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Dedicated Russian thread

Remarkably, Washington hasn't claimed that American labs never developed this sort software. If it is a problem then for Washington it would be logical to propose - we, the Americans and our allies will not develop such malware. Let's sing an agreement about global prohibition.
Remarkably you’ve said this before. There is no point. There will be allegations of failing to comply with it and not all nations will sign up anyway. A bit like 9M729.

I don’t think singing will help either, even if it’s kumbaya :)
 
As an aside, today the 15th of August is the anniversary of the defeat of the Red Army at the Battle of Warsaw. It is exactly 100 years ago that Pilsudski smashed the advancing Muscovite horde who were confident that their offensive would carry them into the heart of a war-weary Europe to support the revolutions of the German, French and Italian proletariats and extend the empire of the new Red Tsars.
 
 
I wonder when a miracle cure will be announced and the Russian Orthodox Church will elevate him to the sainthood?
 
As an aside, today the 15th of August is the anniversary of the defeat of the Red Army at the Battle of Warsaw. It is exactly 100 years ago that Pilsudski smashed the advancing Muscovite horde who were confident that their offensive would carry them into the heart of a war-weary Europe to support the revolutions of the German, French and Italian proletariats and extend the empire of the new Red Tsars.
In centuries long Russo-Polish relations there were many wars, battles. Moscow was captured by the Poles and Warsaw was captured by the Russians.
4 centuries ago Russian and Poland were about equal powers and were historical contenders. As a result Russia became a great country and Poland remain just ordinary one. The victory in the battle of Warsaw didn't change it. It's history, nothing personal.
 
Rapacious expansion and authoritarian subjugation of neighbouring territories is not an indicator of greatness. Muscovy, having learned from its Mongol tutors, extinguished the separate development of the other Russian principalities. A large size is easier to achieve when you have an essentially open border to a relatively under-populated expanse of continent to colonise.
 
Rapacious expansion and authoritarian subjugation of neighbouring territories is not an indicator of greatness. Muscovy, having learned from its Mongol tutors, extinguished the separate development of the other Russian principalities. A large size is easier to achieve when you have an essentially open border to a relatively under-populated expanse of continent to colonise.
That's pretty much how every other large country in Europe was established, wasn't it? One local duke or small time king established ascendency over his neighbours and then continued to stretch it as far as he could.
 
That's pretty much how every other large country in Europe was established, wasn't it? One local duke or small time king established ascendency over his neighbours and then continued to stretch it as far as he could.

To a degree, yes, but these regions had similar values and socio-political organisation. However Muscovy imposed a harsher more despotic regime on the other Russias, an inheritance from the Mogols for whom it served as a tax-collector and enforcer. I tend to wonder how differently the history of the Russias might have turned out if Muscovy had been defeated early on and for example the Republic of Novgorod had become the pre-eminent Russian state. Or if the Mongols had not warped the very fabric of the nascent eastern Slavic states in the first place, destroyed Kievan Rus and enabled the rise of their client and usurper state Muscovy?
 
In centuries long Russo-Polish relations there were many wars, battles. Moscow was captured by the Poles and Warsaw was captured by the Russians.
4 centuries ago Russian and Poland were about equal powers and were historical contenders. As a result Russia became a great country and Poland remain just ordinary one. The victory in the battle of Warsaw didn't change it. It's history, nothing personal.
Wasn’t Poland taken by Russia after Germany had rolled through and held them down for 6 years?

It’s curious that when freedom came to Poland my favourite barber went back, whereas when ‘freedom’ came to Russia the mafia and their paid off corrupt officials took the riches making themselves billionaires and left Russia for London

For years he had a collection box for Soldiarity, and when they gained power and I went for a haircut expecting to discuss the good news I instead found a piece of paper stuck in the window saying ‘Closed, gone home’
 
And what is the problem? Russian and American labs are developing software to spy against each other. It is not forbidden by any international treaty. So what one could expect - that Russia unilaterally stop such an activity? It would be illogical step.
"Drovorub" is a garden variety RAT, or Remote Access Tool. The US government like to use the word "implant" to describe these things, including the versions that they make.

Drovorub doesn't give you a way to break into a Linux system. You need to find some other way of doing that, such as for example convincing someone to give you their passwords.

What Drovorub does is once you have gotten access, you install it and it allows you to get back in again later and do things like copy files. When those helpful chaps in India call you up and claim they are from Microsoft and ask you to install a commercial remote access product because "you have a virus", they're getting you to install something equivalent to Drovorub.

The security services of many countries buy their versions from commercial vendors, with companies in Israel and Italy being the leading vendors. Some other countries such as the US write their own custom versions, which aren't necessarily any better than what they can buy from commercial vendors, except perhaps for being more closely tailored to their own needs.

Here's the official US analysis of Drovorub.

What is Drovorub?Drovorub is a Linux malware toolset consisting of an implant coupled with a kernel module rootkit, a file transfer and port forwarding tool,and a Command and Control (C2) server. When deployed on a victim machine, the Drovorub implant (client) provides the capability for direct communications with actor-controlled C2 infrastructure (T1071.0011); file download and upload capabilities (T1041); execution of arbitrary commands as "root" (T1059.004); and port forwarding of network traffic to other hosts on the network(T1090). The kernel module rootkit uses a variety of means to hide itself and the implant on infected devices (T1014), and persists through reboot of an infected machine unless UEFI secure boot is enabled in “Full” or “Thorough” mode.

The document mentions that normal kernel signing will prevent Drovorub from working. All of the major commercial Linux distros that I am aware of have had this for years. It's pretty difficult today, and has been for years in fact, to find a PC or server without UEFI boot (which requires kernel signing to even boot up). They mention in the following quote that Linux Kernel 3.7 or later is required to use this. Kernel 3.7 came out in 2012.
To prevent a system from being susceptible to Drovorub’s hiding and persistence, system administrators should update to Linux Kernel 3.7 or later in order to take full advantage of kernel signing enforcement. Additionally, system owners are advised to configure systems to load only modules with a valid digital signature making it more difficult for an actorto introduce a malicious kernel module into the system.

Given the above I would not be surprised if Drovorub was obsolete and no longer in use. None of the news reports on it that I have seen have reported actually seeing any instances of it in use in commercial settings.

The Russian security services have dumped copies of American RATs to public servers, embarrassing the NSA, and I suspect this is a continuing tit-for-tat response from the Americans.
 
Well, at least they're still talking. The Russian quid pro quo is a reasonable negotiating position, and the USA might just have a very slight chance of imposing its will on the UK and France, but to hold Russia to ransom for China's position is either naïve or downright mischievous.

'The United States and Russia concluded two days of arms control talks Tuesday with the two sides still at odds over the U.S. demand to include China in any new treaty but showing signs of a possible willingness to extend the existing New START deal, which expires next year.

'U.S. negotiator Marshall Billingslea told reporters after the talks in Vienna ended that “there are some areas of convergence between Russia and the United States, but we do remain far apart on a number of key issues.”

'The U.S. argues that any new nuclear arms limitation treaty should cover all types of warheads, include better verification protocols and transparency measures, and be extended to include China, which has been increasing its own arsenal.

'China has rejected the idea as an American ploy to avoid a new deal and said that it would gladly participate if the U.S. would agree to nuclear parity among all nations. China was invited to participate in the Vienna talks but did not send a delegation.

'Russia, meanwhile, has said that if China is part of a new treaty, Britain and France should also be included.

'The Russian representative to international organizations in Vienna, Ambassador Mikhail Ulyanov, tweeted a comment from Russia’s negotiator saying that due to the “non-readiness” of the two western European countries to join a new arms pact, the “U.S. and Russia should concentrate on (the) bilateral track.”

'The New START treaty was signed in 2010 by then-U.S. President Barack Obama and then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The pact limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers.'


 
China would like to see the number of nukes Russia and America possess to go down to the same level as it possesses. The main obstacle to this is Russia as it knows that its nukes are the only thing standing between itself and total Chinese domination of its Asiatic hinterland. Currently Russia has an independent foreign policy which China is cleverly manipulating for its own ends (and which Moscow refuses to recognise). If Russia's nukes were to go, Moscow would be Beijing's bitch on a very short leash.
 
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China would like to see the number of nukes Russia and America possess to go down to the same level as it possesses. The main obstacle to this is Russia as it knows that its nukes are the only thing standing between itself and total Chinese domination of its Asiatic hinterland. Currently Russia has an independent foreign policy which China is cleverly manipulating for its own ends (and which Moscow refuses to recognise). If Russia's nukes were to go, Moscow would be Beijing's bitch on a very short leash.
General Chinese policy is that they will negotiate with the Americans as equals, but they won't accept a subordinate position. The same will be true in the case of any nuclear negotiations. Any negotiations the Chinese are likely to agree to conduct will have to start with the premise that China will have terms that are exactly equivalent to those of the US.
 
Any negotiations the Chinese are likely to agree to conduct will have to start with the premise that China will have terms that are exactly equivalent to those of the US.
They're unlikely to shift on the 'No First Use' stance, which may complicate things - it's certainly going to be used during the negotiations to put public pressure on the US.
 
They're unlikely to shift on the 'No First Use' stance, which may complicate things - it's certainly going to be used during the negotiations to put public pressure on the US.
What would the practical implications of a "no first use" policy be in terms of negotiations covering numbers of warheads and missiles? Would the Chinese see there being any tangible aspects to this beyond a statement of principles?
 
What would the practical implications of a "no first use" policy be in terms of negotiations covering numbers of warheads and missiles?
It's been one of their stated principles since they first got the bomb that they'd only use it in response to a nuclear attack. Is imagine they'd press for a similar statement from other parties, probably as a lever for extracting concessions elsewhere.
Would the Chinese see there being any tangible aspects to this beyond a statement of principles?
Everything about nuclear weapons is political, so the tangible benefits would be political too: the ability to cast the other side as the recalcitrant aggressor; a bargaining chip in the negotiations as above; or simply just a means of focussing US minds on the alternatives.
 
Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny is unconscious in hospital with suspected poisoning, his spokeswoman has said.
The anti-corruption campaigner fell ill during a flight and the plane made an emergency landing in Omsk, Kira Yarmysh said, adding that they suspected something had been mixed into his tea.
A hospital source confirmed Mr Navalny was in a serious condition.
Mr Navalny, 44, is a staunch critic of President Vladimir Putin.
In June he described a vote on constitutional reforms as a "coup" and a "violation of the constitution". The reforms allow Mr Putin to serve another two terms in office.
It looks as criminal Putin's regime demonstrates its habits.
 
"Oh, I couldn't possibly."

 

It looks as criminal Putin's regime demonstrates its habits.
Moscow Times reports "The state-run TASS news agency cited a law enforcement official as saying that so far investigators are not considering that Navalny was poisoned intentionally."
Official denial indicates state ordered assassination attempt. This demonstrates Putin's paranoia and insecurity. Some claim it could have been any one of several enemies of Navalny but this denial suggests otherwise.

On the one hand he wants to make clear that he has the power to assassinate any credible opposition. On the other hand he ensures deniability. Try proving he arranged it. The timing is interesting. Putin is obviously afraid of what is going on in Belarus spilling over in to Russia. The strong man is afraid.

Does Putin have a personal food and drink tester? This won't increase his popularity.
 
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I wonder if he will be allowed to leave? With Dr's saying he's too ill to move:

“An ambulance plane with specialists for coma patients will leave this evening,” Bizilj told Bild. “If Navalny is in a state to be transported tomorrow morning, the plane will immediately fly to Berlin. His wife will accompany him.”
Maybe he had a premonition?

“He even joked that he has to make excuses that he hasn’t been killed yet,” said Ilya Chumakov, one of two dozen activists who met Navalny on Wednesday in the Siberian city of Tomsk.

Then, according to Chumakov, he grew more serious and added that his death would not help President Vladimir Putin.

“He replied that it wouldn’t be beneficial for Putin. That it would lead to him (Navalny) being turned into a hero,” Chumakov said.
 

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