Russia’s Clandestine Chemical Weapons Programme and the GRU’s Unit 21955

On October 15, 2020, the European Union imposed sanctions on six senior Russian officials and a leading Russian research institute over the alleged use of a nerve agent from the Novichok family in the poisoning of opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Russia dismissed as baseless the EU’s allegations that it had not complied with its obligations, under the convention it ratified in 1997, to discontinue its chemical weapons program. Russian officials said Russia had nothing to do with Navalny’s poisoning and implied that if any party had used nerve agents on him, it would have been Western secret services. Vladimir Putin, who in 2017 had personally watched over the destruction of the last remaining Russian chemical weapons stash, ridiculed the findings of four separate laboratories, confirmed by the OPCW, that a Novichok-type organoposphate poison was identified in Alexey Navalny’s blood.

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Why More Cybersecurity Threats Since WFH?

As you may have noticed from the headlines, security incidents have increased significantly since the pandemic began. For a start, complaints to the FBI’s Cyber Division are up 400% from before the COVID-19 pandemic and come especially from small and medium-sized businesses.

Iran Behind Supposed ‘Proud Boys’ Voter-Intimidation Emails, Feds Allege

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and FBI Director Christopher Wray joined forces at a hastily announced press conference Wednesday night to issue a warning that foreign actors “have taken specific actions to influence public opinion relating to our elections.” Specifically, Ratcliffe said, actors from Iran and Russia had separately obtained “some voter registration information” and were using it “to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos, and undermine your confidence in American democracy.”

Ratcliffe was referring to an email campaign that started earlier this week, when some voters in Florida, Arizona, and Alaska started receiving threatening messages. “Vote for Trump… or we will come after you,” the emails read. “Change your party affiliation to Republican to let us know you received our message and will comply. We will know which candidate you voted for. I would take this seriously if I were you. Good luck.”