12:20 14.01.2020

Russia's military intelligence unit attempts to hack Kvartal 95's website – NYT

3 min read
Russia's military intelligence unit attempts to hack Kvartal 95's website – NYT

A group of Russian hackers tried to hack the Kvartal 95 website. The attack occurred on New Year's Eve, according to the New York Times.

The article says phishing campaigns by Russian military intelligence units (belonging to GRU, the foreign military-intelligence agency of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation) against Ukrainian companies were discovered by the American cybersecurity firm Area 1.

"The phishing attack on Kvartal 95 appears to have been aimed at digging up email correspondence for the company's chief, Ivan Bakanov, whom Mr. Zelensky appointed as the head of Ukraine's Security Service last June," the NYT article said.

Other hacker targets included KUB-Gas, Aldea, Esko-Pivnich, Nadragas, Tehnocom-Service and Pari. All of them are subsidiaries of Burisma Holdings, which turned out to be at the center of the scandal that caused the launch of the impeachment procedure of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Earlier it was reported that in early November, Russian military hackers attempted to hack into the site of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, where the son of ex-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter was a member of the board. Joe Biden is a candidate in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

"It is not yet clear what the hackers found, or precisely what they were searching for. But the experts say the timing and scale of the attacks suggest that the Russians could be searching for potentially embarrassing material on the Bidens — the same kind of information that Mr. Trump wanted from Ukraine when he pressed for an investigation of the Bidens and Burisma, setting off a chain of events that led to his impeachment," the article, published on Monday, said.

It is noted that the tactics of Russian hackers are "strikingly similar" to what U.S. intelligence agencies say about hacking into Russia the emails of campaign chairman Hillary Clinton and the National Committee of the Democratic Party during the 2016 presidential campaign.

"The Russian attacks on Burisma appear to be running parallel to an effort by Russian spies in Ukraine to dig up information in the analog world that could embarrass the Bidens, according to an American security official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence. The spies, the official said, are trying to penetrate Burisma and working sources in the Ukrainian government in search of emails, financial records and legal documents," the article said.

As reported, the U.S. House of Representatives an impeachment process against U.S. President Donald Trump on September 24, 2019 after an American informant expressed concern about Trump's telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25 this year. During the conversation, Trump called on Zelensky to start an investigation against former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, as well as alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections from Ukraine.

At the end of last year, the U.S. House of Representatives impeached Trump for abuse of power and attempting to obstruct the investigation by the U.S. Congress.

It is expected that in January this year, the Senate will decide whether Trump should be removed from office.

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