FBI Reportedly Didn’t Alert Dozens of US Officials They Were Targets of Russian Hacks
A new Associated Press report reveals that dozens of current and former U.S. officials weren’t told by the FBI that they were targeted by Russian hackers who were attempting to gain access to their Gmail accounts. The feds declined to inform the officials despite the fact that the FBI had evidence for at least a year that the Kremlin was targeting specific officials.
Nearly 80 interviews with Americans targeted by Fancy Bear, a Russian government-aligned cyberespionage group, turned up only two cases in which the FBI had provided a heads-up. Even senior policymakers discovered they were targets only when the AP told them, a situation some described as bizarre and dispiriting.
If the name Fancy Bear sounds familiar, that is because it is the cyber espionage group that as responsible for the hacking of the DNC emails during the 2016 election. The group has been linked to Russian military intelligence.
The AP also did an analysis of data obtained by cybersecurity firm Secureworks that indicated that of 312 American military and government officials that were emailed dangerous links by Fancy Bear, 131 clicked on them. Thus, around 40% of those officials came “close to handing over their passwords.” It wasn’t clear how many of them actually gave up that info to the hackers.
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