DailySA: Crowdfunding breach by hacker associated with FBI, RCMP – Forward Observer

DailySA: Crowdfunding breach by hacker associated with FBI, RCMP

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Wednesday, 16 February 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • Crowdfunding breach by hacker associated with FBI, RCMP
  • Tax cut proposal to dampen rising gas prices
  • 30 Democrats to leave Congress
  • TikTok can bypass Apple & Google security
  • Hazards Warning

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  • LIC Summary/ INTSUM

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

HACKER ASSOCIATED WITH FBI AND CANADIAN INTEL HACKED GIVE.SEND.GO CROWDFUNDING SITE: A Canadian hacker who had allegedly worked for the FBI, INTERPOL, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) claimed responsibility for hacking the GiveSendGo crowdfunding site and doxxing supporters of the Freedom Convoy trucker protest in Ottawa. Aubrey Cottle, who has a history of pro-nazi and antisemitic remarks on social media and claimed to be an early founder of the hacking collective Anonymous, posted a video on TikTok claiming credit for the hack. Cottle stated that he hacked the Freedom Convoy’s crowdfunding site to “stop an insurrection,” prevent “foreign political influence,” and to “stop truckers from terrorizing cities.” The video was posted on a site that was redirected from GiveSendGo following the breach. Previously, Cottle claimed responsibility for hacking several conservative free speech sites, including Gab, and posting user and credit card data online. (Analyst Comment: Law enforcement and intelligence agencies routinely use hackers such as Cottle to conduct cyber operations against online targets. The fact that Cottle’s online TIKTOK manifesto was directly linked to the GiveSendGo hack supports his claims of responsibility. The use of doxxing to expose Freedom Convoy supporters to cancellation is a state-sponsored gray zone activity that circumvents constitutional and legal safeguards of due process. Expect more state-sponsored gray zone activity against dissident citizens in the future. – M.M.)

WHITE HOUSE LOOKS TO CUT GAS TAX DUE TO RISING PRICES: The White House stated it may scrap federal gasoline taxes to bring immediate relief from rising gas prices. This push contrasts the Administration’s long-term agenda to provide disincentives for the oil industry for electric alternatives. The pressure comes from average gas prices rising almost 50% and consumer prices rising by 7.5% since January 2021. Demand has continually risen faster than supply, and prices are currently influenced by geopolitical shifts in the Ukrainian crisis. (AC: The push to tamper down costs caused by inflation and supply disruptions by oil tax cuts is for a short-term win. The public frustration is significant enough that the Administration is willing to alter some long-term renewable energy initiatives. Rising costs in stores and the gas pump will not support the Democratic Party results in the 2022 election. Additional concerns for gas prices will be affected by a Russian invasion of Ukraine. – D.F.)

30 DEMOCRATS LEAVING CONGRESS IN 2023: Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) announced her retirement after eight years in Congress. The moderate Democrat surprised political observers as her seat is in a reliably blue district. Before she revealed the retirement, her Republican challenger in New York drew more campaign cash, indicating the seat may now be vulnerable. (AC: Moderate Democrats leaving Congress is likely to boost Republican efforts to flip seats. This new momentum, alongside record retirements, could exacerbate midterm losses by the party in power. In the remaining legislative session, this could compel Democrats to rapidly pass progressive bills with a slim majority likely to evaporate in November. Electoral Act reform, Build Back Better, and confirming Justice Breyer’s replacement remain the focus of Congress. – D.M.)

TIKTOK CAN BYPASS APPLE & GOOGLE SECURITY: Two cybersecurity research firms determined the popular TikTok app can bypass user preferences, avoid code audits, and essentially access all data on mobile devices. One developer said, “It seems to me that ByteDance has gone to monumental lengths — possibly more than Facebook, Twitter and other social networks — to conceal the inner workings of their app.” (AC: Similar to the recent revelations about Chinese-made DJI drones, security experts suspected TikTok of exploiting permissions to harvest U.S. user data. China’s unrestricted warfare model likely weaponizes this data to shape U.S. opinion, beliefs, drive social unrest, and subvert the culture. – D.M.)

HAZARDS/WX

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