The Russia is getting more evil thread

He’ll have his pal in North Korea forward some of their quality goods.

At some point someone needs to take a view that those are acts of war.

The problem with that is then you have to do something warlike, eh? I agree that in a lot of ways cyberattacks are in equivalent to physical attacks, but we don’t have the language or the political processes in place to really parse them that way. And of course we do the same sort of thing (not “whataboutism” but a more practical point that we probably don’t want to shift too much scrutiny to our own probably less public efforts).

Wait, where are you getting your source that the US launches cyberattacks on civilian infrastructure in Russia? That would be new.

I would be pretty surprised if they weren’t. At least probing. Mind you, I can’t help think that Trump would have fallen over himself blabbering about how US hackers were the best.

I guess I just feel that all the big state actors are all trying to hack each other all the time, even their allies, covering their tracks behind shrouds of plausible deniability/proxy groups…

That’s a losing game for the USA. Russians are used to not having shit. The USA panics when they lose power.

Yeah, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. Not allowing mineshaft gaps is still the law of the land.

Not in the same way that the Russians do things, but I think it is naive to think we don’t exploit vulnerabilities across a wide spectrum of opportunities. It’s not likely to be as blunt or as specifically civilian-targeted though, more like financial and government stuff I would imagine.

Starting wars over something where it is in practice impossible - and at the very least very difficult - to establish 100% provenance sound like a really terrible idea.

Remember the Maine! The Gulf of Tonkin.

I guess even being accused of messing with our boats is a whole different category.

Remember Mohammed Atta in Prague!

From a practical perspective I imagine a state can’t just take hits though. Let’s say bad actors manage to compromise a power station, or a hospital, and there are deaths. The state is 95% sure it is Russia. Does a state just keep saying “well, I guess I can’t be 100%, so this is just going to keep happening?”, or do we get to 100% really quickly (give or take 10%).

Well, we already have experience with this. Foreign states have facilitated and been used to launch terrorist attacks against the West throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

When it comes to Russia, the fact remains that it’s difficult to launch military campaigns against someone when you know they have nukes.

I would assume that if cyberattacks become commonplace, and they do claim victims, then we’ll bring a proportionate response within that realm.

I think it’s important to establish what we’re talking about in that regard though, because the vast majority of the cyberattacks you discussed initially aren’t being conducted by the Russian government, it just doesn’t go after the people who do it.

That’s different from an operation run by a Russian military unit, which would arguably require a more forceful response.

Stuxnet has entered the chat.

I imagine this is where proxy wars are hard fought, because open warfare is not preferred. Sanctions used to be an option as well but we kind of used them all up for Ukraine.

That said, at some point one of these attacks is going to cause a lot of deaths. I’m thinking it is inevitable.

Something like a covert attempt to assassinate a Russian national using a highly dangerous nerve agent that shuts a UK city down for weeks?

New Russian recruitment methods:

Russia’s Kharkiv “offensive” is spent. The Russians apparently took heavy losses for limited gains. About the only positive result is that it may have diverted Ukrainian troops from other fronts.

It seems likely that the key to Ukrainian success is giving them enough ordnance to send down range, and the right things with which to send it. Even with sub-optimal Western support this past few months, they seem to have managed to out perform the Russians at every level.

A targeted assassination is not comparable to an attack on infrastructure (power, hospitals, bridges) that affects many people.

Closest recent comparison would be India’s assassination of a “terrorist” in Canadian soil. It is a violation of espionage norms and sovereignty but it’s a different level.