- Russian military intelligence reportedly hacked subsidiaries of Burisma Holdings
- The successful hacking attempts against the company, where former VP Joe Biden’s son Hunter served on the board, reportedly began in early November
- They came as the US House of Representatives launched an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump
- Trump was accused of trying to coerce Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating the Biden family’s ties to Burisma
Russian military intelligence agents reportedly hacked subsidiaries of Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian gas company at the center of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
The successful hacking attempts against the company, where former vice president Joe Biden‘s son Hunter served on the board, reportedly began in early November.
It was around the same time the US House of Representatives launched an impeachment inquiry sparked by allegations that Trump tried to coerce Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating the Biden family’s ties to Burisma, the New York Times reported Monday.
Security experts told the Times it is not yet clear what the hackers found or what they were specifically searching for.
However, they said the timing and scale of the attacks suggest that the Russians may have been digging for dirt on the Bidens.
The hackers are believed to work for a military intelligence unit formerly known as the GRU and for private researchers under the alias ‘Fancy Bear’.
They allegedly used phishing emails designed to steal usernames and passwords, Silicon Valley security firm Area 1, which detected the hacking on December 31, told the Times.
The hackers apparently spammed Burisma employees with the emails designed to look like they were coming from the company and set up fake websites that mimicked sign-in pages for Burisma subsidiaries.
Area 1 – which uses a network of web sensors around the globe to detect phishing attacks – said some of the employees fell for the scheme and provided their login credentials, giving the hackers access to one of Burisma’s servers.
The firm discovered the GRU phishing campaign on Ukrainian companies on December 31 and later determined that the targets were all subsidiaries of Burisma.
The targets included KUB-Gas, Aldea, Esko-Pivnich, Nadragas, Tehnocom-Service and Pari – as well as Kvartal 95, a Ukrainian television production company founded by Ukrainian President Zelensky.