Did Russia Hack The New York Times? The FBI Seems to Think So

  • August 24, 2016
  • 02:21 PM
  • 1

U.S. intelligence officials think hackers working for Russia perpetrated a series of alleged intrusions targeting reporters at The New York Times and other media outlets.

According to CNN, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and other law enforcement agencies believe Russian intelligence perpetrated the hacks in what appears to be an ongoing string of attacks targeting U.S. government agencies.

Sources close to the investigation suspect those who hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and stole opposition research on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are behind this latest intrusion at The New York Times.

Not everyone believes Russia hacked the DNC. Trump went so far to say, "...[I]t was the DNC that did the ‘hacking’ as a way to distract from the many issues facing their deeply flawed candidate and failed party leader," alluding to the Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Regardless of whether Russia did indeed hack the DNC, many respected voices including cryptography expert Bruce Schneier and National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden think Russia retaliated against those accusations by hacking The Equation Group, a sophisticated threat actor believed to be working with the NSA, and posting the collective's exploit code up for auction.

Kaspersky Lab has since confirmed the legitimacy of the exploits, as have Cisco and other vendors whose products are directly affected by the attack code.

If Russia did hack the Times, this could be yet another retaliatory move for the DNC accusations.

Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the Times, told CNN the company has seen "no evidence" of a breach of its internal systems:

"We are constantly monitoring our systems with the latest available intelligence and tools. We have seen no evidence that any of our internal systems, including our systems in the Moscow bureau, have been breached or compromised."
But CNN reports it didn't ask the Times about its internal systems. Instead it asked if it knew of anyone that had targeted its reporters, as journalists can maintain valuable government contacts and write stories about sensitive news items concerning national security.
 
CNN has reached out to Google, to which the Times has outsourced its reporter email services. As of this writing, neither Google nor the FBI has issued a comment.
 
David Bisson
David Bisson is an infosec news junkie and security journalist. He works as Contributing Editor for Graham Cluley Security News, Associate Editor for Tripwire's "The State of Security" blog, Contributing Author for Carbonite, and Content Contributor to Metacompliance Ltd. and OASIS Open.

Comments

  • Amigo-A Photo
    Amigo-A - 1 year ago

    The FBI can in Russia only see the enemy. Otherwise, the Bureau would be simply useless and had to be dismissed. But this does not mean that Russia really it is wants.
    If hackers want something to crack - they it break. Regardless of nationality or nationality. Hacking, destroying - it is not to build it, the soul does not hurt.
    To create something good with your hands, you have to put the soul into this work - it is the most valuable thing in the quality of people.

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