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Acting SecDef Shanahan on the Mueller report: US has ‘tremendous capability’ to counter Russian hackers
The Russians are not the only game in town when it comes to cyberwarfare, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Thursday amid revelations in the Mueller report about how Russian intelligence officers interfered with the 2016 presidential election.
Released on Thursday, a redacted copy of the report details how the GRU – Russian military intelligence – broke into government, company, and personal computers to steal a treasure trove of information that was used to smear Hillary Clinton.
But the U.S. government is not helpless against Russian hackers, said Shanahan, who has not read the Mueller report.
"The Russians present a risk," Shanahan told reporters on Thursday. "My job is to manage the risk. We have tremendous capability at Cyber Command and the NSA."
The Mueller report shows how GRU units waged a campaign aimed at tilting the 2016 election in then candidate Donald Trump's favor. The Russians ultimately released hundreds of thousands of documents to Wikileaks and other organizations to interfere with the presidential election.
GRU Military Units 26165 and 74455 were involved with the hacking of the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the report says.
"Military Unit 26165 is a GRU cyber unit dedicated to targeting military, political, governmental, and non-governmental organizations outside of Russia, including in the United States," the report says. "The unit was sub-divided into departments with different specialties. One department, for example, developed, specialized malicious software ('malware'), while another department conducted large-scale spear phishing campaigns."
"Military Unit 74455 is a related GRU unit with multiple departments that engaged in cyber operations. Unit 74455 assisted in the release of documents stolen by Unit 26165, the promotion of those releases, and the publication of anti-Clinton content on social media accounts operated by the GRU. Officers from Unit 74455 separately hacked computers belonging to state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and U.S. companies that supplied software and other technology related to the administration of elections."
As early as April 16, 2016, the GRU began planning to release the stolen documents by registering the domain name "DCleaks.com," the report says. That June, the GRU used the fictitious persona "Guccifer 2.0" to release more documents.
More troubling, the GRU sent stolen information to a candidate for Congress, a blogger who covers Florida politics, and a reporter, the report says. None of those people were named in the report.
The report also notes that the GRU used the Guccifer 2.0 persona to contact a former Trump campaign member, whose name is redacted, but it does not appear that the campaign staffer was interested in the stolen information.
In July, a grand jury indicted 10 GRU officers for their role in the hacking, but Russia does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.
SEE ALSO: Erik Prince's Secret Seychelles Trip Was Actually An Embarrassing Failure, According To The Mueller Report
WATCH NEXT: Russia Indicts Marine Veteran Paul Whelan On Spying Charges
Former Marine Commandant tells Trump that pardoning troops accused of war crimes 'relinquishes the moral high ground'
Former Marine Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak has issued a statement urging President Donald Trump and members of Congress to oppose pardons for those accused or convicted of war crimes since, he argued, it would "relinquish the United States' moral high ground."
"If President Trump follows through on reports that he will mark Memorial Day by pardoning individuals accused or convicted of war crimes, he will betray these ideals and undermine decades of precedent in American military justice that has contributed to making our country's fighting forces the envy of the world," said Krulak, who served in the Marine Corps for more than three decades before retiring in 1999 as the 31st Commandant.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Associated Materials. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Associated Materials Incorporated is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.
Associated Materials, a residential and commercial siding and window manufacturer based in Ohio, employs people from a variety of backgrounds. The company gives them an opportunity to work hard and grow within the organization. For Tim Betsinger, Elizabeth Dennis, and Tanika Carroll, all military veterans with wide-ranging experience, Associated Materials has provided a work environment similar to the military and a company culture that feels more like family than work.
President Donald Trump will nominate Barbara Barrett to serve as the next Air Force secretary, the president announced on Tuesday.
"I am pleased to announce my nomination of Barbara Barrett of Arizona, and former Chairman of the Aerospace Corporation, to be the next Secretary of the Air Force," Trump tweeted. "She will be an outstanding Secretary! #FlyFightWin"
The Trump administration is trying to assure Congress that it does not want to start a war with Iran, but some lawmakers who fought in Iraq are not so sure.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford both briefed Congress on Tuesday about Iran. Shanahan told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the U.S. military buildup in the region has stopped Iran and its proxies from attacking U.S. forces, but the crisis is not yet over.
"We've put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans," Shanahan said. "That doesn't mean that the threats that we've previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would be met with "great force" if it attacked U.S. interests in the Middle East, and government sources said Washington strongly suspects Shi'ite militias with ties to Tehran were behind a rocket attack in Baghdad's Green Zone.
"I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything," Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Monday evening for an event in Pennsylvania. "If they do something, it will be met with great force but we have no indication that they will."