Friday Squid Blogging: South American Squid Stocks Threatened by Chinese Fishing

There’s a lot of fishing going on:

The number of Chinese-flagged vessels in the south Pacific has surged 13-fold from 54 active vessels in 2009 to 707 in 2020, according to the SPRFMO. Meanwhile, the size of China’s squid catch has grown from 70,000 tons in 2009 to 358,000.

As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven’t covered.

Read my blog posting guidelines here.

Posted on February 18, 2022 at 4:12 PM186 Comments


Anders February 18, 2022 4:38 PM


Second explosion in Luhansk.



Seems like “Поехали”.

vas pup February 18, 2022 5:30 PM

Sweating the small stuff: Smartwatch developed at UCLA measures key stress hormone

“In the new smartwatch, a strip of specialized thin adhesive film collects tiny volumes of sweat, measurable in millionths of a liter. An attached sensor detects cortisol using engineered strands of DNA, called aptamers, which are designed so that a cortisol molecule will fit into each aptamer like a key fits a lock. When cortisol attaches, the aptamer changes shape in a way that alters electric fields at the surface of a transistor.”

For field interrogation by CIA and DIA may be useful.

StephenM February 18, 2022 7:43 PM



The ABC is part of the problem. It used to provide daily listings of its Classic FM playlist. If they were viewed without javascript enabled the data would be display but also an image the size of a pixel from a 3rd party server.

Now the data is hidden behind javascript. (Not that it’s such a big worry because the playlist is increasingly rubbishy. (Beats me why anyone would wish to listen again and again to the Star Wars music…)

Don’t know how the account information is going to be protected. For a start I wouldn’t think it would be wise for overseas students to set up accounts. As far as I’m aware the ABC site is still blocked by a certain big trading partner.

And no, I don’t think the ABC is an appropriate body to be collecting information on Australians.

ResearcherZero February 18, 2022 10:16 PM


Probably a mandatory part of getting budgeted any money. I don’t like the idea of logging in for public broadcasting, even with a disposable account.

Australia isn’t real big on the idea of human rights. It’s a continued frustration for the Australian government, and is only applied “when they are feeling generous”, as they described it.

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre have assessed from technical information that the Russian Main intelligence Directorate (GRU) was almost certainly involved in the Disruptive Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on 15 and 16th of February in Ukraine.

“We have technical information that links the Russian main intelligence directorate, or GRU, as known GRU infrastructure was seen transmitting high volumes of communication to Ukraine-based IP addresses and domains.”

Nick Levinson February 18, 2022 10:29 PM

Squid were large but fewer and then the species may have shrunk from six feet to one foot, while staying mature and able to reproduce, as maybe an adaptation to climate change, affecting thousands of jobs; this is in the Sea of Cortez, also called Gulf of California and which is in Mexico. This is reported in and

ResearcherZero February 18, 2022 10:30 PM


We used to lean on judges to conduct surveillance. They didn’t like it, but there aren’t any laws to prevent them denying requests to intelligence agencies, as the Australian legal system has been fundamentally broken for a very long time. There would be nothing to lean on prosecutors and judges with if it wasn’t. Normally people are arrested for what they were doing. Hasn’t improved in the last 40 years either.

Nick Levinson February 18, 2022 10:54 PM

Just a few years ago, Amazon had not much control over customer service insiders stealing data or taking bribes to mangle sellers’ accounts. The security chief did not have a staff to stop inside jobs., as heard and accessed Nov. 21, 2021, still present tonight.

Whether moles’ access today has been restricted much beyond official paper policies is not clear. The motive for not paying much attention to these violations that adversely affect legitimate sellers and their customers may be that any sale of any product produces revenue for Amazon.

ResearcherZero February 18, 2022 11:40 PM

@Nick Levinson

“Whether moles’ access today has been restricted much beyond official paper policies is not clear.”

This is a very real problem in a lot of places.

The pot calling the kettle black

‘Manchurian candidate’: PM launches blistering attack on Albanese. Scott Morrison has continued to hammer Labor over China just hours after being warned by officials it might not be the best idea.

They are rubbing our faces in it. ALL the parties are cooked.

“Mr Morrison, who has previously “tabled” but not formally introduced, a bill to set up an anti-corruption commission said a lack of support from Labor was delaying the watchdog.”

“As it’s envisaged, the commission will be hamstrung, especially in relation to political corruption. It will be required to conduct public-sector investigations, including in matters involving politicians and their staffers, in private, without the power to hold public hearings or to make findings of corruption.”

“The ability of politicians to hide misdeeds will also be enhanced by the commission’s being required to give effect to the powers, privileges and immunities of the parliament and its committees. These privileges place MPs above all other public servants.”

“The commission will not have the right to investigate questionable politically motivated decisions, no matter how egregious, because of three factors—a narrow definition of ‘corrupt conduct’, the protection afforded by parliamentary privilege, and the inability of the public to refer complaints directly to the commission.”

The term parliamentary privilege refers to special legal rights and immunities which apply to each House of the Parliament, its committees and Members.

Transparency International Australia has been sounding the alarm on Australia’s deteriorating global corruption standing for years. The latest results point to systemic failings to tackle corruption, foreign bribery and strengthen political integrity.

It’s a clear sign Australia has missed a huge chance to correct our failing anti-corruption reputation.

Not good enough. Boat will spring so many leaks it will sink.

ResearcherZero February 18, 2022 11:47 PM

“One TAN was given by NSW Police. This was the first TAN given to a designated communications provider since the commencement of the framework,”

Along with TCNs, which allow authorities to require service providers to build “limited capabilities” on law enforcement and national security grounds, it is one of the most coercive powers available to authorities.

None of the state or federal agencies used TANs or TARs for “terrorism offences” for a third year in a row, despite the federal government using this reasoning to rush the passage of the laws in 2018.

ResearcherZero February 19, 2022 12:00 AM


“These processes are now finalised and there are issuing authorities available to issue data disruption, network activity and account takeover warrants,”

TANs, TCNs and TARs, that is how they get your data.

“Making account creation mandatory is hardly going to endear iView to the two-thirds of existing iView viewers who either have not been persuaded to create an account thus far, or who are actively opposed to the idea, let alone attract new viewers”

“If one purpose of collecting email addresses from iView viewers is to show them ads for ABC content on other platforms such as Facebook and Google, why not just email those viewers direct, and leave Facebook and Google out of the equation?”

If the ABC and Google or Facebook have a user in common – that is, using the same e-mail address – then they will be shared for encrypted e-mail promotions. Users can opt out of this, the PIA says.

To prevent any other party snooping on e-mails passing between the ABC and Google/Facebook, the addresses will be hashed, since the recipients only need the hashes to match to identify a user. Technology provider Tealium will be in the middle.

ResearcherZero February 19, 2022 12:15 AM

“Systemic weakness means a weakness that affects a whole class of technology, but does not include a weakness that is selectively introduced to one or more target technologies that are connected with a particular person.”

“Systemic vulnerability means a vulnerability that affects a whole class of technology, but does not include a vulnerability that is selectively introduced to one or more target technologies that are connected with a particular person,”

“immaterial whether the person can be identified.”;fileType=application/pdf

“If a provider is forced to enable access to a ‘particular service, particular device or particular item of software’, there is a significant chance that the provider’s ‘one-off’ solution in fact will not be limited to the specific device,”

“Australian law enforcement and security agencies will foreseeably amass a large number of devices to which they will require providers to grant them access.

“Since the Bill forswears a systemic backdoor requirement, it follows that Australian investigators will instead repeatedly importune providers for ‘one-off’ access to every single device.”

“Consequently, to render prompt, efficient access to numerous “particular” devices at scale, providers will need to come up with a solution that is effectively ‘systemic’.”

Christian Porter:

“This ensures that our national security and law enforcement agencies have the modern tools they need, with appropriate authority and oversight, to access the encrypted conversations of those who seek to do us harm.

“Labor’s decision is, finally, a sensible one that puts the safety of Australians above political point-scoring.

“To ensure the passage of the bill through the Senate tonight, the government has agreed to consider Labor’s proposed amendments in the new year if any genuinely reflect the recommendations of the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security.”

case closed

ResearcherZero February 19, 2022 12:43 AM

The view that governments must wield force or that their power is necessarily coercive is widespread in contemporary political thought.

Coercion, like deterrence, seeks to affect the behavior of an opponent by manipulating costs and benefits. Deterrence, however, tries to persuade a state not to initiate a specific action because the perceived benefits do not justify the estimated costs and risks; coercion involves persuading an opponent to stop an ongoing action or to start a new course of action by changing its calculations of costs and benefits. Accordingly, coercion occurs whenever a state must choose between making concessions or suffering the consequences of continuing its present course of action.

Diplomacy is bargaining; it seeks outcomes that, though not ideal for either party, are better for both than some of the alternatives. In diplomacy each party somewhat controls what the other wants, and can get more by compromise, exchange, or collaboration than by taking things in his own hands and ignoring the other’s wishes.

(pp. 92-125)

If all threats were fully believable (except for the ones that were completely unbelievable) we might live in a strange world—perhaps a safe one, with many of the marks of a world based on enforceable law.

ResearcherZero February 19, 2022 1:20 AM

Facebook Shadow Profiles

We quantify the extent to which Facebook can track web behavior outside of their own platform. The network of engagement buttons, placed on third-party websites, lets Facebook follow users as they browse the web. Tracking users outside its core platform enables Facebook to build shadow profiles. For a representative sample of US internet users, 52 percent of websites visited, accounting for 40 percent of browsing time, employ Facebook’s tracking technology. Small differences between Facebook users and non-users are largely explained by differing user activity. The extent of shadow profiling Facebook may engage in is similar on privacy-sensitive domains and across user demographics, documenting the possibility for indiscriminate tracking.

XKeyscore can deliver up your e-mail address—an example of what it calls a “strong selector.”

XKeyscore can determine your location by doing reverse searches.


In the mid-1990s, the NSA had found out that somewhere under Copenhagen there was a backbone cable containing phone calls, e-mails and text messages from and to countries like China and Russia, which was of great interest for the Americans.

Germany and, by all accounts, Denmark, are among the partners in the NSA mass surveillance program codenamed RAMPART-A.

the NSA has set up at least 13 RAMPART-A sites, nine of which were active in 2013. Three of the largest – codenamed AZUREPHOENIX, SPINNERET and MOONLIGHTPATH – mine data from some 70 different cables or networks.

“every email address seen in a session by both username and domain”, “every phone number seen in a session (eg address book entries or signature block)” and user activity – “the webmail and chat activity to include username, buddylist, machine specific cookies etc”.

XKeyscore provides the technological capability, if not the legal authority, to target even US persons for extensive electronic surveillance without a warrant provided that some identifying information, such as their email or IP address, is known to the analyst.

The purpose of XKeyscore is to allow analysts to search the metadata as well as the content of emails and other internet activity, such as browser history, even when there is no known email account (a “selector” in NSA parlance) associated with the individual being targeted.

Analysts can also search by name, telephone number, IP address, keywords, the language in which the internet activity was conducted or the type of browser used.

One document notes that this is because “strong selection [search by email address] itself gives us only a very limited capability” because “a large amount of time spent on the web is performing actions that are anonymous.”

Jonathan Wilson February 19, 2022 1:48 AM

Compared to everything else I give my details to, the ABC seems like they are the least likely to do bad things with that data. We all know Google (who knows everything from my taste in music to which buses I catch) does all sorts of stuff with that data. The ABC on the other hand, they have almost no data (email address, a few things like that and data on the ABC shows I have watched online and that’s about it) and have no real reason to abuse it.

ResearcherZero February 19, 2022 2:50 AM

@Jonathan Wilson

I have no doubt the ABC doesn’t plan on, and will not abuse it.

Sing it with me! (ukterryg/Adobe) I don’t hold a uke, mate. How charming: our prime minister plays the ukulele. The nation was charmed this week to learn just how competent Scott Morrison is on the dainty four-stringed instrument – not to mention his sublime vocal abilities.

ResearcherZero February 19, 2022 3:06 AM

You can apply the following anywhere. What we have seen ‘over the wire’ (or in the field) would blow people’s minds.

Power distance index (credited to G H Hofstede) measures the extent to which the less powerful members of the society accept or expect power to be distributed unequally. Higher the acceptance and the expectation of power inequality, higher the power-distance.

The other face of power distance index is our blatant, in your face, ‘VIP’ culture. As a people, we do not seem to be sufficiently embarrassed that in a so-called democracy, we regularly accept and expect two distinct treatments meted out to two sets of people – the ‘VIPs’ and the lesser mortals.

It is also why domestic staff is routinely referred to as servants (derived from serfs or slaves) and continue to be treated shabbily (and our diplomats regularly get sued abroad for mistreating their staff). It is also why those in power never get accustomed to being questioned, because we accept and expect that they will not like to be questioned. That is why the cops way down in the power-distance may not dare question a higher ranking cop, a top corporate or political honcho (unless the Supreme Court steps in, of course).

Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population, and seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.

Left unchecked, political institutions are undermined and governments overwhelmingly serve the interests of economic elites – to the detriment of ordinary people.

Clive Robinson February 19, 2022 6:07 AM

@ Anders, SpaceLifeForm,

It appears that the fog of war, was as suspected from a smoke machine, in breakaway hands.

Some of the reports about the “pipeline” made odd reading, till one said it was 100mm (4inch) diameter. Then some of the fog lifted, it was not a “pipeline” but a local “domestic gas supply pipe”. This got confirmed by another report saying just under a hundred homes had lost their gas supply.

But the odd thing was attack by “mortar and grenades” these are infantry weapons that can be carried by individuals or very small groups of people and they are “inexpensive” and easy to obtain unlike artillery pieces. Other reports indicate it is infact “rebels” attacking within their breakaway regions, to make it look like eithet the Ukraine or Russia had started hostilities.

Anyway it appears such tactics are escalating currently along with many other ceasefire violations.

This report is about an hour old, but I’d still apply the “fog of war” caution, especially as we don’t know what flags are being run up which masts,

Oh and Putin is apparantly “away” –not with the fairies– revuing nuclear strike capability war games.

Ir looks like the stakes in this particular poker game are getting close to someone calling, at which point there will be accusations of cheating and the like and the punchup will start.

Clive Robinson February 19, 2022 9:27 AM

@ Anders, SpaceLifeForm,

You might findvthis photo of interest,

It is allegedly taken in the nursry music room that got shelled…

There is no way a shell, mortar round or rocket propelled grenade made that hole…

Anything with enough kinetic energy from velovity to go through a wall that thick would have left an entirely different pattern. That hole was made by the likes of a hammer and chisel or electro / mechanical equivalent, and a couple of day labourers who have never ever seen a real shell hole.

Also the angle of the hole is ebtirely wrong.

I’m calling “Fake” on it.

Winter February 19, 2022 10:00 AM

@Clive, All
“Anyway it appears such tactics are escalating currently along with many other ceasefire violations.”

Putin cannot easily back down without losing face. The US is cleverly calling out Putin’s plans.

If the Russians now take Kyiv under any pretext and try to install a puppet government, they are just doing what Biden predicted. Meaning that every apologist has a serious uphill battle. It also forces Europe et all to act.

Also, the question is raised why sign treaties with Russia at all? They will never follow up on them.

MarkH February 19, 2022 10:36 AM


There is no way [cause P] made [effect Q]

I have seen negative assertions like this proven false over and over and over again. Did you notice that this is the “exit wound?” The exterior hole is much smaller than the interior rim of the conical opening.

Where in the DonBass region would one find people “who have never ever seen a real shell hole”???

Clive Robinson February 19, 2022 11:11 AM

@ MarkH,


blockquote>Did you notice that this is the “exit wound?” The exterior hole is much smaller than the interior rim of the conical opening.

Such a conical hole from a high velosity shell is caused by a shockwave.

Now look at the bricks… See any sign of a shockwave?

Now have another look, if your observational abilities are upto it you will see several other tell tails that the hole was not caused by a high velocity shell.

Also ask yourself a question, if it was an item of munitions, where is it? It certainly did not explode, so they would have been able to film it “as proof” but they did not…

Again look around and you will see other evidence it’s been staged.

JonKnowsNothing February 19, 2022 11:32 AM

@ Clive, @ Anders, @SpaceLifeForm

re: It is allegedly taken in the nursery music room that got … “fake”

Yes I noticed that one too. One of the obligatory stumps ups.

Next up on the list is: shelling of a public building or hospital. Hospitals are juicy cause they normally have a cross or crescent on the roof just so they don’t get bombed. Makes a perfect AI/ML target. And then the double or triple tap after that. The USA is expert on triple taps.

Some of the page pollution click bait has been interesting.

A pristine snow field, with fence and a fully visible sign not in English. The sign either says Keep Out, Restricted or perhaps Electrified but the fence doesn’t look like an electrified fence, so I’m guessing: Restricted Keep Out. The fence is rather short for a perimeter fence for anything important, it looks very like sheep, goat or goose fence.

In front of the fence is a man in a snow bunny suit, with a very very attractive dog; either Alsatian or Belgian Shepherd Malinois.

The man has his back to the camera and the dog is perk eared not looking at the handler with the leash, but something farther to the right. On the ground to the right are many foot prints in the snow, where one might guess the camera crew stomped over to set the scene. There are no other foot prints going along the fence line, as might be expected if one was “walking the fence”.

The odd duck, excluding the extremely handsome dog, is the bunny suit guy is wearing trainers (aka sneakers in USA).

Maybe the AI/ML cross-referenced I have some association with animals??

Leon Theremin February 19, 2022 11:43 AM

Facebook’s Shadow Profiles are a trick of hands to distract from the profiles built with Electromagnetic Surveillance and Silicon Trojans.

While gullible people deceive themselves about how dirty Big Tech is willing to be, Big Tech paves the way for World War 3 with terrorism and murder powered by unparalleled surveillance.

lurker February 19, 2022 11:47 AM


Would not the quality and quantity of mortar used significantly affect the shockwave propagation and hence damage?

Winter February 19, 2022 12:10 PM

“Again look around and you will see other evidence it’s been staged.”

A puzzle? I am very bad at this.

I can see that the hole was not caused by an explosion and that the bricks are mostly intact, as is the cupboard under the hole. The window seems to be shattered.

But I have never seen a real hole made by an unexploded shell. So I cannot evaluate the damage.

JonKnowsNothing February 19, 2022 12:46 PM

@ Winter, @Clive

@C: “Again look around and you will see other evidence it’s been staged.”

@W: A puzzle? I am very bad at this.

It isn’t a good puzzle if it’s not hard .

Suggestions for photo images but be careful to not trip something you don’t want:

  • Zoom in very close, almost to the pixel level if you need to
  • Staged pictures are composed carefully, random pictures are chaotic: look for both types.
  • Composed pictures use “composition norms” on how the image will be view. These have been around for centuries which is why people love the Sistine Chapel ceiling, and works like The School of Athens by Raphael.
  • Compositions use human eye travel and focus to attract to one area and avoid another area. They show up “strengths” and reduce “weakness”. That doesn’t necessarily mean physical or technical but to pull your eye-focus to an central area and even as your eyes travel over the image it will pull you back to the central theme. Rembrandt’s The Night Watch is a terrific example of this; using composition and lighting to pull your focus to the central figures.
  • Look for the anomaly. If you zoom in so your eye focus isn’t pulled, look for the anomaly, the odd thing that is out of place, something that’s wrong. Often you can sense it before you identify it. A perspective that’s incorrect, a detail that’s missing, misplaced, out of scope to the picture.
  • Look for color or shading changes. At the pixel level you can better see something funky where a touch up has been done. Touch ups are very normal and nothing bad per se but if you are looking for oddities that’s another place to consider.

However, even if you do look very carefully it may still elude you.

I am often able to “see” past the image of a horse to “what’s under the gloss” but I am no where near perfect at it. I see much, I miss much, but I don’t miss a lot. That’s why people have vet-checks and xrays because now you need to “see the bones” to know what’s really there. Even then history, stories and novels will tell you that’s not always enough. You cannot see the mind of the horse but the horse has one and he will let you know PDQ if he doesn’t think much of yours.

GHOTI is still FISH

Clive Robinson February 19, 2022 1:42 PM

@ Winter,

It also forces Europe et all to act.

They already have but they are trying to keep it quiet.

Have a look around the Ukrainian Company “Motor Sich”. With little doubt it is one of the worlds most advanced manufacture of aircraft engines for military drones, cruise missiles and the like.

Not so long ago Chinese company “Skyrizon” attempted to buy them, but almost at the last moment the sale was blocked in 2017 by the Ukranian president Zelensky on “national security grounds”.

The Chinese company was so upset by this that towards the end of 2021 it took the highly unusual aproach of going to the European based “Permanent Court of Arbitration” in the Hague to seek, according to media reporting, financial redressss to the tune of $4.5Billion from the Ukrainian government… (which is unlikely to happen as the “National Security” exemption argument is allowable under the rules).

But… You should ask what happened to Motor Sich since then? And that is where things get very interesting…

As you probably know there is no love between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Because Erdogan has put Putin “in his place” on a number of occasions. So Putin knows Erdogan will not hesitate to not just point weapons at the Russian Military, but Erdogan will quite happily pull the trigger, just to make a point to Putin that he’s not the “Big Man” Putin trys to portray to his home audience. And Putin knows Erdogan will do it because Erdogan already has done so on several occasions, and each time Russia backed down. The most memorable being the shooting down of Russian aircraft that were involved with supporting the Syria leader, by attacking those Syrians and others who were opposed to the “dentists” behaviours.

What is not so well known is that Ukranian President Zelensky went to Ankara where he had talks with President Erdogan.

So what did Zelensky and Erdogan chat about in Ankara? Well we don’t know about all of it but we do know of one relevant thing…

Turkey makes a lot of military equipment part of which is they make the Akinci strike drones made by Turkish defence company Baykar. The result was Baykar getting 30 of Motor Sich’s turboprop engines back in October last year…

But… In early February President Erdogan visited Kiev and eight defence agreements were signed.

But… they also signed a deal to build more TB2 drones together in both countries. So Motor Sich has become a partner in this Turkish-Ukrainian joint drone development to not just supply engines for the drones but build the drones under licence in the Ukraine. But that is not all, Turkey has also significantly strengthening it’s defence cooperation with Ukraine

We know the Ukranians like the drones because a number of them have already seen action in the Ukrainan Donbas region keeping the pro-Russia separatists in check last year.

So, Motor Sich has found a new investor – Turkey, and the Ukraine has gained a stratigic defense partner – Turkey. Not good news for Putin and his “Big Man” of “Strong Russia” stance he gives for his home audiance.

But it goes further, because although Turkey has it’s own arms industry it still “buys from abroad”. And it might suprise many to find out that they buy quite a lot from EU nations. One of which is “5000 Helmets” Germany. The problem for Turkey is all of those EU nations are Nato members which in effect could cause Turkey problems so the Ukranian deal gives Turkey some much needed diversification.

But what has “5000 Helmets” sold to Turkey that it realy does not want to talk about currently?

Well the answer is apparabtly “quite a lot” in fact a little over a third of all Germany’s defence sales in 2019. That is according to German media reports Germany sent €250.4 million worth of weapons to Turkey in the first eight months of 2019 alone, the highest sales in over 14 years.

Which journalist Nikos Fragkakis who is Greek and thus quite woried about Turkey’s expanshionist plans under Erdogan, has cimmented on,

“German companies sell hi-tech defence material to Turkey for the production of the Bayraktar at a time when the west imposed an embargo on defence systems to Turkey.”

Fragkakis, goes on to say Germany is Turkeys main enabler.

Hmm a bit embarrassing perhaps… But it actually gets worse,

After Germany imposed a ban on weapons sales to Turkey, following Turkish Military assaults and near ethnic cleansing of Syrian Kurds, the German government agreed to supply Turkey with key components for the construction of six German submarines in July 2020, amoungst many other sales.

But why are the submarine sales so important? Well many believe it to have shifted the balance of power in the Eastern Mediterranean in favour of Turkey. Oh and of course that little patch of water south of the Ukraine that Russia sees as being so important it invaded it.

So has Russia anything to worry about? Well yes according to a Moscow based defence analyst quoted in various MSM articles.

He says both Germany and US aid Turkey while exploiting the Turkish millitary and Erdogan’s expansionist plans. Going on to point out that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflicts have given Turkey rather more than a toehold in the South Caucasus. He further indicates that this will enable Erdogan to push into Central Asia, challenging Russia. As well as southward down into the Persian Gulf. So challenging not just Russia, but Russian allies like Iran. The implication is that Turkey is going to reclaim the Ottoman Empire it once had, that the Russian Empire took away from it over more than a century ago.

He rather pointedly ignores the fact that if Turkey were to do that then the modern state of Israel would also be on his list, which kind of negates his argument about US support for any southwards move.

But Russia should be worried because Turkey, blocks Russian access into the East Mediteranian and six top of the line submarines would cause the Russians very significant issues…

Because there is also another “Elephant in the room”. The Ukraine used to be where a very great deal of Russia’s nuclear capability was manufactured. So the Ukraine certainly has the knowledge and the ability, the only question is one of the raw materials and resources…

We know that one of Russias nightmares was nuclear weapons on Turkish Soil…

But it’s not just Russia’s nightmare, it is also Greece’s and other nations on the west of Turkey. But also, if Turkey does push south and east into asia with little to stop them they will become that much closer to India. One of the last things India wants is what it sees as another nuclear armed Muslim nation on it’s western boarders. Something that has already been red-flagged by the Indian National Investigative Agency…

So what appears to be a minor issue of a few million Rus in East Ukraine and Putin’s silly posturing at home actually has way way more geo-politics behind it than the Western MSM is talking about.

One asspect being that the US and Germany actually view Turkey’s expansionism as a way of dealing with Syria and Afghanistan… Also by arming them rather than bringing them directly into NATO, they can keep Turkey and thus the Ukraine usefully within their sphere of influance with little expenditure…

But… Some myself included view this as “enabling Turkey” to stand militarily strong. Whilst having significant geo-political influance if not control from Eastern Europe around to “the Stans” if not further.

Clive Robinson February 19, 2022 2:02 PM

@ lurker,

Would not the quality and quantity of mortar used significantly affect the shockwave propagation and hence damage?

Err you have forgotten the effects of inertia.

Neither the bricks or mortar would move as a high velocity object moves through, they would get “compression shock” that would cause them to crack, because bricks are sintered rather than fused ceramics. so rather than shater or move out of the way they compress and break down in characteristic ways.

But with a low velocity repeated impact from a hammer or similar the repeated blows would leave the bricks more intact because the mortar is not realy “glued” to the bricks which is why when you get slow subsidence, it’s the mortar that cracks and seperates away from the bricks and initially they spread out.

Have a think about the way a bullet makes holes in glass or fused ceramics, then the sort of holes hand thrown stones make in glass.

Clive Robinson February 19, 2022 2:33 PM

@ Winter,

A puzzle? I am very bad at this.

OK, so first ask yourself,

“What’s missing?”

That is a very large hole in the wall, where has all the rubble gone?

If it was a high velocity impact from a shell it would have spread in a cone like pattern well into the room, almost like a giant shotgun blast.

But that’s not what we see, we see it piled up on the top of a bookcase/cupboard immediatly below the hole and in the hole…

So what happened to the “inertia effect” you get with a “Newton’s cradle or similar”?

So it’s odd, so you take a look at the rubble… and if you do you will see more “odd” things.

That will then take your thinking to the plaster and wall paper…

But that’s the easy stuff to spot, now have a think about the shape of the hole, and how coincidently high it is with regards to the cupboard / bookcase.

There are way to many “coincidents” in that image…

But what other coincidences are there?

Well we are told three adults received injuries but no children did…

Perhaps you should ask yourself why that might be?

There is a semi-military saying of,

Once is happenstance,
Twice is coincidence,
Thrice is enemy action.

But what of six or seven odd coincidences? What does that make it?

somebody February 19, 2022 2:34 PM

@Clive Robinson
“Also by arming them rather than bringing them directly into NATO, they can keep Turkey and thus the Ukraine usefully within their sphere of influance with little expenditure…”

I may have misunderstood, but Turkey is already a NATO member. No need to bring Turkey into NATO.

Mr. Peed Off February 19, 2022 3:15 PM

” Barbara Campbell was walking through a New York City subway station during rush hour when her world abruptly went dark. For four years, Campbell had been using a high-tech implant in her left eye that gave her a crude kind of bionic vision, partially compensating for the genetic disease that had rendered her completely blind in her 30s. “I remember exactly where I was: I was switching from the 6 train to the F train,” Campbell tells IEEE Spectrum. “I was about to go down the stairs, and all of a sudden I heard a little ‘beep, beep, beep’ sound.”

It wasn’t her phone battery running out. It was her Argus II retinal implant system powering down. The patches of light and dark that she’d been able to see with the implant’s help vanished. ”

Medical implants and related ip need some legislative attention. Specifically I believe the government should demand first lien on ip before granting FDA approval for any use. It does not take much imagination to see a patent troll attempting to extort users of implanted medical devises.

SpaceLifeForm February 19, 2022 3:25 PM

Re: Nursery pics

It is clearly a disinfo ploy using a real pic. There are pics from the outside that show the construction equipment that punched the hole in the wall. If I find them again, I will post links.

Clive Robinson February 19, 2022 4:07 PM

@ somebody,

I may have misunderstood, but Turkey is already a NATO member. No need to bring Turkey into NATO.

The trouble with trying to be concise.

First though you need to understand “The nuclear problem” and why the Ukraine is currently in the position it is[1].

Whilst Turkey is a member of NATO on paper, it is different to just about all the other EU NATO countries and very realistically feels it is treated as a non-member…

Whilst it “hosts” between 50 and 90 US cold war era “gravity drop” nuclear devices they are of limited yield and not what Turkey wants (they are seen as obsolete[2]). Turkey under Erdogan want’s to be a full nuclear state[3]. In part this is because Turkey has got Russia on it’s door step, and it’s seen what has happened to other nations on Russia’s doorstep that were persuaded by the US and other Western nations to relinquish nuclear deterant thirty odd years ago.

You may remember a few years back Russia went spare about the fact that Turkey being a member of NATO would alow the US to put nuclear missiles back in Turkey right up close to Russia.

The reason Russia got so up tight was that prior to the Cuban Missile crisis the US had put liquid fueled Jupiter nuclear missiles in Turkey. The nature of the Jupiter was that it was a “first strike” not “defensive” IRBM. Most people do not realise that the Cubban Missile Crisis was not “won” it had nothing to do with “Staring the other fellow down” and all that nonsense. It was actually a compromise. The actual agreement was that Russia would remove it’s missile systems if the US removed their missile systems from Turkey[4]. So from Russia’s point of view the US putting nuclear missiles back in Turkey was a breach of the agreement.

It’s also the reason the US gets twitchy about Erdagon wanting to make Turkey like France, the only other Nucular Capable country in the EU.

Turkey in turn sees all those EU nations in NATO against it and the US getting twitchy as further confirmation they are not realy part of NATO and that none of NATO will come to it’s defence if it is attacjed by Russia. A prediciment the Ukraine finds it’s self in.

Further Turkish involvment in Syria caused further alienation by most EU NATO members. Germany calling for sanctions against Turkey did nothing to help that either (though Germany was happy to sell lots of arms to Turkey provided they kept quiet about it, after all $38billion in trade made Turkey Germany’s number one trading partner).

So from most perspectives including how Turkey sees it themselves “They are a NATO member in name only”.

Oh and that they also see themselves as the only NATO member that stands up to not just Russian but also Middle Eastern Aggression.

Something we now have been shown the US is more than happy to encirage them to do.

Thus the geo-politics behind Turkey quietly aligning it’s self with the Ukraine, and Germany and the US giving Turkey armaments support that they should well know will probably go towards helping the Ukraine, alows some politicians to keep their hands clean with their voters.

As I’ve said for a while now, the best outcome for Russia and it’s people is that it stops the dreams of “Empire” that Putin pushes as “Strong Russia” and gets down to peacfully building up the Russian economy. By firstly freeing it of corruption, and then equitably trading with other nations. But that’s not going to work for Putin and the oligarchs and Russian mafia and other criminal organisations that he supports and they support him in return.





MarkH February 19, 2022 5:12 PM


That is a very large hole in the wall, where has all the rubble gone? If it was a high velocity impact from a shell it would have spread in a cone like pattern well into the room, almost like a giant shotgun blast.

Another perspective

Exterior view

… we are told three adults received injuries but no children did… Perhaps you should ask yourself why that might be?

Reportedly, the children were breakfasting (perhaps all in one room). The three adults with concussions were in a different part of the building.

SpaceLifeForm February 19, 2022 5:23 PM

Re: Nursery pics

These are from outside. Allegedly, the construction equipment was photoshopped in to some of the images. I am not convinced that is fact, but anyway, those are some good windows.

Something does not add up. The damage pattern on outside does not make sense if it was mortar fire, compared to the damage pattern on the inside.

What would make more sense is if it was a small bomb slapped onto outside wall with a timer. Even supposing that, the pattern still does not make sense. I have to conclude that some evidence was removed from the scene before the outside pic was taken. Why would the damage be so clean to the right corner of building? And down to ground level? Where is the debris?


lurker February 19, 2022 5:39 PM


…it’s the mortar that cracks and seperates away from the bricks and initially they spread out.

Which was my point; then you ask “where is all the rubble?” I would expect it to be on the far side of the room, and under the photographer’s feet. Why we were not shown this is another part of the puzzle…

lurker February 19, 2022 6:07 PM

re. NATO-Turkey-Russia et al

More parts of the puzzle, France supports an independent Kurdistan by hosting its radio transmissions with high power eqpt. at Issidoun; two frequencies allow random daily avoidance of Turkish “jamming”.

Moving further east, who is behind the anti-Taliban broadcasts of Afghanistan International TV? They have online “broadcasts” plus short-wave transmitters in both Yerevan and Tashkent.

SpaceLifeForm February 19, 2022 6:14 PM

Re: Nursery pics

So, after further review…

Yes, I will go with the Photoshop angle even though that does not remove questions about the original pic.

Then ask yourself, why would someone do this and then admit to such quickly?

Maybe the entire point is to spread disinfo to distract from other disinfo.

Such is the Fog of War.

Clive Robinson February 19, 2022 7:07 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, MarkH,

What would make more sense is if it was a small bomb slapped onto outside wall with a timer.

Look at the interior shot @MarkH provides…

Look on the otherside of the room, do you see any hole in the opposit wall?

So not a projectile weapon.

But if it was an explosive device, it most certainly did not happen in the room, there are no burn marks or blown out windows.

And take a carefull look at the rubble, its all broken up, but the bricks in the wall are not…

Kind of odd. Then there is a thick layer of dust all over the floor with bricks on top without dust on them… Oh and look no dust on the balls, but a thick layer of dust on the first shelf going down in the cupboard…

That is some real magic dust…

Then there are the soft shapes in the lefthand corner, not buried under rubble but sitting on top.

I could on pointing out odd coincidences like how come the rug is all crinkled up under all that dust and rubble…

I’m just going to leave it at I’m totally unconvinced by it.

Which brings us to the “exterior view” shot,

The first thing you notice is that the wall was double clad in fiber board which has interestingly come away from the wall as though pulled or pushed off of it.

But take a look at the edges of the hole, notice the difference in the bricks? Also notice the dust all over the exteria wall…

The way the bricks are broken is consistant with being compressed by either hammering or small blast. You can also see where the motar has come away from the bricks.

Now look at the window, how it’s “shock crazed” yet the other side of the window in the photograph I gave a link to is not. So double or triple glazing?

By the way that “shock crazing” can be caused in a couple of ways. In an an explosion it happens when the blast wave moves across the surface of the glass not towards it (think explosion on the wall the blast wave would cross the glass surface).

But there is a way you can fake it. If you use a “cutting torch” or “braising torch/burner” you heat the surface of the glass rapidly with the gas flame then quench it with a fine water spray.

So if it was an explosive device, I would say it was something like a “breaching charge” made with det-cord or thin layer of explosive with a result not unlike a petard or shaped charge.

But not something propelled like an artillery shell, mortar round, or rocket propelled grenade.

SpaceLifeForm February 19, 2022 7:22 PM

Putin has met his Downfall

He clearly is the Emperor With No Clothes now.

All of this nonsense is about propaganda and terrorizing the Russian people.

THe Russian people are not buying the story.

The Russian troops are not buying the story.

They are sabotaging equipment, and trading diesel for vodka. The troops are sending artilary into empty fields. High level Russian Mil folk are not buying the shite, but biding their time, playing the Sgt Shultz role.

The only angle Putin has is disinformation. No one is buying.

The mood in Kyiv…


lurker February 19, 2022 7:41 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, All

“questions about the original pic” are most likely to arise in the minds of those who have no knowledge or experience of the environment. The first pic showed a thick wall typical of the region, to keep out winter cold. The flat sided bricks were typical of hand-moulded bricks which would not be heavily fired, needing only sufficient strength to support a single, or at most two storey wall. No earthquake risk means no reinforcement. The remaining “mortar” was brown coloured, in small irregular daubs, likely local clay with little or no added cement, just a dab sufficient to seat each brick in alignment. Damage to the wattle & daub exterior is consistent with a small directed charge device exploding on contact with the wall. My experience with such is very limited and much out of date; I would bow to @Clive to tell us the calibre and charge, but he seems convinced it was not munitions involved.

MarkH February 19, 2022 8:21 PM


Your comment reflects a realistic appreciation of typical construction materials and practices in that part of the world, especially for buildings erected near the middle of Soviet times, which I guess this structure to be.

I think it worth noting that if the illustrated damage were some kind of fake, the disinformation operation would apparently have needed the collusion of dozens (of not hundreds) of people in this little town.

There are so many kinds of kinetic weapons on modern battlefields — and so many variants of function (nominal; failure to detonate; defective low-energy detonation) — that I would be exceedingly hesitant to say ” damage X can’t be caused by an artillery or rocket impact.”

SpaceLifeForm February 19, 2022 9:40 PM

@ lurker, MarkH, Clive

It is not about the bricks.

Except, that it is.

Look closely at the top of the hole.

Why is that area nicely clean and sharp?

Maybe it was just a construction project.

I do not see any snow on the ground.

ResearcherZero February 19, 2022 10:11 PM

As long as people are discussing the minor detail instead of the greater picture, disinformation is doing it’s job.

Plaid pops up a widget on their customer’s domain which asks the end-user to type in their username and password for the third-party service provider. If necessary, they will ask for a 2FA code. This is done without the third party’s permission, presumably through a browser emulator and a provider-specific munging shim, and collects the user’s credentials on a domain which is operated by neither the third party nor by Plaid.

at least three other Israeli companies — Paragon, Candiru and Cognyte Software Ltd. — have developed zero-click hacking tools or offered them to clients, according to former employees and partners of those companies, demonstrating that the technology is becoming more widespread in the surveillance industry.

ResearcherZero February 19, 2022 10:17 PM

The Putin approach to security:

Russia blocked a United Nations Security Council draft resolution, under negotiation for many months, that for the first time would have defined climate change as a threat to peace.

…Russia is one of the council’s five veto-wielding permanent members, its negative vote blocked passage.

Under Article 24 of the UN Charter, all Members confer on the Security Council “primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.” Under Chapter VI of the Charter, this can encompass investigating situations likely to endanger international peace and security. Under Chapter VII, the Council can make a threat to the peace determination under Article 39. The U.N. Charter states that the Council shall:

[D]etermine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.

What constitutes a threat to the peace is undefined and is ultimately left to the Council’s discretion.

MarkH February 19, 2022 10:27 PM

For the amateur ballistic scientists (is anybody here a professional at it?) …

I think that many of us know from personal experience that a relatively low-velocity impact can produce a conical hole.

The impacted face of the building appears to have had a wooden cladding, part of which was effectively demolished. The way I visualize the matter, in the first fraction of a millisecond of energy release, the wood stored some of the impact and/or detonation energy (by elastic compression), and dissipated some of the energy (by inelastic compression and fracture).

I expect these effects would (compared to no cladding) decrease the maximum pressure on the brick wall, while increasing the duration of the pressure pulse, and perhaps enlarging the area of maximum pressure: a little more like a wrecking ball, and a little less like a bullet (or bomb).

Can we eliminate this possibility?

MarkH February 19, 2022 10:29 PM


The weather in that region has had daily high temperatures above freezing, and no significant precipitation since some rain between last weekend and Tuesday.

Lack of snow is not mysterious.

ResearcherZero February 19, 2022 10:29 PM

World powers rattling their sabres.

The Australian defence ministry has accused a Chinese navy ship of shining a “military grade” laser towards one of its warplanes.

“Weapons-grade lasers could potentially cause serious harm to aircrew and mariners, as well as ship and aircraft systems,” the statement added.

UN Security Council fails again at negotiating due permanent veto powers…

“This council will never live up to its mandate for international peace and security if it does not adapt. It must reflect the moment we are now living in, the threats to international peace and security which we now face,”

lurker February 19, 2022 10:52 PM


As long as people are discussing the minor detail instead of the greater picture, disinformation is doing it’s job.

So NATO hypothetically fly in their expert from some fashionable warzone. He can identify make and mark of munitions fron 75 manufacturers just by the colour and smell of the powder burns, and the size and shape of the shrapnel fragments. But this hole in the wall has no powder burns, and no shrapnel. The local people have been fighting wars on this territory in their own conditions for hundreds of years. It’s thinking hinky that tells you this weapon was probably designed to kill and injure those inside the building by impact with medium velocity masonry. It’s not part of a TV cameraman’s job to make such analysis.

Peking’s Russian service is still broadcasting the usual anodyne. When the Games close one should pay attention if the Dragon speaks.

ResearcherZero February 19, 2022 10:52 PM


All I know about explosions is when someone blew up my hotel room, st went flying. We were evacuated across the street prior to detonation. A piece of plate glass flew across the street and stuck in the wall between me and a friend. Shrapnel killed a man’s seeing-eye-dog and ruined a newly refurbished room. The cops let the bombers go as they fled the scene (they don’t like spy st)

A guy at the hotel popped it into the room for them, after just prior being given a security briefing. Though that is the fairly typical behavior you routinely see after people are instructed not to do something in a security situation.

“Don’t show this to anyone.”

“OK, so I give the documents to people I don’t know?”



After a while you just have to laugh at how people behave, like the legal system and politics, it’s all a joke. One in which people die, (friends and relatives) …which is the punchline.

ResearcherZero February 20, 2022 1:33 AM

For almost two decades, hackers with Snake have been forcing their way into government networks. Who they work for, though, has always been a matter of pure speculation. But reporters with the German public broadcasters BR and WDR have discovered some clues, and they lead to Russia.

X Marks The Spot

The SNAR-10M1 is the latest version of a self-propelled radar that first entered service in the early 1970s. Adapted from the MT-LB tracked armored vehicle, the four-person SNAR-10 boasts a radar whose main function is to detect enemy artillery fire and provide targeting coordinates for counterbattery barrages.

The M1 version reportedly is capable of a wider range of missions. “The station is designed for reconnaissance of moving ground, air and surface targets,” the Russian defense ministry explained. “It is capable of detecting the enemy’s equipment and manpower, projectile impacts at ranges from 200 meters to 40 kilometers.”

That higher fidelity apparently gives the SNAR-10M1 the ability to track not just enemy artillery, but other armored vehicles, as well. Think of the SNAR-10M1 as a small, short-range and land-based version of the ground-moving-target-indicator radars that the U.S. Air Force and other air arms fit to their most sophisticated ground-surveillance aircraft.

Back in 2014, at least one SNAR-10M1 played an important role in one of the biggest battles of the then just-beginning war in Donbas. In late July 2014, Ukrainian troops attacked Russian-backed separatists then controlling the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk.

the equipment and weapons of the 41st Army are to remain at Pogonovo, a military training ground 17 kilometers south of Voronezh.

There are two main types of remote sensing satellites: optical and radar. Each type can be subdivided further into sub-categories based on aperture, orbit, and bands.

ResearcherZero February 20, 2022 2:03 AM


oops… it’s a mystery

These are just a few of the many accidents and incidents involving U.S. nuclear weapons based in foreign countries that were not mentioned in May 1981, when the Defense Department released what it claimed was the first “comprehensive” list of U.S. nuclear weapons accidents. Why Defense has yet to acknowledge incidents beyond the 32 disclosed in 1981 is a mystery.

…and no one knows why governments keep dump mistakes, ‘they all make’, from the public


This development is notable for the progress it represented on the debate as to whether and why the UN Security Council should act on issues related to climate change. Although climate change as a threat to international security has been recognized at least since the 1988 Toronto Conference that began intergovernmental cooperation on climate change, a role for the UN Security Council and even discussion of the climate issue by the UNSC has raised controversy.


…it is difficult to determine the future course of Council engagement on climate and security. While most members of this organ are committed to a Council role, some influential members have strong reservations about the extent to which it should devote energy and resources to climate change. In addition, the Council is still trying to understand and define the nature of the challenge (which varies depending on the context), and to ascertain the Council’s precise role, and added value, in addressing climate and security matters.

…Even if the worst-case scenarios are avoided, the climate crisis is likely to deepen. Its consequences for human security will mount, bringing linkages between climate-related factors and conflict into sharp relief. In such a world, the Council failing to respond will make it appear out of touch with fundamental threats to international peace and security—and human survival.


“This council will never live up to its mandate for international peace and security if it does not adapt. It must reflect the moment we are now living in, the threats to international peace and security which we now face,”

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

chocolate gopher pudding February 20, 2022 3:22 AM

Free Cybersecurity Services and Tools

“”As part of our continuing mission to reduce cybersecurity risk across U.S. critical infrastructure partners and state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, CISA has compiled a list of free cybersecurity tools and services to help organizations further advance their security capabilities. This living repository includes cybersecurity services provided by CISA, widely used open source tools, and free tools and services offered by private and public sector organizations across the cybersecurity community. CISA will implement a process for organizations to submit additional free tools and services for inclusion on this list in the future.

The list is not comprehensive and is subject to change pending future additions. CISA applies neutral principles and criteria to add items and maintains sole and unreviewable discretion over the determination of items included. CISA does not attest to the suitability or effectiveness of these services and tools for any particular use case. CISA does not endorse any commercial product or service. Any reference to specific commercial products, processes, or services by service mark, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply their endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by CISA.””

SpaceLifeForm February 20, 2022 3:36 AM

@ Clive, ALL

When they are in a rush, they can’t even match the paint color.

Or the body style. Or the headlights. Or wheel size. Or brains. Even a gallon of paint is more intelligent that this.

But, the license plate matches, therefore it is real. LOL.


ResearcherZero February 20, 2022 3:43 AM

So I’m considering having the The Severance Procedure done again…

State treasurers from eight U.S. states have co-signed a letter to the SEC over non-disclosure agreements, asking for an investigation into Apple’s use of the agreements, and whether Apple misled the regulator about them.

In the summer of 2021, the “AppleToo” movement attempted to expose patterns of racism, sexism, inequality, and abuse inside Apple. Later reports pointed to the interference of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) that have the potential to stifle employee commentary and whistleblowing, claims that could be investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

NDAs can force employees to be silent about anything from trade secrets to sexual harassment and assault and have been growing in number as companies become increasingly worried about competition and reputation.

Over one-third of the US workforce is bound to their company by a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)

Set at Lumon Industries of New York City, a “severance” program is used to separate the non-work memories of the employees from their work memories.

The severance procedure may be fictional, but the soulless corporate efficiency and irresponsible tech that inspired this fable are very real.

Retrograde amnesia: Traumatic events

RA can occur without any anatomical damage to the brain, lacking an observable neurobiological basis. Primarily referred to as psychogenic amnesia or psychogenic fugue, it often occurs due to a traumatic situation that individuals wish to consciously or unconsciously avoid through intrapsychic conflicts or unconscious repressions.

Studies of specific cases, such as ‘AMN’, support evidence of traumatic experiences as a plausible cause of RA.

Symptoms of a dissociative fugue include mild confusion and once the fugue ends, possible depression, grief, shame, and discomfort. People have also experienced a post-fugue anger.

“post-fugue anger” Pfft! I never experienced any post-fugue anger. Sounds like a load or rot to me!

SpaceLifeForm February 20, 2022 3:55 AM

@ Clive

I normally would never reference this site, but it is getting weird.

Has BoJo finally bought a vowel? Has Murdoch?

Maybe they finally figured out that the money laundering is dead now.

Other pics of the damage.

hxx ps://www. the-sun. com/ news/4708049/ukrainian-nursery-bombed-kyiv-putin-false-flag-attack/

Clive Robinson February 20, 2022 4:30 AM

@ lurker,

The flat sided bricks were typical of hand-moulded bricks which would not be heavily fired,

Yes they are molded bricks but they are industrially made and their colour and other features suggest that they are a form of “expanded cement”.

Such bricks range from around a density of 0.8 to over 3 depending on their use which ranges from facing through structural. With the expansion filling being from air filed foam through plastics and can include steel wire.

As for,

No earthquake risk means no reinforcement. The remaining “mortar” was brown coloured, in small irregular daubs, likely local clay with little or no added cement, just a dab sufficient to seat each brick in alignment.

We don’t know what the building structure is, it may be a poured reinforced concrete frame made with shutters, poured reinforced floors with “infill exteria walls” which is a quite common building technique in Europe and is used to build from single story to above ten story (they are putting one such just about 3/4mile down the road from me currently).

What we do know from the “exteria view is the “bond” the bricks have been laid in with three rows of stretechers and every fourth row looking like a header but is infact a locking tie to the course behind. It’s a form of “engineering bond” although from the outside it looks like “English Garden Wall” bond. It is frequently used in “fire-walls” and you will find it all over the place including in New York “brown stone” Tenements.

As for “just a dab sufficient” of mortar, that is not what we see on the exteria view. And the amount of “dust” suggests there is a lot of mortar in the internals of the wall.

It’s hard to tell in the interia photo due to the lighting. The light intensity in the hole is a lot less than the glare from the surounding yellow wall paper as it’s at best indirectly lit from an oblique or reflected light source. We alsi don’t know what the camera is or what effect that would have on the colour balance.

But “The remaining “mortar” was brown coloured” are you sure you are not getting confused by the “plaster”?

With regards “Damage to the wattle & daub exterior” I don’t know what your local definition of “wattle & daub” is but where I come from that is a “historic” nolonger used technique, so not what you would find.

And it’s not in this case. Look at the exteria wall, there are patches of modern adehisive that was used to glue insulating pannels to the wall via the standard “dab” method. Then fixed to this by what look like large headed nails –but are not– is a red-brown fiber board that has then been coated with what could be a weather proof mastic or render. It’s a form of very effective insulation that is just starting to be used in the UK. What it does is turns the building walls into “mass stotage heating” where you can use cheaper energy tarrifs to heat the inside of the property in the evening and over night. The walls then reradiate heat back into the room during the day when the energy tarrifs are high. People I know that have had it done report a 25-35% drop in energy bills, even when they already have cavity wall insulation. I loaned a couple my FLIR so they could see where heat was still being radiated outwards, and it’s mostly through the windows, where double glazing is insufficient, an internal third glass drops this quite a bit (even stretching cling film across the window inset and tightening it with a “hair drier” makes a very obvious difference as you don’t get air movment across the glass.

Anyway moving on, you say “Damage to the wattle & daub exterior is consistent with a small directed charge device exploding on contact with the wall”.

What I’ve ruled out by the angle is any kind of artillery shell, mortar round as their angle would be above 45degrees not horizontal. I’ve also ruled out high velocity such as artillery shells and rockey proppeled grenades and similar missiles because they would have gone through the wall before exploding, and it’s fairly clear that has not happened.

What passes for local authorities there claimed it was a Ukranian attack by mortar or grenade from a distance, which it clearly is not.

As I’ve noted on seeing the, external view I strongly suspect it was an explosion on the outside of the building such as a breaching device which can easily be made from things like “det-cord” or flat “cheese slice” plastic explosives like Semtex. But that would have to be manually put in place and is most definately not an artillery shell, mortar round or grenade as claimed.

There is an infantry weapon which is a rifle grenade launcher often mounted under a semi-automatic rifle barrel, that fires very small shells. But their range is extreamly limited.

Both of which significantly suggests it was not Ukranian forces, but local malitia or similar that actually caused the damage.

Hence my reason for calling it out as a fake.

But from further news over night, it appears that the local authorities will not let independent international monitors within 50meters of the building. So all they can say is,

1, Damage appears recent.
2, Hole in the ground.
3, Windows broken on two sides of building.
4, Hole in the wall about 1 meter across.

So ask why would the local authorities not want independebt international monitors getting close to it?

Clive Robinson February 20, 2022 5:02 AM

@ MarkH,

For the amateur ballistic scientists (is anybody here a professional at it?) …

As I’ve mentioned before I had the pleasure of learbing a few things from a real “nutty proffessor ” type expert, who just for fun would play “marbles” with rocks and small amounts of plastic explosives to demonstrate certain effects.

He was the research expert who taught me about how to make shaped charges and the stand off distances required. Compared to him even the “professionals” in the demolition business etc are just amateurs.

But as a subject there is so much that is unknown that he used to joke he was just “an amateur experimenting” as the theory was not at all accurate (look up hydro-codes). One of his gripes was about resonance effects. That is all sold objects that can transmit energy by conduction are actually resonators. That is they “ring like tapped bells”. A lot of the damage to solid objects in an explosion are caused by the resonance effects. Which as he noted “might explain” the wierd effects that get seen.

With regards,

The way I visualize the matter, in the first fraction of a millisecond of energy release

But you do not say where you thing the actuall center of detonation is, which is very important.

So makes what you say next just a generalised observation, and also probably irrelevant in this case.

To see why take a closer look at that cladding, it’s not solid “wood” but “fiber board” designed as thermal clading thus it has lots of void space in it like felt or a “wooly jumper”. Whilst it does compress, if stores little or no mechanical energy, but it does disipate it, which is why it also gets used as secondary sound insulation.

Clive Robinson February 20, 2022 5:32 AM

@ lurker,

But this hole in the wall has no powder burns, and no shrapnel.

Nor does the room inside or wall outside.

“That we can see in the photos”.

But it does not mean that it is not powder burns and shrapnel at the place…

There is a lot of cladding from the outside of the wall missing from the photos. And we don’t have the all important photos of the ground outside the building on the side where the hole is.

My guess and that is all we can do with what we have got, is that the explosion was very near the surface of the wall and in effect the blast wave traveled along the surface of the wall and cause the cracking near the window frame and cracks in the glass.

A small proportion of the energy also blew the cladding backwards off of the wall.

However the bulk of the energy was directed forwards.

It’s the kind of effect you see with a shaped charge that is “stood off” so the blast direction forms correctly and “punches” forward.

You can approximate the correct stand off distance by assuming the shaped charge has a focal point and the actual charge forms part of an elipse around it. You place the charge so that the mid point of the elipse is at or just slightly off of the surface you want to punch a hole through.

The thing is at that point the explosion is all a very very fast moving plasma with a plane front even if the shaped charge is not lined with a copper cone etc. The blast wave that is yet to form follows along much more slowly and it’s that which throws things around.

SpaceLifeForm February 20, 2022 5:45 AM

@ Clive, ALL

Re: Nursery pics


The only place “artillery” could have been fired from is just inside Russian controled , and it would have been an 82mm Mortar at maximum range (6k). Whatever it was, it wasn’t artillery. An 82mm mortar would have destroyed that side of the building if it hit there.

[There are a lot of people that are paying attention]

[This is called OSINT. There is a graphic]

SpaceLifeForm February 20, 2022 6:02 AM

Damage. Route around it.

Putin is losing control. He knows intel is leaking.


SpaceLifeForm February 20, 2022 6:22 AM

@ MarkH

I like your weather forecast.

Blow up a few roads here and there…

Tanks not moving. The more mud, the merrier.

Winter February 20, 2022 7:01 AM

This afternoon (Chinese time) the winter Olympics are over. Xi’s party is over and Russia can start their war. If they decide to do so.

We already have reports from Ukraine that the separatists, supported by Russian mercenaries/soldiers are trying to provoke an Ukrainian response. BJ already claimed that, by a lack of Ukrainian return fire, the separatists return their own fire into the Donbas.

So we could expect a start of the war any time now.

Here is an “economists'” view of the coming time:

The worst-case scenario would be a large-scale Russian invasion of the Ukraine, along with extreme kinetic warfare and the installation of a puppet government in Kyiv. The Biden Administration believes up to 50,000 civilians would die under such circumstance. There may now be a greater than 50% probability of such an invasion given the escalation of commitment cognitive heuristics that are likely playing out in the Kremlin, against a backdrop of Putin’s clearly stated belief that Russia should rectify the geopolitical ‘disaster’ of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Recent diplomatic efforts have largely failed, with some mocked outright by the Kremlin.

50,000 civilian deaths and millions of Ukrainian refugees in Europe would mark a watershed in European politics.

Clive Robinson February 20, 2022 8:48 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

[There are a lot of people that are paying attention]…

The map looks like an output from a TAK program.

Look up ATAK for Android or WinTAK.

There is a civilian version you can download called CivTAK or TAK.Civ depending on who talks about it.

Oh and I gather you can add your own “Python Extentions” or other “Plug-ins”.

Not sure if you know about MESHtastic, it’s a LoRa based mesh networking system, where a BLE device talks to a “pocket change” 900MHz –or there abouts– LoRa board and gives AES256 encrypted links for data transmission.

Well a plugin has been developed that links ATAK and MeshTastic together. So your Android mobile talks via BLE to a LoRa board that gives you a working network,

Oh the video has one not quite true thing in it about “jamming”. You can in fact actually work through jamming by techniques using high gain antennas which at 900megish are not to big and not to small and you can dowbload build plans easily enough. Use of such antennas also cuts down interference from the myriad of other stuff in the 900Megish band. Oh and they also make your radios even harder to direction find as you can use even lower power.

Oh the trick with “Digital Radio” is every node can very easily become “store and forward” which can be used to help make “Traffic Analysis” way way harder.

But… You Obviously can use a different comms plug-in so ATAK can work over say through the Amateur Radio APRS service through say the ISS if it’s above your horizon or if you realy know what you are doing via a geostationary satelite. But also via those dirt cheap Chinese VHF/UHF handhelds that are available PMR repeaters and Trunked Radio Systems (see what DMR can do for you). Or other networking across say HF radios including “CB” that can get you an easy 500mile diameter coverage (see NVIS it’s what the mil types do as it’s very dificult to DF). Or at the right time of day all around the world…

ATAK is an interesting system that when I’ve some time I might get some real “hands on” with.

MarkH February 20, 2022 9:58 AM

How conspiracy theories start …

For readers who’ve missed this, the Kremlin has apparently designed to launch a campaign of pure military aggression. Because that’s a “bad look”, they presumably want a pretext which can be sold to the masses, and seek to fabricate one.

In contrast, the Ukrainian government and great majority of its population don’t want this deathstorm.

The kindergarten in question is in territory controlled by the Ukrainian government. Consider:

• I’ve seen no dispute that Stanytsia Luhanska received dozens of artillery shells that morning.

• To “fake” the kindergarten attack would have needed the participation of staff, parents and grandparents, children and neighbors, police, medical staff, etc. How could this be done with less than 100 unanimous conspirators?

• This complex simulation would need to have been prepared in advance, or improvised that morning.

MarkH February 20, 2022 9:59 AM

Continued …

So, some folks are postulating a conspiracy of baroque elaboration and complexity … for what? How could this benefit Ukraine? Even supposing the hypothetical conspirators all to be traitors in Russian pay, wouldn’t it be far more useful to stage this against a kindergarten under Russian control so they could claim an outrage committed by Ukrainian authorities?

Makes. No. Sense.

Clive Robinson February 20, 2022 11:30 AM

@ MarkH,

How could this benefit Ukraine?

Wrong question, think again…

Oh and I think you will find that your assumption of,

“The kindergarten in question is in territory controlled by the Ukrainian government.”

Is not what it might appear to be on paper. As I understand it, the 10-12 thousand people who live there only one in fourteen is not Russian. And as it’s right on the front line it has regularly been shelled by “seperatists” since atleast 2017.

So any “think of the children” motivation of “Russian Children” would be a very powerfull “dog whistle” in Russia. Thus would make an ideal “pretext” for a Russian invasion.

Which brings us onto,

To “fake” the kindergarten attack would have needed the participation of staff, parents and grandparents, children and neighbors, police, medical staff, etc. How could this be done with less than 100 unanimous conspirators?

You realy are thinking the wrong sort of “fake”. An event certainly happened what precisely is unknown.

Note that it is in one corner of the building and happened at a mealtime when all of the children and most of the staff would have been in another part of the building.

Now I don’t know about kindergartens where you are, but the ones I’ve had any involvment with (I was a School Governor at one) have very rigid mealtimes and sleep times. Such times and where the children will be in the building will be known not just to the childrens parents but many other people including regular delivery people.

So quite a few people would know or could very easily find out.

I think on the available evidence we have –which is very limited– we can conclude that the explosion was not caused by artillery or mortar fire, and was either of very low velocity or no velocity at all.

All it would take is a single person to sneak up and either stick a bomb on that corner of the building, where they would not be seen, or fire a grenade from a rifle mounted launcher.

The place would be cleared very rapidly and a very small number of others could move in as “security forces”.

History is full of examples of very small numbers of attackers carrying out attacks that people think would involve hundreds.

So ask yourself this, with around 11,000 of the 12,000 people that live there being Russian, how many do you think could be closet seperatists or Russian moles?

Or as the kindergarten is in a low density area how difficult it would be for a small team of Russian/Seperatists to slip across in the darkness and make their way up to the kindergarten knowing exactky when the shelling etc from the “little green men” side of the ceasefire line?

I suspect it would be incredibly easy.

But the simple fact is there is a lot wrong with the photos taken in that room and we have no way of knowing the real timeline of events.

Now I know you should not use Occams Razor on entities with agency, but ask yourself what is the simplest explanation for what is an astounding list of apparently favourable coincidences?

JonKnowsNothing February 20, 2022 12:08 PM

@Clive, @MarkH, @Winter

re: 2 walls, 2 holes in the wall

From the AI/ML shoveled up images, I got a “new view” of a wall in “Ukraine”. Of course there’s nothing about the picture to define where in the Ukraine it might or might not be.

The “nudge” is that this is the same wall as the previous wall images shoveled up, showing a hole in the wall with children’s toys on the floor.

There’s problem …

Wall 1: interior shot with a roundish hole in the wall

Wall 2: exterior shot of a wall with a rectangular hole.

One might assume that the Wall 2 is the same as Wall 1, except someone has removed some of the bricks around the hole in the exterior shot.

Removing broken bricks would be normal for repairing a damaged brick wall. Depending on how extensive the damage, the damaged courses are removed. If the damage is extensive the courses are removed all the way to the base and rebuilt. If the damage is minor and it’s not load-bearing the faulty bricks can be extracted and new bricks inserted. Getting the mortar in the right spot is tricky for an amateur but a good stone mason/brick mason can do it in a flash.

fwiw Anyone using Tolkien imagery as political metaphor, hasn’t got a clue as what the imagery represents.

John February 20, 2022 1:21 PM


Hmm… Interesting thread.

Building a bunch of ATAK toys could be a lot of fun.

Not so much the radio adapters as a ‘passive’ ATAK node that just sits there waiting to help with message forwarding. You throw it up in a tree, et cetera.

A sort of super multiband send-receive AirTag.

I have been looking at WSPR with some of those thoughts. 50bits in a 324 bit payload. Amazing range from a simple H2 balloon radiating 10mw.


MarkH February 20, 2022 1:28 PM


I’m a doddering old fellow, with no doubt that some of you youngsters have much sharper eyes!

To me, these two views:



seem to agree quite well considering the thickness of the wall. What do you see?

JonKnowsNothing February 20, 2022 2:03 PM

@ MarkH

re: What do you see?

Neither picture shoveled up on my page, are the same as the 2 images you posted.


It might very well be that the camera crew took a bunch of images and these were sold to various entities. The amount of crop-edit-change allowed varies by site and editor, plus certain images carry different “tagits”.

There have been some “fun” instances of photo alteration.


Eons upon Eons ago, during a baseball (USA) game, a female fan ran onto the field and up to the pitcher and gave him a big smooch. The female was wearing a mini skirt (popular) and as she reached up for the smooch, she had a “costume failure” moment visible from the backside (ahem).

The photographers had a field day.

Some MSM printed the picture with untwisted-nickers in view and others politely pulled down her mini skirt to cover the bared-essentials.

pup vas February 20, 2022 2:50 PM

Leicester AI team seek volunteers for robot interaction

=Volunteers are being sought to teach emotional responses to a type of robot.

A De Montfort University (DMU) team, in Leicester, created the artificial intelligence program which can judge an onlooker’s mood.

Named PLEA, its uses cameras and microphones to monitor a subject and their immediate environment and responds via a projected face.

The team are looking for people to interact with the robot so it can learn subtler facial expressions.

“We want to see how well it communicates using non verbal methods,” she said.

“Even when people are wearing masks or have hair on their faces, if you are frowning or smiling, it can read that.

“Is it responsive to you? Is it copying you? Are you copying it? How do you feel about what it is doing?”

Prof Harwood said the robot would eventually be able to speak and there was a practical application in mind.

“It’s rudimentary but the potential for it to communicate and be company for people is definitely there,” she said.

“The aim of it is to put it into care settings, a more a social setting than a private home

“The idea is it reduces loneliness, it increases your desire to want to communicate.”=

Potential for interrogation analysis as well.

JonKnowsNothing February 20, 2022 4:31 PM

@pup vas

re: Ancestral research / DNA / Ancestry, MyHeritage or 23 and Me / is it smart to give private firms access to our genomes

Companies in that category freely give DNA results to LEAs, no warrant needed as the information is Third-Party. Some give the information more freely than others.

The LEAs use this to track and trace anyone they have in their criminal DNA database. In the USA people charged with a criminal offense maybe REQUIRED to give a DNA sample.

Some reports are the LEAs backtrack through multiple generations until they find a “common ancestor” then forward track to find a “near relative”. Once they have a near relative they can get a warrant for a full search.

Quite recently, the San Francisco California PD got caught using Victim DNA to match with their Criminal DNA. They nabbed a rape victim for a property crime. The fallout isn’t pretty and many raised eyebrows. The good news is the rape victim had their criminal prosecution dropped as the use and match up of the DNA “likely” violated rules on “unreasonable searches”, at least those that were never announced.

We know the rules for “unreasonable searches” no longer exist in the USA since “reasonable” was redefined to mean “All” by the FISA Courts. If everything is “reasonable” then there is nothing “unreasonable”.

Future victims of DNA match ups with Full Monty Face ID systems being set up, may not be so lucky.

It’s not secure, it’s not always accurate, it’s not safe, and it’s not smart.

But lots of people do it, hoping to prove they are related to “someone famous”. Sometimes they don’t like the “famous one” as the person is “historically infamous”.


Disclosure: Eons ago, I agreed to donate my DNA for “research”. It was, at the time, purely scientific, closely held in the public trust, with carefully selected research etc etc.

Now I am unsure how good those assurances still are. It’s still a respected name holder but the pull of money does funny things to science.

It’s like the Radio Shack Customer Address No Sharing problem: It was good at one time and money made it not good.

Ismar February 20, 2022 7:39 PM

Staying with the Ukrainian theme

Australia promises cyber support to Ukraine as Russian forces array along its borders

Australia will expand cyber training for Ukrainian officials and could join a broader coalition of Western countries to provide the besieged Eastern European nation with support as fear of a Russian invasion continues. Read the full story

ResearcherZero February 20, 2022 8:39 PM

A current intelligence source and a government source have confirmed the country’s domestic spy agency, ASIO, has recently investigated at least one major effort to back pro-Russian figures for an unspecified Australian political contest.

Most details of the conspiracy remain hidden, but the ABC has confirmed it involved an individual based in Australia with close links to President Vladmir Putin’s regime.

Russian agents also tried to obtain information on individuals via police.

ResearcherZero February 20, 2022 9:37 PM

@Clive Robinson

Children are pretty good leverage. When I was being abducted and shot at not a lot of people wanted to show up for court. It kept people real quiet. I used to catch the bus 350km to the court, as not even my parents showed up, along with some other crucial witnesses (mysteriously died). Though we had a ton of evidence, intercepts, physical evidence, shells, castings, a boot… The Spetsnaz and GRU insignia could of been a giveaway found in one raid, but he might of just been a collector I suppose.

It certainly kept a lot of people quiet, the terrorizing of their children. Sometimes the wrong children. The GRU intel was either a bit off, or they just didn’t care if children just looked a bit similar to whoever they were targeting.

Personally I think Putin should of stuck with bribes, it worked on the prosecutors, and quite a few others.

ResearcherZero February 20, 2022 10:56 PM

Snake worked for Russia’s FSB intelligence agency at least some of its hackers have

Embassies in Belgium, Ukraine, China, Jordan, Greece, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Poland, and Germany were all attacked, though researchers from Kaspersky Lab and Symantec could not confirm which countries were the true targets. In one case from May 2012, the office of the prime minister of a former Soviet Union member country was infected, leading to 60 further computers being affected, Symantec researchers said.

There were some other victims, including the ministry for health of a Western European country, the ministry for education of a Central American country, a state electricity provider in the Middle East and a medical organisation in the US, according to Symantec. It is believed the group was also responsible for a much – documented 2008 attack on the US Central Command.

Turla has many names in the information security industry — it is also known as Snake, Venomous Bear, Uroburos and WhiteBear. It is a notorious Russian-based and espionage-focused Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) group that’s been active since at least 2004.

During their campaigns, they are often using and re-using compromised servers for their operations, which they access via SSH, often protected by TOR.

The backdoor comes in the form of a service DLL called w64time.dll. The description and filename makes it look like a valid Microsoft DLL.

There is a real Microsoft w32time.dll on non-infected Windows systems in the %SYSTEMROOT%\system32 directory, but it doesn’t have a w64time.dll brother. The malicious w64time.dll and the original w32time.dll are 64-bit PE files on a 64-bit Microsoft Windows system.

The adversaries used a .bat file to install the backdoor as a harmless-looking fake Microsoft Windows Time service. The .bat file is also setting the configuration parameters in the registry the backdoor is using.

This means the malware is running as a service, hidden in the svchost.exe process. The DLL’s ServiceMain startup function is doing not much more than executing the function we called “main_malware,” which includes the backdoor code.

ComRAT v4 includes two new features, such as the ability to exfiltrate antivirus logs and the ability to control the malware using a Gmail inbox.

ComRAT, also known as Agent.BTZ and to its developers as Chinch, is a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) that became infamous after its use in a breach of the US military in 2008. The first version of this malware, likely released in 2007, exhibited worm capabilities by spreading through removable drives. From 2007 to 2012, two new major versions of the RAT were released.

Snake targeted servers controlled by the Swiss Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection, and Sports.

Snake also exfiltrated 23Gb of data (including signaling) over the nearly two-year period they were tracked and RUAG rm, a Swiss government-owned defense technology company. security analysts discovered an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) at RUAG rm, a Swiss government-owned defense technology company. For over a year, the analysts detected and cracked the layers of software, encryption, and reconnaissance techniques used by the attackers.

The cat and mouse game of cyber espionage and counterespionage came to an end in March 2016 when several reports appeared in the press about the incident. The leaked reports brought enough exposure to end the investigation (and, presumably, the infiltration) at RUAG.

Once the cat was out of the bag, the Federal Council of the Swiss Confederation released a detailed analysis of the cyber espionage at RUAG.

The common ancestor seems to be Agent.BTZ, which was first observed in 2007 and 2008 in the US. The roots of Agent.BTZ are a bit vague, and also code relations to the rest of the family are not very obvious. For these reasons, the relations are shown as dotted lines. Surprisingly, some more obvious links can be found between Agent.BTZ and the much newer Snake rootkit

Specific malware elements came from the Carbon, Snake, and Tavdig (also called Epic) malware projects. These initially included 32-bit and 64-bit kernel-level rootkits for Windows. When RUAG upgraded to versions of Windows that required signed kernel drivers, the attackers switched to userland process nodes instead, which gave them a benefit for a much larger encrypted virtual file system. These changes took place over months, showing the persistence and patience of the attackers.

The attackers moved laterally throughout the RUAG network via credentials that collected from a cornucopia of tools that included mimikatz and ShareEnum.exe. Ultimately they created a three-tier malware node architecture. A small, selected group of nodes near the firewall were designated as the communication proxies and did little more than pass information and workload tasks into the network and results back out. These proxies help prevent the other nodes evade the detection that would occur if they had to signal out to external command-and-control servers individually.

“it is important to emphasize that attackers also make mistakes and have their weaknesses, so there is always an opportunity for the defenders to detect them.”

“The malware at issue, known as “agent.btz,” in 2008 infiltrated the computer systems of U.S. Central Command, which was running the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

It reaches out to download new code, enabling it to change its “signature” continuously and evade anti-virus software running on host networks

Agent.btz was malicious software designed to steal documents from classified and unclassified U.S. military networks in 2008. A flash drive infected with Agent.btz was reportedly inserted into a laptop at a U.S. military base in the Middle East, and from there the worm spread undetected to U.S. computers at the Department of Defense and in combat zones. Russia is suspected of being behind the incident.

Once the compromise was detected, it took fourteen months to remove Agent.btz from the Pentagon’s networks and the incident triggered a departmental ban of USB drives. Agent.btz was a significant breach of U.S. military systems, and the vulnerabilities it exposed ultimately led to the creation of U.S. Cyber Command, a military command with the mission of defending Department of Defense networks and conducting offensive cyber operations for the U.S. military.

ResearcherZero February 21, 2022 12:18 AM

Swallowing the Snake’s Tail: Tracking Turla Infrastructure

An advanced Russian threat group, nicknamed ‘Turla’, used malware-based implants derived from suspected Iran-based hacking groups’ previous campaigns to run a wide-ranging cybercrime operation that disguised its origin.

In order to acquire these tools and access the infrastructure, Turla compromised the suspected Iran-based hacking groups themselves.

Victims, the majority of whom were based in the Middle East, suffered looted documents from various sectors, including governments, as a result of these attacks.

The cyber-attacks against more than 35 countries presented as the work of Iranian hackers from the OilRig group (APT34), but analysis by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC – a division of GCHQ) and US National Security Agency (NSA) revealed evidence to the contrary.

In order to initiate connections with the implants, Turla must have had access to relevant cryptographic key material, and likely had access to controller software in order to produce legitimate tasking.

In other instances, Turla deployed Neuron to victims in which they already had access to via their Snake toolkit, with all observed connections from Turla-associated infrastructure.

Turla also made use of existing Snake victim networks to scan for the ASPX shell described in the initial advisory – attempting to identify the presence of, and access, the ASPX webshell on IP addresses in at least 35 countries.

From one Snake victim, a log file was recovered which recorded the output of Turla’s scanning for these ASPX shells with the strings “!!!MAY BE SHELL!!! (check version)” and “!!!MAY BE SHELL!!! (100%)”; over 3500 unique IP addresses were scanned.

Symantec has pointed out that the use of zero-days, the sophisticated malware, the large network of compromised websites, and the nature of the targets indicate that Waterbug is a state-sponsored group. While the company has not named any country, other security firms believe the threat might have Russian roots.

Waterbug successfully compromised more than 4,500 systems across over 100 countries, targeting government institutions, research and education facilities, embassies, and other high-profile organizations.

In 2019, the group began ramping up its use of PowerShell scripts via PowerSploit and PowerShell Empire. It also developed a custom PowerShell backdoor dubbed PowerStallion, all in an apparent effort to make discovery harder for defenders.

Turla had a pattern of using older malware and methods that researchers had previously identified as being used by the threat actor.

NSA and NCSC Release Joint Advisory on Turla Group Activity

the 2017 purge…

Despite acrimonious relations between Russia and the United States in recent years, experts on cyber security in both countries say their law enforcement agencies and private firms had been working together more closely behind the scenes to fight financial fraud and other crimes committed online.

But at least some of that cooperation appears to have come to a sudden halt since Ruslan Stoyanov, head of the computer incidents investigation team at Russian cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab, was arrested in December on suspicion of treason.

Two officers from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) were also arrested, identified by a Western security source as Sergei Mikhailov and Dmitry Dokuchayev, both from the FSB’s Information Security Center.

The man who oversaw the KGB successor’s cybersecurity since 2009 may soon be out of a job.

Andrei Gerasimov, who has been head of the FSB’s Information Security Center, responsible for the FSB’s cybersecurity, since 2009, may soon be dismissed

Dmitry Shalkov, a top-ranking ultra-conservative official of the Federal Security Service (FSB) articulated the initiative before the Duma. He justified the need for new cyber infrastructure legislation on the basis of a growing number of cyberattacks against Russia’s information resources. According to the official, in 2016 alone, Russia was subjected to 70 million cyberattacks targeting its critical IT infrastructure.

The new cyber infrastructure protection initiative was hailed by most conservative forces serving in the Russian Duma, including former KGB agents, representatives of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) and the pro-Kremlin Fair Russia party. High-ranking Duma deputy Leonid Levin underscored that the initiative is particularly timely and fully complies with the country’s recently adopted Information Security Doctrine.

…lawmakers once again explicitly declared that the strategic goal of the Russian IT sector is to eliminate its dependence on external gadgets and technologies as a means to decrease the “foreign factor,” diminish Russia’s dependence on the external market, and optimize the work of domestic IT-sector producers.

Winter February 21, 2022 12:53 AM

“fwiw Anyone using Tolkien imagery as political metaphor, hasn’t got a clue as what the imagery represents.”

The people writing the pieces go to great length explaining what Tolkien intended with his books. But readers have their very own associations and interpretations.

Looking at Moscow as Mordor, Putin as Sauron, and Ukraine as the Shire does supply direct and understandable images of how contemporaries interpret the current situation.

And, really, Putin does exhibit all the empathy and social responsibility of Sauron.

SpaceLifeForm February 21, 2022 2:09 AM

@ Ismar

I doubt there is much more that can be done that already hasn’t been implemented. I think they best they can do now is provide remote support, and monitoring. The IT folk in Ukraine, at this point, are not going to be getting any new hands-on training. Any new staff will being learning on the fly now from their co-workers.

6 weeks? I think we are looking at less than 24 hours.

What is in place now is what they will have to rely upon.

Clive Robinson February 21, 2022 5:02 AM

@ Bruce, ALL,

A new one for the files…

Fake Online Company where even the emoloyess were being conned

During the pandemic people lost their jobs, and some found out about a work from home marketing company and were impressed by it’s charismatic leader.

They joined up and started working rediculous hours some were putting in 16hour days every day chasing projects through.

But there was a catch, their work contract said their first six months was “commisson only”…

Then one afternoon an employee sent an email to say that the company was a fake,

The moral behind it, is in our OnLine World of vanity, you have to do proper “Due Diligence” not rely on “Linkedin” and the like virtual if not utter nonsense.

Clive Robinson February 21, 2022 5:49 AM

@ Bruce, ALL,

An update to a file…

You may remember “SmartWater” from quite a few years back now.

Basically it was a liquid with a UV fluorescent dye in it you could put on your property that provided a unique code when subject to testing.

It kind of never became the success some thought it should…

Well it appears they have found a new use for it,

ResearcherZero February 21, 2022 5:58 AM


I’ll have to remember the term “tendentious interpretations”…

“The bank likes to say it’s just rogue bankers. But how many rogue bankers do you need to have before you start having a rogue bank?”

Credit Suisse has faced at least a dozen penalties and sanctions for offences involving tax evasion, money laundering, the deliberate violation of US sanctions and frauds carried out against its own customers that span multiple decades and jurisdictions. In total, it has racked up more than $4.2bn in fines or settlements.

Credit Suisse became the first major Swiss bank in the country’s history to face criminal charges – which it denies – relating to allegation it helped launder money from the cocaine trade on behalf of the Bulgarian mafia.

“Credit Suisse strongly rejects the allegations and inferences about the bank’s purported business practices,”

“selective information taken out of context, resulting in tendentious interpretations of the bank’s business conduct.”

Preparing for and Mitigating Foreign Influence
Operations Targeting Critical Infrastructure

“Multiple influence operations coordinated by foreign actors had an impact on US critical services and functions across critical sectors,”

“A single MDM (misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation) narrative can seem innocuous, but when promoted consistently, to targeted audiences, and reinforced by peers and individuals with influence, it can have compounding effects. Modern foreign influence operations demonstrate how a strategic and consistent exploitation of divisive issues, and a knowledge of the target audience and who they trust, can increase the potency and impact of an MDM narrative to National Critical Functions (NCFs) and critical infrastructure.”

anonymous February 21, 2022 6:19 AM

A couple of questions:

  1. Can’t this Russian threat just be to cause confusion? I mean, last week you were all discussing COVID-19. Can’t it just be “wagging the dog” ? But if that is the case, then I still have the question about “why”.
  2. What is the Russian threat? What are the Russian plans?
  3. Why is NATO interfering?
  4. Do you guys think that there will be a war and if so, at what scale?

C U Anon February 21, 2022 8:42 AM


“What is the Russian threat?”

Either you have been living in a bubble all your life, or you’ve not paid attention to anything of consequence in world politics.

Russia is bankrupt, fiscally, morally and ethically. It’s run by criminal organisations and corupt politicians supported by oligarchs that have aquired for their own benifit the majority of Russias assets.

“3 Why is NATO interfering?”

NATO is actually not interfering as you should know if you listened to the actual news.

What has happened is most East European nations adjacent to Russia joined NATO as soon as the could because, they know that Russia will try to invade them, and they are not individually capable of protecting themselves. NATO is obligated to help it’s members only.

Due to Russian interferance Belarus, Ukrain, Moldover to name but three did not join NATO when they could have done. You only have too look at the state of those three nations to see why the others signed up to NATO.

Contrary to what Vladimir Putin claims, the only threat NATO presents to Russia, is it slows down Putin’s expansionist plans to land grab all the previous cold war territory and as much else as he can in other directions.

You only need to look at Belarus to see what scares not just the politicians in those Eastern European Nations but most of their citizens as well.

As has been noted by several people here Putin to stay in power needs to put back the Russian Empire. This is due to Russia being a totallt failed economy. Because it has only know how to exist for the past three centuries and more as a parasite on other nations and their peoples by oppression and theft. On the same model the Roman Empire worked and Hitler tried to emulate nearly a century ago.

Put simply Putin’s plans involve moving west as far as the North Sea and South to Egypt and beyond. As a “Greater Sphere of Influance”.

He cares not if he takes a nation as he did Belarus or by warfare as he has already done with the Ukraine.

To say Putin “has previous” is a gross understatment.

The best thing the Russian people could do, is wake up from their fake dreams of past glories spun by Putin and face some hard economic facts.

JonKnowsNothing February 21, 2022 10:14 AM


re: And, really, Putin does exhibit all the empathy and social responsibility of Sauron.

Without going too deep into the rabbit hole, which is much deeper than a bag of popcorn at the movies (home or theater).

There can be no comparison between Sauron and any MORTAL person. NONE.

Evil exists in both IMMORTAL beings and MORTAL people.

IMMORTAL beings can become corrupted. MORTAL people can become corrupted too.

Sauron is an IMMORTAL being. Putin not NOT. Putin is MORTAL.

There is no possible avenue for Sauron to change his status even if he wanted too. The corruption is Total and Ever Lasting.

MORTALS can change. MORTALS can reject corruption. MORTALS can CHOOSE which path to follow.

(spoiler alert)
When the One Ring gets to Orodruin (Mt Doom), Frodo DOES NOT throw the ring in the fire. Frodo becomes overwhelmed by the evil power of the ring and becomes corrupted. He claims the ring for himself.

Frodo becomes Evil because he CHOSE TO DO SO.

His redemption is through another lowly maligned creature.

When Barad-dûr falls, Sauron is expelled from Middle-Earth.
(How Sauron came to be in Middle-Earth is another tale or three)

Evil was not extinguished, Evil remains.

It is now the provenance of MORTALS to decide.

Mortals can CHOOSE and we can CHANGE our CHOICE.

Petre Peter February 21, 2022 11:11 AM

In Romania by 1989 1 in 30 people were informers for the Securitatea.
Source: tom gallagher; modern romania

Winter February 21, 2022 12:40 PM

“IMMORTAL beings can become corrupted. MORTAL people can become corrupted too.”

People have no problem seeing an immortal being infused (inspired) into a mortal soul. Demon possession is all that.

But old tyrants who see the errors of their ways, that is rare indeed.

lurker February 21, 2022 1:32 PM


Can’t this Russian threat just be to cause confusion? … Can’t it just be “wagging the dog” ?

Indeed it may be just a game, sometimes called “tickling the tiger’s tail”.

To add to the amateur psychoanalyses of Putin, I have been reviewing some TV clips of Xi Jinping meeting various world leaders in formal and informal scenes. Relaxed and confident with the minor players, but his body language is remarkably similar, bored and frustrated, towards both Putin and Trump.

JonKnowsNothing February 21, 2022 2:31 PM


re: But old tyrants who see the errors of their ways, that is rare indeed.

That is one of the points in Tolkien’s works, it is related to his views on religion. Rare, infrequent or unusual but redemption can happen. Even acts deemed entirely evil can receive redemption.

It’s a position held by many ancient stories that he knew as a scholar.

In some cases, the redemption can happen after death, when the true meaning of all actions can be discerned. The same can happen going the other way, repudiation of what was previously held to be honorable, right and justified.

It’s actually part of the global security problem.

  • Old actions that were considered common, are no long acceptable.
  • Old actions that were deemed horrific, are now cleansed and accepted.

Entire religions and societies are based on these concepts but as many have calcified views, they have great problems adjusting to new norms. It causes dissonance globally.

As regards to the Wall in the Hole, there are groups that are very well trained and use these concepts not just to “nudge” but to “drive action”.

The action maybe worth while, but the motives of these drivers is not intended to produce a worthy outcome. They want an outcome that favors One over the Other.

Search Terms for Consideration

  • Julian the Hospitaller a variation of Oedipus/Oedipus Rex.

on the night Julian was born, his father, a man of noble blood, saw pagan witches secretly lay a curse on the boy that would make him kill both his parents. His father wanted to get rid of the child, but his mother did not let him do so. As the boy grew into a handsome young man, his mother would often burst into tears because of the sin her son was destined to commit.

  • The Green Knight / Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales: The Knight’s Tale / Palamon and Arcite

themes and arguments typically encountered in the literature of knighthood, including courtly love and ethical dilemmas.

  • Sister Helen Prejean / Alexander McCall Smith
  • Dec37

Winter February 21, 2022 3:21 PM

“Relaxed and confident with the minor players, but his body language is remarkably similar, bored and frustrated, towards both Putin and Trump.”

Both Putin (Russia) and Trump are minor characters compared to China. But it is also a stage play, acting bored and uninterested in the presence of other leaders.

Winter February 21, 2022 3:24 PM

“Rare, infrequent or unusual but redemption can happen.”

The tyrant with remorse has a big problem: With too much blood on your hands your days are numbered if you let go of the reigns.

That surely holds for Vladimir the Poisoner.

JonKnowsNothing February 21, 2022 4:04 PM

@ Winter

re: With too much blood on your hands your days are numbered if you let go of the reigns.

Every leader, in every country, in world history knows this lesson.

It isn’t about tyrants or angelic leaders, it’s about power and who controls it and what happens if you lose control.

Every country that has a written or oral history, contains legions of stories about things that were important or considered important enough to be remembered.

If you are King, Emperor, Queen, or Empress (or any other title) there is only one way to exit that position. Abdication, Bannishment or Exile often came with a well delivered sword blow later.

The history of Europe still revolves around Kings and Queens even in their Democratic Republic Variants. It’s in the names of the streets, the bridges, the tourist attractions, the architecture and the location of cities. Even “Kings and Queens” who are no longer “officially defined as Kings or Queens” still bear the titles and the pomp and the genuflection of the adoring masses.

In the USA, we have a former-President who is unyielding in the view he still controls the power structure of the USA. As a people, we don’t know how this story will end. It has the hallmarks of getting nastier. Such conditions are contagious.

History and tourism thrives on the left overs.

Power has very little to do with “justice”. Power allows a version of justice that suits those in power.

Anders February 21, 2022 4:18 PM


OK, now things start get interesting.

Putin recognized DNR and LNR as independent countries
and gave also an order to its armed forces to support “peace there”.

So it estimated that Putin brings its army to Donbass on Tuesday.

SpaceLifeForm February 21, 2022 4:23 PM

As I said, less than 24 hours

They are moving now.


Russian troops enter Donabss. All sounds of shelling and explosions stopped in Donetsk and Luhansk

Anders February 21, 2022 5:28 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm


This article says that convoy went through the town around 23:00.
UKR time is the same as my. RU time is one hour ahead from my and UKR.

Article says that convoy was so long that went through the town for one hour.
A lot of tanks and armoured personnel carrier vehicles.

Anders February 21, 2022 5:55 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm

More than 100 units of military vehicles. 22:00, UKR time (UTC+2)


SpaceLifeForm February 21, 2022 6:27 PM

First sanction

If you read between the lines, it sure appears, to my reading anyway, that they are really paying attention to Money Laundering and CryptoCurrency.

Sec. 9. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render those measures ineffectual.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons February 21, 2022 6:46 PM

21 FEB 2022 — Putin Secures Russia’s Future?

Preface to recent events, pundits assert a Stalinist polity in Russia is pointed at Ukraine. Where does this come from? What is the objective evidence for such a development? People continue to spew disinformation in either direct collaboration or implied legitimate sources.

For the last 30 years, Russia a nation of historic significance, has seen a decline in what has been a colorful and rich set of traditions consisting of a tapestry of artisanship and skilled crafting and a vibrant people. Over 20 years, beginning in 2000, Putin managed to transform a world renowned giant in aerospace, basic scientific research, and the arts by stabbing its people in the back. A nation once moving into the future, albeit with some consternation and hiccup, now under Putin head regressively to the past. By enriching himself, the ultimate Ayn Randian egalitarian[1], and craving out industry and economic markets to lackeys and cronies, the people of Russia are endlessly abused under Putin’s thuggish rule. One documented exhibit related to this tragedy, written by Masha Gessen[2], a National Book Award for nonfiction, “The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia”. Gessen describes the utter failure of the Russian state to achieve anything resembling its better nature and having given up on restating a sustainable future for the people of Russia. A narrowing of thinking, retreating from more civil or civic participation and a stronger definition of corners and edges within the social fabric of Russia today.

It is difficult to fully catalog the contributions to science, education, art, literature, manufacturing, politics, psychology, medicine, and yes, romantic sentiment contributed by Russians to the human experience. Yes, Russia has and is flawed, but so are many other states. What is disturbing is the level of soul crushing and spirit damping control of the country and its toxic relationships with other nations. Putin has done much to damage a once vaunted nation, putting his interests ahead of everything while not giving the necessary felty to Russia’s rich past. I tend to categorize this fail as; the result of the continued “management” of Russian affairs by the personality of Putin, a narcissistic technocratic kleptocrat/plutocrat, unable to imagine the country of Russia as Russian for Russians. For Putin the most important elements of political exercise is transactional in nature, a “What’s in it for me?” Leading with this sentiment is reflective of organized criminal organizations, not a legitimate nation state. Russia is not a trustworthy ally objectively, the U.S. may be considered in a similar circumstance. Whether it is Ukraine policy, the Middle East, or the global south, both the country’s effective engagement with sovereign states comes down to a relationship in unilateral terms.

Putin is slowly killing the character of a people by both eliminating their past and removing hope for their future. As author and journalist Masha Gessen has written about the Russian’s tragic situation, if the prior reporting seems familiar, it should. The United States is embarked on a similar journey. Not only is Putin[3] exciting the tensions in eastern Europe as an economic fulcrum, the opportunity to create or add a debilitating level of chaos for western governments is purposeful. Putin sees the future where individuals such as himself are not accountable in a large number of nation states across the globe. The fascist style governance makes possible trade with other states that do not infer some moral standard to market activity. However arbitrary global power is ordered, devolving into raw fascist controls holds the potential to destabilize not just markets, but all facets of society.

That power and control of a nation state may afford privileges to those that seize and hold power by whatever means necessary. The problem therein; whatever means necessary is not a recipe for justified action, let alone the kind of systemic changes that are necessitated by reality. Additionally, dictatorial control is more susceptible to subversion and turnover. North Korea has been a recent example, familia as the center finds members missing, out of town, sick, or plain dead due to running into the path of a projectile.

1. spt th;//
2. [s] tt://
3. ?sp xt://

Clive Robinson February 21, 2022 6:48 PM

@ Anders, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

This article says that convoy went through the town around 23:00.

Or 00:00 Moscow time, 21:00 UTC/GMT.

The question thus is,

“How long had it been ‘on the road’ or setting up to ‘move out'”.

So I would say that the 20:00 UTC/GMT estimate based on other sources is probably about right.

Not sure what time “first light” is but it’s probably at this time of year between 07:00 and 07:30 local time. So less than four hours from now.

Which is about 100miles 150km unopposed travel at 50km/h and then dig-in/deploy ground troops… Oh and start a “round up” of people on those internment / execute lists of local leaders and similar. If of course the “alleged” local lads have not already done so[1].

Not what you want with your cornflakes in the morning.

[1] When it comes to “Order of Battle”, when moving into civilian territory, one of the first rules is to “take control of the power structures”, or atleast render them inoperable. If you are a purely hostile entrant “decapitation” of the hierarchical structures is the usual way. If however “invited” by a political minority then by replacment of the hierarchy with trusted civilians, if not already in place and prepared.

It’s part of how you disrupt “Command and control” which also means “taking down communications” by various means. If necessary also destroy certain infrastructure like electricity supply, roads, railways and even waterways.

SpaceLifeForm February 21, 2022 7:10 PM

@ Anders, Clive, ALL

It is important that when reporting, that you make sure you have the geolocation accurate, so make sure you verify that the timestamp matches the correct timezone offset.

Ukraine is both GMT+2 and GMT+3. Eastern Ukraine is definitely GMT+3.

But Russia is reporting a lot of fake crap, so, just saying, be careful. Do not inadvertingly create misinformation that can later can be discredited.

Check. Double Check.

Clive Robinson February 21, 2022 7:20 PM

@ name.withheld…,

Looks like the first of your links is “out of date” as it pulls up a “Page not Found”.

Clive Robinson February 21, 2022 7:34 PM

@ name.withheld…, ALL,

By enriching himself, the ultimate Ayn Randian egalitarian[1], and craving out industry and economic markets to lackeys and cronies, the people of Russia are endlessly abused under Putin’s thuggish rule.

Which means,

1, The economy fails to function.
2, He has to seek Empire to pay off the lackeys, cronies, criminals and worse.

Putin’s “Strong Russia” is a nonsense as I’ve indicated, as it is predicated on Russia being an oppressive parasite, accruing rapidly diminishing wealth to less and less people who will turn on Putin, unless he pays Danegelt. Which will as there is no economy to back it greate Hyper-inflation, unless he has a “fire sale of natural resources” which just delays the inevitable.

We’ve seen this before in Africa where a function nation was led into war by an idiot, who then had to “pay-off” the returning soldiers. Which he did by grabing wealth producing farm land and giving it to the soldiers. Who knowing nothing about farming sold off assets to buy luxury cars and the like and significantly failed to save for crop replenishment. With the result that the country went from a major exporter of food and other crops into an importer with no means to pay other than by printing money.

Anders February 21, 2022 7:55 PM


BTW, Putin’ speech today was worthwhile to listen.

It gives a hint what’s coming. As i have said here before,
he restores Soviet Union and, possibly, once mighty Russian Empire too.


He needs to be stopped. Put to sleep. By any means necessary.
Until it’s not too late.

His speech reminds me the Hitler’s one 1939.

Clive Robinson February 21, 2022 7:56 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

But Russia is reporting a lot of fake crap, so, just saying, be careful. Do not inadvertingly create misinformation that can later can be discredited.

The info I have has not come via Russian spokespersons or even their MSM.

Let’s just say that the Russian’s already have a “resistance problem”. Quite a few people in those “breakaways” don’t want to be broken away from Ukraine. So they have been planing for half a decade or so for what they saw as “inevitable” to ensure information “gets out”, not just over the border but over several borders.

SpaceLifeForm February 21, 2022 8:27 PM

@ Clive, Anders

I was not implying what either of you said was inaccurate. Just saying to make sure you know the intel is as accurate as possible.

When I said less than 24 hours, that was an intentional overestimated window. I purposely did not mention 17 hours. 17 hours was my estimate. They actually started a couple of hours earlier than I expected.

Clive Robinson February 21, 2022 9:01 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, John,

With regards your earlier link to all things navigational.

To work well the system needs three transmitters in a pattern that gives orthogonal radiation paths in the area of interest.

Currently one is in Crimea which is technically Ukranian territory still. It is well within strike distance of Ukranian military weapons also Turkish and any vessel in international waters…

Now consider the definition of a “primary act of war” it applies only to recognised states taking action against the territory of anothor recogbised state.

That is it does not cover a nation taking action against those who have invaded it’s territory.

Therefore that radio mast and the transmitter at the bottom of it would be fair game for those Ukranian-Turkish drones / missiles I mentioned the other day.

As for the other two transmitters the moment it is shown that military forces have come across the boarder from those nations the “right of self defence” definately applies and as Russia has made those navigation systems part of their military planning, they are millitary not civilian targets, so can be legitimately attacked.

So it’s a political decision as to if and when those masts and transmitters go on the target list, and when the list becomes active.

But the question as to if it would produce any benifit or not.

The systems are all based on work originated in the UK by Deca. There is still quite a bit of expertise in those and enhanced systems in the UK[1]. There is a joke that the “e” in e-Loran is not for enhanced but “EU”.

The EU feels that “time and radio navigation” is important enough, and satellite systems not reliable enough especially in higher latitudes to have not just secondary but tertiary time and navigation systems in place (much of which was from UK organisations).

The advent of modern technology helps get over the “water-body” issue[2] presented by rivers, lakes, and even seas, rather rapidly thus “local systems” can be fairly easily established.

But certainly the UK and US military have been looking into “doing a Google” that is using other EM emissions from “known locations” such as broadcast transmitters and using the likes of cell towers and even WiFi access points.

There has been a suggested doctrine of “Leave Cell Systems functioning” not just for navigation but tracking people down not just as individuals but as groups.

Mobile phones give up their location, whilst finding a particular mobile may be hard, finding groups of phones or phones that are in odd places is fairly easy if not trivial. So a soldier with his phone on broadcasts his position. Several phones at the same location in a field or other odd place is very likely a target of a millitary nature.

But that is the “obvious stuff” as you say “join the dots”.

Any way it’s time for me to get my head down for four of rack time.

[1] As I’ve previously mentioned I’ve worked on the design of not just recievers but the realy low frequency transmitters for more localised systems.

[2] At ground level radio waves do not propagate in a way you might expect from high school physics. At the lower frequencies “bodies of water” effect the way they propagate thus the accuracy of such radio navigation systems. When you get out above the MF bands and low HF bands it becomes less and less of a problem.

MarkH February 21, 2022 9:30 PM


Official time in all of Ukraine is Eastern European Time (GMT+2 when not in “daylight savings”).

SpaceLifeForm February 21, 2022 10:05 PM

Second sanction

Tomorrow, it will be SWIFT.

Ths Metadata is rich tonight.

Crooks do not understand Metadata.

JonKnowsNothing February 21, 2022 11:57 PM


re: Another Front on the Battlefield or Territorial Boundaries by G$$Map

A brief background:
In years gone by the Sun Never Set On The British Empire. Much of that Empire is gone or barely tied to the Mother Ship. A small set of islands currently known as BIOT, which is not Tech Company, but an area called British Indian Ocean Territory.

The territory in focus is the Chagos Archipelago.

The US wanted to build a giant “secret” base and asked the UK to “remove all indigenous people” living there so as to keep the base secret. It’s called Diego Garcia and played, plays an important part in the War on Terror, CIA Renditions and Drone Strikes.

The forcibly removed Chagossians people have been fighting the UK Governments and Courts to regain their lands taken by force without their consent.

Recently, the Chagossians have won a number of important cases and have started efforts to return to their homes.

The UK Government is not in agreement. The US Government is quietly not in agreement but technically the US only “controls the base”.

A survey ship carrying a number of Chagossians landed on the islands and planted “a flag”.

The Tech Map Question:
The Chagossians have now asked G$$gle Maps to designate the area as theirs and not belonging to the UK.

Search Terms

Expulsion of the Chagossians

Diego Garcia

On 21 February 2008, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband admitted that two United States extraordinary rendition flights refuelled on Diego Garcia in 2002, and was “very sorry” that earlier denials were having to be corrected.

ResearcherZero February 22, 2022 12:50 AM

Shortly after Mikhail Gorbachev contradicted Putin, International Memorial was targeted. Mikhail Gorbachev personally witnessed the effects of the ‘terror famine’, one of the crimes against the Russian people during Stalin’s dictatorship, which was documented by Memorial.

“To be sure, the former Soviet president criticized NATO enlargement and called it a violation of the spirit of the assurances given Moscow in 1990, but he made clear there was no promise regarding broader enlargement.”

Memorial traces its roots to the 1980s under Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, who encouraged society to embrace greater openness, or “glasnost”. The movement’s founders included Nobel Peace Prize-winning dissident physicist Andrei Sakharov, who died in 1989, and his activist widow Elena Bonner.

International Memorial in its current form was set up in 1992, a year after the collapse of the Soviet Union, with the aim of documenting political repression and helping rehabilitate those who had been repressed under communism.

“International Memorial is a highly respected human rights organization that has worked tirelessly to document the atrocities and political repression carried out under the rule of Joseph Stalin and other Soviet leaders. By closing down the organization, Russian authorities trample on the memory of millions of victims lost to the Gulag.”

Founded in 1989, International Memorial is one of Russia’s most respected civil society organizations.

The prosecutors claimed that International Memorial repeatedly violated the “foreign agents” law by refusing to label their content as produced by a “foreign agent” or adding lengthy disclaimers stating the same.

A request to liquidate Human Rights Center Memorial, International Memorial’s sister organization, was also submitted to the Moscow City Court on the same day. The court is due to make a decision on this request in the coming days.

Dmitriev’s supporters say his case is retribution for exposing Stalin’s crimes, including the 1937-1938 Great Terror when officials estimate at least 700,000 people were executed. Dmitriev found a mass grave containing thousands of bodies of people held in the Gulags, the Soviet prison camp network.

The dreadful famine that engulfed Ukraine, the northern Caucasus, and the lower Volga River area in 1932-1933 was the result of Joseph Stalin’s policy of forced collectivization. The heaviest losses occurred in Ukraine, which had been the most productive agricultural area of the Soviet Union. Stalin was determined to crush all vestiges of Ukrainian nationalism. Thus, the famine was accompanied by a devastating purge of the Ukrainian intelligentsia and the Ukrainian Communist party itself. The famine broke the peasants’ will to resist collectivization and left Ukraine politically, socially, and psychologically traumatized.

The policy of all-out collectivization instituted by Stalin in 1929 to finance industrialization had a disastrous effect on agricultural productivity. Nevertheless, in 1932 Stalin raised Ukraine’s grain procurement quotas by forty-four percent. This meant that there would not be enough grain to feed the peasants, since Soviet law required that no grain from a collective farm could be given to the members of the farm until the government’s quota was met. Stalin’s decision and the methods used to implement it condemned millions of peasants to death by starvation. Party officials, with the aid of regular troops and secret police units, waged a merciless war of attrition against peasants who refused to give up their grain. Even indispensable seed grain was forcibly confiscated from peasant households. Any man, woman, or child caught taking even a handful of grain from a collective farm could be, and often was, executed or deported. Those who did not appear to be starving were often suspected of hoarding grain. Peasants were prevented from leaving their villages by the NKVD and a system of internal passports.

The death toll from the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine has been estimated between six million and seven million. According to a Soviet author, “Before they died, people often lost their senses and ceased to be human beings.” Yet one of Stalin’s lieutenants in Ukraine stated in 1933 that the famine was a great success. It showed the peasants “who is the master here. It cost millions of lives, but the collective farm system is here to stay.”

Winter February 22, 2022 1:09 AM

It appears to me that almost all that Putin said about the Russians in Ukraine actually really fitted the Chechnyans and other Caucasians (the real Caucasians) in Russia under Putin.

As usual, Putin is accusing other people of what he is doing himself much more diabolically.

Winter February 22, 2022 1:13 AM

“The death toll from the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine has been estimated between six million and seven million.”

Given his adoration of Stalin, Putin might dream to emulate his Ukraine policy too.

Clive Robinson February 22, 2022 5:02 AM

@ ResearcherZero, Winter, ALL,

With regards,

According to a Soviet author, “Before they died, people often lost their senses and ceased to be human beings.”

Even now it’s very little talked about even by historians, but what that author was refering to was probably cannibalism.

Winter February 22, 2022 5:24 AM

“Even now it’s very little talked about even by historians, but what that author was refering to was probably cannibalism.”

Every genocide starts with dehumanizing the (future) victims.

SpaceLifeForm February 22, 2022 5:27 AM

@ MarkH

Official time in all of Ukraine is Eastern European Time (GMT+2 when not in “daylight savings”).

Except when it is not.

In 33 days, all local time across Ukraine will be consistent, but currently, it is not, as the two rouge areas in eastern Ukraine use GMT+3 like Moscow. Note that Moscow does not do Daylight Saving Time.

On 26 October 2014, the self-proclaimed proto-states of Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic also switched to Moscow Time.

So, if a report comes in from Eastern Ukraine, it is important to know if the timestamp is GMT+2 or GMT+3. This is why I said that geolocation is important when it comes to verifying a timestamp.

If someone is capturing video via their phone, what timezone is their phone set to? Are the timestamps local time or UTC/GMT? Where is the phone? Are you sure the video was actually recorded at the time and location that was reported?

Are you sure? Check. Double check.

SpaceLifeForm February 22, 2022 6:58 AM

Ixnay Nord Stream 2

The hammers are coming down on Putin.

Maybe Apt-28 and Apt-29 can expedite?

Clive Robinson February 22, 2022 9:00 AM

@ Winter,

Every genocide starts with dehumanizing the (future) victims.

What went on under Stalin carried out by the NKVD (earlier OGPU, later KGB, now FSB etc) was so horrific it is rarely talked about, even by those who realy should talk about it.

The “Holodomor” or “enforced starvation plague”, killed over 10million Ukranian’s but was kept secret untill the end of the 1980’s.

Unfortunately it has been “tut-tuted” by certain “politically correct” people because it has been called by some the “Ukranian Holocaust”. The PCers argue that to do so is not just anti-Semitic but downplays the “true holocaust” and that the Ukramian claims are overblown and actually the fault of the Ukranians themselves. Both are untrue as records clearly show. But worse, these PCers have become “deniers” in their own right and so cognatively biased that some of their rhetoric is so filled with bile, hate, and dishonesty they have become “Stalin Promoters”…

It’s a matter of record that cannibalism started and getting on for three thousand families were prosecuted where they had eaten their children. There are records that show village elders in effect defending the cannibalism by saying things like “They are ours, not yours” when the Soviet Authorities tried to take corpses away.

But it was not just the Ukraine where this happened. People were rounded up without reason to fill quotas for Gulags. The history of what went on in 1932-33 is rather more than shocking,

Remember Putin is not just a “Stalinist Apologist” of “the first water” he’s a furvent Acolyte and emulator. Demonstrated in various ways such as his recent attempts to criminalise those who show “Stalin’s evil”.

He can not be reasoned with just blocked in and endless brinkmanship that few have the commitment to, hence what happened to Belarus, is a warning as is 2014.

It’s been argued that “Mad dogs get euthanized” rather than have them harm individuals in society again… Something we argue civilised society should not do to humans. Putin has killed unknown numbers of his fellow hunans, at what point do you say he is an uncivilized “mad dog” and a danger to not Just Russia, but every nation he has expansionist plans to take over?

Winter February 22, 2022 10:13 AM

“Unfortunately it has been “tut-tuted” by certain “politically correct” people because it has been called by some the “Ukranian Holocaust”.”

I consider “genocide” entirely adequate to describe this campaign. The Ukrainian genocide is in line with the Nazi, Cambodian, and Rwandan campaigns of mass murder. No need to link it to a specific campaign whose original meaning was linked to the crematoria where so many victims ended.

Clive Robinson February 22, 2022 12:03 PM

@ Winter,

No need to link it to a specific campaign whose original meaning was linked to the crematoria where so many victims ended.

The word “holocaust” means “whole burnt offering” from the adjoining of two Greek words to give “holokaustos”. How far back this goes is not known but it could easily be many centuries.

The first use of the modern spelling goes back to at least the late 1800’s. Which is in turn atleast 40 years before what occured in Germany started. It was certainly used in the New York Times back then to describe the massacre of Armenian Christians by the Ottomans, who we now call Turks. Oh and Armenia is not a million miles from the Ukraine, in fact it’s less than a thousand miles to the east and both were under the Ottoman influance long prior to Russia (Though Putin would have you believe otherwise).

But the usage of the term “Holocaust” has evolved and is now very different to the meaning of the word “genocide”.

Genocide simply referes to mass deaths that are an existential threat to a culture or race. Importantly it ascribes no meaning, motive or cause to the deaths. The question of what the cause is be it from human, biological, or environmental source, or if the agency if any, is good, bad, evil or even sentient.

That is “genocide” requires no agency, no directing mind, it simply describes an outcome of some not even necessarily known causation.

It’s why when an observer looking at the remains of humans can sensibly ask the question of,

“What caused this genocide?”

We have other terms for types of act such as “ethnic cleansing” which are frequently quite specific to the reason for the genocide.

Holocaust, however refers to the actions of a directing mind, not the reasons. Which should be clear from “whole burnt offerings”. That is what was done, not the reason it was done.

It was the Israeli use of “Holocaust” in a broader sense to cover all Jewish deaths no matter how they occured that made the word mean less than it once might have.

So now “Holocaust” refers to the “act of evil” irrespective of method by which “genocide” is attempted or achieved.

The Israelis pulled the cork out of the bottle and let the genie out to cover all manner of deaths. They and their agents of PCers and similar have absolutly no right to claim “Holocaust” as their own, and squeeze it into their bottle labled Jewish, nor should anyone alow them to.

As others will no doubt note the stable door is banging in the wind and the sound of drumming hoves is long long out of ear shot if not well over the horizon.

Winter February 22, 2022 12:42 PM

“That is “genocide” requires no agency, no directing mind, it simply describes an outcome of some not even necessarily known causation.”

Just like “holocaust”, the meaning of “genocide” has changed since the classical Greek roots were used. Modern use of genocide is like Wikipedia describes:


Genocide is the intentional destruction of a people, usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial, or religious group. Raphael Lemkin coined the term in 1944,[1][2] combining the Greek word γένος (genos, “race, people”) with the Latin suffix -caedo (“act of killing”).[3]

This is also how the UN defines it in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide:

I do not see why we need to conflate a number of genocidal campaigns that were all different, but shared the willful extermination of large populations. Genocide is well defined and pretty clear.

lurker February 22, 2022 1:10 PM

@anders, re restoring Soviet Union

Maybe Putin is thinking a lot further back and wants to emulate Olag who amalgamated the Slavic fiefdoms and made his capital in Kyiv. Perhaps he should keep an eye to the east remembering what Hulag Khan did to the Kievan Rus.

Unfortunately the present activity looks like a continuation of the chequered past of this region. Division, amalgamation, and changes of governorship are its history that nobody learns from, thus repeats.

Winter February 22, 2022 2:08 PM

“Maybe Putin is thinking a lot further back and wants to emulate Olag who amalgamated the Slavic fiefdoms and made his capital in Kyiv. ”

History is no reason to kill people now. However, it is regularly used as an excuse for doing horrible things you were planning anyway.

But at the basis here is a fundamental difference between a free society and the likes of Putin.

On the one side, people can select their government, on the other side, the government can select their people.

lurker February 22, 2022 3:58 PM

@Winter, “History is no reason to kill people now.”

So is it trite to say that history is repeating because people have not learned from it? Enlightened despots provide free education, but even enlightened despots have at most only three or four decades of the power to control history. Then along comes an unenlightened despot. The lesson on what to do with such has been quickly forgotten.

SpaceLifeForm February 22, 2022 7:47 PM

Fabs: Must go faster
Quantum: Hold my beer


[For security reasons, use old kit]

SpaceLifeForm February 22, 2022 8:59 PM

@ MarkH, Clive, John, ALL

OSINT, Timestamps, Geolocation


Putin convened an unscheduled meeting with his Security Council in Moscow on Monday. The meeting was broadcast at 5 pm. But what time was it really held? Let’s look at some participants’ watches. Sergei Shoigu & Sergei Lavrov prep at 11:45.

They cannot even argue that it was a GMT+2 or GMT+3 thing.

SpaceLifeForm February 22, 2022 10:19 PM


Russia is so broke that they can not hire trolls that can do basic timezone math.

Or, Moscow time is now GMT+8.

It’s possible, since they don’t really care.


Council meeting started at 10:30 am UTC and signing at 2:40 pm UTC. In Moscow 6:30 pm and 10:40 pm respectively.

The watches tell.

lurker February 22, 2022 10:33 PM

Be careful of Russian cloQcks. Along the length of the trans-Siberian rail the station clocks are all set to Moscow time, but the surrounding villagers have their clocks on the local ~solar time zone.

Clive Robinson February 23, 2022 12:43 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

National Timing Resilience and Security Act of 2018

It was supposed to have been implemented by Dec 2020, but there is no sight of any work being done to implement it…

It was a bipartisan bill based on a very clear abd preaent danger to the National Security of the USA, as Space based Global Possitioning Systems are known to ve highly vulnerable to both local and distant spoofing and jaming (as I’ve mentioned a few times in the past).

So reliance on Satellite GPS is very far from a good idea. Both China and Russia are well aware of this and have but various secondary abd tertiary systems in place.

It appears that Trump tried to kill NTRSA with an EO, and even now OMB and DoT are still trying their best to kill the NTRSA in various ways. They’ve already had three studies that tell them NTRSA is of vital importance to National Security the most recent from Rand telling then it has to be done. So the OMB / DoT have decided they need to spend another million or so on a new study… In the UK we call such nonsense “Kicking it into the long grass”.

Apparently their beef is that it should be “market led” by “industry” to stop businesses being disadvantaged…

Which is complete Bovine Excrement.

If left to industry we know that what will arise will be a compleate and utter disaster security wise, and less reliable than a milk chocolate tea pot at a Summer fair in Death Valley.

Hopefully this issue in East Europe will wake a few idiots up and the Dumb Time-servers over at OMB / DoT will get their backsides handed to them on a plate, or better still there heads served on the preverbial silver platter.

You can read more at,

Oh the Trump EO was a typical power play, even though it was the equivalent of handing both Russia and China a very stratigic and tactical victory.

The days of Military Global Positioning Systems in space are over, the whole premise on them was that they were “out of range” to any prospective enemy…

Well there are three other nations that have very clearly shown that they can,

1, Spoof the system.
2, Disable the satellites.

But… The US military and most NATO nations have trillions of dollars invested in “smart weapons” that are way way to reliant on the US spaced based GPS…

The entire Order of Battle in the US Mil is predicated on a functioning GPS good to 1meter…

Yeah think about that. Smart bombs are kittle bombs, so you can carry more on a delivery system. The problem is that the effectiveness of an expkosive device goes done as 1/(r^2) at best to 1/(r^4). So a little bomb that might do the job if it gets within a meter or two, is very unlikely to even scratch the paint at 150-300 meters which is what the acuracy drops to without that “smart” system functioning correctly (in practice it’s worse than gravity bombs because the smart systems cause significant issues when they fail).

Now if I know this, and you know this, then what is the odds that Brazil, China, India, Iran, North Korea, Russia and one or two other nation do not?

The answer I know as they have all developed and tested anti-GPS systems that target the US spaced based GPS, is of course they know it and most have people that collectively are a lot more knowledgable than you or I, and certainly a lot smarter than those time-servers in the OMB and DoT (who appear to be even dumber than technically illiterate politicians…).

ResearcherZero February 23, 2022 1:04 AM

@Clive Robinson

Technically illiterate politicians seem to have some trouble with risk assessments and security briefings. It seems they find them boring. Unless they can start squawking about “Manchurian Candidates” and the like, they just don’t seem to be interested.

Maybe they will get a little incentive to take the issue a little more seriously.

Russian defense has clearly demonstrated their ability to destroy satellites, as they said they would demonstrate, around three decades ago, which was labeled as “just sabre rattling”. There are daily attempts to hack satellite systems.

Perhaps the politicians are too busy with other stuff to take matters seriously? Aliens perhaps?

“The Australian Government is challenging a landmark High Court ruling that found Indigenous people are not ‘aliens’ under the Australian Constitution, and therefore cannot be deported.”

The High Court of Australia, by majority of 4-3, has held that Aboriginal people are not “aliens” and therefore cannot be deported under laws passed under the “aliens power” conferred on the Commonwealth Parliament by s 51(xix) of the Constitution.

Clive Robinson February 23, 2022 1:49 AM

@ ResearcherZero,

Speaking of Australia and Russian influance…

Apparently PM “Scotty from Marketing”,

Has announced sanctions on Russia with,

“Australians will always stand-up to bullies, and we will be standing-up to Russia.”

I guess we will have to wait to see if it’s “More substance than Soundbite”.

But… Think back in history to the axis of evil in WWII. When war was happening in Europe, –as now it effectively is again– Asia was being subjected to an unwanted “co-prosperity sphere” push by an undesirable Empire, much in line with what Russia is currently starting in Europe.

China is currently trying to force nations in the South China Sea and on the Pacific West coast into it’s political control.

It’s no secret that,

1, Tiawan
2, South Korea
3, Japan

Are on China’s hit list in that order. But what of,

4, Indonesia
5, Australia
6, New Zeland
7, Pacific Islands.

They too will be on China’s list for obvious reasons.

So I wonder what is “Scotty from Marketing” going to spin up in potentially a very short time when China makes moves on Tiawan?

Oh and remember, neither Russia or China appear to think much of the nuclear “Mutually Assured Destruction”(MAD) doctrine any longer…

As with the first Sunday morning in December back in 1941, the US almost certainly will not be able to stay out of the conflicts now arising. It will not be a matter of choice for the US or it’s citizens, the only real question is where will it be started…

The thing is it’s rather different now, back in WWII the US had abundent recources and industry to call on. That’s nolonger true, whilst Russia has abundant resources it’s industry is a mess, but over in China they not only have resources they have a well functioning industry…

You might have noticed I’ve not mentioned Iran… I suspect they will do their best to remain neutral and supply both sides secretly if necessary and just wait it out.

ResearcherZero February 23, 2022 1:59 AM

What are China, North Korea and Russia saying?

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday night that China’s representative proposed that Australia should take actions to combat racial discrimination, hate speech and protect the rights of migrants.

North Korea, a country notorious for its lack of respect for human rights, also took aim at Australia at the UN session, calling on the Australian government to cease “cruel, inhumane or degrading” treatment of people in detention and “deep-rooted racism”. Its representative, appearing via video link, also said his country was “concerned about human rights in Australia” and recommended the rights of people with disabilities be respected, including “participation in elections on an equal basis”.

I think this is supposed to be a disinformation piece about Covid 19 or something like that?

‘Delusional’ Australian government SLATED for proposal to shield top PM-led body from public information disclosures.

Australia has something serious to say in response, and it’s not actually a joke.

Alright, I’ll admit it’s a joke

Independent Commission Against Corruption or Discrimination?

ResearcherZero February 23, 2022 2:41 AM

@Clive Robinson

Who owns all that oil money?

The main hydrocarbons deal will be for Russia, via oil giant Rosneft, to supply almost 15 million barrels of crude to Indian Oil, by the end of 2022. Given the massive geopolitical ramifications of any sizeable oil deal, it was entirely legitimate for Igor Sechin, Rosneft chief executive officer and close friend of Russian President, Vladimir Putin, to say of the deal that: “The signing of a new oil supply contract confirms the strategic nature of the long-term partnership between Rosneft and Indian Oil.”

Rosneft sells Venezuelan assets to Russia after U.S. sanctions ramp up

The impact of the move, announced at a time when oil prices are languishing at around $25 per barrel, on Rosneft’s upstream joint ventures with Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela was not immediately clear.

The U.S. government has ramped up pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government, including imposing sanctions on two Swiss-based Rosneft units – Rosneft Trading and TNK Trading International – that Washington said provided PDVSA a lifeline by acting as intermediaries for its crude.

The change of ownership announced on Saturday means any future U.S. sanctions on Russian-controlled oil operations in Venezuela would target the Russian government directly.

Russia, via the state company Rosneftegaz, owns slightly over 50% of Kremlin-controlled Rosneft’s capital. International shareholders include BP BP.L, which has 19.75%, and Qatar via QH Oil Investments LLC, which owns another 18.93%.By withdrawing from Venezuela and passing its assets to an entity owned by Moscow, Rosneft, headed by Igor Sechin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, transfers the risks related to its Venezuelan operations to the Russian government.

BP owns nearly a fifth of Rosneft, its biggest foreign investment and the source of a third of its total output.

Putin “effectively” controls 37% of the shares of Surgutneftegaz, an oil exploration company and Russia’s third biggest oil producer, worth $20bn, he says. He also owns 4.5% of Gazprom, and “at least 75%” of Gunvor, a mysterious Swiss-based oil trader, founded by Gennady Timchenko, a friend of the president’s, Belkovsky alleges.

Asked how much Putin was worth, Belkovsky said: “At least $40bn. Maximum we cannot know. I suspect there are some businesses I know nothing about.” He added: “It may be more. It may be much more.

“Putin’s name doesn’t appear on any shareholders’ register, of course. There is a non-transparent scheme of successive ownership of offshore companies and funds. The final point is in Zug [in Switzerland] and Liechtenstein. Vladimir Putin should be the beneficiary owner.”

the head of gas giant Gazprom said the merger with Rosneft was ready to go ahead – but would exclude its recent purchase Yugansk.

But 24 hours later, Rosneft’s boss said his firm would remain independent.

The row follows controversy over Yugansk, seized from oil giant Yukos and sold to Rosneft in December.

Gazprom had originally been expected to buy Yugansk, but feared the repercussions of a US bankruptcy court decision to ban the sale.

A little-known shell company called Baikal bought it instead.

Rosneft – itself wholly state-owned – then snapped up Baikal, incurring a debt of some $9.6bn (£5.03bn).

Given that Rosneft and Gazprom were already scheduled to merge, ultimate control of Yugansk looked set to pass to Gazprom in any case.

Yugansk is a key asset for Gazprom and absorbing both Rosneft and Yugansk would take Gazprom’s share of Russian oil output to 20%, far above its current 2.5%.

Merging with Rosneft alone would give it an 8% share.

Yugansk had been auctioned by Russian authorities to help pay off a $27.5bn back-tax bill owed by Yukos.

Darth Vader of Russian politics

Igor Sechin, 55, is considered one of the most powerful men in Russia, after his long-time friend and boss, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin. Due to his tough character and close ties to secret services , Sechin is sometimes referred to as Darth Vader by Russian and international media.

Sechin has been working with Putin since the early 1990s. When Putin became the head of the Committee for Foreign Affairs in the St. Petersburg Mayor’s Office in 1991, Sechin was appointed his chief of staff. The two became close.

“When I moved to Moscow, [Sechin] asked [me] to take him with me. And I took him,” Putin wrote in his autobiography, “First Person”.

It was the first of a series of coordinated career moves, with Sechin always following his boss. From 2004 till 2008, Sechin worked as deputy chief of Putin’s administration. When Putin headed the government in 2008, Sechin was appointed deputy prime minister.

Since 2012, Sechin has been the chief executive officer of Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned energy giant.

In 2004, Sechin was elected to the board of directors of Rosneft oil company, and then became chairman of the board of directors of Rosneft. From 2008 to 2012, under President Dmitri Medvedev, Sechin served as Deputy Prime Minister. In 2012, after Putin assumed office for a third term, Igor Sechin was re-elected head of Rosneft

Sechin is considered a leader of the “siloviki” faction in the Kremlin composed of ex-security services personnel with a harsh anti-Western and anti-democratic stance. He is suspected of numerous economic crimes, the misuse of official position, corruption, participation in organized crime, interference in the internal affairs of a foreign state.

Below is an incomplete list of the most vocal accusations against him:

ResearcherZero February 23, 2022 3:01 AM

“The United States has a wide array of tools for responding to the Kremlin’s actions, such as the Russia-specific Sergei Magnitsky Act, the Global Magnitsky Act, and the newly announced Khashoggi Ban,” Abramowitz added. “The Biden administration should use these tools to mobilize other democratic nations to respond to Russian repression of civil society, within and beyond its borders.”


(1) rights to freedom of association and of expression, notably the Russian government’s unprecedented crackdown on civil society through the use of repressive “foreign agents” and “undesirables” legislation, as well as its abuse of counterterrorism and anti-extremism laws to retaliate against critics, and criminalization of defamation;

(2) right to privacy, freedom of expression and access to information online, through a raft of new laws and regulations encroaching on expression online and escalating government pressure on social media platforms to censor certain online content;

(3) right to privacy, through invasive, government-endorsed software used in online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic;

(4) equality and non-discrimination in the context of migration, including new amendments to Russia’s migration law, and;

(5) egregious violations in Chechnya, including arbitrary detention, torture, collective punishment, public humiliation, and other abuses against a range of individuals whom local authorities view as “undesirable.”

Clive Robinson February 23, 2022 3:35 AM

@ ALL,

In the Ukraine they are “calling up the reservists”,

Which should make people stop and think for a moment. If this mess does escalate and it looks like it has the potential to do so, the question of millitary response rather than just sanctions arises. Which means the “Calling to the Flag” or worse Draft may happen.

Therefore I suspect that reservists in most Western Nations, will be getting their “part 2 or 3’s”[1] in the post in the not to distant future.

What you get in the US I’m nolonger sure as I’ve not had reason to enquire in over a third of a century…

In the UK there is a story going around again –probably untrue– that due to the fact the Army has a dire shortage of cannon fodder they are going to lift the “call up age” to that of the retirment age… So not so much “Dad’s Army” as “Gramps Platoon under Capt Zimmer Frame”…

The story I’ve been told is one that has come up before, which is it is intended to “release” younger fitter military personal from administrative duties so they can become bullet catchers rather than REMF’s…

I’m not fit enough to climb a flight of stairs, so I guess I’d be assigned the tea trolly pushing duties or worse :-S I don’t think my back could take the “Bog Brush Detail”…

[1] Part 2’s as they were once called is a little booklet of “personal details” relating to administrative and similar. Attached were call up “kitting vouchers” you were supposed to keep the booklet with you. Part 3 orders were the same as part 2’s but were for those not of the regiment they were to serve in. So Royal Signals, Royal Elec/mech engineers etc who get “loaned out” to regiments where their capabilities are required. Once that little book arived as a reservist you were supposed to show it to your employer and keep it with you at all times should “Queen’s Orders” be issued. These days I believe in the UK it’s now called a “Mobalisation pack”.

ResearcherZero February 23, 2022 4:11 AM

Ooops I just injured myself.

The review of the Privacy Act was announced in December 2019 as part of the government’s response to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commissioner’s 2019 Digital Platforms Inquiry, which called for greater privacy protections for consumers against online platforms like Google and Meta [then Facebook].

The review will consider a number of significant changes to the Privacy Act, such as a consumer’s right to request the erasure of personal information a company has collected, and whether a statutory tort for serious invasions of privacy should be introduced.

The latest notifiable data breaches report, released on Tuesday (15th Feb 2022), shows there were 464 notifications in total received by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) between July and December 2021, up from 446 in the first half of the year.

The Australian government made 28 notifications during the reporting period.

Health service providers again topped the list of industry sectors with 83 notifications, followed by finance (56), legal, accounting and management (51) and personal services (36).

A noticeable absentee from those six industry sectors, however, is the Australian government, whose data breaches are not broken out at all.

Anders February 23, 2022 4:45 AM


Yes, mobilization is started Ukraine.

I’ve talked with my friends there. their moral is high.
Main mistake RU did is that it gave to UKR so much time
to gather and prepare. In the beginning in 2014 their army
was virtually non-existent, no experience. Now the moral
is high, they are prepared, they are ready to defend their
country against the aggressor. There’s a low of battle hardened
servicemens now. Remember heroic Dometsk airport defending and
the defenders nickname “cyborgs”. 1

This won’t be walk in the park for RU. While RU has more menpower,
their moral is not so high and it will lower fast when Gruz 200 2
returns home. RU has never had the enemy that is so motivated.

Winter February 23, 2022 5:11 AM

“This won’t be walk in the park for RU. ”

The aim seems to be to destroy the Ukraine and then send in a “Peace Mission” to save the people. Not a real conquest.

Look at how they did this in Syria. They used air support to protect the ground troops, used chemical weapons against civilians, and let the mercenaries from Wagner do the dirty work, that is, terrorize and kill all the civilians. Those mercenaries are not Russian soldiers, or that is what they will say. So, no Gruz 200.

Basically, Putin “wins” if he can bomb Ukraine back into the stone age.

Remember that you can win any running competition by knee-capping the competition. This is how Russia wants to become the best country on earth.

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2022 7:25 AM

Disable Bluetooth when traveling

The entire design is braindead, but great for tracking you if you fail at basic opsec.

The main risk does not lie in the introduction of AirTags, but in the introduction of the Find My ecosystem that utilizes the customer’s devices to provide this Apple service. Since Apple in the current Find My design can’t limit its usage to only genuine AirTags (and official partner’s devices), they need to take into account the threats of custom-made, potentially malicious beacons that implement the Find My protocol (or AirTags with a modified firmware). With a power bank + ESP32 being cheaper than an AirTag, this might be an additional motivation for some to build a clone themselves instead.

With the system’s current design, it seems very difficult to technically distinguish one malicious AirTag clone with constant public key rotations continuously traveling with you from you passing by a few genuine AirTags in your day-to-day life.

Every waypoint can have an airtag. Stoplights, Airports, stores, etc. The key rotations will occur as you move. There does not need to be a tracker with you. If the beacons are at a fixed location, then Apple tracks you.

Anders February 23, 2022 8:21 AM


Don’t blame here the email.
Blame those who invented “HTML email”.

You can always automatically strip out HTML part from the email.
You can also automatically download the email from IMAP to folders
on your hard disk and read them with plain text reader. So you can
see the full headers, you can see from where the email REALLY came
and so on.

I did it so already back in Novell Netware days (there each email
arrived to user special folder as *.cnm file) and read them with Norton
Commander, later with FCW and FAR Manager.

And i do similar thing today too. Old habits die hard. Email header
is worth of gold. Unfortunately most email clients won’t allow you
to check email in “RAW” mode before really opening it. Another
path to successful phishing.

Anders February 23, 2022 9:11 AM


Looks like the LEER-3 EW system is working

Ukraine’s 53rd brigade “has also received this” :

The text reads, “Ukrainian military servicemen! The Russian army is already in Donetsk and Luhansk. Return home while it isn’t late!”


Anders February 23, 2022 9:29 AM


UKR was hit with cyberattack again.


Winter February 23, 2022 9:45 AM

“Ukraine’s 53rd brigade “has also received this” ”

The question is asked in the thread why they carry cell phones in the field? But then, how does the other side do? Have they switched off all their phones?

Anders February 23, 2022 10:08 AM


Being at field or not doesn’t have any importance here.
That EW system works with drones, jammers and fake GSM base stations
are mounted on the drones and you can fly them far-far away up to
the military servicemen location.
Those fake base stations are like “Stingrays” or IMSI catcher.

Anders February 23, 2022 10:16 AM


At the same time Russia is working hard to block some
OSINT accounts:



Clive Robinson February 23, 2022 10:45 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Disable Bluetooth when traveling

Have you posted this on the wrong thread?

It’s just that it is appropriate for todays thread on Apple AirTags.

I’ve a comment over there that is also a sort of reply to your posting here,

Sadly most do not get that any kind of RF beacon you have on you can track your location, including your Mobile Phone, Fitness devices, Medical Devices, and oh so many more like the cordless headsets that are now fashionable with music players.

Even non powered devices like the RFID tags in your expensive underpants can give up your location via Near Field tech built into phones and the likes of all your credit / debit / store cards, in your wallet. The combination of which fairly positively IDs you uniquely.

So even criminals that pass “burner phones” around can be sibject to “Find Fix Finish”(FFF) of “death by meta-data”.

Clive Robinson February 23, 2022 11:09 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, Anders, Wael,

It is easier to not get phished, if you never check your email.

Some of you were not posters on this blog when I stopped using personal Email… So I was ahead of the curve 😉

But even before that I was careful how I used Email, only accepting “seven bit ASCII” with no attachments.

@ Anders,

So you can
see the full headers, you can see from where the email REALLY came
and so on.

Back in the day the early “Post Ofice Protocols” forced you to download the entire “inbox” as a single file (yes bad idea now, looked like a good idea back then).

Later MTA to MUA protocols alowed you to just download some header information so it gould be “deleted in place” on the mail server.

But some ISP’s did not like this, they saw forcing you to download all the inbox so it came off of your data and conectivity alowances as a good idea… So you can guess what happened…

The only real way to win at a “rigged game” is to not play the game at all. Which is why I don’t have personal email any longer. It’s also why I don’t use any of those “supposedly” secure messaging apps, or even crypto on mobile phone, Internet or other services that have meta-data that can lead back to me.

Anders February 23, 2022 11:47 AM


A cyber rapid-response team (CRRT) is being deployed across Europe, after a call for help from Ukraine.


ResearcherZero February 23, 2022 1:33 PM

PrivatBank, the largest commercial bank in Ukraine and Oschadbank, the State Savings Bank of Ukraine, have again also been knocked out along with the defence and ministerial websites.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Security Service of Ukraine and Cabinet of Ministers websites have just been impacted by network disruptions; the incident appears consistent with recent DDOS attacks

“Today, websites of a number of government and banking institutions have undergone a massive DDoS attack again. Some of the attacked information systems are not available or work intermittently,”

Cyclops Blink has been linked to the Russian-backed Sandworm hacking group in a joint security advisory published today by US and UK cybersecurity and law enforcement agencies.

The malware, used by Sandworm operators to create a botnet since at least June 2019, targets WatchGuard Firebox and other Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) network devices.

“The malware dubbed Cyclops Blink appears to be a replacement for the VPNFilter malware exposed in 2018, and its deployment could allow Sandworm to remotely access networks,”

“Cyclops Blink persists on reboot and throughout the legitimate firmware update process. Affected organizations should therefore take steps to remove the malware,”

The developers have clearly reverse engineered the WatchGuard Firebox firmware update process and have identified a specific weakness in this process, namely the ability to recalculate the HMAC value used to verify a firmware update image. They have taken advantage of this weakness to enable them to maintain the persistence of Cyclops Blink throughout the legitimate firmware update process.

Cyclops Blink is a malicious Linux ELF executable, compiled for the 32-bit PowerPC (big-endian) architecture. It consists of a core component and additional modules that are executed as child processes using the Linux API function fork. Linux pipes are used for inter-process communication between the core component and modules.

Both analysed samples included the same four built-in modules that are executed on startup and provide basic malware functionality including: file upload/download, system information discovery and malware version update. Further modules can be added via tasking from a C2 server. The malware expects these modules to be Linux ELF executables that can be executed using the Linux API function execlp.

The core component starts by testing whether it is currently running as a process named
[kworker:0/1]. If this is not the case then Cyclops Blink reloads itself by creating a child process, running the Linux API function execl(“/proc/self/exe”, [ “[kworker:0/1]” ], NULL), and then exiting the parent process.
At this point the malware is running as a process named [kworker:0/1]. This is masquerading as a kernel thread and has most likely been chosen to blend into the list of running processes.

Cyclops Blink 4-Step Diagnosis and Remediation Plan

All accounts on infected devices should be assumed as being compromised and organizations should immediately remove Internet access to the management interface of affected network devices.

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2022 4:25 PM

@ Clive

Have you posted this on the wrong thread?

Random strangeness. I was not paying attention to the current time, so I did not check if Bruce had put up a new article when he normally may do so.

It was just coincidence that Bruce and I were thinking about the same thing.

Think spooky action at a distance.

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2022 5:35 PM

F12 Right Click

As I originally suspected, it was Base64.

The statement issued yesterday by Gross, Khan’s attorney, said the state government “failed to follow basic security procedures for years, failed to protect teachers’ Social Security Numbers, and failed to take responsibility, instead choosing to instigate a baseless investigation into two Missourians who did the right thing and reported the problem.

I believe this was intentional, to allow the data to be leaked, which then allowed right wing attackers to attack teachers that were actually educating children.

Clive Robinson February 23, 2022 5:36 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

It was just coincidence that Bruce and I were thinking about the same thing.

Well, you are not the only one to suffer from what feels like “coincidence”…

But having looked into it on the very many occasions it’s happened to me, I propose a different notion for you to concider.

Ideas come of age.

It happens in science all the time, hence the rush to publish.

Put simply knowledge builds with time. As it builds the degrees of freedom reduce on what is an unknown cause for any given effect.

The more eyes there are on an effect, the faster a tipping point is reached, where the wrong ideas get illiminated and as the fictional Sherlock Holmes said to the equally fictitious Watson,

“How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?

Knowledge shows what is impossible for any given effect, even though it might once have appeared improbable.

The more eyes, the faster that happens, thus there is genuine synchronicity.


Think spooky action at a distance.

The only “spooky” is that you are both thinking about the same thing, and in reality that is not “spooky” just you both have reason to be thinking in that direction.

You might have noticed, that I tend to chase “fundemental answers” because they tell you when something is “Not Possible” and can save you a lot of time.

Almost the first question I ask of any cause and effect hypothesis is,

“Do the laws of nature as we understand them alow this?”

Another is based on the social perception of “good and bad” with respect to technology. To many people personify technology in some way or another and it’s a stupid thing to do. It’s why I say,

“To try to solve societal issues with technology will almost always fail to deliver the desired outcomes.”

The concept of “good or bad” is a human emotion based on their Point of View and how they observe things.


1, Track terrorists = Good.
2, Track ex-wives etc = Bad.

Realistically how the heck do you codify for all cases including those edge and corner cases that we are not even aware of yet?

The answer is you should not even try to, the only option if you want to prohibit “Bad” is to make the technology concerned “illegal”. The problem with that is often as in the case of “tracking” it’s a fundemental of oh so many other technologies making it illegal can not be done…

Hence trying to codify for “social” fails and the “outcomes” are “Bad” not “Good” for one part of society, but the other way around for other parts of society…

It’s just the way life is… Oh and it changes as society changes which is a continuing evolving process…

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2022 6:27 PM

F12 Right Click

People are paying attention.

On Monday, Feb. 21, The Post-Dispatch published the 158-page report (PDF), which concluded after 175 hours of investigation that Renaud did nothing wrong and only accessed information that was publicly available.


SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2022 8:06 PM

F12 Right Click

This dumb [redacted] idiot has now tripled down.

Expect a lawsuit.

Speaking at a business ribbon-cutting event in St. Louis, Parson said he still had questions about the Post-Dispatch and reporter Josh Renaud’s discovery that teachers’ Social Security numbers could be exposed to the public due to flaws on a website maintained by the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“Why did you take people’s personal information out?” Parson said to reporters after the ceremony. “If you just wanted to disclose there’s a problem, OK, you could have done that without taking anybody’s personal information. That’s where the real problem is, and I think the answer still has to be said: Where’s that information at? What’d they do with those people’s personal information? We don’t know.”

Governor F12 Right Click is clueless.

Bear with me here, while I go thru this.

Nevermind, it is f*cking obvious.

Governor F12 Right Click hss no f*cking clue. He is correct, we don’t know.

He does not understand, that if there is a problem, that you have to verify. So, you contact 3 teachers to, you know, like verify, that their SSN (PII) was exposed.

Expect a lawsuit.

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2022 10:12 PM


If you have not bought a vowel yet…

Putin is an insane pyschopath.

Unless and until someone takes him down, it will get worse.

It needs to happen soon.


Anders February 23, 2022 10:28 PM


Yes, that’s what i said the other day – he must put to sleep.

Full scale invasion started at night.

PS – how to get rid of that annoying twitter blocking “See more Tweets from…”?

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2022 11:13 PM

@ Anders, ALL

The ‘See more Tweets from’ almost always shows up on short threads on twitter. Just deal with it.

There are a lot of Yellow Birds flying around that may have a Blue Coat.

They may be Ukranian Canaries. 🇺🇦

Pay attention to the content, not the UX.

SpaceLifeForm February 24, 2022 12:54 AM

Belarus troops moving in.


SpaceLifeForm 🇺🇦 February 24, 2022 3:56 AM

@ Anders

Re: OSINT accounts

At this point, it would be smarter for Twitter to ignore the fake complaints, and let it go. Let them fight.

Maybe they have Facebook envy.

Anders February 24, 2022 12:19 PM


“Now, make sure you rotate servers randomly.”

Elaborate what servers you exactly have in mind?
Sometimes you reply so mysteriously it’s hard to comprehend
the real meaning behind of it.

SpaceLifeForm 🇺🇦 February 25, 2022 12:37 AM

@ Anders

Have not used in a while, so not sure if really working properly these days.


Nitter’s GitHub wiki contains instances and browser extensions maintained by the community.


SpaceLifeForm 🇺🇦 February 25, 2022 1:08 AM

@ Anders

I guess something is different than I last saw, but it could be my browser setup. Previously, I saw that you could pick one of the instances, and go from there. But, now, no joy. Though the main site is working for me. It may be that the network design was changed, so the main site picks the instance for you. That is my guess.

I will contact my nitter guru and see if he knows more.

I’m also going to be testing some more with both. It is definitely better (faster, no javascript).

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