Hackers have reportedly carried out a "series" of breaches against reporters from American news agencies.
The intrusions came against reporters for the New York Times and other unnamed news outlets, CNN reported Tuesday. The network added that the FBI and other agencies are investigating the incidents, which they allegedly attribute to Russia.
In a statement, the Times refused to confirm the breach. "Like most news organizations, we are vigilant about guarding against attempts to hack into our systems," said spokeswoman Eileen Murphy. "There are a variety of approaches we take up to and including working with outside investigators and law enforcement. We won't comment on any specific attempt to gain unauthorized access to the Times."
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Countries including Russia, China and Iran have a long history of targeting journalists in the West, especially those in major cities, as well as think tanks, academic institutions and other organizations tangentially related to government. The operations can yield intelligence or serve as leverage for penetrating more sophisticated systems belonging to government.
The fact the incident was allegedly tied to the Russian government implies the involvement of Fancy Bear or Cozy Bear, groups respectively linked to the Russian military and the country's Federal Security Service. The same organizations also reportedly hacked the Democratic National Committee and some affiliated organizations over the past several months.