Russian hackers break into Gmail accounts of US Officials

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Russia sponsored hacking group named Fancy Bear is found to be hacking into the Gmail accounts of many US officials- all a part of cyber an espionage campaign. And its said that FBI knew about this interception, but couldn’t disclose it to the world for various reasons.

Cybersecurity firm SecureWorks has brought this fact into the limelight and says that it has the list of all those(Appx 19,000) who have been hacked or are on target.

Associated Press(AP) has the secured the list and from those has interviewed 80 of them including Philip Reiner, a former senior director at the National Security Council who was targeted by Kremlin’s hacking group in 2015.

As the disclosure of the hacking operation is sensitive, FBI has declined to make the matter public.

But a group of reporters from AP were pressed into service of investigating the matter. And in their two-month-long investigation, some interesting facts came into light. This includes email account breaches done without the knowledge of those using them and this includes some big heads working for US Intelligence.

How the hackers gained access to those accounts remains a mystery. But there is a high probability that the hackers gained access to the accounts through phishing campaigns.

The security analysts from SecureWorks started their investigation when some of the email contents of some prominent leaders belonging to Democrats and US officials were published in DCLeaks.com.

DCLeaks has mentioned in its posts that Fancy Bear- the hacking group working for Vladimir Putin led nation was behind the cyber attack. The news resource also specified that in March 2016, few FBI officials visited the office of Hillary Clinton to warn her campaign about a surge of rogue, password stealing emails. But as her server scandal came into light, it obscured this news to such an extent that many media sources showed a blind eye in covering this incident for obvious reasons.

On the other hand, in January 2017 when this incident was brought into the focus of 45th US President Donald Trump, he purely dismissed the facts as baseless political rumors being circulated by the opposition.

SecureWorks argues that it has enough evidence to prove all these allegations. But is ready to do so only when the right time occurs.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cyber Security Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security