#cybersecurity | hacker | Russia’s Fancy Bear successfully hacked Burisma during impeachment probe

As the House Intelligence Committee held impeachment
hearings last fall, members of the Russian GRU, known as Fancy Bear, successfully hacked
Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company at the center of the impeachment

In an echo of the 2016 presidential election cycle where
Russian hackers pilfered and released damaging emails on then candidate Hillary
Clinton to influence voters to support Donald Trump, a New York Times report
said the hackers used phishing to access a Burisma server, sparking concerns
that they may be planning to leak information in an attempt to hurt 2020
presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, whose son Hunter was
paid handsomely to sit on the board of the company.

In an eight-page report, Area 1 Security said
Fancy Bear launched a phishing campaign against Burisma Holdings and its
affiliates in early November 2019 as the House impeachment probe was in full
swing using common techniques – domain-based authenticity, business process and
application authenticity and partner and supply chain authenticity.

“The GRU was successful because they found ways to appear
authentic to their targets, rather than using any technical sophistication,”
the report said. “Everything about their approach is technically unremarkable,
yet highly effective.”

Area 1 Security was able to correlate the tactics, techniques
and procedures (TTPs) used in the Burisma attacks to phish for credentials to
those used by the GRU in other campaigns.  “Repeatedly, the GRU uses Ititch, NameSilo,
and NameCheap for domain registration; MivoCloud and M247 as Internet Service
Providers; Yandex for MX record assignment; and a consistent pattern of
lookalike domains,” the Area 1 report found.

Calling Russian hackers apparent efforts to dig up dirt on
the Bidens “disturbing,” Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the House Homeland
Security Committee, said in a statement that it “shows the lengths the Russian government will go to help the President
win re-election and undermine our democracy.”

Thompson expressed frustration
that efforts by Democrats to get the Trump administration to take a strong stance
against election meddling have not gained traction. “The Russians are
emboldened because the President refuses to stand up to [Russian President Vladimir]
Putin,” he said. “It is time for Congressional Republicans to stop their
complacency and help us hold the President accountable for failing to defend
the integrity of our elections.” 

Contending that “Russia
showed us their playbook in 2016, and intelligence officials across the
government have warned that Russian meddling will only get worse this year,” Thompson
said, “the president owes it to all Americans to condemn all forms of election
interference and demand Putin put a stop to it.”

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