The coordinated witch-hunts do not solve the problems, the coordinated communications do. The pervasive, constantly present, the distinguishing, the defining, the hallmark feature of the recent operations is this “ham-handedness”. – M.N. – 6:08 AM 10/6/2018

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The coordinated witch-hunts do not solve the problems, the coordinated communications do. The pervasive, constantly present, the distinguishing, the defining, the hallmark feature of the recent operations is this “ham-handedness”. – M.N. – 6:08 AM 10/6/2018

“The ham-handed attempted break-in — involving hacking equipment in the trunk of a car and a trail of physical and virtual clues — was the most stunning operation revealed Thursday. It was so obvious, in fact, that it almost looked like the Russians didn’t care about getting caught…

What Dutch authorities found seemed to be the work of an amateur. A taxi receipt in the pocket of one of the agents showed he had hired a cab to take him from a street next to GRU headquarters to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. A laptop found with the team appeared to tie them to other alleged GRU hacks.” 

M.N.: This “ham-handedness”, the deliberate, demonstrative sloppiness, as if it were the invitation to be discovered, is the pervasive, constantly present, the distinguishing, the defining, the hallmark feature of ALL recent operations, including, very much so, the Operation Trump. This feature has to be addressed and investigated thoroughly, it might contain one of the main clues. It might indicate the possible set-up or the number of other explanations, which have to be explored. 

The “Russianness”, the Russian ethnic origins and the history of the service in the military or the GRU of the implied, suspected operators does not mean at all that they work for the GRU presently, or that their acts were authorised, approved, or specifically planned by the GRU. Importantly, they might have been selected by the third party (which I call the New Abwehr, under its leader, the Demiurge), and specifically for these traits: “Russianness” and the history of the GRU service. These suspects might be the completely unwitting semi-professional actors acting as the cover for the true designers. GRU is the very sophisticated and experienced, highly professional intelligence service, just like her counterparts, and they have their own professional ways of doing things without being ostentatious, also just like the others. 

However, everything is possible, and the version of the “face value”, “what you see is what you get” is legitimate and has to be investigated first of all, despite the lack of the credibility factor. 

My respectful recommendation to Gen. Gerasimov and Gen. Korobov is to try to reach out to their colleagues and to discuss these issues frankly and openly, in their broad range and in all the possible depth. The similar respectful recommendation to their colleagues, Gen. Dunford and Gen. Ashley, is to have these discussions and to try to make them productive. GRU is often compared with CIA, although nominally its counterpart is DIA. These interventions have to be approved on the highest levels, of course. 

By the way, I think that the non-travel sanctions specifically against Korobov and the others in this circle, who are not involved in commercial activities, are counterproductive and should be waved or cancelled. People need to travel, to meet, and to talk; and the present crisis is the result of the insufficient communications, not their abundance. 

Technically, it is also easier to keep track of them when they travel freely rather than clandestinely, which they do anyway. 

The coordinated witch-hunts do not solve the problems, the coordinated communications do. 

“Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov of Russia said in a statement that the U.S. is taking a “dangerous path” by “deliberately inciting tensions in relations between the nuclear powers,” adding that Washington’s European allies should also think about it.” 

Mr. Ryabkov, stop your nuclear dingle-dangle. You sound more like a fire-setter than a firefighter or diplomat. Do not threaten the others yourself, you sound excessively defensive. Try to comprehend, to truly understand the situation, and to find the ways of resolving it on the basis of this understanding. 

The delusional-grandiose attempts on Mr. Skripal’s part to influence the personnel policies of the GRU; as his revenge (if they exist), should also be considered as a factor, although, obviously, it will be left without any consequences. 

Mr. Skripal himself appears to be the highly intriguing, mysterious, complex person who might also contain many hidden clues. 

Michael Novakhov

10.6.18

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West Accuses Russian Spy Agency of Scores of Attacks
 

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LONDON — The West unleashed an onslaught of new evidence and indictments Thursday accusing Russian military spies of hacking so widespread that it seemed to target anyone, anywhere who investigates Moscow’s involvement in an array of criminal activities — including doping, poisoning and the downing of a plane.

Russia defiantly denied the charges, neither humbled nor embarrassed by the exceptional revelations on one of the most high-tension days in East-West relations in years. Moscow lashed back with allegations that the Pentagon runs a clandestine U.S. biological weapons program involving toxic mosquitoes, ticks and more.

The nucleus of Thursday’s drama was Russia’s military intelligence agency known as the GRU, increasingly the embodiment of Russian meddling abroad.

In the last 24 hours: U.S. authorities charged seven officers from the GRU with hacking international agencies; British and Australian authorities accused the GRU of a devastating 2017 cyberattack on Ukraine, the email leaks that rocked the U.S. 2016 election and other damaging hacks; And Dutch officials alleged that GRU agents tried and failed to hack into the world’s chemical weapons watchdog, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The ham-handed attempted break-in — involving hacking equipment in the trunk of a car and a trail of physical and virtual clues — was the most stunning operation revealed Thursday. It was so obvious, in fact, that it almost looked like the Russians didn’t care about getting caught.

“Basically, the Russians got caught with their equipment, people who were doing it, and they have got to pay the piper. They are going to have to be held to account,” U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said in Brussels, where he was meeting with NATO allies.

Mattis said the West has “a wide variety of responses” available.

Britain’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Peter Wilson, said the GRU would no longer be allowed to act with impunity.

Calling Russia a “pariah state,” British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Where Russia acts in an indiscriminate and reckless way, where they have done in terms of these cyberattacks, we will be exposing them.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov of Russia said in a statement that the U.S. is taking a “dangerous path” by “deliberately inciting tensions in relations between the nuclear powers,” adding that Washington’s European allies should also think about it.

While the accusations expose how much damage Russia can do in foreign lands, through remote hacking and on-site infiltration — they also expose how little Western countries can do to stop it.

Russia is already under EU and U.S. sanctions, and dozens of GRU agents and alleged Russian trolls have already been indicted by the U.S but will likely never be handed over to face American justice.

Still, to the Western public, Thursday may have been a pivotal day, with accusations so extensive, and the chorus of condemnation so loud, that it left little doubt of massive Russian wrongdoing. A wealth of surveillance footage released by Western intelligence agencies was quickly and overwhelmingly confirmed by independent reporting.

The litany of accusations of GRU malfeasance began overnight, when British and Australian authorities accused the Russian agency of being behind the catastrophic 2017 cyberattack in Ukraine. The malicious software outbreak knocked out ATMs, gas stations, pharmacies and hospitals and, according to a secret White House assessment recently cited by Wired, caused $10 billion in damage worldwide.

The British and Australians also linked the GRU to other hacks, including the Democratic Party email leaks and online cyber propaganda that sowed havoc before Americans voted in the 2016 presidential election.

Later Thursday, Dutch defense officials released photos and a timeline of GRU agents’ botched attempt to break into the chemical weapons watchdog using Wi-Fi hacking equipment hidden in a car parked outside a nearby Marriott Hotel. The OPCW was investigating a nerve agent attack on a former GRU spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter in Salisbury, England, that Britain has blamed on the Russian government. Moscow vehemently denies involvement.

Photographs released by the Dutch Ministry of Defense showed a trunk loaded with a computer, battery, a bulky white transformer and a hidden antenna; officials said the equipment was operational when Dutch counterintelligence interrupted the operation.

What Dutch authorities found seemed to be the work of an amateur. A taxi receipt in the pocket of one of the agents showed he had hired a cab to take him from a street next to GRU headquarters to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. A laptop found with the team appeared to tie them to other alleged GRU hacks.

The men were expelled instead of arrested, because they were traveling on diplomatic passports.

The Dutch also accused the GRU of trying to hack investigators examining the 2014 downing of a Malaysian Airlines jetliner over eastern Ukraine that killed all 298 people on board. A Dutch-led team says it has strong evidence the missile that brought the plane down came from a Russia-based military unit. Russia has denied the charge.

Later Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department charged seven GRU officers — including the four caught in The Hague — in an international hacking rampage that targeted more than 250 athletes, a Pennsylvania-based nuclear energy company, a Swiss chemical laboratory and the OPCW.

The indictment said the GRU targets had publicly supported a ban on Russian athletes in international sports competitions and because they had condemned what they called a state-sponsored doping program by Russia.

U.S. prosecutors said the Russians also targeted a Pennsylvania-based nuclear energy company and the OPCW.

The seven were identified as: Aleksei Morenets, 41; Evgenii Serebriakov, 37; Ivan Yermakov, 32; Artem Malyshev, 30; and Dmitriy Badin, 27; who were each assigned to Military Unit 26165, and Oleg Sotnikov, 46, and Alexey Minin, 46, who were also GRU officers.

The U.S. indictment says the hacking was often conducted remotely. If that wasn’t successful, the hackers would conduct “on-site” or “close access” hacking operations, with trained GRU members traveling with sophisticated equipment to target their victims through Wi-Fi networks.

The World Anti-Doping Agency, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the Canadian anti-doping agency were all identified by the U.S. indictment against the Russians.

WADA said the alleged hackers “sought to violate athletes’ rights by exposing personal and private data — often then modifying them — and ultimately undermine the work of WADA and its partners in the protection of clean sport.”

Travis Tygart, the CEO of the U.S. anti-doping agency and a prominent critic of Russian athletes’ drug use, says “a system that was abusing its own athletes with an institutionalized doping program has now been indicted for perpetrating cyberattacks on innocent athletes from around the world.”

Russia denied everything.

Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of Russian parliament, said the accusations were fake and intended to “delegitimize” a resurgent Russia. The West has picked up the GRU as “a modern analogue of the KGB which served as a bugaboo for people in the West during the Cold War,” he said.

Russia countered with accusations of their own: The Defense Ministry unveiled complex allegations that the U.S. has a clandestine biological weapons lab in the country of Georgia as part of a network of labs on the edges of Russia and China that flout international rules.

Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon called the accusations “an invention” and “obvious attempts to divert attention from Russia’s bad behavior on many fronts.”

The Associated Press, meanwhile, independently corroborated information that matches details for two of the alleged Russian agents named by the Dutch authorities.

An online car registration database in Russia showed that Aleksei Morenets, whose full name and date of birth are the same as one of the expelled Russians, sold his car in 2004, listing the Moscow address where the Defense Ministry’s Military University is based.

Alexey Minin, another Russian whose full name and date of birth match the Dutch details, had several cars, including an Alfa Romeo, that were registered and sold at the address where the Defense Ministry’s GRU school is located. In some of the filings, Minin listed the official military unit number of the GRU school as his home address.

___

Balsamo reported from Washington and Casert from Brussels. Raphael Satter in London, Nataliya Vasilyeva and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow, Lorne Cook in Brussels and Eric Tucker in Washington contributed.

The Kavanaugh hearing seems designed to fail.
 

mikenova shared this story from The New Republic.


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“Cyber-war is now a major battlefront between great powers.” – 10.6.18

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“Cyber-war is now a major battlefront between great powers.” 

“This is not the actions of a great power,” Williamson said. “This is the actions of a pariah state, and we will continue working with allies to isolate them; make them understand they cannot continue to conduct themselves in such a way.” 

And what about the others? – M.N.

The Kavanaugh hearing seems designed to fail. 

On Thursday morning, the Department of Justice announced it was charging seven Russian intelligence agents—employed by the Russian Central Intelligence Agency equivalent, commonly known as the GRU—with hacking. The move came hot on the heels of British and Dutch officials accusing GRU agents of hacking investigations looking into chemical weapons attacks in Syria and the 2014 downing of an airliner over Eastern Ukraine.

The same morning, Bloomberg published a blockbuster report alleging that Chinese spies had pulled off a far-reaching hardware hack using microchips planted on the motherboards made by a company called Supermicro, which ended up being used by more than thirty firms. Bloomberg describes the hack as “the most significant supply chain attack known to have been carried out against American companies.”

Taken together, the three news stories illustrate that cyber-war is now a major battlefront between great powers.

In a press statement, the Department of Justice claimed that “beginning in or around December 2014 and continuing until at least May 2018, the conspiracy conducted persistent and sophisticated computer intrusions affecting U.S. persons, corporate entities, international organizations, and their respective employees located around the world, based on their strategic interest to the Russian government.”

Three of the seven Russian intelligence agents charged by the Department of Justice  were also charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for alleged hacking as part of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

At a NATO meeting in Brussels, British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson condemned alleged Russian cyber attacks on Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which Dutch officials claimed took place in April and were disrupted. Holland has expelled four Russian intelligence officers allegedly involved in the attack.

“This is not the actions of a great power,” Williamson said. “This is the actions of a pariah state, and we will continue working with allies to isolate them; make them understand they cannot continue to conduct themselves in such a way.”

The Bloomberg story on Chinese microchips shows that Russia is not the only cyber-war threat. As Bloomberg reports, when Amazon investigated servers sold to them by Elemental Technologies, which used the serves of Supermicro, they made a startling discovery: “Nested on the servers’ motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn’t part of the boards’ original design. Amazon reported the discovery to U.S. authorities, sending a shudder through the intelligence community. Elemental’s servers could be found in Department of Defense data centers, the CIA’s drone operations, and the onboard networks of Navy warships. And Elemental was just one of hundreds of Supermicro customers.”

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The Kavanaugh hearing seems designed to fail.
 

mikenova shared this story from The New Republic.

On Thursday morning, the Department of Justice announced it was charging seven Russian intelligence agents—employed by the Russian Central Intelligence Agency equivalent, commonly known as the GRU—with hacking. The move came hot on the heels of British and Dutch officials accusing GRU agents of hacking investigations looking into chemical weapons attacks in Syria and the 2014 downing of an airliner over Eastern Ukraine.

The same morning, Bloomberg published a blockbuster report alleging that Chinese spies had pulled off a far-reaching hardware hack using microchips planted on the motherboards made by a company called Supermicro, which ended up being used by more than thirty firms. Bloomberg describes the hack as “the most significant supply chain attack known to have been carried out against American companies.”

Taken together, the three news stories illustrate that cyber-war is now a major battlefront between great powers.

In a press statement, the Department of Justice claimed that “beginning in or around December 2014 and continuing until at least May 2018, the conspiracy conducted persistent and sophisticated computer intrusions affecting U.S. persons, corporate entities, international organizations, and their respective employees located around the world, based on their strategic interest to the Russian government.”

Three of the seven Russian intelligence agents charged by the Department of Justice  were also charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for alleged hacking as part of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

At a NATO meeting in Brussels, British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson condemned alleged Russian cyber attacks on Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which Dutch officials claimed took place in April and were disrupted. Holland has expelled four Russian intelligence officers allegedly involved in the attack.

“This is not the actions of a great power,” Williamson said. “This is the actions of a pariah state, and we will continue working with allies to isolate them; make them understand they cannot continue to conduct themselves in such a way.”

The Bloomberg story on Chinese microchips shows that Russia is not the only cyber-war threat. As Bloomberg reports, when Amazon investigated servers sold to them by Elemental Technologies, which used the serves of Supermicro, they made a startling discovery: “Nested on the servers’ motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn’t part of the boards’ original design. Amazon reported the discovery to U.S. authorities, sending a shudder through the intelligence community. Elemental’s servers could be found in Department of Defense data centers, the CIA’s drone operations, and the onboard networks of Navy warships. And Elemental was just one of hundreds of Supermicro customers.”

Germany demands that Russia halt campaign of cyberattacks
 

mikenova shared this story from Yaron Steinbuch – New York Post.

Germany on Friday joined other Western countries in blaming Russia for engaging in a global campaign of cyber attacks against political institutions, businesses, media outlets and sports organizations.

“We have full confidence in the assessment of the British and Dutch authorities. The (German) government is also almost certain that the Russian GRU secret service is behind the APT28 campaign,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

Advanced Persistent Threat 28 is another name used to describe the Sofacy or Fancy Bear hacking group.

Seibert said Germany believes successful attacks “could directly threaten free society, public safety and in principle our democracy” — and urged Moscow “to meet its responsibilities and cease such actions.”

Russia denies any involvement in the worldwide attacks.

On Thursday, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt accused Russia’s military intelligence agency GRU of carrying out various “reckless and indiscriminate” high-profile online attacks, according to Agence France-Presse.

Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre has “high confidence” that the GRU “almost certainly” targeted the US Democratic Party ahead of the 2016 presidential election, as well as last year’s attempted hacking of the World Anti-Doping Agency in Switzerland official said.

“This pattern of behavior demonstrates (the GRU’s) desire to operate without regard to international law or established norms and to do so with a feeling of impunity and without consequences,” Hunt said.

“Our message is clear: together with our allies, we will expose and respond to the GRU’s attempts to undermine international stability.”

In addition to APT28, Britain said the GRU was associated with several other hackers, including Pawnstorm, Sednit, CyberCaliphate, Cyber Berkut and Voodoo Bear, Reuters reported.

Australia joined Britain in its accusations, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Marise Payne calling Russian online meddling “unacceptable.”

The Kremlin rejected the accusations that Russian spies were behind the cyber attacks.

“It’s some kind of a diabolical perfume cocktail (of allegations),” Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters, TASS reported.

The latest allegations came a day after seven GRU officers were charged with carrying out an international hacking campaign on agencies and organizations that were investigating the country’s athlete doping program and the poisoning of a former KGB agent in Britain.

According to an indictment filed in Pennsylvania, the suspects conducted the cyber-attacks from 2014 through May using malware, spearfishing techniques and other high-tech weapons to steal information that was then circulated online.

Three of the seven had been indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors for hacking into the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election.

With Post wires

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Germany warns Russia over cyberattacks | News | DW
 

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The German government on Friday called on Russia to desist from carrying out cyberattacks in other countries, adding its voice to those of Britain and the Netherlands.


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9:39 AM 7/27/2018 – M.N.: And where are Germany, Israel, and “others”, which are also the major Cyber Powers?

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M.N.: And where are Germany, Israel, and “others”, which are also the major Cyber Powers?

“China, Russia, and Iran stand out as three
of the most capable and active cyber actors tied to economic espionage and the potential theft of
U.S. trade secrets and proprietary information.

Countries with closer ties to the United States have
also conducted cyber espionage to obtain U.S. technology.” 

Germany Cyber Capabilities – GS

Germany prepares for cyber war – NEW SECURITY LEARNING

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Defending Germany’s infrastructure from direct cyber attacks has become routine … Next to the threat of terrorism and the advancing capabilities of some rogue …

Germany: Iran, Russia, China have identical cyber capabilities – Israel …

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3 days ago – Germany’s BfV intelligence agency on Tuesday warned of Iran’s cyber capabilities, Reuters reported. According to a report released by BfV and German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, Iran’s cyber capabilities are equal to those of Russia and China.

[PDF]Cyber Security Strategy for Germany – CIO Bund – Bund.de

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Cyber attacks are launched both from Germany and abroad. Given the … by measures taken by the Bundeswehr1 to protect its capabilities and measures.

German spy agency says Iran’s growing cyber capabilities pose …

english.alarabiya.net/…/German-spy-agency-says-Iran-s-growing-cyber-capabilities-p…

 

3 days ago – Iran has expanded its cyber attack capabilities and poses a danger to German companies and research institutions, Germany’s BfV domestic …

Germany’s Cyber Strategy—Government and Military Preparations for …

www.inss.org.il › Publications › Cyber, Intelligence, and Security

 

May 16, 2018 – … German security concept, causing the German government to seek to increase itscyber independence and to establish offensive capabilities …

Cyber and Information Space Command (Germany) – Wikipedia

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The Cyber and Information Domain Service Headquarters (Kdo CIR) is the youngest branch ofGermany‘s military the Bundeswehr. The decision to form new a …

Missing: capabilities ‎| ‎Must include: ‎capabilities

The Release of the Cyber Readiness Index Country Profile – Germany …

www.potomacinstitute.org/…/2233-announcing-the-release-of-the-cyber-readiness-ind…

 

This report provides an extensive analysis of Germany’s cyber security-related efforts and capabilities, and follows similar reports of other G7 countries …

Germany Intelligence Wants to Hack Back | CyberDB

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German intelligence officials approached lawmakers and argued for greater legal … capabilities that would be leveraged against German cyber targets or extract …

Iran’s cyber capabilities pose danger: Intelligence report | Arab News

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3 days ago – BERLIN: Iran has expanded its cyberattack capabilities and poses a danger to Germancompanies and research institutions, Germany’s BfV …

Iran’s growing cyber capabilities pose danger -German spy agency …

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3 days ago – Global Edition | Iran has expanded its cyber attack capabilities and poses a danger toGerman companies and research institutions, Germany’s …

Eye on Iran: German Spy Agency Says Iran’s Growing Cyber …

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Iran has expanded its cyber attack capabilities and poses a danger to German companies and research institutions, Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency …

[PDF]cyber threats – FireEye

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The dramatically changing cyber threat landscape in Europe. 5 … in France, Germany and the Netherlands in 2017. Second, while this dynamic … In late 2014, the German Federal Office for …. within Europe may lack the capabilities needed to.

Cyber Power – An Emerging Factor in National and International …

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They confess that the internet is “terra incognita for all of us”—as German Chancellor Angela … Cyberpower is a society’s organized capability to leverage digital …

When is a cyber attack an act of war? – The Security Times

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However, if Germany becomes the target of a cyber attack, things would look a … it would first have to expand its cyber capabilities in terms of counterespionage.

We’ll fight them on the internet: Germany’s first cyber general

https://www.irishtimes.com/…/we-ll-fight-them-on-the-internet-germany-s-first-cyber-…

 

Apr 8, 2017 – Germany has appointed its first cyber general to combat the threat of … of the wedge, with a defensive capability soon turning into an offensive …

__________________________________
Just Security

The Early Edition: July 27, 2018

“Foreign intelligence services — and threat actors working on their behalf — continue to represent the most persistent and pervasive cyber intelligence threat,” according to a report by the National Counterintelligence and Security Center released yesterday, which identifies China, Russia and Iran as “three of the most capable and active cyber actors.” Morgan Chalfant reports at the Hill.

II. Threats from Foreign Countries
Foreign intelligence services—and threat actors working on their behalf—continue to represent the
most persistent and pervasive cyber intelligence threat. China, Russia, and Iran stand out as three
of the most capable and active cyber actors tied to economic espionage and the potential theft of
U.S. trade secrets and proprietary information. Countries with closer ties to the United States have
also conducted cyber espionage to obtain U.S. technology. Despite advances in cybersecurity, cyber
espionage continues to offer threat actors a relatively low-cost, high-yield avenue of approach to a
wide spectrum of intellectual property.
We anticipate that China, Russia, and Iran will remain aggressive and capable collectors of sensitive
U.S. economic information and technologies, particularly in cyberspace. All will almost certainly
continue to deploy significant resources and a wide array of tactics to acquire intellectual property
and proprietary information.
Countries with closer ties to the United States have conducted cyber espionage and other forms of
intelligence collection to obtain U.S. technology, intellectual property, trade secrets, and proprietary
information. U.S. allies or partners often take advantage of the access they enjoy to collect sensitive
military and civilian technologies and to acquire know-how in priority sectors

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Cyber warfare: the dawn of a new era for which we are thoroughly ill …

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Cyber warfare: the dawn of a new era for which we are thoroughly ill-prepared … in the UK’s Brexit referendum and seeking to impact elections in France, Germany, … Further, such capabilities will have to be consistent with international norms …
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In cyberGermany needs to counter-attack, minister says

ReutersJul 24, 2018
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany is considering laws that would let it respond actively to foreign cyber-attacks, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer as …
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The world’s top cyber powers

Cyber attacks have started causing disruption and confusion in day to day activities across the world, from the WannaCry attack this May, which hit hospitals and swept through hundreds of countries, to the 2015 hack that shut down Ukraine’s power grid.

So what countries should we be most wary of in the cyber realm, and what kinds of attacks does each of these top hacking countries tend to launch?

U.S. — THE SUPERPOWER HACKER

  • Stacking it up: Capabilities “surpass anything known in terms of complexity and sophistication of techniques,” the WSJ writes. Goals appear to include surveillance or destruction to tip the scales towards U.S. interests.
  • One hack to know: Stuxnet, a computer worm that the U.S. allegedly jointly launched with Israel in 2010 to derail an Iranian nuclear facility. Read more via the NYT.
  • Cyber capabilities in the government: The WannaCry attack that spread to hundreds of countries this May actually originated from a leak or theft via the U.S. National Security Agency (to be clear, the NSA didn’t perpetrate the attack). The leader of NSA, Adm. Michael Rogers, is also the leader of the Pentagon’s cyber ops arm, Cyber Command, which last December was made into it’s its own cyber fighting unit. Rogers has told lawmakers he wants to build out “offensive cyber capabilities.”

U.K. — THE WATCHFUL HACKER

  • Stacking it up: The U.K. is known as host to “one of the world’s pre-eminent eavesdropping agencies,” known as GCHQ Reuters writes.
  • One hack to know: British spies allegedly hacked into the world’s largest sim card manufacturer, Gemalto, along with American NSA spies in 2012 to monitor voice calls and data-use for billions of cell phones around the world.
  • Cyber capabilities in the government: The British government has acknowledged British spies are developing cyber offensive capabilities in GCHQ and the Ministry of Defence as part of the National Offensive Cyber Programme. Read more on that via Wired.

RUSSIA — THE POLITICAL HACKER

  • Stacking it up: Russia appears to hack for political reasons; to help or harm political candidates, to prop up Russian interests, or to more generally sow doubt around the world in democratic governance. These objectives were seen in the 2016 DNC hack, and the use of bots to spread fake news.
  • Another hack to know: An unprecedented 2015 attack linked to Russia shut down electricity for about a quarter-million Ukrainians. Experts are saying Russia may be using Ukraine as a testing ground for other, devastating attacks yet to come.
  • Cyber capabilities in the government: The Russian government has acknowledged it has “information troops” that use cyber means to spread propaganda.

CHINA — THE ECONOMIC HACKER

  • Stacking it up: China is known for its industrial espionage efforts, and has allegedly been stealing intellectual property for years.
  • Two hacks to know: 1. The Chinese military allegedly stole F-35 fighter jet plans from the U.S., which some say allowed Beijing to create the J-31 fighter jet. China denies this. 2. The hack into the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which has been blamed on China, saw the records of up to 21.5 million U.S. government employees and consultants dating back 50 years stolen.
  • Cyber capabilities in the government: Beijing has admitted it has explicit units in its government dedicated to “cybercrime”, per The Daily Beast. The government also has “specialized military network warfare forces” to handle both attacks and defense. In 2014 a federal grand jury indicted five people from PLA Unit 61398, China’s allegedly 100,000-strong military cyber espionage division, for stealing trade secrets from U.S. companies.

THE ISRAEL-IRAN MATCH — THE GEOPOLITICAL HACKING MATCHUP

  • Stacking it up: Israel is “among world’s most advanced” cyberspying agencies, per the WSJ. Iran is most well known for attacks it allegedly launches in response to perceived geopolitical threats. Read more via the Chicago Tribune.
  • Top hacks to know: Israel allegedly launched the 2010 Stuxnet hack along with the U.S. to derail an Iranian nuclear facility (read above). Just last year, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted hackers with links to the Iranian government for attacking U.S. banks and a dam in New York.
  • Cyber capabilities in the government: Unit 8200 of the Israeli Defense Forces is often equated to the NSA, with objectives including signals intelligence, offensive cyber strategy, cybersecurity, and encryption, per the Miami Herald and which has thousands of personnel, per Forbes estimates. In 2015 the government announced a new defensive cyber unit to work alongside the government’s National Cyber Bureau. Iran’s Cyber Defense Command has a defensive mission, per The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) , which assesses that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard plays an offensive role.

NORTH KOREA — THE BANK HEIST HACKER

  • Stacking it up: North Korea is known for conducting financial cyber espionage and is estimated to make 10-15% of its foreign exchange earnings from cyber efforts, per the Peterson Institute of International Economics. A defector from North Korea’s suspected hacking branch of the government said the unit is intended to act as a demonstration of North Korean capacity.
  • One hack to know: The WannaCry ransomware attack that stemmed from the NSA cyber arsenal is suspected to have been launched via Lazarus Group, an APT group suspected of having links with North Korea. That group was suspected of launching an attack on Sony before the release of “The Interview,” which showed Kim Jong-un being assassinated. The group also allegedly tried to pull off a bank heist via the central bank of Bangladesh.
  • Cyber capabilities in the government: North Korea has about 6,000 in its alleged government hacking group, Bureau 121, which is believed to operate out of China, per the BBC, and 10-20% of North Korea’s military budget is estimated to funnel to online operations.

NON-STATE ACTORS AND UNATTRIBUTED HACKS:

Two closing notes:

  • It can be difficult to see a clear line between where a state begins and where a state ends when it comes to cyber hacks, since sometimes hackers will do the bidding of governments while leaving s room for plausible deniability.
  • Little is known publicly about the majority of countries’ cyber capabilities save for their suspected hacks that have actually been launched — that’s because those capabilities are typically top secret. Once a cyber tool is let loose, the perpetrator loses its strategic advantage because those targeted by it can then uncover the code.
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Congress Urges Cyber Ops Against Russia, Others

Secrecy News (blog)21 hours ago
Congress Urges Cyber Ops Against Russia, Others … all cyber attacks or other malicious cyber activities of foreign powers that target United …

The Law of Military Cyber Operations and the New NDAA

Lawfare (blog)19 hours ago
Cyber-related oversight statutes are being moved around within Title 10 … into Title 10 under Chapter 3 (“General Powers and Functions”).

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Singapore health authority hit by massive cyber attack

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The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore and the Integrated Health … A cyber security tsar was appointed with wide-ranging powers to seize …

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Top State Department cyber official ‘optimistic’ of UN deal with Russia …

CyberScoopJul 10, 2018
Top State Department cyber official ‘optimistic’ of U.N. deal with Russia, … precedent for a new agreement involving the three cyber powers.

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No matter what Trump says, Russia is unique in trying to hack other …

Washington PostJul 17, 2018
That’s a different strategic approach from that of other leading cyber powers. Our research shows that nations such as the United States and …
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How Silicon Valley Became a Den of Spies

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Russian officials to meet suspected spy jailed in US

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Russian officials to meet suspected spy jailed in US … Emeshin said that Butina was considering a job in Silicon Valley after graduation, and …

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Madame Dreyfus And Madame Zola | The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com | Saul Jay Singer | 14 Av 5778 – July 25, 2018
 

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The Dreyfus Affair became a metaphor for anti-Semitism. In fact, in one of the most unlikely and ironic sequences of events in Jewish history, Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935), a wholly assimilated Jew, played a critical, if unintended, role in the rebirth of the State of Israel.

After French Intelligence had intercepted a secret military document sent to the German military attaché (1894), Eduard Drumont, founder of the anti-Semitic daily La Libre Parole, published a report accusing Dreyfus, the only Jewish member of the French General Staff, of spying for Germany.

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Major Joseph Henry forged documents implicating Dreyfus and, after a secret trial, Dreyfus was convicted of treason on December 21, 1894 and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island. He was paraded through the streets of Paris to mob jeers of “Death to the Jews,” and was stripped of his sword in a humiliating public ceremony.

Intelligence agents later seized a letter written by Major Ferdinand Esterhazy which clearly established that Esterhazy – not Dreyfus – was the German agent, but the French government quashed this evidence and Esterhazy was acquitted.

On January 13, 1898, Émile Zola (1840-1902), perhaps the most famous 19th century French author, published the most legendary open letter in history, his famous J’Accuse. In it, he accused both the government and the military with conspiracy and malicious libel against Dreyfus. (Zola later escaped to England after being convicted of libel for writing J’Accuse.) Anti-Semitic riots broke out throughout France and the Dreyfus Affair became a major public issue.

In 1898, the case was reopened and Henry’s forgeries were detected; nevertheless, Dreyfus was again found guilty on September 9, 1899 and sentenced to five years in prison. This second miscarriage of justice evoked international condemnation and, finally, in 1906, Dreyfus was pardoned by President Émile Lubet.

The Dreyfus Affair made a powerful impact on the outlook of world Jewry. In particular, Herzl’s confidence in liberalism, badly shaken when he personally witnessed Dreyfus’ disgrace, led him to originate the Zionist idea. Jews everywhere realized that if such hatred of Jews could occur in France, the so-called “homeland of liberty,” against a wholly assimilated Jew, then Jews couldn’t be safe anywhere, and assimilation provided no defense against anti-Semitism.

Alexandrine Zola and the Apparent Murder of Émile Zola

In this July 29, 1898 correspondence, Émile Zola’s wife, Alexandrine, writes:

Thank you, sir, for sending me The Innocence of Dreyfus. When my husband returns, rest assured I will give it to him. The address of Madame Dreyfus is 53 Rue de Chateaudure. By the way, I think that she will be as touched as I was by your message. Thank you again, with my best regards.

Alexandrine Gabrielle Meley (1839-1925) was born out of wedlock and had a dubious past; she’d given birth to a daughter at age 17, but was forced through poverty to abandon the child. Only when she married Émile in 1870 did she become the respectable Madame Zola. They searched together for Alexandrine’s daughter, only to discover that, sadly, she had died only a few months after birth.

Alexandrine was always Zola’s strongest supporter, and he valued the stability that she provided for him. After his reputation was established, the couple purchased a new home in Medan, which was much beloved by Émile, and Alexandrine relished her role as hostess at Chez Medan.

On the cold evening of September 28, 1902, Émile and Alexandrine returned to their house on the rue de Bruxelles, where they lit a smokeless coal fire in their bedroom for the night and, as per their regular practice, locked the door and slept with the window shut. Unaware that they were being slowly incapacitated by carbon monoxide fumes, they awoke feeling sick at 3 a.m. but Émile, in what proved to be a fatal decision, prevented Alexandrine from waking the servants for what he believed to be merely an attack of indigestion.

When Émile struggled to rise to open a window, he fell to the floor and Alexandrine, immobilized on the bed from the effects of the gas, was unable to help him. They were not found until the next morning. Émile, in a coma, lived for only a few hours, but Alexandrine miraculously survived.

Dreyfus was one of some 50,000 attendees at Zola’s funeral in the Montmartre Cemetery. He remained deeply grateful to Zola and apparently never forgot his benefactor. In the poignant message on his personal calling card exhibited here – one of the best Dreyfus letters that I have ever seen – he writes to Alexandrine on the 7th anniversary of the publication of J’Accuse:

The date of the 13 January cannot pass without me sending you my tribute and profound gratitude for the courage which was shown by our dear deceased [Zola], on this date launching his eternal J’Accuse.

Zola had earned almost limitless hatred from his frenzied enemies, including the everlasting enmity of high French government officials, and many people suspected that he had been murdered for having the temerity to defend Dreyfus and to attack the French authorities for their handling of the Affair. An inquest into his death determined that there was little sign of carbon monoxide fumes, and that guinea pigs shut in the room had survived unharmed. The coroner, while refusing to make the experts’ reports public, attributed Zola’s death to “natural causes.”

In 1927, an anti-Dreyfus stove-fitting contractor admitted that he and his men had deliberately blocked the chimney at Zola’s house, and had snuck back early the next day to quietly unblock it – a still controversial claim that has been accepted by some of Zola’s biographers and rejected by others.

Lucie Dreyfus and Alfred’s Poor Health

On the calling card displayed here, Mrs. Alfred (Lucie) Dreyfus writes: “In answer to your letter, my husband’s health is satisfactory.”

Notwithstanding her positive spin on her husband’s health, Lucie was well aware of the sub-human conditions he had endured during his prolonged imprisonment on Devil’s Island in French Guiana, where he was forced to live in solitary confinement in a filthy shack, with temperatures sometimes exceeding 110 degrees. Persisting in the face of very long odds, she won permission from the authorities to send food to him there to prevent his starvation.

Even when Alfred received his pardon, the French military establishment refused to recognize his innocence, and it was only after yet another grueling trial that he received a final and definitive ruling acquitting him in 1906. However, notwithstanding his eagerness to return immediately to army service, his poor health prevented him from continuing to actively serve his beloved Republic, and he was released from all military service a year later. (He nonetheless returned to the army to serve France during WWI.)

Shown here is a stark 1899 cabinet photo depicting the sharp contrast and decline in Dreyfus’ visage from before his conviction to after his release from prison, with Lucie standing between the two images.

Unlike her wholly assimilated husband, Lucie Dreyfus (1869-1945), who came from a wealthy and prominent Jewish family, observed Jewish holidays, studied Judaism, and continued her involvement in Jewish communal affairs throughout her life. She had met Alfred at a reception organized by her parents, and they were married by the Chief Rabbi of France, Zadoc Kahn (later a staunch Dreyfus supporter) at the Grand Synagogue in Paris on April 21, 1890 – only four years before the accusation that launched the notorious Affair and dramatically changed their lives.

Lucie was a devoted, even heroic, companion who maintained unwavering support for her husband throughout his ordeal and even thereafter when she never ceased defending his honor. She visited him daily in Parisian prisons; continued to provide moral support for him during his exile to Devil’s Island by writing long and detailed letters to him – in one such letter, she expressed her desire to somehow be able to join him in exile, writing “I shall not be able to live without you” – and undertook every effort to prove his innocence and secure his freedom.

Though she received broad public admiration for her unqualified support in the face of monumental adversity, she always manifested the utmost humility, maintaining that she was merely standing up for her husband and for justice. For example, in a characteristic correspondence to an admiring friend, Hélène Naville, she wrote:

Why did you praise me so much, I’m far from deserving of it. If I endured these years of suffering, it was because I owed it to my husband, to my children. I simply did my duty; if I had done otherwise, I would have been criminal.

Lucie remained intimately involved in Alfred’s defense and, even after the Affair, she and Alfred and their two children remained loyal to France. Lucie, a trained nurse, volunteered with her daughter Jeanne in the Saint-Louis Hospital during WWI.

Later, when the Germans invaded Paris, the Dreyfus family moved to southern France, then unoccupied by the Nazis, but with the adoption by Vichy France of anti-Semitic laws and the ensuing deportation of Jews, Lucie (then 73) was forced into hiding. She found shelter with retired nuns in Valence, who did not know who she was. She returned to Paris in 1944 and died a year later.

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Hurriyet: PKK has 14500 members in Germany

Focus NewsJul 26, 2018
… 14,000 in the previous year, domestic intelligence agency BfV said in its annual report. … The group raised more than 14 million euros in Germany and 25 million … Turkish security forces killed seven members of the PKK in the southeastern …

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Madame Dreyfus And Madame Zola

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After French Intelligence had intercepted a secret military document sent to the … clearly established that Esterhazy – not Dreyfus – was the German agent, but …

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Germany Establishes New Defense Research Agency

i-HLS – Israel Homeland SecurityJul 23, 2018
Germany wants to establish an agency like the American DARPA. … unknown about the German military’sapproach to artificial intelligence, famously dubbed by …

Story image for german military intelligence from The Jerusalem Post

Exclusive: German intelligence contradicts Merkel on Iran’s nuclear drive

The Jerusalem PostJul 21, 2018
German intelligence report from the city-state of Hamburg said Iran’s regime is …. in which Germantechnology and equipment can be used for military and …

Story image for german military intelligence from We Are The Mighty (blog)

Thousands more died in the Nazi blitz due to ignored spy reports

We Are The Mighty (blog)Jul 20, 2018
He served in World War I with the German military but fell in love with … flare up into World War II grew, Sorge was a member of the Soviet intelligence as well as …
federal intelligence service germany – Google Search
 

mikenova shared this story from federal intelligence service germany – Google News.

Story image for federal intelligence service germany from The Jerusalem Post

Report: Iran using German companies to finance war in Yemen

The Jerusalem Post10 hours ago
Germany is widely considered the least cooperative of European allies in confronting Iran’s bellicose activities, according to two sources familiar with …

Story image for federal intelligence service germany from Big Think (blog)

KGB vs. the world – the violent history of Soviet spycraft

Big Think (blog)13 hours ago
It also engaged in gathering foreign intelligence, investigations, and counter-intelligence. Despite its reach into civilian life, the KGB was considered a military service … at an anti-Communist meeting in Frankfurt, Germany in September 1957.

Story image for federal intelligence service germany from Daily Sabah

Number of PKK sympathizers increases to 14500 in Germany

Daily Sabah14 hours ago
The number of PKK sympathizers in Germany has increased since last year, the country’s domestic intelligence agency revealed in its recent research. According to the 2017 report of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) …

Rise of the Reichsbuerger: Sharp increase in number of extremists …

Brinkwire (press release)21 hours ago
The number of extremists who reject the legitimacy of the German … than 50 per cent in the space of a year, the country’s domestic intelligence agency said. … with officials and police and many refuse to pay taxes to the federal government.
federal intelligence service germany – Google Search
 

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Story image for federal intelligence service germany from The Independent

Himmler’s daughter worked for Germany’s foreign intelligence agency …

The IndependentJun 29, 2018
Her work for the German intelligence service has been revealed by the German newspaper Bild, at the same time that it reported that Ms …

Story image for federal intelligence service germany from RT

RT

Far-right German ‘Reichsbuerger’ numbers surge: intelligence agency

ReutersJul 24, 2018
The number of Reichsbuerger – “Reich Citizens” – movement adherents, who say the modern-day Federal Republic of Germany is illegitimate, …
Germany: Sharp rise in number of anti-government extremists
<a href=”http://Tampabay.com” rel=”nofollow”>Tampabay.com</a>Jul 24, 2018

Story image for federal intelligence service germany from The Jerusalem Post

Report: Iran using German companies to finance war in Yemen

The Jerusalem Post10 hours ago
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps employed German companies to disguise … Iranian operation, met with their German counterparts at the Federal Ministry of … The Jerusalem Post reviewed intelligence agency reports from …

Story image for federal intelligence service germany from Daily Sabah

German domestic intelligence spies on Turkish NGO

Daily SabahJul 25, 2018
The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, considers the Union of European …
This is not your grandfather’s KGB – The Washington Post
 

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Совещание с постоянными членами Совета Безопасности • Президент России
 

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  • Совещание с постоянными членами Совета Безопасности.
  • На совещании с постоянными членами Совета Безопасности.
  • На совещании с постоянными членами Совета Безопасности.
  • На совещании с постоянными членами Совета Безопасности.
The Mad Monarchist: The House of Habsburg and the Jews
 

mikenova shared this story from The Mad Monarchist.

Emperor Franz Joseph elevated many Jews to the nobility and gave them special considerations in the army. In the last conflict of the Habsburg drama, the Imperial and Royal Army included Protestants, Jews and Muslims which would likely have shocked previous generations. Rabbis and Imams served alongside priests in the chaplaincy. These policies were continued by Emperor Charles (Kaiser Karl) though he had little time to establish the same sort of relationship with his various peoples that his uncle had over so many years. According to Scottish author Gerald Warner, in Austria at least (likely not Hungary) the Jews were very supportive of the restoration of Emperor Charles and his son and would-be successor Archduke Otto is credited with helping a great many Jews escape Austria after its annexation by National Socialist Germany. This is rather remarkable given that all three of the founders of the Austrian Communist Party were Jews as was the leader of the short-lived communist takeover of Hungary Bela Kun. However, neither Emperor Charles or Archduke Otto in his long life ever relented in their friendly attitude toward the Jews or showed any regret over the policies of the last Habsburg monarchs in this regard (or any other really).

Rabbi praying over Emperor Charles & Empress Zita

No doubt this attitude contributed to the visceral hatred Adolf Hitler had toward the House of Habsburg whom he regarded as altogether too pandering towards Jews, Slavs and others rather than the German-Austrians. The problem that usually arises with this issue is that so many who focus on it tend to have a very simplistic attitude and firmly set preconceived notions one way or the other, pro- or anti-Semitic. History, as is usually the case, is more complicated than that. Some Habsburg monarchs were very indulgent with the Jews, some very clearly found them objectionable. However, on the whole, Jews fared better under the Habsburgs than in most other parts of Europe, the decentralized nature of the empire being very beneficial for them. When the King of England or King of France expelled the Jews, they were expelled from the country entirely. Under the Habsburgs, however, even when an emperor did expel them, they could only be expelled from lands directly belonging to the Habsburg dynasty and not from the whole empire over which the emperor had no control. Some did try to change this but none were successful. So, after starting out quite hostile to each other, the Jews and the Habsburgs ended on quite friendly ground with even the end of the empire not changing the attitude of the Habsburg dynasts in that regard.

Habsburg Law – Google Search
 

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