Report: Hundreds of journalists targeted by Russian hackers under Obama

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Hundreds of journalists around the world were targeted by the Russian hacking group, “Fancy Bear,” during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, according to a new report by The Associated Press.

Having sent phishing emails to over 200 journalists around the world, the group targeted a host of journalists in America, Ukraine, Russia, and other countries.

The cybersecurity firm, SecureWorks, confirmed that a number of American journalists were targeted, including CNN contributor Michael Weiss and New Yorker reporter Adrian Chen.

According to the AP report:

The AP identified journalists as the third-largest group on a hacking hit list obtained from cybersecurity firm Secureworks, after diplomatic personnel and U.S. Democrats.

About 50 of the journalists worked at The New York Times. Another 50 were either foreign correspondents based in Moscow or Russian reporters like Lobkov who worked for independent news outlets. 

The AP report indicates that this new list of targeted journalists “provides new evidence for the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Fancy Bear acted on behalf of the Russian government” in meddling in the 2016 presidential election, despite the fact that the Russian government has denied such interference.

“Spy agencies say the hackers were working to help Republican Donald Trump,” the report states.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said Fancy Bear’s phishing attempts were part of a wider scheme to intimidate journalists. “It’s about gaining access to sources and intimidating those journalists,” said CPJ advocacy director Courtney Radsch.

The phishing the AP reported occurred in 2014 and 2015. In June of 2017, President Donald J. Trump accused former President Barack Hussein Obama of not doing enough to combat Russian hacking efforts.

“By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin. Why didn’t they stop them?” Trump tweeted in June.
Another stream of June tweets (combined here) reads:

“The reason that President Obama did NOTHING about Russia after being notified by the CIA of meddling is that he expected [Hillary] Clinton would win and did not want to ‘rock the boat.’ He didn’t ‘choke,’ he colluded or obstructed, and it did the Dems and Crooked Hillary no good. The real story is that President Obama did NOTHING after being informed in August about Russian meddling. With 4 months looking at Russia under a magnifying glass, they have zero ‘tapes’ of T people colluding. There is no collusion & no obstruction. I should be given apology!”

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