Posted on January 14, 2020 at 12:11 PM
According to a U.S cybersecurity firm, Russian hackers were responsible for hacking the Ukrainian Gas company, which led to the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Last year November, Russian agents used a phishing malware to steal login details of workers at Burisnma Holdings in Ukraine.
Hunter Biden, son of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. vice president Joe Biden, was formerly on the Burisma board.
However, it’s not known what the hackers had succeeded in hacking or what they were looking for. But the timing of the hacking activity implies that the hackers were looking for materials that could tarnish the image of Biden and his family.
There have been lots of criticisms about Hunter Biden’s appointment as a member of the company’s board, especially from ardent supporters of President Trump. He even admitted back in October that his last name could probably be the reason why he was appointed into the board.
Russia interfering in U.S. elections
According to an integral member of the impeachment of Trump, Rep. Adam Schiff, the recent activities of the Russian-sponsored hackers is a clear indication that Russia still has interests to interfere with U.S. elections.
He said Russia is bent on influencing the U.S. government’s elections as indicated by the recent attack. However, as at the time of writing, the White House has not responded to requests for comments on the situation.
Area 1 said it’s not strange that GRU has decided to target the Ukrainian company, considering that Burisma is entangled in U.S domestic and foreign politics.
Earlier in December last year, the U.S. House of Representatives served an impeachment notice to President Trump for what it claims is the wrongful use of his power to hire the Ukrainian government to investigate Biden, his political rivalry in the presidential race.
The house of Rep. also accused the president of interfering in the Congress’s investigation of the matter.
Hunter Biden was made a board member of Burisma in 2014. However, he has since resigned.
In an interview with Oren Falkowitz, Area 1 CEO, he revealed that U.S. top candidates for various top positions in the countries had been targeted with lots of phishing emails.
He said there had been more than a thousand emails sent to these groups of people who are vying for positions in the Senate, House of Representatives, and the presidential ticket. But he refused to mention the candidates or politicians that have received such emails.
Area 1 is a security firm that provides email security to U.S. politicians. It’s CEO, Oren Falkowitz, was a former employee at the NSA.
Russian hackers involved during the 2016 campaign
Area 1 reported that the same Russian hackers were also accused of hacking emails from the Chairman of Hilary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee during the previous presidential campaign in 2016.
When the same group of hackers hacked John Podesta’s email in 2016, he was still the chairman of Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Falkowitz revealed that the attack on the gas company follows the same route as the hack of Podesta’s emails.
At the time, WikiLeaks and the Russian agents released stolen emails online in a bid to favor Trump during the presidential race. The Russian military agents, who are also called GRU agents, made use of fake and similar domains like Burisma’s domain to phish operations. Area 1 said their phishing activities sometimes go under the radar and resurfaces once in a while.
According to Area 1, the operation that targeted Burisma made use of procedures, techniques, and tactics the hackers had previously used. The security researchers have been studying the activities of these groups of hackers for many years.
Based on the report, the Russian hackers succeeded in stealing user names. However, it’s unclear what they want to do with the stolen user names or the type of damage they want to cause.
He further explained that phishing attacks rely mostly on the human idea of authenticity. But, according to him, such an attack can be prevented or stopped.
Last year, U.S. prosecutors charged 12 people believed to be members of the Russian hacking syndicate, GRU. The arrest was made in relation to the hacking of Clinton’s 2016 campaigns and the hacking of Democratic organizations.