The hacker group called Fancy Bear (which has been linked to Russian intelligence agency GRU) has been accused of the leaking of the Democratic National Convention emails, the distribution of malware that hijaked Ukranian artillery guns, phishing campaign that used a combination of two zero-day exploits found in Adobe Flash and Windows and an attack not only on German parliament but also the recent German and French elections. So no one should be surprised by the latest report that Fancy Bear has been targeting journalists.
According to an AP report, the hackers have been targeting Russian, Ukranian, Moldova, the Baltics and American journalists since 2014. The New York Times was a huge target for the group with phishing campaigns aimed at 50 of the publication’s reporters. Cybersecurity firm Secureworks obtained a list of journalists targeted by the group which included those at the NYT.
The AP reports that at least 200 reporters were in Fancy Bears crosshairs between 2014 and a few months ago. One was Russian television anchor Pavel Lobkov who was hacked and his private Facebook messages leaked to the public. Much the same way the DNC emails were leaked ahead of the 2016 US election.
The revelations that a hacking group that’s been linked to Russian intelligence has been going after political journalists both abroad and in the United States is just additional fodder for reports that the Russian government interfered with the 2016 US elections. The group is already known for hacking and disseminating emails from the DNC.
This is in addition to the thousands of Russia-linked inflammatory ads and promoted news stories that proved to be false that spread through Facebook ahead of the election. Throw in the special prosecutor’s investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government and the Fancy Bear attacks just seem like an just another cog in the machine meant to control US politics.