The Obama Administration’s public announcement linking of a series of high profile cyber attacks against U.S. targets has raised the specter of an all out information and propaganda war to a new level. The Russian hacker group that is collectively known as Guccifer 2.0 is believed to be behind recent breaches of U.S. government agencies, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters, and several prominent politicians. The statement, issued jointly from the Director of National Intelligence and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security focuses on the recent flurry of activity surrounding evidence that election boards and commissions in the states are vulnerable to such attacks.
The Washington Post’s October 8th article documents evidence, discovered in the digital forensics investigation, of the breaches that a “Felix Dzerzhinsky” was supposedly behind some of the Guccifer 2.0 events. However, when researching this name one finds that he is a famous historical character that was a meme in Soviet times for communist zealotry. Alan Johnson’s 2014 article in World Affairs documents the role that Dzerzhinsky played:
Born in 1877, Felix Dzerzhinsky was a revolutionary who spent 11 years in czarist prisons, three of them in a hard labor camp. A Bolshevik and a murderous fanatic, Dzerzhinsky founded the Cheka, the Soviet secret police. He had a “long burning zealot’s face,” dressed in high hunting boots and simple tunic, and lived a spartan life at his headquarters in the Lubyanka, waging what he called his “fight to the finish.”
If we dig deep we can see the multiple layers of subtlety in the message to the American people. The game is on.