Russian hackers target U.S. liberal groups in bid to get hush money

Protesters march against U.S. President Donald Trump outside the Russian Embassy in Washington on Saturday. | AFP-JIJI

Russian hackers are targeting U.S. progressive groups in a new wave of attacks, scouring the organizations’ emails for embarrassing details and attempting to extract hush money, according to two people familiar with probes being conducted by the FBI and private security firms.

At least a dozen groups have faced extortion attempts since last year’s U.S. presidential election, said the people, who provided broad outlines of the campaign. The ransom demands are accompanied by samples of sensitive data in the hackers’ possession.

In one case, a nonprofit group and a prominent liberal donor discussed how to use grant money to cover some costs for anti-Trump protesters. The identities were not disclosed, and it’s unclear if the protesters were paid.

At least some groups have paid the ransoms even though there is little guarantee the documents won’t be made public anyway. Demands have ranged from about $30,000 to $150,000, payable in untraceable bitcoins, according to one of the people familiar with the probe.

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Source By http://www.japantimes.co.jp

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