Ukrainian authorities ask FBI for help investigating Russian hack on Burisma

Ukrainian authorities ask FBI for help investigating Russian hack on Burisma
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Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs on Thursday announced that the country’s cyber police had started "criminal proceedings" around the recent hacking of gas company Burisma, and noted that authorities were seeking the assistance of the FBI in pursuing the case. 

The ministry wrote in a statement that criminal proceedings had been launched, and that “persons involved in committing this criminal offense are being identified.”

The company has been propelled into the spotlight in recent months due to the impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops MORE, which began after an anonymous whistleblower report alleged that Trump had tried to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden campaign raised M more than Trump in the month of June RNC, Trump campaign raised 1M in June Michigan shuts down most indoor bar service in bid to prevent virus resurgence MORE and his son Hunter Biden, who served on the company's board between 2014 and 2019. 

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The proceedings were launched following a story from The New York Times earlier this week, which reported findings by cyber group Area 1 Security that Russian military hackers had launched email phishing attacks designed to steal credentials of Burisma employees and gain access to the company’s systems. 

The attack reportedly came amid impeachment hearings in November.

According to the Times, the Russian hackers successfully got into at least one server, although it is unclear what they were able to access or whether anything was stolen.

The ministry noted that it had approached both the FBI and Area 1 Security for assistance in the probe into the hacking of Burisma. 

“In order to properly investigate the circumstances of the offense, the National Police is initiating the creation of a joint international investigation team, to which FBI representatives will be invited,” the ministry wrote.

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The announcement of the criminal proceedings in relation to the Burisma hack came the same day the ministry also launched a criminal investigation into whether former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchCheney clashes with Trump Voters must strongly reject the president's abuses by voting him out this November Bolton book puts spotlight on Pompeo-Trump relationship MORE had been tracked by associates of Lev Parnas, an associate of former New York City Mayor Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiSunday shows preview: With coronavirus cases surging, lawmakers and health officials weigh in Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill banning federal government use of facial recognition tech | House lawmakers roll out legislation to establish national cyber director | Top federal IT official to step down GOP lawmakers join social media app billed as alternative to Big Tech MORE, while serving as ambassador. 

According to communications between Parnas and Republican congressional candidate Robert Hyde that were made public earlier this week, Yovanovitch may have been followed while in Ukraine. Hyde has since denied that any spying took place.

A spokesperson for the FBI declined to comment on whether it would assist Ukrainian authorities in their investigation.