Report: Russian Hackers Are Targeting U.S. Political Groups For Extortion

Senior Contributor
03.06.17

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After the DNC email breach, did anybody think it was going to stop there? While they may not be political opportunists, Russian hackers have been going after liberal groups in and around Washington D.C. with ransom demands. Or, at least, only liberal groups who’ve been hacked and given demands have come forward so far.

Bloomberg has a look at crimes that have been reported to the FBI. They all have the same basic process: the breach is revealed with potentially embarrassing documents, and a ransom is demanded in Bitcoin, which is supposedly untraceable. The FBI is currently investigating, but Bloomberg notes officials aren’t sure this is another round of political skullduggery. Then again, it can be difficult to differentiate between criminals and bureaucrats in modern Russia. The report also notes that, so far, only liberal groups like Arabella Advisers have come forward.

That said, before the American right starts gloating, they may want to remember President Donald Trump and his administration’s seeming inability (or total lack of desire) to secure its digital space. That nipped the administration yet again this weekend when Mike Pence had to explain why Hillary’s email server was so disastrous, but his use of an AOL email address to discuss classified data wasn’t nearly as bad. It’s extremely unlikely, especially as Pence’s email was hacked, that the RNC is magically immune to Russian breaches. Perhaps they just haven’t come out yet.

(Via Bloomberg)

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