- The Washington Times - Monday, January 13, 2020

Russian hackers have reportedly targeted the Ukrainian energy firm that once paid Hunter Biden millions of dollars to sit on its board.

The New York Times reported Monday evening, citing the Silicon Valley security firm Area 1, that a military intelligence unit known formerly as the GRU and private researchers using the alias “Fancy Bear” sent “phish” scam emails to Burisma Holdings employees to steal usernames and passwords.

The hacking attempts began in November as Mr. Biden, his Burisma job and his father, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, were becoming the center of political talk in the U.S., the Times reported.

According to The Times, it is not known what the hackers were looking for or whether they found it.

But Area 1 said at least some of the attempts to fool Burisma employees into giving their login credentials succeeded and the hackers were able to access one of Burisma’s servers.

“The attacks were successful,” Oren Falkowitz, a co-founder of Area 1 who previously served at the National Security Agency, told the Times.

Cybersecurity analysts told the Times the timing and scale of the attacks suggest the Russians could be looking for embarrassing material on the Bidens. It also resembles the tactics the Kremlin used to get emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman and the Democratic National Committee in the 2016 election cycle.

Hunter Biden’s job has become an issue because he took the job, for which he had no obvious qualifications having never worked in the energy field, while his father was vice president and point man on Ukraine for President Barack Obama’s administration.

A tape shows the former vice president bragging about how, in that capacity in 2015, he coerced Ukraine by threatening to withhold aid unless it fired its top prosecutor.

“‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch, he got fired,” Mr. Biden told a laughing audience at the Council on Foreign Relations in 2017.

The Biden campaign told The Times that its report proves the candidate’s strength.

“Donald Trump tried to coerce Ukraine into lying about Joe Biden and a major bipartisan, international anti-corruption victory because he recognized that he can’t beat the vice president,” spokesman Andrew Bates said.

“Now we know that Vladimir Putin also sees Joe Biden as a threat,” he added. “Any American president who had not repeatedly encouraged foreign interventions of this kind would immediately condemn this attack on the sovereignty of our elections.”

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