The convergence of cyber operations and traditional espionage dominates the news as the week opens.
The Sunday Times and BBC report that Russian and Chinese services "cracked" encrypted files delivered to them by Edward Snowden, thereby gaining insight into highly sensitive UK and US intelligence operations. The story's been met with a mixture of skepticism and grim alarm. On the one hand it seems to answer the cui bono questions circulating around Snowden since he absconded with NSA files. On the other hand, how were files decrypted? Technically? Or because they were given the key, in which case why did it take so long? And why so much HUMINT in the stolen files?
German Chancellor Merkel's legislative office was apparently compromised in the recent Bundestag hack (credited to Russia).
Iran reacts with OPSEC moves to the Duqu 2.0 campaign Kaspersky revealed last week.
The US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) breach looks worse as it ages. Consensus holds that Chinese intelligence services (the apparent hackers) got away with at least a decade's worth of extremely sensitive information, including completed SF-86 security clearance records. The information contained therein could be used to recruit spies. The incident has damaged the US Government's reputation as a trustworthy information repository, especially since (the Wall Street Journal and Ars Technica report) the breach was discovered not by OPM, but by CyTech Services during a sales demo of their CyFIR forensic product.
ISIS continues its winning information campaign, displacing the increasingly stodgy and irrelevant al Qaeda.