says that countries have the right to decide for themselves etc etc. Plus Russia is a shadow of USSR.

So it's a war, of sorts. Russia says that USA sponsors all these groups it determines to be anti-Russian and interferes in Russian elections, so it returns the favors with fake news /Trump election.

But in the end, Russia is bound to lose--again. Money talks and Russia doesn't have much, the richer world wants /needs to stay in good graces with the Western world. So we have sanctions, choose between Russians or USA+EU plus most of the world. This oligarch thing is kinda smart...if they hurt, they might try to take on Putin. There's a limit on how much a billionaire criminal who can't buy a villa in Spain anymore can take. But then, if they miss with the only bullet...


Meanwhile business selling defense systems for both NATO countries and Rusia is better than ever! Sometimes it seems to me they are playing by the WWF marketing rules, lots of chest thumping around, but mostly are others who are paying the broken bones(see how the death of 200 russian contractors that attacked Kurdish-American positions and got smashed, went mostly unnoticed 2 months ago) By others I mean Syrian, Yemenis, etc..

Of course it could go south and the blows become real (like in wrestling), but by the moment is mostly an useful show for both sides. NATO keeps the archenemy and the show business running. People in Russia see Putin as Peter the Great reborn, making Russia punch way above its weight internationally, recovering the pride lost in the 90s.

Edit a couple typos.




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