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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Levashov and Project Alamo: Spamming Democracy

Rachel Maddow introduced me to Pyotr Levashov last night. He's described as a "Russian Hacker" in his arrest reports. He was picked up in Spain this weekend at the request of the FBI. His wife, Maria, alleges he was arrested:

"in connection with allegations that Russians had hacked the US presidential election." [euronews]

He was a Spammer, a virus creator, and euronews quotes Krebs On Security that Levashov was:

“running multiple criminal operations that paid virus writers and spammers to install ‘fake antivirus’ software” under the alias “Severa.” [euronews]

The scuttlebutt is that he also was working with the FSB to recruit hackers to con people into voting for paying customers. One of those paying customers allegedly was the Trump Campaign. Back in November I blogged about Joshua Green, of Bloomberg and his tour of one of the Trump campaign's Projects [Bloomberg]. At the time I noted "ambitious digital operation" was named "Project Alamo." They were pretty explicit about what they were doing. What I didn't know was their coordination with Russian and international hackers like Levashov. Though in retrospect they weren't really doing much to hide it! [Alamo]. Krebs on Security reports:

"the Kelihos botnet does have a historic association with election meddling, noting the botnet was used during the Russian election in 2012 to send political messages to email accounts on computers with Russian Internet addresses. According to The Times, those emails linked to fake news stories saying that Mikhail D. Prokhorov, a businessman who was running for president against Vladimir V. Putin, had come out as gay." [krebs]

This also was the kind of thing that Project Alamo was trying to do. Did Pyotr help Trump's kids hack the election??? Back in October:

"Jason Miller, Jared Kushner, Reince Priebus, and Steve Bannon, have long term plans. Their goal is to do like demagogues have done throughout history, create a lynch mob of followers, and rob them blind. They call this "ambitious digital operation" is named "Project Alamo."

Amazingly it looks like they did. Will the FBI prosecute any principles, or is this damage control intended to bury the scandal?

Sources and Further Reading
euronews: http://www.euronews.com/2017/04/11/russian-hacker-arrested-in-spain
Project Alamo: http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2016/10/project-alamo-trump-builds-explicitly.html
Bloomberg Article: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-27/inside-the-trump-bunker-with-12-days-to-go
Krebs on Security Article:
https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/04/alleged-spam-king-pyotr-levashov-arrested/
We Gave the Russian's Oligarchs. Now they are giving back
http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2017/03/we-gave-russians-oligarchs-now-they-are.html"

1 comment:

  1. I think Levashov got my old cell phone briefly a few years ago. That fake antivirus scam sounds familiar. ... I had to erase and reset the thing. :-)

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