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Security Politics

State-sponsored Hackers Targeting Prominent Journalists, Google Warns (politico.com) 102

State-sponsored hackers are attempting to steal email passwords of a number of prominent journalists, Google has warned. The hackers are suspected to be Russians, reports POLITICO. Some of the journalists who have received such warnings from Google as recent as two-to-three weeks ago include Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine, Julia Ioffe, who recently started at The Atlantic, Ezra Klein of Vox, and CNN's Brian Stelter. From the report: "The fact that all this started right after the election suggests to me that journalists are the next wave to be targeted by state-sponsored hackers in the way that Democrats were during it," said one journalist who got the warning. "I worry that the outcome is going to be the same: Someone, somewhere, is going to get hacked, and then the contents of their Gmail will be weaponized against them -- and by extension all media."
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State-sponsored Hackers Targeting Prominent Journalists, Google Warns

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  • Just amazing the reach of Russian hackers. First, they managed to get the DNC & Hillary Clinton to write thousands of self-incriminating (and on Hillary's side, remarkably foul-mouthed - or is it foul-keyboarded?) emails. Then they suborned the DNC to steal the nomination from Sanders and give it to Clinton, to give Trump an easier opponent. Next they induced a DNC staffer named Seth Rich to steal the compromising emails and give them to Wikileaks, which dutifully publishes them, showing the DNC to be c

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You're apparently a moron or pretending to be one for the purpose of conflating news events... The fact is there are state sponsored crackers in Russia and their methods have been documented. They attack journalists in Russia and opposition figures, Ukraine military, and yes they attacked bot GOP and DNC campaigns. Being stupid is your right as an American I suppose, but no one here should bother entertaining your sarcastic and poorly conceived notions of how intelligence and propaganda campaigns are car

      • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

        by Fragnet ( 4224287 )
        For godssake, what am I missing here? I grew up during the Cold War. Not only were journalists regularly bugged and burgled, they were often spies themselves.

        Please, everybody born after 1989 learn a little history in college. Drop your feminist dance therapy major.
        • I agree with you, the OP is clearly too young to know about such things, probably believes all that is just stuff from movies and isn't real -- or the OP voted for Trump and/or needs to have his bloodwork checked for excessive lead contamination.
          • I think it's likely the latter. At this point there's still way too much emotional investment in some quarters to Trump to admit that the Russians are quite willing and capable of all manner of mischief. Which seems odd, considering the US isn't the only place Russia is mucking around, and concerns over electoral and political integrity is a growing issue in Europe right now.

            • So, basically, 'Never underestimate the awesome power of denial'? :-)

              My personal opinion is that Putin would like to resurrect the Soviet Union, or at least a version of it; he's got his eye on empire-building, and the U.S. and it's allies would definitely stand in his way. Stands to reason that being supportive (both overtly and clandestinely) of a totally inexperienced, arrogant fool like Trump would further that agenda. Get the U.S. and it's allies in disarray because we have a totally inappropriate and
      • by negRo_slim ( 636783 ) <mils_orgen@hotmail.com> on Friday February 10, 2017 @03:37PM (#53842175) Homepage

        You're apparently a moron or pretending to be one for the purpose of conflating news events... The fact is there are state sponsored crackers in Russia and their methods have been documented. They attack journalists in Russia and opposition figures, Ukraine military, and yes they attacked bot GOP and DNC campaigns. Being stupid is your right as an American I suppose, but no one here should bother entertaining your sarcastic and poorly conceived notions of how intelligence and propaganda campaigns are carried out in 2017.

        No proof, no belief.

        And I don't even doubt much that it could be Russians but show us the fucking proof for Christ's sake!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, yes, you deeply believe in corruption and evil on the Democratic side, but are utterly silent when it comes to hawking sweatshop made Trump branded products from the White House. Something that unlike your phantoms, actually happened.

      Seriously, I bet you can't even work up the nerve to admit that Putin is a grade-A despot, as inclined to deception, malice, and corruption as anybody you can name, and Trump is at best, his stooge, at worst, his patsy.

      But even if we ignore that, you're going to have to d

      • Wait a minute, I thought Trump is Bannon's puppet? So which is it, Putin or Bannon?

        Sessions? The same Sessions who got an award from the NAACP for breaking up the KKK? Racist? I'm getting cognitive dissonance here.

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      You're really just a tool.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Allow me to summarize your post for the benefit of everyone:

      This news story doesn't fit my worldview and/or my personal agenda, so I'll just mock and ridicule it, LOL

    • by mmell ( 832646 )
      I don't suppose you have any (non-alternative) facts to back up your allegation, do you? Absent such evidence, I can only conclude you're little better than a parrot, faithfully repeating what you've been taught to say. I don't suppose you have even once stopped to consider how much we have to lose to forces which have been unremittingly hostile to the freedoms we here in the United States have quite famously treasured for over two centuries. What did they promise you, command of the Western District? Y
    • What's wrong - afraid the Drumpf . . . er, Trump brand will be tarnished by this?

      I know - you figure Russia is too technically backwards to mount such an attack (despite being the first nation to put a satellite or a human in orbit). Or a nation steeped in the tradition of Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky could never do such things (despite their attempt to put nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba). Or is it that our Glorious Leader has decreed that Russia's okay, so this couldn't possibly be true? Oh, wait - that'

  • Bull Pucky (Score:4, Funny)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Friday February 10, 2017 @01:47PM (#53841287)

    Nonsense. This is just more fake news from a bunch of snowflake libertards seeking to illegitimize our great president, The Honorable William J. Le Petomane.

  • I just have a really hard time believing the Russian hacker narrative. Can't explain why. Maybe it seems too convenient for the DNC.

    • Have any other hacking incidents been associated with Russians?

      Any at all?

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        The only countries not hacking are the ones incapable of doing so. Russia has, well, leaky digital infrastructure and as such it is the number one point for digital hack routing. In fact if you do not hack via a Russian IP, you are pretty much an amateur. There are quite a few countries that are the sources of attacks but not the originators, in fact the only country not likely to be hacking from a Russia IP would be Russia, think of how stupid that would be (well that was a super easy hack to block it had

    • by mmell ( 832646 )
      Why, you're brilliant! You need to notify the NSA and the CIA immediately, so they'll stop wasting money, resources and effort on Russia and concentrate on more dangerous and subversive players. Sanctuary cities, for example.

      Then again, maybe the cabal wasn't clearly described for you. I'll be happy to help you with the big words, if that'll help.

  • by iMadeGhostzilla ( 1851560 ) on Friday February 10, 2017 @01:57PM (#53841393)

    ... and there's nothing unprofessional in them, the more embarrassing some personal stuff may be the more sympathy you'll get from the public and against the hackers.

    On the other hand if the emails reveal unethical behavior, collusion with one party or one particular candidate of the party that goes against the journalistic integrity, then what I can tell you. Be a better professional.

    • In order to stay more focused on the real concern, let's keep our eye on the ball, OK?

      It's the little round thing.

      The takeaway here is that Gmail is crappy.

    • On the other hand if the emails reveal unethical behavior, collusion with one party or one particular candidate

      The same could be said for Republicans who are trying to hide their tracks [slashdot.org].
      • by x_t0ken_407 ( 2716535 ) on Friday February 10, 2017 @03:41PM (#53842205) Homepage

        So, this is what I don't get. Why aren't ALL OF US mad at BOTH PARTIES? Instead of always pointing the finger with "see, you guys do it too and or did it first!" I'll never understand why the latter is always the case. We all get fucked in the end, do we not?

        • Because our Masters have been exceedingly successful in divide-and-conquer. They convinced enough people (sheep) that electing their Angel Babies and keeping the Other Sides Hell Spawned Demons out of office is more important than anything else.

          • It's so frustratingly infuriating to be wide tf awake in a world where people would rather stick their heads in the ground and be ruled-over. People, WAKE. THE FUCK. UP.

    • It's not just "someone read the emails". It also gives them an easy & trusted avenue to deploy malware and trojans to the target and all their contacts.

    • But what if hackers selectively release work emails which individually make the reporter appear unethical but which are not when taken in the context of other emails the reporter sent on the same subject?
      • It's hard to imagine that case but if they do I'm assuming 1) the public will notice emails are missing which undermines the credibility of the release, and 2) the hackee can release those emails themselves to prove their innocence, which would make hackers look like clowns.

        • "The public?" The public is only going to notice emails which support their preconceived notions and political affiliation and ignore the rest.
    • by PMuse ( 320639 )

      Again with the, "Why would you want privacy unless you had something to hide?" argument.

      The answer is that even legal, ethical facts can be deeply embarrassing. If you enemy learns such a secret, he can use it to wound you or to turn your neighbors against you. Imagine that you had:
      1. divorced a spouse because of their drinking problem or abusiveness
      2. had a child who became a felon
      3. been bankrupted by medical expenses / job loss

      Don't talk to me about illogical. Don't pretend that my new community will

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I never made that argument. Privacy should be protected. What I'm saying is *if* you are a journalist, and *if* you get hacked, and *if* those emails reveal unethical journalistic behavior, don't expect any sympathy from the public. And on the contrary, if anything like you listed is revealed, we will be on your side, because we hate the weak being hit, even if you were a little bit unprofessional.

        I'm saying that because this warning appears to preemptively control damage to the reputations of journos who p

    • by Fire_Wraith ( 1460385 ) on Friday February 10, 2017 @03:11PM (#53841983)
      If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.

      -Cardinal Richelieu
      • That is actually very different. The quote means when you have only six lines (written by the hand of a man so to prove its authenticity) a skilled manipulator can interpret them in so many ways as to find a way in which to hang him. The key is six lines -- less than that would be too little to work with, and *more than that would destroy the ambiguity*. With 1000s and 1000s of lines by Podesta and others there was very little doubt what they meant and did. (None of which was terribly spectacular or unexpec

    • by DerekLyons ( 302214 ) <fairwater@@@gmail...com> on Friday February 10, 2017 @03:32PM (#53842133) Homepage

      and there's nothing unprofessional in them, the more embarrassing some personal stuff may be the more sympathy you'll get from the public and against the hackers.

      Hardly. The embarrassing personal stuff will be turned into evidence that the journalist is unprofessional - or at least undesirable. ("Scott Mediapersonality is into $kink, how can we trust him!".) The goal here, on the part of the hacker's Masters is weaponize the email - and that's terrifyingly easy.

      "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him."

      Dig into my email, and you'll find nothing unethical... But you will find a lot of otaku/anime material. A couple of quotes from those emails, put into an article with plenty of fanservice and hentai screenshots... and there's a lot of people who don't know who'll willingly believe I'm a rapist, a pervert, a pedophile. Hell, if they really wanted to, my SCA emails could be similiary spun - "here's a guy who gives fealty to a King! How can he believe in democracy!".

      Etc... etc...

      People in general won't believe the facts. They aren't even interested in the facts. All they know and think is what their Masters tell them to know and think.

  • Wow, I wish I had Russian genetics. They seem to be able to do all the really big scary computer stuff that us non-russians are not capable of doing. I am not trying to denegrate Russians here, but the media is so incredibly naive. It is as if putting "Russian" in front of it, no matter the evidence, turns the so called hack into something mysterious, huge, and scary.

    Most of the so called hacks, are simply social engineering and phishing scams. The Podesta thing could have been done by any old graphic des

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "Most of the so called hacks, are simply social engineering and phishing scams." - Because that's effective, and when targeted they call it spearphishing... And they use variants of known-state-sponsored malware and methods from APT groups categorized by previous attack forensics, like ones that tracked Ukrainian artillery brigades in Luhansk.

      But because YOU DO NOT APPARENTLY CARE TO READ ABOUT THIS STUFF IN DEPTH, you can sit on your bean bag chair laurels and doubt the sophistication of the attacks or t

    • Wow, I wish I had Russian genetics. They seem to be able to do all the really big scary computer stuff that us non-russians are not capable of doing. I am not trying to denegrate Russians here, but the media is so incredibly naive. It is as if putting "Russian" in front of it, no matter the evidence, turns the so called hack into something mysterious, huge, and scary.

      Those wascawy Wussians, hacking Amewican ewections & weportews emaiws!

    • by mmell ( 832646 )
      So who is behind it, then. POTUS? We already know he actively hates the news media and would gladly repeal the second amendment if he thought he could pull it off. Make that, will repeal the second amendment as soon as he thinks he can pull it off.
  • Gossip is news???? Shit article.
  • Some consumer brand of email gives users a colourful message and its a Russian warning?
    Words like "suspect"? then "have to guess that it’s the Russians"?
    If the company changes the "big bright red bar" to any another color would that feeling be altered?
  • Some of the journalists who have received such warnings from Google as recent as two-to-three weeks ago include Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine, Julia Ioffe, who recently started at The Atlantic, Ezra Klein of Vox, and CNN's Brian Stelter.

    These people haven't had anything of substance to say for years.

  • These aren't journalists, they're hardcore leftists faking yet another incident. The alleged "targets" are just too in line with their narrative.

  • These aren't journalists, they're hardcore leftists faking yet another incident. The alleged "targets" are just too in line with their narrative.

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