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    A hooded man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017

    US State Department Confirms Reports on Employees Impersonation Cyberattacks

    © REUTERS / Kacper Pempel/Illustration
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The US State Department told Sputnik it was aware of the reported attempted cyberattacks, involving the impersonation of its employees, against US government agencies, think tanks and businesses.

    "The Department is aware of the recent malicious cyber event involving the spoofing (impersonation) of a Department employee reported by U.S. cybersecurity firm FireEye. No Department networks were compromised by this malicious cyber attempt," the State Department spokesperson said late on Friday.

    The reports, citing cybersecurity companies CrowdStrike and FireEye Inc, about a cyberoperation against US government agencies emerged on Friday. They claimed that hackers sent emails purporting to come from a State Department employee, Susan Stevenson, urging the recipients to open a malicious file said to be from spokeswoman Heather Nauert. After the opening, the document would install software giving the hackers access to the systems of the US government agencies and companies.

    The two cybersecurity firms, cited in the reports, claimed that the hackers behind the cyberattacks had been linked to the Russian government.

    The reports also suggested the hackers were from the APT29 group which has repeatedly been suspected of carrying out attacks of various western companies. The Russian Kaspersky Lab cybersecurity company also reportedly said that the impersonation operation had been carried out by APT29.

    READ MORE: Russia Awaits UK Reaction to News of Planned Cyberattack on Moscow — Embassy

    Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has categorically denied claims that the Kremlin was involved in any cyberattacks and had links with cyberactors, calling these allegations defamation.


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    cyberattacks, U.S. Department of State, Russia, United States
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