New York Times: Russian Intelligence Hackers Targeted Us

New York Times

In a report late Tuesday, the New York Times revealed that it’s Moscow bureau was the target of a cyberattack from Russian hackers, earlier this month.

Although details are currently scarce, the New York Times’s Moscow bureau was, according to the publication, the target of an attempted cyberattack this month.

A spokeswoman for The Times insisted that there was no evidence to show that the cyberattack was successful.

We are constantly monitoring our systems with the latest available intelligence and tools,” Eileen Murphy stated. She added, “We have seen no evidence that any of our internal systems, including our systems in the Moscow bureau, have been breached or compromised.”

The New York Times is one among other US news organizations targeted with cyberattacks, CNN reported earlier, citing US officials as sources while not naming the other news agencies.

The officials revealed that investigations so far point to Russian intelligence as the instigators of the attacks. The news network also hinted that The Times’ email network may have been among the targets of the cyberattack, while noting that Times employees’ email services are outsourced to Google.

Private investigators involved in earlier investigations which saw hackers breach the networks of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) point to two of Russia’s intelligence agencies behind the incidents. They maintain with “high confidence” that the now-infamous attack on DNC servers was the doing of two Russian intelligence agencies, the F.S.B and the G.R.U. The former is notably the successor to Russia’s K.G.B while the latter is the country’s leading military intelligence unit.

Since the DNC hack, the FBI has also widened the net of its investigation, covering other recent breaches including that of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the fund-raising arm of the Democratic party.

Russia intelligence alleged involvement in United States’ affairs, particularly during a time when the latter is gearing up toward the Presidential elections, is gaining notoriety and attention from all corners. Indeed, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump infamously asked Russian hackers to dig up rival Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Once the FBI’s investigation is complete, senior US administration officials claim that US President Obama will have to make a decision. If Russian culpability is far too strong with the evidence presented, the NYT reports that economic sanctions, quiet warnings toward Russia or even a cyberespionage counterattack, is entirely within the realms of possibility.

Meanwhile, cyberespionage is a practice that most governments engage in, according to comments from US National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper Jr, last year. He remarked that the much-publicized OPM breach was not an attack and rather a form of “theft or espionage.”

“We, too, practice cyberespionage,” Clapper Jr stated,”…we’re not bad at it.”

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Samburaj is the contributing editor at Hacked and keeps tabs on science, technology and cyber security.