Reporters At New York Times Targeted By Russian Hackers

CNN reports an FBI investigation into an even wider victim base in recently exposed cyber spy operations focusing on the US presidential campaign.

[UPDATED 8/24 7:40AM with new information from a Reuters report that the attackers focused only on the NYT’s Moscow bureau and it did not appear they actually breached systems.]

If you know anything about cyber espionage, then it should come as no surprise that members of the US media also were caught up in the net of cyber espionage attacks puportedly by Russian state hackers as part of a wider campaign to glean intelligence about the US presidential election.

CNN today reported that the FBI is investigating cases of reporters from The New York Times and other media outlets as victims in the recent wave of hacks. 

[UPDATE]: The New York Times later reported that Russian hackers went after its Moscow bureau, but that it did not appear that the attackers actually breached systems there. “We have seen no evidence that any of our internal systems, including our systems in the Moscow bureau, have been breached or compromised,” a Times spokesperson told The New York Times, according to a Reuters report. A government source told the Times that the FBI was investigating the attempted attack on the Moscow bureau, but not any attack attempts on other media outlets. 

According to CNN, the Times declined comment on the investigation by the FBI and other US agencies that was cited by unnamed sources in the CNN story. CNN said the FBI also declined to comment.

Reporters as well as think-tanks and other non-government organizations that focus on sensitive government policy or other topics regularly are in the bullseye of nation-state cyber espionage attackers looking for unpublished intelligence by press and experts in the field, as well as their valuable contacts in the government and related organizations. 

CNN’s report is here, and Reuter’s report is here.

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