The 2020 elections are now just a few months away – and Russia is once again struggling to intervene. The New York Times reports that Russian military hackers in November successfully hacked into a server at Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company on whose advice Hunter Biden was previously, which is at the center of President Donald Trump's impeachment. And while Trump's alleged attempt to arm Ukraine to dig up dirt on Hunter and Joe Biden may not have worked as he had hoped, Russia may now be taking Biden's smear campaign in its own hands.
According to the Times, the Russian hacking effort by a military group known as the GRU used phishing tactics to break Burisma systems, sending employees emails that appear to have come from within the company and creating fake websites that appear to be on the pages of Burisma subsidiaries. As employees slipped into hacking efforts and handed in their login information, Russia was able to gain access to one of Burisma's servers – echoing GRU's earlier efforts against the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign president John Podesta in 2016. "The attacks were successful," said Area1 co-founder Oren Falkowitz, whose firm detected the attacks, he told the Times, adding that the timing of the Russian hacking campaign "mirrors" hackers DNC and Podesta. "Once again, they are stealing email credentials, which we can only assume is a repetition of Russian interference in the last elections."
While it is not yet officially clear what exactly the Russians were looking for or what they found, the Times notes that Biden was probably the target, as “experts say the timing and scale of the attacks suggests that the Russians may be looking for potential. embarrassing. In addition to hacking, an American security official also told the Times that Russian spies in Ukraine are making their own parallel effort to damage Biden, and “are trying to penetrate Burisma and sources of work in the Ukrainian government in search of emails, financial records. and legal documents. ”Trump and his allies (particularly Rudy Giuliani) have repeatedly alleged irregularities regarding Hunter Biden's position in the Burisma framework and Joe Biden's role in Pushing out Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Burisma. (There is no evidence to support these allegations, and both Bidens denied any wrongdoing.) Although Trump's alleged attempts to persuade the Ukrainian government to investigate Burisma for its own political gain may have been thwarted by the complainant and the subsequent impeachment inquiry, Russia's efforts suggest they are doing what Ukraine would not do – with the explicit aim of helping Trump's chances in 2020.
Assuming Russia was looking for damaging information about the Bidens, the Burisma hack suggests that Russia is repeating its 2016 handbook by 2020, using traditional hacking efforts to harm Trump's rival. “Burisma Hack is a cookie cutter from G.R.U. campaign, ”Falkowitz told the Times. “Russian hackers, no matter how sophisticated, also tend to be lazy. They use what works. And in that, they were successful. Targeting the Burisma was apparently part of a broader hacking effort such as the Times reported Friday there were approximately 1,000 phishing attempts against each leading Democratic candidate in the last two months, according to Area1. But traditional hacking campaigns are probably just the beginning of Russia's plans for 2020. The Times reported that Russia is "upgrading" its operations and employing more sophisticated methods to better cover its leads by 2020, and security researchers predicted that my colleague Nick Bilton that Russia's goal in November will not just be to spread misinformation and attack the Democrats. candidate – but prevent voters from reaching the polls in the first place. "The logic in security circles now is: How will Russia create a digital version of voter suppression?" A researcher told Bilton in November. "People with digital disabilities are essential to be able to participate in polls on election day by 2020."
. (tagsToTranslate) joe biden (t) russia (t) biden hunter (t) election interference (t) 2020