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American Nuke Plant Hacked by Russians, Says DOJ

YIKES.

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While it has become rather obvious that the Russian military’s bark was way worse that its bite, there are still plenty of ways in which Russian actors can be devastating on the world’s stage.

One of the most effective avenues of attack for the Kremlin has been in cyberspace, and through the use of state-sponsored hackers.  This includes some rather infamous incidents with the Colonial Pipeline and large-scale food factories.

This week, the DOJ is revealing that Russian cyber spies were also responsible for an attempted breach of the systems at a Kansas nuclear facility.

A nuclear power plant in eastern Kansas was one target of computer hackers organized by Russia’s spy agency as part of a large-scale international operation to seize control over critical infrastructure assets in the U.S., the Department of Justice alleged in an indictment unsealed Thursday.

Three agents with Russia’s Federal Security Service — Pavel Akulov, Mikhail Gavrilov and Marat Tyukov — face charges in the U.S. District of Kansas after a federal grand jury was convened last summer in Kansas City, Kansas. The agents are accused of computer fraud, wire fraud, identity theft and causing damage to the property of an energy facility.

The Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation, based in Burlington, is named in the indictment as one of hundreds of U.S. energy sector operations targeted by Russian intelligence. Through their efforts, the agents allegedly used a spearphishing method to compromise the company’s computer systems in which they sent emails while posing as employees.

The attack was complex and lengthy.

Between 2012 and 2017, the three Russian agents were allegedly part of a military unit that intruded computers and attacked supply chains. The conspiracy involved targeting software and hardware that controls power facility equipment, according to the indictment, and involved putting malware into software updates and other methods.

More than 17,000 unique devices in the U.S. and abroad installed the malware, the indictment says, creating backdoors that allowed hackers to scan the networks for more potential victims.

President Biden has repeatedly warned that Russian hackers could be targeting major US companies in the coming days, as they continue to suffer massive sanctions on account of their horrid actions in Ukraine.

 

Opinion

NEW NATO NARRATIVE: Ukraine Can ‘Win’ War with Russia

Know one would have even considered the possibility 3 months ago.

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Well that is one heck of a turnaround, eh?

We’ve gone from watching Russia amass an enormous fighting force on the borders of Ukraine, (all while telling the world that it was all routine and to butt out), to watching those same tanks and personnel roll into the sovereign neighboring nation, all the while worried that Russia would simply steamroll Kyiv and take the whole country for itself in a matter of days.

Nearly three months later, and that story is changing…and dramatically.

Ukrainian forces say they have pushed back the Russian military in the region around Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine, and near the border with Russia, continuing a counteroffensive that has prompted Russian troops to withdraw from around Ukraine’s second-largest city.

Then came a surprising suggestion.

NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Sunday that “Ukraine can win this war” following an informal meeting of the group. His comments came after Finland announced it would apply to join the military alliance in what marks a historic move for the traditionally neutral Nordic country.

Joining the military alliance will “maximize” Finland’s security after Russia’s unprecedented invasion of Ukraine in February, President Sauli Niinisto said.

Sweden is expected to follow suit with both applications likely to enflame tensions between NATO and Russia further. Moscow warned last week of “retaliatory steps” if Finland joined the alliance.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is drinking the proverbial Kool-Aid as well, having claimed that Eurovision will be able to hold its enormous, annual songwriting competition in Mariupol next year.

 

Well that is one heck of a turnaround, eh? We’ve gone from watching Russia amass an enormous fighting force on the borders of Ukraine, (all while telling the world that it was all routine and to butt out), to watching those same tanks and personnel roll into the sovereign neighboring nation, all the while worried that Russia would simply steamroll Kyiv and take the whole country for itself in a matter of days. Nearly three months later, and that story is changing…and dramatically. Ukrainian forces say they have pushed back the Russian military in the region around Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine, and near the border with Russia, continuing a counteroffensive that has prompted Russian troops to withdraw from around Ukraine’s second-largest city. Then came a surprising suggestion. NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Sunday that “Ukraine can win this war” following an informal meeting of the group. His comments came after Finland announced it would apply to join the military alliance in what marks a historic move for the traditionally neutral Nordic country. Joining the military alliance will “maximize” Finland’s security after Russia’s unprecedented invasion of Ukraine in February, President Sauli Niinisto said. Sweden is expected to follow suit with both applications likely to enflame tensions between NATO and Russia further. Moscow warned last week of “retaliatory steps” if Finland joined the alliance. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is drinking the proverbial Kool-Aid as well, having claimed that Eurovision will be able to hold its enormous, annual songwriting competition in Mariupol next year.  

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Opinion

Biden Approval Crashes Again, This Time to Historic Low

This is just sad at this point.

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Look around your country.  See the struggle in real time.  Watch how hard it is for the rest of this nation to get to where they need to be, every day, and ask yourself “why does it need to be like this?”.

And then realize that all of this trouble is coming to America in what was supposed to be the launching months of a new “roaring twenties”; as COVID faded and the economy roared back to life, America was poised to be a global show for the ages.

Instead, the last year and a half have been filled to the brim with turmoil and strife and not much nice.

US President Joe Biden is taking his lumps on account of it.

An NBC News poll released Sunday shows Biden’s job approval rating has plunged to a fresh low, with just 39 percent of Americans approving of the job he’s doing and 56 percent disapproving.

This was a new milestone for the reluctant leader.

Those numbers represents the lowest mark of his presidency.

Inflation, the economy and border security are the three main areas where voters see Biden failing them. The overall cost of living is standing as the public’s top issue.

Biden’s approval rating has experienced a few brief reprieves over the course of his presidency, but has continued on a steady decline almost from the start.

Look around your country.  See the struggle in real time.  Watch how hard it is for the rest of this nation to get to where they need to be, every day, and ask yourself “why does it need to be like this?”. And then realize that all of this trouble is coming to America in what was supposed to be the launching months of a new “roaring twenties”; as COVID faded and the economy roared back to life, America was poised to be a global show for the ages. Instead, the last year and a half have been filled to the brim with turmoil and strife and not much nice. US President Joe Biden is taking his lumps on account of it. An NBC News poll released Sunday shows Biden’s job approval rating has plunged to a fresh low, with just 39 percent of Americans approving of the job he’s doing and 56 percent disapproving. This was a new milestone for the reluctant leader. Those numbers represents the lowest mark of his presidency. Inflation, the economy and border security are the three main areas where voters see Biden failing them. The overall cost of living is standing as the public’s top issue. Biden’s approval rating has experienced a few brief reprieves over the course of his presidency, but has continued on a steady decline almost from the start.

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