Ukrainian authorities ask FBI for help investigating Russian hack on Burisma

 thehill.com  01/16/2020 17:43:39 

Ukraines Ministry of Internal Affairson Thursday announced that the countrys cyber police hadstarted "criminal proceedings"around the recent hacking of gas company Burisma, and noted that authorities were seeking the assistance of the FBI in pursuing the case.

The ministry wrote in a statement that criminal proceedings had been launched, and that persons involved in committing this criminal offense are being identified.

The companyhas been propelled into the spotlight in recent months due to the impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism Parnas: U.S. ambassador to Ukraine removed to clear path for investigations into Bidens Five takeaways from Parnas's Maddow interview MORE, which began after an anonymous whistleblower report alleged that Trump had tried to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating former Vice President Joe BidenJoe Biden Parnas: U.S. ambassador to Ukraine removed to clear path for investigations into Bidens Five takeaways from Parnas's Maddow interview Parnas: Trump threatened to withhold more than just military aid to Ukraine MORE and his son Hunter Biden, who served on thecompany'sboard between 2014 and 2019.

Theproceedings werelaunched following a story from The New York Times earlier this week, which reported findings by cyber group Area 1 Security that Russian military hackers had launched email phishing attacks designed to steal credentials of Burisma employees and gain access to the companys systems.

The attack reportedly cameamid impeachment hearings in November.

According to the Times, the Russian hackers successfully got into at least one server, although it is unclear what they were able to access or whether anything was stolen.

The ministry noted that it had approached both the FBI and Area 1 Security for assistance in theprobe into the hacking of Burisma.

In order to properly investigate the circumstances of the offense, the National Police is initiating the creation of a joint international investigation team, to which FBI representatives will be invited, the ministry wrote.

The announcement of the criminal proceedingsin relation to the Burisma hack came the same day the ministry also launched a criminal investigation into whether former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie YovanovitchMarie Yovanovitch Parnas: U.S. ambassador to Ukraine removed to clear path for investigations into Bidens New Parnas evidence escalates impeachment witnesses fight Engel demands State Department documents regarding 'threats' to Yovanovitch security after release of Parnas documents MORE had been tracked by associates of Lev Parnas, an associate of former New York City Mayor Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiDem lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism Parnas: U.S. ambassador to Ukraine removed to clear path for investigations into Bidens Five takeaways from Parnas's Maddow interview MORE, while serving as ambassador.

According to communications between Parnas and Republican congressional candidate Robert Hyde that were made public earlier this week, Yovanovitch may have been followed while in Ukraine. Hyde has since denied that any spying took place.

The FBI did not immediately respond to The Hills request for comment on whether it would lend assistance to Ukrainian authorities.

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