‘New York Times’ Moscow bureau targeted in cyber attack

No evidence that the hackers, believed to be Russian, were successful, says newspaper

A spokeswoman for the ‘New York Times’ said it had seen no evidence that its internal systems, including its systems in its Moscow bureau, had been breached.

A spokeswoman for the ‘New York Times’ said it had seen no evidence that its internal systems, including its systems in its Moscow bureau, had been breached.

 

The Moscow bureau of the New York Times was the target of an attempted cyber attack this month. But so far there is no evidence that the hackers, believed to be Russian, were successful.

“We are constantly monitoring our systems with the latest available intelligence and tools,” said Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the New York Times. “We have seen no evidence that any of our internal systems, including our systems in the Moscow bureau, have been breached or compromised.”

On Tuesday, citing US officials briefed on the matter, CNN reported that the newspaper, along with other news organisations it did not identify, had been the victims of computer breaches by hackers thought to be working for Russian intelligence.

FBI inquiry

The FBI is looking into the attempted attack on the New York Times, a government official briefed on the inquiry said, but has no investigations under way of such episodes at other news organisations. Kelly Langmesser, a spokeswoman for the agency, said the FBI had no comment.

Murphy said the New York Times had not hired outside firms to investigate the attempted intrusion, contrary to the CNN report. Evidence that hackers had targeted the newspaper came to light two months after private investigators concluded that Russian hackers, apparently connected to two of the country’s intelligence agencies, had broken into the networks of the Democratic National Committee.

The FBI’s investigation into that episode has since widened to include breaches at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is the fundraising arm for the House Democrats.

So far, the Obama administration has not blamed the Russian government publicly for that attack, though intelligence officials have said they have “high confidence” that the attack on the Democratic National Committee was the work of two Russian intelligence agencies, the FSB and the GRU. The first is the successor to the KGB, and the second is the leading military intelligence unit.

Once the federal investigation into the hacking of the Democratic National Committee is complete, senior administration officials say, President Barack Obama will have to decide whether the evidence of Russian responsibility for the breach is strong enough to warrant an American response. If so, he would also have to determine whether that response would take the form of quiet warnings, economic sanctions or even a counterattack of some kind.