Russian military hackers tried to steal emails from the Ukrainian energy firm where Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden, had a seat on the board, a U.S. cybersecurity firm said on Monday, Reuters writes.
Energy company Burisma Holdings was at the center of attempts by U.S. President Donald Trump last July to pressure Ukrainian authorities to announce an investigation into the Bidens for purported corruption, an effort that has led to the Republican being impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Reuters adds.
California-based Area 1 Security identified the hacking of Burisma and linked it to Russia’s Main Directorate of Military Intelligence, or GRU. The same hacking group, known as “Fancy Bear” by cybersecurity researchers, breached the Democratic National Committee in 2016 in what U.S. investigators described as part of an operation to disrupt that year’s election.
“You can see this attack really is starting to parallel with what we saw in 2016,” Oren Falkowitz, Area 1’s chief executive, said in an interview.
The Russian Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Officials at the U.S. National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security declined to comment.
A source close to Burisma told Reuters the company’s website had been subject to multiple break-in attempts over the past six months but did not provide further details.
What data the hackers were looking to steal is not clear, Area 1 said. Breaching Burisma could yield communications from, to, or about Hunter Biden, who served as a director between 2014 and 2019. A leak of stolen data could potentially affect the impeachment process and U.S. electoral contest, Reuters noted.