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    Ok, so, this sounds fascinating! … but I feel like I’m missing some context.

    First of all, what is the dude talking about, exactly? I admit I haven’t followed “the news”—is this a “the Russians hacked the elections” thing? (n.b. I have no opinion on whether the Russians did or did not hack the election; I really am just out of the loop) Something with leaks? I lack the background here on what is the latest and most plausible account on the facts, so if you’ve got some links or something, that would be appreciated.

    Second, who is this guy? He says stuff like “I learned a great deal watching the Russians operate”—how did he do that?? Is he some sort of an insider? i.e. basically what we need is a “primer on what you need to know to understand this Medium post” post.

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      Who is this guy?

      ‘This guy’ is Grugq, an independent security researcher who keeps a blog explaining things like opsec in various contexts. He also has a tumblr and I recommend both of them if you want a no-nonsense analysis of various terror threats and the like from an expert:



      What is the dude talking about, exactly?

      I know you didn’t know before asking, but that is a doozy of a question. It’s about Russia ‘hacking the election’ yes, but Grugq is sufficiently convinced there was Russian influence that he doesn’t spend very much time justifying that, he’s mostly working off the stuff that already convinced him. His post ‘American Snoper’ mentioned at the end of the linked article gives a little more background:


      Another post ‘The Russian Way of Cyberwar’ provides further evidence to show that Guccifer2 was Russia:


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        Excellent, thanks for the links!

        Further dumb questions:

        What is an “independent security researcher”? What makes such a person an expert?

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          What is an “independent security researcher”?

          As far as I know Grugq is not endorsed by any company or other organization, he doesn’t have a personal stake in the stuff he talks about.

          What makes such a person an expert?

          Much like Gwern Branwen, Grugq devotes a very large amount of his time to studying the field of opsec, spycraft, and terrorism. He collects news reports and is familiar with the literature and practices of a wide variety of stealth-oriented groups.

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