A private security firm says Burisma Holdings was the victim of a phishing campaign beginning in November, NBC News reported.
The Ukrainian natural gas company that prompted President Donald Trump to seek investigations from Ukraine’s president over its hiring of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son was hacked by Russian spies, security experts said in a report released Monday.
The Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Army, or GRU, “launched a phishing campaign targeting Burisma Holdings” as early as November 2019, according to cybersecurity firm Area 1 Security.
“The Russians were trying to steal user names” and “from that perspective they were successful,” Oren Falkowitz, a co-founder of Area 1 and a former employee of the National Security Agency and United States Cyber Command, said Monday night. “What they intend to do from there is unknown,” he said.
The New York Times first reported Area 1’s conclusions.
Burisma employed Hunter Biden, the vice president’s son, as a board member in May 2014. He stopped working with the company in 2019.
Hunter Biden’s job with the gas company has prompted criticism, particularly from defenders of Trump. He admitted in October that his last name likely was the reason he was offered a seat on the board.
Trump was impeached in part because of allegations that in a phone call in July, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Joe Biden and his son and appeared to raise unfounded allegations that the former vice president stopped prosecution of the company.
Area 1 said in its report that the GRU phishing campaign was designed to steal email credentials and passwords of employees at Burisma Holdings, as well as its subsidiaries and partners.