Hackers with ties to Russia tried at least five times to infiltrate Hillary Clinton’s personal email account when she was secretary of state, emails released by the State Department on Wednesday indicate.
The Associated Press first drew attention to the emails which were sent to Clinton’s HDR22@clintonemail.com account over the course of several hours early on the morning of Aug. 3, 2011.
The messages were disguised as traffic tickets disguised as being sent from a New York City government account. They included an attached filed entitled “Ticket-728-2011.zip” which was described at the time as a Trojan horse computer virus.
According the computer security firm Sophos, the virus was “designed to download further malicious code onto your computer and compromise your security.”
It is unclear whether Clinton clicked on the infected files.
According to the Associated Press, the phishing scheme directed victims’ information to three servers located overseas. One of the servers was located in Russia. The AP notes that this does not necessarily mean that the Russian government or Russian citizens were involved.
The AP also notes that most antivirus software would flag similar phishing schemes. The fact that Clinton’s email account appeared to do so raises questions over how secure her homebrew email system was. Clinton has said that there is no evidence that her email account or email server were hacked.
The security of Clinton’s email setup became more of a concern after the Intelligence Community’s inspector general found two emails that traversed Clinton’s server contained “top secret” information.