Dem. rep seeks answers on FBI’s failure to notify Russian hacking victims
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) on Tuesday requested the FBI brief Congress on its apparent decision not to notify hacking victims attacked by the same believed-Russian group that leaked Democratic officials emails during the election season.
In a letter to FBI head Christopher Wray, Lieu made note of a recent The Associated Press report that the vast majority of government-employed hacking targets of the Russian phishing campaign that ensnared Hillary Clinton campaign chief John Podesta were not notified by the bureau of the attacks.
“I respectfully request that you brief Members of Congress on the FBI’s reasoning for maintaining its silence and detail the Bureau’s policy regarding the notification of Cyber intrusions affecting current or former U.S. government officials,” Lieu wrote.
Hackers who ran the phishing campaign misconfigured settings on a web address shortening service it used to disguise malicious links in its emails, revealing a list of thousands of targets including Podesta. That list was discovered before the election by the security company SecureWorks.
Podesta’s emails were posted online by WikiLeaks.
SecureWorks came upon the web address shortening account investigating other attacks it believed had been perpetrated by Fancy Bear, a hacking group thought to be from Russia.
U.S. intelligence services assessed that Russian intelligence services hacked the Democratic National Committee and other political targets during the 2016 election on orders from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The AP contacted 80 targets from the SecureWorks list, finding only two had been contacted by the FBI.
“[I]t is unacceptable that targeted U.S. officials learned about these attacks on their own accounts from news reports rather than from their own government,” wrote Lieu in Tuesday’s letter.