9 July 2022

The West should help Ukraine get more Russian-made weapons and ammo from around the world, a think tank says

Dan De Luce

Ukraine still relies heavily on Russian-made weapons and will need to turn to other countries outside of NATO to secure enough Soviet-era arms and ammunition to keep up its fight against Moscow, according to a new report.

Eastern European countries in NATO already have handed over most of their spare Soviet-origin systems to Ukraine, but there’s an untapped supply of the Russian-manufactured weapons around the world, including in countries that have publicly supported Kyiv, the report by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies think tank said.

The United States and other Western countries should help Ukraine get access to those Soviet-made weapons, including artillery rounds, air defense systems and armored vehicles, the think tank said.

How Landsat Chronicled 50 Years on a Changing, Fiery Planet

IN MAY, ABOUT 30 miles from the ominously named town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, a conflagration began. Known as the Black Fire, it soon blew up, growing explosively and consuming huge swaths of the southwestern part of the state. Later that month, its growth showed up in images from a satellite known as Landsat 8. The pictures, capturing infrared and visible light, show the burned area and active hot spots, along with smoke.

Landsat 8, as you may have guessed, is the eighth orbiter constructed for a program called Landsat, a set of satellites that have been continuously gathering data and taking pictures of Earth since 1972. Landsat’s 50-year archive is useful for understanding how everything from glaciers to plant species to cities have changed—and continue to change.

The “Holy Grail” of Future Civilian Small Drone Flight


Delivering time-sensitive, life-saving supplies from low altitudes during a major humanitarian crisis, helping police track criminals on the run and even quickly dropping-off pizza from just a few miles away in an uneven urban environment … are all things drones will do in the very near future.
Deconflicted Lower Altitude Drones

Much of the technology for these kinds of key civilian tasks, enabled by advanced computer algorithms, automation and radio-frequency transmission, is here today to a certain degree. However, airspace for lower altitude drones must be “deconflicted” to ensure safety and new computer technology needs to enable “Beyond Visual Line of Sight” operation for commercial drones.

Given the pace of the market’s current expansion of smaller unmanned systems increasingly capable of performing a wider range of tasks, and the value-added promise that they bring, the FAA is working intensely with commercial and defense companies like Raytheon Intelligence & Space to reach breakthrough levels of secure, deconflicted beyond visual line-of-sight drone flight.

Exclusive: Obscure Indian cyber firm spied on politicians, investors worldwide

Jack Stubbs, Raphael Satter, Christopher Bing

LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A little-known Indian IT firm offered its hacking services to help clients spy on more than 10,000 email accounts over a period of seven years.

New Delhi-based BellTroX InfoTech Services targeted government officials in Europe, gambling tycoons in the Bahamas, and well-known investors in the United States including private equity giant KKR and short seller Muddy Waters, according to three former employees, outside researchers, and a trail of online evidence.

Aspects of BellTroX’s hacking spree aimed at American targets are currently under investigation by U.S. law enforcement, five people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment.

Countering hack-for-hire groups

Shane Huntley

As part of TAG's mission to counter serious threats to Google and our users, we've published analysis on a range of persistent threats including government-backed attackers, commercial surveillance vendors, and serious criminal operators. Today, we're sharing intelligence on a segment of attackers we call hack-for-hire, whose niche focuses on compromising accounts and exfiltrating data as a service.

In contrast to commercial surveillance vendors, who we generally observe selling a capability for the end user to operate, hack-for-hire firms conduct attacks themselves. They target a wide range of users and opportunistically take advantage of known security flaws when undertaking their campaigns. Both, however, enable attacks by those who would otherwise lack the capabilities to do so.

We have seen hack-for-hire groups target human rights and political activists, journalists, and other high-risk users around the world, putting their privacy, safety and security at risk. They also conduct corporate espionage, handily obscuring their clients’ role.

Strategic responsibility: Rebalancing European and trans-Atlantic defense

Hans Binnendijk, Daniel S. Hamilton, and Alexander Vershbow


While Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine has reinvigorated the Atlantic alliance, it has also deepened Europe’s strategic dependence on the United States. As North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies continue to help Ukraine beat back Russia’s assault, they must also address this important longer-term challenge of rebalancing trans-Atlantic defence. Doing so means squaring a triangle of issues: ensuring Europe’s capacity to defend itself against Russia and manage a range of additional crises, many along its southern periphery; addressing European aspirations for greater strategic autonomy; and maintaining confidence that the United States can adequately uphold its commitments in both the north Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific.[1]

Advancing greater European strategic responsibility starts by defining the concept in a way designed to strengthen the Atlantic alliance. It should focus on two military goals. First, European allies should build their conventional military capabilities to a level that would provide half of the forces and capabilities, including the strategic enablers, required for deterrence and collective defense against major-power aggression. Second, European allies should develop capabilities to conduct crisis management operations in Europe’s neighborhood without today’s heavy reliance on U.S. enablers such as strategic lift, refueling, and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR).

Integrating computing power for ‘Digital China’


China is proactively pursuing digital transformation, and the demand for data processing, computing, and storage is increasing tremendously. China’s “East Data West Computation Project” aims to achieve a lot, from green energy goals to pushing for development in the underdeveloped region of western China. It will contribute to the goal of “Digital China” and has the potential to build high-tech military modernization infrastructure.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in February approved the building of eight national computing hubs and 10 national data-center clusters. China’s “National Computing Network” is being implemented as the “East Data West Computing” project (also referred to as “East Data West Calculation”).

The announcement was jointly released by the Central Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), and the National Energy Administration (NEA).

War fueling Russian oil’s long-term decline


Immediately after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, world oil prices jumped above US$100 per barrel, hitting $130 for Brent crude on March 8.

The prevailing fear was that substantial Russian supplies would be lost to the world market either through Western sanctions or a voluntary decision by Moscow in retaliation to Western support for Ukraine.

This was especially worrying when the world was already struggling to secure enough additional oil to meet rapidly growing demand as the Covid restrictions began to ease.

The International Energy Agency (IEA), for example, predicted that “from April, three million barrels per day of Russian oil output could be shut in” – that’s about a third of the total. It feared that this could produce “the biggest supply crisis in decades.”

Stephen Blank, Russian Nuclear Strategy in the Ukraine War: An Interim Report, No. 525,

Dr Stephen Blank


Russian nuclear threats preceded the Ukraine war but have not abated.[1] These threats influence Western responses to the war since they build upon earlier threats and exercises showing that Russia will use nuclear weapons in a conventional conflict to force acceptance of its terms. Pervasive anxiety about Russian nuclear use has inhibited Western relief efforts, e.g., the campaign for a no-fly zone or for sending Ukraine aircraft. Western restraint has encouraged repeated and unrestrained Russian threats of nuclear use that are taken as inherently credible ones, even as Western deterrence is not seen as credible. This trend destabilizes the balance of deterrence.[2]

Previously, “Russian military planners pursued a broad range of upgraded and new versions of nuclear weapons suggesting that Russia’s real doctrine goes beyond basic deterrence and toward regional warfighting strategies or even terror-causing weapons.”[3] Therefore, this paper argues that Russian nuclear weapons strategy, as manifested in Ukraine, aims at the following interrelated goals: intimidating and deterring any NATO reaction to Russian warfighting; obtaining and retaining escalation dominance and thus the strategic initiative and freedom of action throughout all stages of a crisis; and the creation in theory, if not also operationally, of a seamless web of threats to Russian enemies from both conventional and nuclear weapons to retain that escalation control. Finally, Russian exercises and rhetoric also display Russia’s concept of strategic deterrence in action.

Michaela Dodge, Russia’s War in Ukraine and Implications for Its Influence Operations in the West

Dr Michaela Dodge

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, and its subsequent atrocities on Ukrainian territory have affected Moscow’s ability to successfully conduct influence operations in the West, but whether this will continue remains to be seen. Russia’s aggression made the execution of its influence operations more difficult, but the Kremlin will try to utilize the Ukrainian migration wave to other countries to stir discontent and plant divisive false narratives within western societies.

Russia’s War in Ukraine Makes Russia’s Influence Operations in the West More Difficult to Execute

Following Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the European Union (EU) banned RT (formerly known as Russia Today) and Sputnik on the 27 countries’ territory. These so called news organizations, directly connected to the Russian government, were spreading “systematic information manipulation and disinformation” and their disinformation narratives were considered “a significant and direct threat to the [European] Union’s public order and security.”[1] Amid streaming platforms’ and technological companies’ efforts to comply with the EU’s ban by demonetizing and deplatforming[2] RT’s and Sputnik’s content, RT America laid off all of its staff and effectively shut down in the United States.[3] The Russian Federation used these channels to legitimize false narratives, disseminate fake news, and pollute the information environment in other countries.


Over the past two decades, the Chinese government has made considerable progress in transforming the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into a modern force through strategic reorganization, highly focused warfighting concepts, and technological advances.

To address the challenge of a competitor gaining military parity, the Department of Defense (DoD) needs to better understand Chinese strategies and approaches to technology development, innovation, and defense acquisition. This understanding will enable the United States to respond more effectively in countering those strategies and potentially provide insights that can drive internal change to our own systems. This paper aims to help increase the DoD’s understanding of the PLA’s strategy around acquisition and innovation.

NATO’s New Strategic Concept: What Should We Expect?

A highlight of NATO’s forthcoming summit in Madrid in June 2022 will be the publication of its new Strategic Concept, a mission statement of the role and purpose of the alliance over the next decade. These periodic exercises by international organisations are frequently derided by critics as bureaucratic documents that reflect painful compromises, the lowest common denominator of consensus among the member states and wish lists of ambitions that are rarely implemented. Another criticism is that in a fast-changing world, the tasks and priorities that feature in these concepts are soon out of date and that what is not mentioned tends to quickly become more significant than what is included. Yet in the case of NATO, this criticism would be misplaced. War has returned to Europe, and military threats to the alliance’s security are now more real than they have been at any time since the height of the Cold War. If all of NATO’s 30 member states are to remain secure (and the number will eventually reach 32 when Finland and Sweden join), the alliance has to get its strategy for deterrence and collective defence right. It also needs to reduce Russia’s capability to inflict harm on its member states and partners over the long run, while managing crises and avoiding dangerous escalation. Thus, NATO’s critical choices now and in the immediate future carry unusually large risks and strategic consequences. This is why we should all be paying close attention to the debates on its new Strategic Concept which are currently taking place inside NATO. What is still valid in the existing concept, which dates back to 2010? And where can we expect new orientations and policy objectives? Will Russia’s invasion of Ukraine make it easier or harder for allies to reach consensus?

Science & Tech Spotlight:Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

What's an NFT?

An NFT, or non-fungible token, is a digital certificate of ownership that represents a digital or physical asset. Currently, NFTs are used mainly for digital artwork. For example, an NFT for a digital collage sold for $69.3 million in March 2021.

Many NFT buyers want to resell NFTs for a profit and, while all investments are risky, NFTs might present additional risks because there isn't any statutory and regulatory framework that is explicitly applicable to them.

New uses for NFTs are emerging, and revenue from NFTs could exceed $130 billion by 2030. The federal workforce may need more expertise to help protect consumers.

If the Iranians Are Cyberterrorists, So Are Israelis

Yossi Melman

Defense Minister Benny Gantz owns the copyright to a new term: cyberterrorism. In a speech last Wednesday at Cyber Week, an annual international cybersecurity conference held at Tel Aviv University, he said “Iran is leading cyberterrorism.” He also added a threat, as though the frequent threats by Israel’s leaders, the IDF chief of staff and the head of the Mossad are insufficient: “Iran operates proxies in the cyber dimension as well. The new proxies are terrorists with a keyboard, who will be punished like other fighters in terrorist organizations.”

There is seemingly no limit to Israel’s desire to use the word “terror,” which took root in the Reign of Terror masterminded during the French Revolution by Maximilian Robespierre. With time the word took on the meaning of using violence, mainly against civilians, in order to create a climate of fear to achieve a political, military or personal goal. That's terms like “acts of terror” and “terror attacks” entered the lexicon.

Rising threats spark US scramble for cyber workers


The federal government and private sector are facing increasing pressure to fill key cyber roles as high-profile attacks and international threats rattle various U.S. sectors.

Workforce shortages have been a long-running issue in cyber, but they have taken on renewed importance amid rising Russian threats stemming from the war in Ukraine.

“It’s an issue that the government faces as well as the private sector, state and local communities,” Iranga Kahangama, a cyber official at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), said at a House hearing this week.

Kahangama said the shortage has been a top priority for his agency, which conducted a 60-day hiring sprint last summer to hire cybersecurity professionals. Out of 500 job offers DHS sent out, the department was able to hire nearly 300 new cyber workers.

“It was the largest single hiring event we’ve had so far,” Kahangama told lawmakers on a House Homeland Security subcommittee on intelligence and counterterrorism.

NATO to Develop Rapid Cyber Response Capabilities

James Coker

NATO has announced plans to develop virtual rapid response capabilities “to respond to significant malicious cyber activities.”

The plans were unveiled in a declaration published following the NATO Summit in Madrid, Spain, last week. The latest summit took on extra significance in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, amid fears of the conflict spilling beyond the current borders into NATO territory. Referring to the war, the declaration read: “We, the Heads of State and Government of the North Atlantic Alliance, have gathered in Madrid as war has returned to the European continent. We face a critical time for our security and international peace and stability.”

Among other areas, the declaration outlined an agreement between member countries “on a voluntary basis and using national assets, to build and exercise a virtual rapid response cyber capability.” The military alliance acknowledged that “we are confronted by cyber, space and hybrid and other asymmetric threats, and by the malicious use of emerging and disruptive technologies.”

NATO Steps Up to China Challenge

Robbie Gramer, Clara Gutman, and Jack Detsch

When NATO leaders convened for a summit in Madrid this week, their agenda was dominated by renewed threats from Russia, but there was another major challenge looming close behind: China.

For an alliance first built to counter Cold War military threats from Moscow, China has become an uncomfortable, albeit pressing, topic to address. Some countries in Europe have in the past quietly balked at the thought of being dragged into a growing geopolitical showdown between Washington and Beijing, while others were wary of picking fights with one of the world’s top economic powerhouses and a key trade partner for Europe.

But that reluctance seems to be slipping away, as NATO unveiled a more muscular approach to China at the Madrid summit, referring to it as a strategic challenge and linking China directly to the growing threat from a revanchist Russia.

The Indian Anti-Colonial Movement Never Ended

Priya Satia

Every historian worth their salt knows that historical and local specificities ultimately render all analogies inaccurate. Yet people navigating times of great change and uncertainty habitually seek reassurance from the past. In 1852, Karl Marx observed how revolutionaries “anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past … to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise.” By helping to legitimize major change, historical analogies have played a key role in the very making of modern history, including its ugliest episodes: The Nazis defended their camps, for instance, by pointing to British concentration camps in the South African War at the turn of the 20th century. Much of what has transpired in history has been justified by reference to some precedent.

Making new comparisons thus helps shift the paradigms and false equivalences through which we inherit the past so that we might make new history in the present. Despite their own inevitable inaccuracy, fresh analogies help uncover the darker historical truths obscured by the more flattering comparisons that enabled them. The question is not so much whether to analogize but whether the analogies we invoke serve ethical ends.

Communication and Information Transmission Using Biotechnology

Abridged Version

At the request of the U.S. Government, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine established a standing committee to identify future biotechnology needs for national security. The standing committee identifies and explores in detail new and emerging research and development of biotechnologies of interest to national security. Communication and Information Transmission Using Biotechnology: Abridged Version is the public version of the committee's classified consensus study that describes current research on DNA, protein, and small molecule-based approaches for transmitting information and the nascent field of molecular communication.

Crypto’s Free Rein May Be Coming to a Close

REGULATION IS COMING for crypto. After more than a decade when cryptocurrencies and related technologies have surged, boomed, and busted in a regulatory vacuum, lawmakers in both the US and Europe are writing new rules for a sector that has grown dangerously large in both value and reach, touching $2.9 trillion at its peak in November 2021. The ongoing crash on crypto markets has only strengthened rule-makers’ resolve.

On Thursday, EU institutions announced an agreement on two landmark pieces of regulation: the Market in Crypto-Asset Act (aka MiCA), regulating most providers of cryptocurrency services, and an anti-money-laundering package imposing robust checks on cryptocurrency transfers. In the US, several proposals have been put forward over the past few months. One notable example is the wide-ranging bipartisan bill sponsored by Republican senator Cynthia Lummis and Democratic senator Kirsten Gillibrand, which the crypto industry has saluted as beneficial, while others have condemned it as a capitulation to the crypto lobby’s requests. On the other end of the spectrum is Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren, a fierce crypto critic who sponsored a bill calling for robust checks on cryptocurrency transactions in order to stop the evasion of sanctions against Russia.

The story behind the proposed price cap on Russian oil

David Wessel

The notion that oil-consuming nations should organize a buyers’ cartel to cap the price of oil—promoted by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and recently endorsed by the leaders of the Group of Seven—sounds fanciful. After all, if this were workable, why didn’t we do it years ago to bring down oil prices?

In fact, this is a creative and perhaps even practical response to two unusual imperatives. The first is well covered by the press: to reduce the flow of oil revenues that are financing Russia’s war machine. The second is not: to prevent an economically catastrophic increase in oil prices because of one element of European sanctions set to take effect at the end of this year.

Oil prices fell to $20 a barrel at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, returned to pre-pandemic levels of around $60 a barrel in early 2021 as the economy recovered, and then spurted above $100 a barrel after Russia invaded Ukraine. The European Union, the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. have agreed to stop buying (most) Russian oil, but Russia is still selling huge volumes—albeit at a discount from the world price—to India, China, and other energy-thirsty economies. Russia normally accounts for about 10% of global oil production, but its exports have been reduced since its invasion of Ukraine. Today, U.S. officials estimate that ocean-going tankers carry about 70% of Russia’s 5.6 million barrels a day of crude oil exports. (The rest goes through pipelines, roughly half towards Europe and half towards China.)

The Future of War


Imagine a Swiss businessman in Italy, near the city of Solferino. He probably went there for an important meeting that would increase his fortune. Unfortunately, there is a colossal battle between two opponents' camps while he is there. Gunfire resonates everywhere; soldiers are shouting, crying, yelling; the blood splashes and cuts the soldiers' heads, hands, and feet at every cannonball explosion. In the evening, more than 30.000 wounded and killed in action are abandoned on the field. Some cry, and the others are simply lifeless, dead. Henri Dunant witnessed this atrocity scene on the evening of June 24, 1859, at Solferino during the Italian independence war. The war opposed two camps. On the one hand, the Austrian empire and, on the other hand, the French-Italian coalition. This conflict between many state actors was by its nature brutal and violent, inhuman, and led Henry Dunant to take actions in favor of the wounded regardless of their camp.[1] Later, Dunant's steps would create the international red cross, the Geneva conventions, and the law of armed conflicts. Solferino represents the war as we know it. A bloody military engagement between armies of two or multiple states. This type of war has rules that all the belligerents should respect; otherwise, they commit war crimes.

The above description portrays almost faithfully wars as we imagine them. States against states, armies against armies, mighty kinetic means opposing each other. This conception of war is a legacy of the thirty-year war and has endured for almost four centuries. But history is not static and evolves. So do the character of war, although its nature remains immutable.[2]

High cost of Russian gains in Ukraine may limit new advance

After more than four months of ferocious fighting, Russia claimed a key victory: full control over one of the two provinces in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland.

But Moscow’s seizure of the last major stronghold of Ukrainian resistance in Luhansk province came at a steep price. The critical question now is whether Russia can muster enough strength for a new offensive to complete its capture of the Donbas and make gains elsewhere in Ukraine.

“Yes, the Russians have seized the Luhansk region, but at what price?” asked Oleh Zhdanov, a military analyst in Ukraine, noting that some Russian units involved in the battle lost up to a half their soldiers.

Even President Vladimir Putin acknowledged Monday that Russian troops involved in action in Luhansk need to “take some rest and beef up their combat capability.”

Operationalizing the Quad

Lisa Curtis, Jacob Stokes, Joshua Fitt and CDR Andrew J. Adams


The Quad—made up of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States—is becoming the principal multilateral group shaping the geo-economic and technological future and the strategic orientation of the Indo-Pacific. Strengthening the Quad is a central pillar in the Biden administration’s strategic plan to compete more effectively with a rising China. Although the Quad leaders currently avoid publicly discussing defense-related initiatives and do not seek to make the Quad into a NATO-like organization, the Quad’s purpose is undeniably strategic. Its aim is to provide a counterweight to China’s growing economic and political influence in the Indo-Pacific and put forth an alternative vision of a free, open, transparent, inclusive, and peaceful region as opposed to one dominated by China’s authoritarian ideology.

The idea of a Quad dialogue among Australia, India, Japan, and the United States was conceptualized by then–Prime Minister of Japan Abe Shinzo around 2007. Abe was inspired by the formation of the Tsunami Core Group, which was created in response to the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean as a way for the four nations to cooperate on disaster relief efforts.3 The first-ever Quad meeting of senior officials occurred in 2007 on the sidelines of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum meeting. Days before the meeting, China démarched all four capitals, inquiring about the agenda of the meeting and whether it would have an anti-China focus.4 That same year the Quad countries plus Singapore participated in the Malabar naval exercise, which India holds annually with the United States and Japan, in the Bay of Bengal. The Australians decided to withdraw from the Quad in 2008, in a move likely aimed at placating China, a major trading partner. The Indians—who share a disputed border with China over which they fought a war in 1962—also indicated a degree of uneasiness with the Quad around the same time.5

Are we witnessing a military revolution on Ukraine battlefields?


President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Ukrainian warriors have unleashed a “Red Dawn”-like response against Russian troop advances in nearly every part of the country. Russian tanks — the much-heralded T-72, T-80 and T-90 — are no match for the Javelin, Next-generation Light Anti-tank Weapon (NLAW), Baykar Bayraktar TB2 and Switchblade drones. Their turrets litter the Ukraine landscape. Neither composite armor, explosive reactive armor, nor countermeasure suites have been effective against the modern weapon systems designed to destroy them.

These defensive weapons, supplied by the United States and NATO, are dramatically altering the battlefield and providing a much-needed shot in the arm to a president in Kyiv unwilling to “take a ride.” Ukraine has marginalized the once vaunted Russian War Machine. As the combat continues, the Ukraine Defense Ministry recently reported they have inflicted 34,430 casualties and destroyed 1,504 tanks, 3,632 armored personnel carriers, 756 artillery pieces, 240 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, 216 aircraft and 183 helicopters.

Why China is mad at NATO right now

Joshua Keating and Lili Pike

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine appears to have given NATO a new lease on life. While the 73-year-old security alliance has sometimes seemed strategically adrift since the end of the Cold War — described as “obsolete” or “brain-dead” by the leaders of some of its own members — in the last four months it has refocused on its historic core mission: defending Europe from Russian aggression. Current members have been sending weapons to Ukraine and bolstering their defense capabilities, and two new members (Sweden and Finland) are on the verge of joining, as a direct response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Despite this renewed focus on Russia, and the urgency of the war, another major power got considerable attention at NATO’s Madrid summit this week. There, NATO released its new “Strategic Concept,” a long-term planning document last updated in 2010, and for the first time the alliance singled out China as an area of focus. According to the document, China now poses a “systemic challenge” to Euro-Atlantic Security. NATO accuses the country of “malicious hybrid and cyber operations,” seeking to exert control over critical infrastructure and supply chains, and using “economic leverage to create strategic dependencies and enhance its influence.” The document also takes note of “the deepening strategic partnership between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation and their mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut the rules-based international order.”

The cyber security impact of Operation Russia by Anonymous

Peter Ray Allison

Following a huge build-up of Russian military forces on the Ukrainian border, Russian forces invaded Ukraine on 24 February. Russia’s invasion has been met by condemnation from around the world. Nations have come out in support, enacting rising economic sanctions against Russia and providing equipment and resources to Ukraine. The invasion has also strengthened ties within the European Union, as well as highlighting the importance of Nato.

One response surprised many, but with hindsight it was fairly obvious what would happen. Just hours after the news of Russia’s invasion, a message was posted on Twitter by YourAnonNews, stating: “The Anonymous collective is officially in cyber war against the Russian government.”

Operation Russia, or #OpRussia as it is otherwise known, has been one of the largest campaigns by Anonymous since the group’s inception nearly two decades ago. Anonymous is an online hacktivist collective that has been described as everything from a digital version of Robin Hood to cyber terrorists.

How mercenary hackers sway litigation battles


Bodyguard Carlo Pacileo was under mounting pressure. His boss, a direct sales entrepreneur named Ryan Blair, wanted compromising material against a business rival amid a flurry of lawsuits, Pacileo said. Nothing was turning up.

So he turned to a Silicon Valley detective he knew from his days in Afghanistan with the U.S. mercenary firm Blackwater. Nathan Moser, a former North Carolina sheriff’s deputy, arrived days later at Pacileo’s Hollywood apartment with a duffel bag full of surveillance equipment.

Moser showed Pacileo several gadgets, including Israeli-made listening devices that could be hidden in ceilings or behind television sets. One particular service stood out: Moser said he knew an Indian hacker who could break into emails. “My ears perked up,” Pacileo told Reuters recently. “I didn’t know you could do that type of stuff.”

Critical Minerals:Building on Federal Efforts to Advance Recovery and Substitution Could Help Address Supply Risks

Fast Facts

Many U.S. technologies rely on imported critical minerals, like cobalt and lithium. Disruptions in the global mineral supply chain could seriously affect U.S. energy production, aviation, and other industries.

Federal agencies created a national strategy to ensure reliable and secure supplies of 35 critical minerals.

Finding ways to recycle these minerals or develop alternatives to them ("recovery and substitution") is a key piece of the strategy. But, new legal requirements related to mineral recovery and substitution were enacted after the strategy was created.

Business Systems:DOD Needs to Improve Performance Reporting and Cybersecurity and Supply Chain Planning

What GAO Found

According to the Department of Defense's (DOD) fiscal year (FY) 2022 submission to the federal IT Dashboard, DOD planned to spend $8.8 billion on its portfolio of 25 major IT business programs between FY 2020 and 2022. In addition, 18 of the 25 programs reported experiencing cost or schedule changes since January 2020. Of these programs, 14 reported the extent to which program costs and schedules had changed, noting cost increases ranging from $0.1 million to $10.7 billion and schedule delays ranging from 5 to 19 months. Program officials attributed the changes to various factors, including requirement changes or delays, contract developments, and technical complexities.

Programs also reported operational performance data to the federal IT Dashboard. As of December 2021, the 25 programs collectively identified 172 operational performance metrics consistent with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance. These metrics covered a range of performance indicators such as the timeliness of program deliverables and the percentage of time that systems were available to users. However, programs only reported progress on 77 of the 172 operational performance targets. (See figure.)