cyber chief admits conducting operations against Russia in Ukraine


US Cyber ​​Command specialists were deployed to Ukraine and conducted offensive operations against Russia, Commander and NSA Director General Paul Nakasone said Wednesday.

In an exclusive interview with Sky News on the sidelines of a cyber conference in Estonia, Nakasone also revealed that US eavesdroppers are waging an information war, with the help of corporate media such as CNN.

Nakasone, a four-star general, heads both the Cyber ​​Command and the National Security Agency from Fort Meade, Maryland. He was in Tallinn, Estonia on Wednesday for CyCon – the 14th international conference on cyber conflict organized by NATO.

In the interview with Sky, the general said that US cyber specialists have been deployed in 16 overseas countries at the invitation of their allied governments to “chasing forward”: Locate foreign hackers and identify the tools they use.

“We went hunting with them in December 2021 at the invitation of the Kiev government. We stayed there for a period of almost 90 days,” said Nakason. This team left Ukraine in February, along with all other US troops, prior to the Russian invasion.

Nakasone also confirmed — for the first time, according to Sky — that the US was conducting offensive hacking operations in support of Ukraine.

We have performed a range of operations across the full spectrum; offensive, defensive, [and] information operations.

According to the general, the difference between Russian and American information warfare is that Moscow is lying while Washington is telling the truth. As an example, he cited a 2020 case of: “troll farms” he said that Russia was developing in Africa. The NSA and Cyber ​​Command responded by informing the FBI — but also CNN, which foresaw “a flashlight that suddenly exposes this kind of malicious behavior.”

In December 2020, Facebook announced a purge of accounts — reportedly both Russian and French — suspected of “coordinated inauthentic behavior”, in Central and North Africa.

Nakasone said the NSA and CYBERCOM developed this “strategic disclosure” since 2018, when he took charge of both. As other examples, he said the NSA also released information about what? “the Russians tried to do in our midterm elections” both in 2018 and in 2020. Moscow has denied any interference in the US election, electronic or otherwise.

“The ability for us to share that information, to be able to make sure it’s accurate, timely, and doable on a larger scale has been very, very powerful in this crisis,” he said.

US intelligence officials admitted to NBC News in April that they leaked information to the media about the conflict in Ukraine that either: “not rock solid” or was made up outright on multiple occasions, to win a “information war” against Russia. The wrong information was part of an attempt to “Undermining Moscow’s propaganda and preventing Russia from defining how the war is perceived in the world,” they said.

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