A cybersecurity firm that is providing about half of the Democrat 2020 presidential candidates security services at cut-rate prices, claims that the Russians in November hacked into Burisma Holdings, the notoriously corrupt energy company at the center of Ukraine scandal.
According to the New York Times, the timing of the breaches suggest that the Russians could be trying to dig up “potentially embarrassing material on the Bidens,” just like they did to the Clintons in 2016.
The Times reports—without evidence—that the Kremlin could have been searching for the “same kind of information that Mr. Trump wanted from Ukraine when he pressed for an investigation of the Bidens and Burisma.”
Former vice president Joe Biden, the Democratic frontrunner in the 2020 presidential race, threatened to pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees arming Ukraine unless then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko fired the top prosecutor in the spring of 2016. Viktor Shokin, the prosecutor general, was investigating Burisma, which employed Hunter Biden at the time.
In a now-famous July 2019 phone call between President Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump pressed Zelensky to look into Ukraine’s election meddling in 2016 and the Burisma corruption involving the Bidens. This prompted a deep state “whistleblower” (Eric Ciaramella) to register a complaint with the highly conflicted Intelligence Community Inspector General, leading House Democrats to round up a bunch of Obama loyalists in the bureaucracy to support the “whistleblower” complaint as part of their impeachment sham.
Now, after Trump’s dastardly plan was foiled by this patriotic deep state crew, a Democrat-friendly cybersecurity firm has produced an 8-page report alleging that Putin has taken over where the Orange Menace left off.
Oren Falkowitz, the CEO and co-founder of Area 1 Security, a cybersecurity firm that protects businesses, nonprofits and political campaigns, says Russian hackers blasted Burisma employees with phishing emails which fooled them into handing over their login credentials.
According to Area 1, “Russian hackers from a military intelligence unit known formerly as the G.R.U., and to private researchers by the alias ‘Fancy Bear,’ used so-called phishing emails that appear designed to steal usernames and passwords.”
The hackers reportedly managed to get inside one of Burisma’s servers, although it wasn’t clear if they found anything of use to them.
“The attacks were successful,” said Falkowitz, who previously served at the National Security Agency under President Barack Obama.
Falkowitz’s firm maintains a network of sensors on web servers around the globe — many known to be used by state-sponsored hackers — which gives the firm a front-row seat to phishing attacks, and allows them to block attacks on their customers.
“The timing of the Russian campaign mirrors the G.R.U. hacks we saw in 2016 against the D.N.C. and John Podesta,” Falkowitz said. “Once again, they are stealing email credentials, in what we can only assume is a repeat of Russian interference in the last election.”
An anonymous “American security official” also weighed in.
“The Russian attacks on Burisma appear to be running parallel to an effort by Russian spies in Ukraine to dig up information in the analog world that could embarrass the Bidens,” the official told the Times.
The spook “spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence.”
The spies, the official said, are trying to penetrate Burisma and working sources in the Ukrainian government in search of emails, financial records and legal documents.
Notably, the anonymous official used the term “spies,” which fell out of favor in the American media last year after it was used by the attorney general to describe the “informants” the Obama administration deployed to spy on the Trump campaign in 2016. It’s good to know that the term is back in style again, and being used to describe Russian hackers.
The Times also spoke with a spokesman for the Biden campaign for their story.
“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,” said Biden spox Andrew Bates.
“Now we know that Vladimir Putin also sees Joe Biden as a threat,” Bates 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.”
Of course, there’s no reason for Russia to see Biden as a threat. The Obama/Biden years were a bonanza for Russia, while Trump policies like deploying military forces to the Baltic states, providing Ukraine with defense weapons, and allowing the United States to become energy independent must cause Putin massive heartburn.
Some conservatives suspect that the Russia hacking Burisma story is another Democrat operation designed to “pre-emptively” discredit any damaging Ukraine news that reflects badly on the Bidens.
Pre-emptive narrative strike: anything bad about Burisma/Biden is going to be helping “Russians” and suppressed by the media on that basis https://t.co/Ub9l6g59Ul
— Undercover Huber (@JohnWHuber) January 14, 2020
“The legacy media has learned absolutely nothing from the Russia hoax and has doubled, tripled, and now, quadrupled down on peddling ruthlessly false narratives about hacking, spies, and partisan campaigns by foreign governments,” said national security expert Jordan Schachtel.
BREAKING: The legacy media has learned absolutely nothing from the Russia hoax and has doubled, tripled, and now, quadrupled down on peddling ruthlessly false narratives about hacking, spies, and partisan campaigns by foreign governments.https://t.co/CIZlXtM87Z
— Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) January 14, 2020
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, whose RussiaGate conspiracy-mongering is legendary, immediately jumped on the NY Times’ bombshell story about Russian hackers trying to dig up dirt on a Democrat to help Donald Trump in an election year.
She had on Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), another major purveyor of the Russia collusion hoax, to talk about the new Russia hoax.
“The message that Vladimir Putin has gotten is not to stay out of American elections, but you’re welcome to get involved in American elections as long as it helps Donald Trump,” Schiff said. “That seems to be the message that President Trump has conveyed and at least the message that Vladimir Putin has received,” the House Intelligence chairman added.
“I have to say, Rachel, I’m a bit distressed to see this for the first time in a newspaper report. If the Intel Community is aware of this, that should have been brought to our attention by now,” Schiff said sadly. “I don’t find it surprising but I do find it deeply disturbing.”
"I have to say, Rachel, I'm a bit distressed to see this for the first time in a newspaper report. If the intel community is aware of this, that should have been brought to our attention by now." -Rep. Adam Schiff on new NYT reporting on Russian hacking pic.twitter.com/mQ7p07fQBn
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 14, 2020
Last summer, Area 1 “persuaded the Federal Election Commission to allow it to provide low-cost services to political campaigns, which would typically be a violation of rules designed to prevent businesses from currying political favor,” Mercury News reported.
“About half of the major 2020 presidential candidates are now using Area 1’s services,” Falkowitz claimed at the time.