According to the New York Times, a Silicon Valley security firm called Area1 said it had found evidence that state-sponsored Russian hackers had successfully hacked the Ukrainian gas company Burisma. The company plays a central role in U.S. politics because of its close ties to Democratic presidential front-runner Joseph Biden. Biden’s son, Hunter, is a director of the company.
Joseph Biden Infographic
In July, President Trump asked the Ukrainian government to investigate the Burisma affair to find damaging information about the Biden family. Mr. Trump is said to have threatened to stop military aid to Ukraine if the country’s prime minister does not announce an investigation. This demand is at the heart of the president’s ongoing impeachment process, and makes Burisma an attractive target for anyone trying to interfere in American politics.
According to security firm Area1, they found phishing emails sent to Burisma employees that bore many of the hallmarks of GRU hacking activity. The hackers apparently managed to gain access to the employee’s login information, though it is unclear exactly how much information they obtained. If the GRU is really involved, it could reveal embarrassing information during the 2020 presidential election.
It is understood that in the course of the attack on Burisma, Russian hackers may have used similar tactics to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign during the 2016 election.