Pax Mafioso: The geopolitical side to REvil’s ransom attack on Australian insurer Medibank

The ransom attack on Medibank involving the personal information of nearly 10 million Australians has exposed another front in the geopolitical confrontation between Russia and the world.

The criminal gang REvil’s hacking, ransom and release of personal details of Medibank’s customers serves a secondary strategic goal of the Kremlin by “punishing” businesses in Western allies.

Story here:

AUKUS docs: the willful confusion

Generalized submarine

Some contemporary readings on AUKUS, in which points are made that appear intended to muddy the conversation about nuclear powered subs in Australia.

China’s letter to the IAEA dated 12 September 2022

DFAT 21 September 2022

“The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China’s statement on nuclear-powered submarine cooperation under AUKUS, issued on 20 September, contains numerous misleading and incorrect assertions.

“We reaffirm our commitment that Australia will not acquire nuclear weapons.”

Full statement here.

A further set of comments here from October 14.

An earlier article September 19.

The US tech world and Russia

Elon Musk (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Given the interest in Elon Musk’s flirtation with the Kremlin view on Ukraine, the topic of the Western tech world’s openness to Kremlin narratives has emerged again. I’ve gotten a small spike of interest in a presentation I made at SXSW in 2018. So I’ll share it here again in a downloadable form. If I did the same presentation today, I’d have much to add – including about Elon Musk.

US declassifies and releases more intel to ‘expose Russia’s strategy’

The US has released the kernel of another intelligence assessment that describes the Kremlin’s global malign influence machine. Following the liberal tradition, it produces facts, allowing the public the make up its mind. This is in contrast to the authoritarian model that relies more on producing narrative. Democracies argue in facts. Authoritarians play with meanings. The voice in the podcast is from the State Department’s Ned Price given in a press conference. What little I know about the 36 star memo is here.