Moscow Rules By Black3

With the way the world is moving, here’s a little bit of Cold War history. Moscow Rules are developed from CIA agents working in the former Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact and have been cited many times in different movies and books. They are also enshrined at the National Intelligence Museum in Washington, D.C. As…

Moscow Rules By Black3 — American Partisan

Espionage Files: Brit Spies Used URL Shortener to Honeypot Arab Spring Dissidents

Brit1

A shadowy unit of the British intelligence agency GCHQ tried to influence online activists during the 2009 Iranian presidential election protests and the 2011 democratic uprisings largely known as the Arab Spring, as new evidence gathered from documents leaked by Edward Snowden shows.

The GCHQ’s special unit, known as the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group or JTRIG, was first revealed in 2014, when leaked top secret documents showed it tried to infiltrate and manipulate—using “dirty trick” tactics such as honeypots—online communities including those of Anonymous hacktivists, among others.

The group’s tactics against hacktivists have been previously reported, but its influence campaign in the Middle East has never been reported before. I was able to uncover it because I was myself targeted in the past, and was aware of a key detail, a URL shortening service, that was actually redacted in Snowden documents published in 2014.

THE HONEYPOT

A now-defunct free URL shortening service—lurl.me—was set up by GCHQ that enabled social media signals intelligence. Lurl.me was used on Twitter and other social media platforms for the dissemination of pro-revolution messages in the Middle East.

These messages were intended to attract people who were protesting against their government in order to manipulate them and collect intelligence that would help the agency further its aims around the world. The URL shortener made it easy to track them.

Read the Remainder at Motherboard

Espionage Files: The Logic for (Shoddy) U.S. Covert Action In Syria

Syria

By most accounts, America’s efforts to covertly train and supply moderate rebels in Syria aren’t going so well. Apart from the obvious (Assad is still firmly entrenched in power and continuing to receive ever-growing external support),The New York Times recently reported that some arms provided by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Saudi Arabia haven’t quite reached their intended targets. According to the report, some individuals in Jordan’s intelligence bureau — ostensibly partnering to funnel weapons to Assad’s opponents — stole weapons destined for U.S.-backed rebels and instead sold them on the black market.

This is not the first time an American-led covert operation has gone awry, and it certainly won’t be the last. Consider Operation Cyclone, the covert U.S. arms pipeline to the mujahideen in their fight against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan throughout the 1980s. Long held up as a success story in Cold War proxy warfare, the mujahideen – supported by the United States, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia – fell on each other after the Soviets retreated, creating an environment where al Qaeda could later thrive.  This White House is certainly no stranger to these lessons of history. During early debates on Syria policy, Obama commissioned a study on the CIA’s track record in covert aid that concluded such efforts seldom work.

What, then, is the rationale for U.S. policy in Syria? Why has the White House continued to draw on the tool of covert military aid despite its shoddy track record? Rather than praise or condemn the Obama administration’s approach, our goal is to shed light on some of the considerations that have driven what’s going on and why by drawing on ourown research on past covert aid programs. Our findings suggest that escalation dynamics and unique reputational concerns help to explain why the Obama White House finds itself stuck with a covert military aid program of questionable efficacy and impact.

Read the Remainder at War on the Rocks

Espionage Files: North Korea Resumes Number Station Radio Broadcast For It’s Spies Abroad

VOK

 

In a development that is reminiscent of the Cold War, a radio station in North Korea appears to have resumed broadcasts of encrypted messages that are typically used to give instructions to spies stationed abroad. The station in question is the Voice of Korea, known in past years as Radio Pyongyang. It is operated by the North Korean government and airs daily programming consisting of music, current affairs and instructional propaganda in various languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, French, English, and Russian. Last week however, the station interrupted its normal programming to air a series of numbers that were clearly intended to be decoded by a few select listeners abroad.

According to the South Korean public news agency, Yonhap, the coded segment was broadcast on shortwave at 12:45 a.m. on Friday, July 15. It featured a female announcer slowly reading a series of seemingly random numbers from an instruction sheet. The announcer began the segment by stating that she would “now provide a review on the topic of mathematics, as stipulated by the distance-learning university curriculum for the benefit of agents of the 27th Bureau”. She went on to read a series of numbers: “turn to page 459, number 35; page 913, number 55; page 135, number 86; page 257 number 2”, etc. This went on for approximately 12 minutes, said Yonhap.

The technique described above is informally known as ‘numbers stations’, and was extensively used by both Western and communist countries during the Cold War to send operational instructions to their intelligence personnel stationed abroad. Armed with a shortwave radio, an intelligence officer would turn to the right frequency on a pre-determined date and time, write down the numbers read out and proceed to decrypt them using a ‘number pad’, a tiny book that contained the key to deciphering the secret message aired on the radio. But the era of the Internet, mobile phones and microwave communications has caused the demise of ‘numbers stations’. The latter are rarely heard nowadays, though a number of nations, including Cuba, South Korea and Israel, are believed to still use them.

The last time North Korea is thought to have employed ‘numbers stations’ to contact its spies stationed abroad was in the spring of 2000, prior to the historic first Inter-Korean Summit that featured a face-to-face meeting of the then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and the then North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il. Since that time, the North Koreans are believed to have stopped deploying broadcasts to communicate with their intelligence operatives in foreign countries. Yonhap quoted an unnamed South Korean government source as saying that last Friday’s broadcast was the first number sequence aired by Pyongyang in over 16 years. According to the news agency, the broadcast has Seoul worried about “possible provocations” that may be planned by North Korean spies living secretly in the south.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 20 July 2016 | Permalink

Read the Original Article at Intel News