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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On Friday, U.S. Attorney Scott Brady elaborated on charges made Thursday against the Russian government for hacking Westinghouse and other organizations around the world.
“The Russian government did not draw the line at entities and organizations,” Brady said. “They also targeted individual Westinghouse employees right here in the Pittsburgh area and more than 250 athletes from approximately 30 countries.”
While the Russian agent tried to spear-phish Westinghouse employees to obtain access to both personal and corporate data at the nuclear power company giant, Brady confirmed that the Westinghouse hack did not succeed.
“That hacking effort was unsuccessful,” Brady said.
Local FBI agent-in-charge Robert Jones commended Westinghouse for their vigilance.
“I want to thank the victims in this case, especially Westinghouse, for reporting these intrusions and cooperating with these investigations,” Jones said. “These types of foreign intelligence operations are real, and they are here targeting institutions in Pittsburgh.”
Brady showed pictures of four Russian agents and said when hacking from Russia did not succeed, they’d go local with vehicles loaded with devices to hack into their targets.
“They would deploy a close access team that would be sent on site to the country to, as we lay out in the indictment, try to compromise hotel WiFi and use that to gain access to the private laptops, work laptops of officials that may have been traveling in Rio or Luzerne and then use that penetration to get into work emails, work servers, because many people will log onto their work from hotels,” Brady said.
The Russian agent indicted for the Westinghouse hack was also charged by special counsel Robert Mueller for interfering with the 2016 elections.
“They were from the same units, the same units from the GRU, 26-165 and 74455,” Brady said.
But Brady would not speculate on what that means.