Computer security, whistleblowers, hacks, compromises, and leaks have arrived on these pages. Not through technical interest, but because of information that’s become available. But more preface is required.
Russia watchers aren’t sure who’s behind Anonymous International.
Are they computer genius anti-Putin “hacktivists” stealing Kremlin emails and documents, auctioning off some and publicizing others? Or are they a small, relatively liberal Kremlin faction (or just a few people) leaking information to benefit themselves politically? Take your choice of analyses (here, here, and here).
They take their noms de plume from Alice in Wonderland. Shaltay Boltay — Шалтай Болтай (Humpty Dumpty) — is the group’s voice.
The group is famous for hacking and spoofing Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev’s Twitter account, and for revealing the Kremlin’s hired trolls at work on Western web sites. But the group’s latest information is of interest here.
Anonymous International addresses the Chief of the FSB’s Military Counterintelligence Department, General Colonel Aleksandr Bezverkhniy in mock indignation over Defense Ministry emails it obtained. They reportedly came from the secretary of the former MOD Construction Department Director, Roman Filamonov.
Anonymous International calls the MOD’s information security organs “criminally negligent.” It claims it used Yandex.ru, Mail.ru, and Gmail.com to obtain “service” (FOUO) documents sometimes containing secret data on Russia’s defense capabilities. Reports on meetings with the Defense Minister and his deputies were allegedly transmitted via easily accessible open email. The group says Filamonov’s secretary put her username and password for the MOD’s official email server in her electronic files.
Anonymous International asks Bezverkhniy to address the cavalier attitude toward information security among former and current MOD officials. But everything mentioned is just an excerpt. The group says it will sell a copy of its complete four-year collection of files from Filamonov’s secretary to the FSB for half price.
B0ltai.org appended a July 2014 report detailing Spetsstroy work on seven bases for Iskander-M SRBMs, supposed to be done that month. The 7-billion-ruble contract to prepare these installations for the Iskander-M centered primarily on erecting 56 “tent-mobile shelters.”
But only 21 were completed on schedule — in Luga (26 рбр, 6А, ЗВО), Molkino (1 рбр, 49А, ЮВО), and Birobidzhan (107 рбр, 35А, ВВО). Others — in Mozdok (probably a battalion’s worth), Znamensk, and Totskoye-2 — were experiencing significant delays in design or construction. One in Shuya was not due for completion until February of this year. It’s likely four more bases will be outfitted under some future contract.
This information from Filamonov’s secretary’s email is not particularly revelatory. The missile brigades are well-known. But it’s embarrassing that only one-third of this work was finished on time, despite the priority given Iskander-M. Recall this program is supposed to be 100 percent procured by 2017. Additional money will probably be needed to bring the effort back on schedule.
Anonymous International also posted a slightly redacted report on construction, or reconstruction, of 12 Pacific Fleet submarine facilities near Vilyuchinsk to support the basing and operations of proyekt 955 Borey-class SSBNs. It vaguely outlines a three-phase plan to complete this work in 2014, 2015, and 2017.
The report refers without specifics to work on mooring areas, shore power, dredging, and 12th GU MO nuclear warhead storage buildings. In the second phase, it mentions completing a 100-ton crane, missile and weapons handling areas, storage buildings, roads, service housing, and “social infrastructure.” Finally, the report describes “full completion of the Pacific Fleet submarine base” including pier, administrative, vehicle, missile, and weapons storage areas, and roads as well as the “full development” of the energy and water supply for nearby residential areas.
The report is a year old, but depicts a base not quite ready for new fourth generation SSBNs. Apparently, Aleksandr Nevskiy (K-550) is coming anyway. Three more Boreys will follow while work at Vilyuchinsk and Rybachiy continues. As noted previously, the issue of maintaining Russia’s naval strategic nuclear force in the Pacific has been long and painful for the MOD and for the Glavk personally.