Citing government sources, CNN is reporting that reporters at US news outlets, including The New York Times, are being targeted by Russian hackers. The FBI is currently investigating the hacks.
This represents a broader Russian cyber offensive on American soil. Earlier this month, US officials named Russia as the likely perpetrators behind the hacks of the Democratic National Commission. Just last week, National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden speculated that the leak of NSA hacking tools was the work of Russian hackers.
Buzzfeed cybersecurity reporter Sheera Frenkel noted rumors that New York Times reporters have been targeted by “spearphishing” attacks which are targeted and specifically crafted phishing attempts.
Last month, rumors circulated that the NYT was seeing an uptick of spear phishing aimed at reporters covering Russia https://t.co/6CLLLTycA5
— Sheera Frenkel (@sheeraf) August 23, 2016
In the case of the New York Times, a spearphishing attack might look like an email from an editor or a source, but the email actually contains malicious software or a faked website asking for the reporter’s online credentials.
This isn’t the first time The New York Times has been targeted by foreign hackers. In 2013 Chinese hackers targeted the New York Times, “infiltrating its computer systems and getting passwords for its reporters and other employees.” So if you’re an aspiring hacking victim with an interest in journalism, you definitely know where to look for work now. [CNN]