20:39 GMT07 May 2021
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    Sputnik discussed the flurry of accusations of hacking against Russia with Earl Rasmussen, executive vice president of the Eurasia Center.

    The authorities of the Netherlands and the United States have accused Russian intelligence services of alleged cyberattacks against different international organizations, including the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), anti-doping agencies and sports federations. The Russian Foreign Ministry responded by accusing Western governments of rampant "spy mania."

    Sputnik: What do you make of the flurry accusations against Russia? How much is it part of the ongoing tendency to put blame on Russia for virtually any wrongdoing?

    Earl Rasmussen: Yeah, it looks like it’s coordinated among several different nations and it’s like every. I mean some of the things tie back to four years ago for WADA there were no occurrences, that there were any types of penetration at all in their systems so it is kind of like almost like anything out there you can think of you have Russia to blame.

    Sputnik: What thought is of these accusations just put out there, no definitely, no proof just accusations and yet they do their what they have planned to do, you know, they stir things up.

    Earl Rasmussen: Yeah, just makes the situation worse, you think, from the view of political perspective. Generally, it is creating a much more dangerous situation, and you are right, there is no proof. And even if you looked at the different situations, I mean when we both have, the US probably has some of the most capable on the cyber side as well as China and Russia, probably the three countries that have some of the most capable cyber capability so we are hacking each other’s systems all the time for intelligence-type purposes. And then you have got rogue states, you have got organized crime that is involved, you know, it happens on both sides. So, I think we are creating a much more dangerous situation. I think it is an attempt by the high state Russia in a way, and people are getting tired of it. So it is just dangerous for Russia.

    Sputnik: What is your take on the array of agencies that were reportedly hacked, those that were mentioned? Anything sound plausible?

    Earl Rasmussen: Yeah, yeah, it is an interesting, and to be honest. I would if you look at what’s happening with the Porton Down, OPCW regarding the Skripal evidence, so you would think that there wouldn’t even be an attempt to do it if the UK followed international steps and guidelines and actually shared information with Russia so there would be no reason to. I would be tempted to if I was, not necessarily the government but maybe someone else that would help unearth their wrong-doing, I would be tempted to find out what is in the information they have, what are they hiding? So, I think and can understand why someone might want to hack into the system or with the … If it was all public and transparent there would be no need to even have that any type of potential, you know, attempt there. Similar with WADA what’s interesting there is that we had, which WADA said they were not broken into, but around the country  we had a whole bunch of athletes under sometimes many years of therapeutical usage exemptions for banned drugs. If I was an international, you know, competitor, I think that should be transparent too. I would like to know if my competitor is using a banned drug whether it is for therapeutical reasons or health reasons or not. So it is interesting at all these events are trying to tie into to the events and the hacks that have occurred over mostly the last two-four years. The nuclear thing’s another area too, I would be very curious on the types of fuel rods that are being supplied to Ukraine, because that could have a potentially very dangerous incident. Because our fuel rods are not designed to fit optimally in the nuclear plants in the Ukraine as well. So it is a safety issue too. I would be curious to know what was actually found in those hacks as well; whether or not somebody is behind them.

    Sputnik: And of course this comes as the United States has been voicing readiness to offer its cyberwarfare capabilities to be used on NATO’s behalf. What is your take on the timing of these accusations?

    Earl Rasmussen: Yeah, it is a very interesting coincidence if you want to put coincidence in quotes there. I think this is was all coordinated in advance. You got announced an offensive nature and offensive capabilities being shared with certain allied countries. And then the very next day you have got everyone making these allegations. And like you said earlier, there is no evidence that demonstrated this whatsoever. Was this a coincidence? I don’t think so. I think it was completely planned and probably planned for some time.

    The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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