The FBI is investigating cyberattacks against reporters at the New York Times and other American news organizations, according to a CNN report, citing anonymous U.S. officials.
CNN reported Tuesday that, “Investigators so far believe that Russian intelligence is likely behind the attacks and that Russian hackers are targeting news organizations as part of a broader series of hacks that also have focused on Democratic Party organizations, the officials said.”
According to CNN, the intrusions were detected in recent months. The New York Times had hired independent, private security investigators to work with government security officials to assess the damage. News organizations are frequently the subject of foreign hackers, as they can reveal private communications between reporters, contacts and sources. Often times, spy agencies use journalism as a cover for their own agents.
Tuesday’s attack would not be the first time The New York Times have been the target of foreign hackers. In 2013, Chinese hackers gained access to the private emails of dozens of New York Times employees, and had access for an extended period of time. In 2013, a group of hackers who went by the name of the “Syrian Electronic Army,” infiltrated The Washington Post, Time Magazine and CNN.
This attack comes after a broader wave of hacks levied against the Democratic Party and its organizations. WikiLeaks released thousands of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee just days before the convention in Philadelphia. U.S. intelligence officials have repeatedly asserted that there is strong evidence to prove that Russian intelligence is behind the DNC hacks.
New York Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told CNN that, “Like most news organizations we are vigilant about guarding against attempts to hack into our systems,” and, “There are a variety of approaches we take up to and including working with outside investigators and law enforcement. We won’t comment on any specific attempt to gain unauthorized access to The Times.”
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