Russia hacked Ukrainian gas company at center of impeachment inquiry: report

Russia hacked Ukrainian gas company at center of impeachment inquiry: report
© Getty Images

Hackers affiliated with the Russian military have taken aim at Burisma, the Ukrainian natural gas company at the center of the impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpFed saw risks to US economy fading before coronavirus spread quickened Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Britain announces immigration policy barring unskilled migrants MOREaccording to The New York Times.

Hacking attempts began in early November against the company on whose board former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden leads Sanders by single digits in South Carolina: poll Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Biden will go after Bloomberg, Sanders at Las Vegas debate, aides say MORE’s son sat, the Times reported. At the same time, the House was investigating a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during which Trump asked Zelensky to investigate the Bidens.

Security experts told the Times the hackers’ findings, as well as what they were looking for, remain unclear, but the timing indicates they could have been in search of the same sort of potentially embarrassing material on the family Trump sought when he asked Zelensky to launch the investigation.

ADVERTISEMENT

The hackers were affiliated with the GRU military intelligence unit and used phishing emails to target usernames and passwords in a similar manner to the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee, according to the Times, in this case establishing mockups of Burisma subsidiaries and sending company employees emails designed to look like internal communications.

The hackers successfully secured login credentials from some employees and successfully infiltrated one of the company’s servers, according to Area 1, the California-based security company that first caught wind of the hack.

“The timing of the Russian campaign mirrors the G.R.U. hacks we saw in 2016 against the D.N.C. and [Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton asked if she'd be Bloomberg's vice president: 'Oh no' Trump launches three-day campaign rally blitz Free Roger Stone MORE campaign chairman] John Podesta,” Area 1 co-founder Oren Falkowitz said, according to the Times. “Once again, they are stealing email credentials, in what we can only assume is a repeat of Russian interference in the last election.”

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE indicted seven officers with the GRU in 2018.