The Ukrainian gas company at the center of President Donald Trump’s political trial was successfully hacked by Russian military agents in November, a US cybersecurity company said.
Area 1 Security said it was unclear what hackers were looking for when they hacked Burisma Holdings.
The son of Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, was previously in the firm’s board of directors.
Burisma, the United States government and the Russian Ministry of Defense have not yet responded.
Area 1 linked the attack, a phishing attack, to the Russian military intelligence unit commonly known as GRU.
President Trump was charged in December with accusations that he unduly pressured Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky to initiate an investigation into Burisma and its links with the Bidens.
The security company also drew parallels between the November attack and another that was carried out against the Democrats in 2016, before the US presidential elections.
How was Burisma hacked?
In its eight-page report, the California-based Area 1 company said the GRU hackers behind the Burisma rape are known by the alias “Fancy Bear” among cybersecurity researchers.
Hackers used phishing emails designed to steal usernames and passwords, said the California-based security firm.
In this case, what looked like internal company emails and fake websites that looked like the login pages of Burisma subsidiaries were sent to Burisma employees.
With this tactic, hackers managed to enter Burisma’s servers, he added.
Area 1 said it became aware of the hacking after its email security scan product found suspicious evidence online, including “decoy domains” for fake websites.
A source close to Burisma told Reuters news agency that the company’s website had been subject to a series of intrusion attempts in the last six months.
Why is burisma important?
Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, is at the center of the political trial proceedings against President Trump.
In a phone call in July 2019, President Trump pressed for Ukrainian President Zelensky to announce an investigation into Burisma and the Bidens.
Specifically, Trump wanted Kyiv to investigate a discredited theory that Joe Biden had tried to cancel a Burisma investigation to protect his son.
President Trump must now follow the Senate trail in two articles of political trial: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. He denies having done something wrong.
How is this linked to 2016?
Burisma’s attack “is really beginning to be parallel to what we saw in 2016,” Area 1 co-founder Oren Falkowitz told Reuters.
That year, hackers gained access to the National Democratic Committee (DNC) and the campaign of President Trump’s then electoral rival, Hillary Clinton.
The co-founders of Area 1, Falkowitz and Blake Darche, added: “The timing of the GRU campaign in relation to the 2020 elections in the U.S. Raises the specter that this is an early warning of what we have anticipated since the successful cyber attacks carried out during the 2016 elections in the US “.
Darche also told Reuters they were “100% sure” that the GRU was behind the hacking.