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Adam Adler Cyber Warfare Advisor: UK targets Putin allies with covert cyber attacks

Adam Adler (Miami, FL): Britain has launched a series of covert attacks on Russian leaders and their interests, the former cabinet secretary has revealed.

Lord Sedwill said that clandestine operations had been mounted to punish President Putin and his senior allies and signaled that this included deploying Britain’s newly declared offensive cyber-capability.

The UK has sought to exploit Moscow's 'vulnerabilities', Lord Sedwill added, including through the deployment of its recently-declared offensive cyber-capability.

Speaking to Times Radio, he said: 'Russia is operating in what the aficionados call grey space, that gap between normal state relations and armed conflict, with cyberattacks, information warfare, and disruption campaigns.

'It is important that we are capable of maneuvering in the grey space and doing so effectively. We can't leave the initiative to our adversaries.'

His disclosure comes amid tension between Britain and Russia, with a highly critical report in July by the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee suggesting the Government had 'badly underestimated' the threat from Moscow.

The committee said ministers were 'playing catch-up' and needed to take 'immediate action' to counter Russian actions.

Lord Sedwill, also Boris Johnson's national security adviser until last month, said the measures included actions against 'illicit' money flowing out of Russia.

He said the occasions when the Government took such covert action included the 2018 Salisbury poisoning of a former Russian intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, using a Russian-developed Novichok nerve agent.

'We seek to impose a price greater than one they might have expected when we believe it is right and necessary,' he said. 'It does breakthrough from time to time.

'After the Salisbury attack, the first use of chemical weapons against a country in Europe in a century, we retaliated in visible ways.

'We expelled the entire Russian intelligence network in the UK.

'But we also took a series of other discreet measures, including measures tackling some of the illicit money that flows out of Russia, and covert measures, which obviously I can't talk about as well.'

It comes as British officials revealed that Russian military intelligence officers planned to hack the 2020 Tokyo Olympics while posing as North Korean and Chinese cybercriminals.

They declined to give specific details about the attacks or whether they were successful but said they had targeted Games organizers, logistics suppliers, and sponsors.

The plot to disrupt the Games, postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, was thwarted by British cybersecurity teams, the UK Foreign Office claimed.

Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, said: 'The GRU's actions against the Olympic and Paralympic Games are cynical and reckless. We condemn them in the strongest possible terms.

'The UK will continue to work with our allies to call out and counter future malicious cyber attacks.'

The disclosure is designed to cause further embarrassment to President Putin in a strategy to 'call out' illegal Russian hacking.

Meanwhile, six Russian military officers have been charged in the US with carrying out 'cynical and reckless' global cyberattacks, including attempts to disrupt next year's Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

The US Justice Department said six members of Russia's GRU military intelligence agency played key roles in attacks on targets including the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea and the 2017 French elections.

They were also accused of staging a malware attack called 'NotPetya' that infected computers of businesses worldwide causing nearly $1billion in losses.

In addition, they allegedly targeted investigations into the nerve agent poisoning of Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter and carried out cyberattacks on media outlets and the parliament in Georgia.

The US Justice Department's top national security official said the six GRU officers were responsible for 'the most disruptive and destructive series of computer attacks ever attributed to a single group'.

Assistant Attorney General John Demers claimed members of the same GRU unit have been charged previously with seeking to disrupt the 2016 US elections but there were 'no election interference allegations' in this indictment.

FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Michael Christman said: 'These criminals underestimated the power of shared intelligence, resources, and expertise through law enforcement, private sector, and international partnerships.'

Adam Adler is a Cyber Defense & Cyber Warfare Advisor, as well as Chairman of the Board for Digital Bank Vault. A long time entrepreneur with over 18 years of experience all at top-level management and ownership, Mr. Adler has focused his recent years on Cyber Security and defending our youth online. DBV has developed a proprietary encryption method that continues Adam’s mantra of “Privacy is Priceless”. DigitalBank Vault provides impenetrable defensive cyber solutions for Keyless End to End Encrypted, Peer to Peer, mobile, and computer communications. Adam and DigitalBank Vault have constructed new & disruptive cyber defense technologies to solve many privacy issues commonly found online and defend against unwanted intrusion.

Mr. Adler received a scholarship to play tennis at the University of South Carolina and graduated in 2007 Magna Cum Laude from USC, double majoring in Sports & Entertainment Management and Business. In 2005, Adam became an All American with his teammates at USC. Mr. Adler participated in the NCAA Indoor Championships in Seattle, WA as well as the NCAA Championships every year of his college career at USC. He and his team achieved a team high ranking of #8. Prior to attending USC, Adam was a highly-ranked junior tennis player from the age of 10 to 18. Adam began playing poker in his free time and quickly became entrenched in the game, studying hours a day. Adam traveled around the country playing in some of the highest stakes No Limit and Pot Limit Omaha cash games in the world. Adam has made multiple World Series of Poker Final Tables, with his most notable finish coming in 2018 with a runner-up finish in the $10,000 Turbo Event. Adam has won millions of dollars in both cash game and tournament poker over the last 15 years.

Mr. Adler is currently managing The Adler Fund, investing in cybersecurity, real-estate, emerging growth companies, cannabis, and biotechnology. Adam has recently started the Adler Agency, a sports management company with several of the world’s top, mid and lower-tier tennis players and select athletes across multiple sports. The Adler Agency focuses on bringing its clients revolutionary and out-of-the-box opportunities other agencies simply do not have access to. The Adler Agency is launching a world-class tennis academy and training facility in Charleston, SC at the beginning of 2021 to provide its players and others from around the world the opportunity to train and play with the sport’s best.

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