This blog post is hypothesis or speculation about issues of public interest. Please restate all content as questions.
After the death of Aaron Swartz on Friday January 11, 2013, there was a denial of service attack on MIT on Sunday January 13, 2013. This attack was supposedly by Anonymous.
This blog post however considers the possibility that Russia (or China or someone else) took advantage of Swartz’s death to do a denial of service attack on MIT to cover up something else they might have done at the same time. They pretended to be Anonymous in this scenario. They also may be deep into Anonymous anyhow.
On January 14, 2013, a lab in Russia posted a notice of the virus.
== Excerpt from their webpage:
The “Red October” Campaign – An Advanced Cyber Espionage Network Targeting Diplomatic and Government Agencies
Here’s a link to the full paper (part 1) about our Red October research. During the next days, we’ll be publishing Part 2, which contains a detailed technical analysis of all the known modules. Please stay tuned.
During the past five years, a high-level cyber-espionage campaign has successfully infiltrated computer networks at diplomatic, governmental and scientific research organizations, gathering data and intelligence from mobile devices, computer systems and network equipment.
Kaspersky Lab’s researchers have spent several months analyzing this malware, which targets specific organizations mostly in Eastern Europe, former USSR members and countries in Central Asia, but also in Western Europe and North America.
The virus has been operating for 5 years we are told, so starting in 2012 – 5 = 2007.
In 2007, Joel Brenner, then head of US counter-intelligence warned us about Russia spying in the US at cold war levels. We were told they did not want hard technical secrets but information on the networks among our elites. This can be interpreted as embarrassing information.
As discussed at this blog in fall 2012, the Russian government posted a document in December 2005 that was potentially embarrassing to a Stanford professor, Darrell Duffie who is also head of the MIS Committee of Moody’s.
(This contains links to my paper as well.)
The MIS unit of Moody’s issues sovereign ratings. They upgraded Russia in September 2012 and put the US on downgrade notice. As pointed out then, this would have the benefit (to Russia and Iran) that it would make it harder for the US to put pressure on Iran to stop its nuclear program.
Part of the point of Moody’s putting a Stanford professor as head of their MIS oversight board might be to suggest the Stanford professor is hands on to verify the methodology and work of the ratings unit.
Even if the Stanford professor was not directly pressured, the appearance of such influence would itself be of useful for Russia to tell Iran that Russia controlled Stanford and thus controlled Moody’s and thus controlled the US credit rating and thus controlled US spending and thus controlled defense cuts to the military. Right now, the deficit crisis is forcing the US military to contemplate deep cuts, which make military action against Iran seem even more unlikely.
The reason the document posted in Russia may be embarrassing to the Stanford professor is that it shows the Stanford professor citing a paper of mine and showing the Stanford professor had possession of my document. The document posted in Russia is dated from October 5, 1999. It cites a document by me from 1995.
(This was presented in 1998 at an actuarial meeting in the UK. Click through to page 2 of pdf to see its date from 1995.
A Stanford Ph.D. thesis containing material very close to or the same as the material in my 1995 document was issued in 2000 for a Chinese student at Stanford. The thesis was chaired by Darrell Duffie. That thesis contained no reference to my paper.
This thesis and papers based on it can be examined through the following search. (There is no claim of misconduct here, this is purely for comparison purposes and as a hypothesis or question for investigations such as Darrell Issa at Congress who has said he will hold hearings on the Swartz case.)
(Elizabeth Warren also met Swartz at Harvard and comments on him, again showing the importance of this story.)
Duffie then removed the reference to my paper in the published version of his book issued in 2001 that was an update to the 1996 version of his book.
My paper was an improvement over work in the 1960s by Nils Hakansson in discrete time and then afterwards by Robert C. Merton in continuous time. Hakansson’s work was distributed to the community in 1966 and in particular to MIT professor Karl Shell. We know Shell had it in 1966 from published sources at the time, because he was chair of a session to present papers at the 1966 meetings of AEA and the Econometric Society and the paper was presented then by Hakansson.
In 1969, MIT claimed to have discovered this itself. In particular, Paul Sameulson and Robert C. Merton published parallel papers claiming the discovery in discrete and continuous time. These papers did not cite Hakansson. The Ph.D. thesis of Stanley Fischer was published in the fall of 1969 that said that Fischer had not known of the Hakansson document until after doing his thesis work. Fischer cited the Samuelson paper. The Fischer thesis was chaired by Franklin Fisher of MIT.
MIT along with other universities then conducted a campaign for decades to claim credit for the Samuelson paper and to either not credit Hakansson or to do so citing a 1970 publication date for Hakansson’s paper making it appear subsequent to Samuelson’s.
There were two economic conferences in Poland in the 1970s where econ profs from the US and Europe met with Eastern bloc researchers including in this area. At that conference, Russia may have put pressure on the American econ profs using this to nominate Kantorovich of the Soviet Union for the 1975 Nobel Prize in economics. Paul Samuelson had already won as had Kenneth Arrow. They could as prior winners nominate Kantorovich for the Nobel Prize in economics. Russia wanted that desperately because they wanted to make it appear their economic system was respectable and viable, since in fact, it was not. Arrow’s sister had married Paul Samuelson’s brother and so could also be influenced. Arrow is a professor at Stanford, and Samuelson was still alive while all this was happening.
Duffie at Stanford likely was given a previous version of my paper to review anonymously by Karl Shell before 1996. That paper was rejected. However, the rejection notice indicates that Duffie was likely the reviewer. Duffie may have known of this history of the earlier work and then hoped to use that.
Around 1999, Duffie was dropped as associate editor from the Journal of Economic Theory that Shell edited and where I had submitted the paper.
After the Stanford thesis had come out in 2000, I became aware of it and then did some research into this history. It is actually even more complicated. My research involved going to econ conferences and attending sessions of those involved in this history. This was noticed by those involved.
During the 1990s, Russia got IMF loans controlled by Stanley Fischer and Larry Summers. Larry Summers is the nephew of Paul Samuelson and Kenneth Arrow.
In January 2005, Daniel Rubinfeld presented a paper on Elsevier violating antitrust laws. Elsevier is a scientific publisher that is currently being boycotted by many academics for charging high fees. Daniel Rubinfeld was the research assistant to Paul Samuelson c. 1971 after Robert C. Merton had been.
Also at MIT in 1969, was Richard Schmalensee, who got his econ Ph.D. at MIT in 1970.
While Russia was getting IMF loans from Stanley Fischer and Larry Summers in the 1990s, Daniel Rubinfeld was Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Economic Analsysis Group of the Antitrust Division of the DOJ. The expert witness for DOJ in US v. Microsoft was Franklin Fisher. For Microsoft it was Schmalensee. The special master for the case was Lawrence Lessig of Harvard, then Stanford and then back to Harvard.
Starting in 1997, the USAO Mass investigated Harvard. This became United States v Harvard, Shleifer and Hay. This lasted to August 2005 roughly when it was settled. During US v. Harvard, neither Harvard nor MIT may have been told the FBI or USAO mass about this. Shleifer was an econ prof and friend of Summers.
During the 1990s, DE Shaw and Long Term Capital Management purchased bonds of the Russian government, possibly because they thought Russia was using this history to pressure Summers and Fischer for more loans. These were about 20 billion or more dollars, which seemed like a lot at the time.
In January 2005, while the US v Harvard case was pending, Summers gave a talk at MIT to the NBER saying woman are not as good in math as men. At that time, a female prof at Harvard who was a law prof with an MIT econ Ph.D. had a large NBER grant. She is associated with Lawrence Lessig and other law and econ profs both know. She might have been thinking about going to the USAO Mass if she had heard something. Her husband also with a Ph.D. from MIT has a physics and math background.
=As a comment at The Hill, I posted the following scenario.
One scenario that makes sense to me right now is the following.
1) Harvard and MIT withheld info from USAO Mass during US v Harvard, Shleifer and Hay from 1997 to 2005. The famous Larry Summers speech at MIT NBER that women are not as good in math at MIT in 2005 was directed at a female prof at Harvard who might have come forward and had a big grant from NBER in 2005.
2) USAO Mass learned of it and reported it after case closed in 2005 to FBI who did nothing.
3) Next case that came along involving MIT and Harvard was elitist arrogant Aaron Swartz.
4) USAO put its displaced frustration onto Swartz.
5) Lessig knows the information Harvard withheld. He also knows the female prof. (There are photos of Lessig and the female prof on the Internet. She then left Harvard) He may have told Swartz he would come forward if it went to trial. This may entail some embarassment to Lessig for sitting on this info.
6) Swartz commits suicide to spare Lessig.
7) Lessig erupts at USAO Mass.
This is just speculation and a hypothesis.
Nils Hakansson is a prof at Berkeley where John Yoo is a prof and Howard Shelanski was a prof. Shelanski is now at FTC. There are antitrust profs at Berkeley, Stanford and MIT. Lessig went back and forth from Harvard to Stanford to Harvard.
John Yoo, Paul Wolfowitz, and possibly Scooter Libby may have learned of this from various sources. John Yoo from Berkeley sources. They may have passed this info to the Bush people during Bush v. Gore. Gore was represented by David Boies, who represented the US before that in US v. Microsoft. Franklin Fisher is a long time regular witness and go to guy for Boies in antitrust. Boies is now suing the US government for former AIG exec Maurice Greenberg.
During US v. Microsft, the expert witnesses on both sides and the DAAG were all at MIT in 1969 when Stanley Fischer and Paul Samuelson possibley plagiarized Nils Hakansson. In any case, in his 1989 textbook, Fischer gave credit to Samuelson alone without mentioning Hakansson or his own thesis or papers. In Ben Bernanke’s Ph.D. thesis under Fischer in the 1970s, Bernanke did the same, cited Samuelson but not Fischer or Hakansson. This book was used at MIT where Fischer had taught this material. It is Blanchard and Fischer Lectures on Macroeconomics, not to be confused with a lower level text on macro by Fischer.
Lessig may have eventually figured out this history. The expert witnesses on both sides in US v. Microsoft and the DAAG had been involved at the same time with keeping silent while Russia got IMF loans from Fischer and Summers.
In the 1990s, the House Republicans posted an attack on Larry Summers on the web, saying he was part of a Troika controlling policy to Russia. The others were Albert Gore and Strobe Talbott. House GOP document, Russia’s road to corruption,excerpt:
THE TROIKA: Since 1993, U.S.-Russia policy has been administered by Vice President Al Gore (speaking on the telephone with Russian President Boris Yeltsin, July 24, 1998 from Moscow), Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers (lower left), and Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott (lower right). President Clinton placed Gore in charge of U.S.-Russia policy in early 1993. Summers, who carried the Russian aid portfolio in the Treasury Department from the beginning of the administration, is a long-time proponent of government-to-government lending programs. Talbott was Ambassador-at-Large and Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for the New Independent States before President Clinton nominated him to become Deputy Secretary of State in December 1993. In his previous career as a journalist, Talbott had been a persistent critic of the Reagan-Bush policies of peace through strength that precipitated the collapse of the Soviet Union. Troika policy operated outside of normal channels, suffered from a lack of presidential involvement, and focused on the personal relationships of presidential subordinates. Photos from top: AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev, AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev, AP Photo/Misha Japaridze
The [IMF] money is all spent. It went to foreigners and Russian
speculators [who] took the money out of the country. To me, the huge surprise is not the appearance of such a scam in the country. But I cannot explain why the western financial institutions and the governments
didn’t pay serious attention to the presence of such things.
Dimitri Vasiliev, former Chairman of the Russian Federal Securities Commission,
as quoted in the Los Angeles Times, September 24, 1998
We conned them out of $20 billion.
Anatoly Chubais (Viktor Chernomyrdin’s top deputy), as quoted in the Los Angeles Times, September 9, 1998==
Full document is reposted here:
The audit of Paula Jones in Sep 1997 was when Larry Summers controlled the IRS reorganization and the IRS commissioner had left leading it without a leader. US v Harvard, Shleifer and Hay started in the spring of 1997. Clinton may have learned of this and made Summers audit Paula Jones. (There was theoretical legal liability for both of the uncles of Summers and even under one legal theory it could apply to Summers’ parents as go betweens to arrange Arrow to nominate Kantorovich to help cover up Samuelson’s plagiarism. Samuelson got a US government grant for his paper plagiarizing Hakansson at MIT in 1969. Other US government grants were given along the way to those going along with this.)
Lanny Breuer was part of the Clinton impeachment defense team. He is now head of the Criminal Division of DOJ. He makes the agreements not to prosecute Wall Street banks.
In 1998, Russia defaulted. They knew of the large positions accumulated in their bonds and likely knew LTCM and DE Shaw were two with large positions. The same professors at LTCM were profiting from their own misconduct they might have thought. Myron Scholes now at Stanford and Robert C. Merton then at Harvard and now back at MIT were part of LTCM. So were many other Ph.D.’s and profs from Harvard and MIT and some from University of Chicago. LTCM was clearing trades through Bear Stearns, and the Russian bonds may have been held in the name of Bear Stearns. But Russia could have found out LTCM held them. They may have defaulted in part to prove they were smarter than the profs at LTCM.
DE Shaw later hired Summers and paid him 5 million a year for one day a week consulting. This was after Summers stepped down as president of Harvard in 2006.
Apparently, none of this information was disclosed to the FBI in 2009 when Summers was rehired by the US government. Or if told, they did nothing.
Eric Holder was Deputy Attorney General under Clinton and during US v. Microsoft. He was reappointed to AG by Obama. Obama was from University of Chicago. U Chicago paid Obama’s wife 300,000 a year after Obama became a US Senator in 2006.
Information on this became available on the Internet starting in summer of 2006. Eventually, USAO Mass read it most likely and possibly asked the FBI to investigate it. Evidently, any such request didn’t go far.
Lawrence Lessig was head of an ethics unit at Harvard Law School, the one where Aaron Swartz was a fellow in 2010 to 2011. Swartz may have learned of this history from Lessig or others.
The JSTOR documents include papers that help prove the above sequence and I used it heavily to research this history. Putting all the JSTOR docs on the Internet would have helped exposed this to the public. The information already posted on the Internet starting in 2006 would have helped in using the postings of the JSTOR docs. So Lessig and Swartz might have schemed this as a way to expose this without Lessig having to come forward.
Lessig may have been embarrassed to push such a conspiracy theory especially since he doesn’t understand the math as I do and is not as direct a participant as I am. This is just a scenario.
Swartz may also have gone after JSTOR for his own reasons and then Lessig later told him he would come forward with information of the above type at trial to expose that DOJ HQ was covering this up under Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer. Swartz may have committed suicide to spare Lessig. Lessig might face questioning of why he kept this secret during US v Harvard or FBI background checks such as for Elena Kagan who was Dean of Harvard Law School during part of this.
Swartz and Lessig have a close relationship and in some scenarios, Lessig might be disgraced for having gone along with Harvard covering this up. (Or he may not know this at all. This is just a scenario.)
Once Swartz died, Lessig realized he died for him, according to this scenario and out of Lessig’s own ethical failure to bring this out while head of an ethics center at Harvard. (This is just a scenario). Feeling this guilt, Lessig lashed out at USAO Mass.
USAO Mass may also have felt frustrated over this history and over MIT and Harvard keeping this secret and DOJ HQ preventing any investigation by the FBI or USAO Mass.
Then when Aaron Swartz came along as an arrogant in your face Harvard type, USAO lost it and took out all their frustration with DOJ HQ on Swartz.
After Swartz suicided himself, then Russia saw a chance to a do a denial of service attack on MIT to cover up its tracks on what some insider working for them may have done in the MIT computer system during all of this.
When the JSTOR articles were downloaded in 2010, Russia might have been monitoring JSTOR and MIT use of it to see if people were figuring this out using JSTOR. So they might have wanted to remove their monitoring software from MIT computers during the denial of service attack. This could be done by MIT staff who work for Russia. Then on Monday for good measure they accuse others of a virus to do just that.
==Russia chose the name Red October for their virus on Monday.
The Hunt for Red October  – Submarine Crew Sings Soviet Anthem scene
Comrades, this is your captain. It is an honor to speak to you today, and I am honored to be sailing with you on the maiden voyage of our motherland’s most recent achievement. Once more, we play our dangerous game, a game of chess against our old adversary – The American Navy. For forty years, your fathers before you and your older brothers played this game and played it well. But today the game is different. We have the advantage. It reminds me of the heady days of Sputnik and Yuri Gagarin when the world trembled at the sound of our rockets. Now they will tremble again – at the sound of our silence. The order is: engage the silent drive.
Putin wanted to take the victory lap again.
Putin offers Fischer a job as reported by the BBC on June 19, 2001 on a trip to Moscow by Stanley Fischer.
“For his part, Mr Putin complimented Mr Fischer, who plans to step down from his IMF role before the end of the year. He also offered him a job. “We are always glad to see you in our country,” said Mr Putin.” If you would like to move from the IMF to Moscow, we can look at various options.””
This is Putin again rubbing it into the American noses that he is smarter than MIT, Harvard and Stanford combined.
Russia using the name Red October was meant to invoke the speech given above. Putin is acting like the mafia did when they imitated the Godfather movies.
Not surprisingly, reputed Russian gangster-tycoon Boris Berezovsky “scoffed” at the report during a Sept. 20 Council on Foreign Relations speech in New York, the Associated Press reported. According to AP, Berezovsky rejected the idea that the administration “allowed corruption to flourish,” and he “defended President Clinton and the U.S. point man on Russian policy, Vice President Al Gore.”
Boris Berezovsky has a Ph.D. in math from Moscow State University, the top math department in Russia and at times arguably in the world. Berezovsky worked in the area of math of the Stanley Fischer thesis and the Paul Samuelson paper plagiarizing Hakansson. Berezovsky thought of using this to pressure Summers and Fischer for IMF loans. Putin hates Berezovsky and wants to prove he is smarter than Berezovsky. So Putin is using the paper of Duffie’s posted in Russia in 2005 to prove how he is smarter than Berezovsky.
Putin is not going to stay put while we decide whether to investigate Stanford or MIT or Harvard. Putin will push these professors to show that he is a tough guy and that he is better than Berezovsky. So we can’t just sit around with our mouths open. Putin will do something next while we are doing nothing.
Given the attack supposed by Anonymous on MIT and the posting by the lab in Russia the next day of a virus to target researchers, there is a public interest in my posting this information. This blog post contains hypothesis and speculation and should be restated as such if not always done so. All positive statements should be restated as questions. This applies to all other comments or postings or to email or other statements made to universities or government or others.