"You're looking at a repeat, potentially, of 2016." So says New York Times journalist Matthew Rosenberg, whose reporting indicates that the same Russian hacker group that stole emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman has now hacked Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company at the heart of President Trump's impeachment saga, per CNN. California-based online security firm Area 1 says Russian military intelligence known as the GRU, including hackers using the alias "Fancy Bear," stole computer credentials from Burisma employees in a phishing scheme that began in November, as the House proceeded with public impeachment hearings. At the center of those hearings was Trump's request that Ukraine investigate Burisma and its ties to Joe Biden, whose son, Hunter, had served on Burisma's board.
Area 1 cofounder Blake Darche says the firm is "100% certain" of GRU's involvement in the hack, per the BBC. While it's unclear what hackers might have found, "the timing … mirrors the GRU hacks we saw in 2016 against the DNC and John Podesta," Area 1's Oren Falkowitz, a former NSA official, tells the Times. The paper cites a US security official as saying Russian spies on the ground in Ukraine have been looking to penetrate Burisma to dig up dirt on the Bidens. Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has repeatedly claimed to have found evidence of wrongdoing, though none has surfaced. A spokesman for Biden's 2020 campaign now says "any American president who had not repeatedly encouraged foreign interventions of this kind would immediately condemn this attack on the sovereignty of our elections." (Read more hackers stories.)