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 TrumpTrump lawyers to Supreme Court: Jan. 6 committee 'will not be harmed by delay' Two House Democrats announce they won't seek reelection DiCaprio on climate change: 'Vote for people that are sane' MORE, according to The New York Times.
Hacking attempts began in early November against the company on whose board former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMadame Tussauds unveils new Biden and Harris figures US raises concerns about Russian troop movements to Belarus Putin tests a model for invading Ukraine, outwitting Biden's diplomats 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.
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 ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat Left laughs off floated changes to 2024 ticket A year into his presidency, Biden is polling at an all-time low 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) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG MORE indicted seven officers with the GRU in 2018.