Not only Hillary Clinton was the target of the Russian hackers who upended last year’s presidential election in the United States, but they also targeted the emails of Ukrainian officers, Russian opposition figures, American defense contractors and thousands of others who were of interest to the Kremlin. A digital list obtained by the Associated Press provides the most detailed forensic evidence so far of the close alignment between the hackers and the official Moscow and goes back several years.
It shows that the hackers tried to break into the inboxes of 4,700 Gmail users worldwide. Some of the users are the pope’s representative in Kiev and the punk band Pussy Riot in Moscow.
“It’s a wish list of who you’d want to target to further Russian interests,” said Keir Giles, director of the Conflict Studies Research Center in Cambridge, England, and one of five outside experts who reviewed the Associated Press’s findings.
According to him, the data was “a master list of individuals whom Russia would like to spy on, embarrass, discredit or silence.”
The hackers tried to access at least 570 inboxes in the United States and among the targeted were employees of Boeing, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. But, the hackers were also focused on former Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Army General Wesley Clark. The inboxes of more than 130 political party workers were targeted. Several Democrats and some Republicans were among them.
The hacking group known as Fancy Bear tried to access at least 545 email accounts in Ukraine. One of those accounts belonged to President Petro Poroshenko. The hit list was divined using data assembled by Secureworks, a cybersecurity firm that obtained thousands of emails after the hacking group accidentally revealed secretive information about its phishing operation, Fox News reports.
It is believed that Fancy Bear is connected with the Russian military intelligence agency the GRU and the newest findings reveal additional evidence of its collaboration with official Moscow.