Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian gas company at the center of a scandal that resulted in President Trump’s impeachment by the House of Representatives, was successfully hacked in November by Russian military agents, a U.S. cybersecurity company claimed Monday.
The Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Army (GRU) in early November 2019 launched an ongoing phishing campaign aimed at stealing the login credentials for employees of Burisma Holdings and its partners and subsidiaries, according to an eight-page report published by Area 1 Security, a Silicon Valley company that specializes in e-mail security.
“Area 1 Security has also further connected this GRU phishing campaign to another phishing campaign targeting a media organization founded by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky,” the report adds. It did not name the media organization.
Oren J. Falkowitz, chief executive officer of Area 1 Security, told Fox News that the discovery was made as part of his company’s “normal business of stopping phishing.” He said the report was not paid for by an outside group.
“Cyber campaigns continue to be a geopolitical tool for waging war, influencing election, theft of intellectual property and financial assets, and espionage,” Falkowitz said in an email statement. “Yet time and again, we see that phishing campaigns like the GRU’s rely on human perception of authenticity, not on cutting-edge technology. Therefore, phishing campaigns are not insurmountable – and they can be stopped.”
The Associated Press reported that it was likely that the Bidens were also targeted by the Russian phishing campaign. But Falkowitz said his company could not back those claims and said the targets of the campaign were Burisma employees.
Hunter Biden resigned from Burisma Holdings when his father officially announced his candidacy for president in April 2019.
The House of Representatives impeached Trump in December for abusing the power of his office by enlisting the Ukrainian government to investigate Biden, a political rival, ahead of the 2020 election. A second charge accused Trump of obstructing a congressional investigation into the matter. The alleged phishing took place at a time the Democrat-led public impeachment hearings were widely covered in the news cycle.
Trump has insisted that he did nothing wrong.
Falkowitz said Area 1 Security “went through a rigorous effort to make disclosures that were appropriate.”
Fox News’ Hollie McKay and The Associated Press contributed to this report.