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Bellingcat Says Staffers Targeted In Cyberattacks Over Russian Investigative Work

Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins

The Bellingcat investigative news organization says staff members have been targeted in sophisticated cyberattacks through their ProtonMail accounts, hours after the e-mail service provider said evidence suggested Moscow was responsible.

“Yet again, Bellingcat finds itself targeted by cyberattacks, almost certainly linked to our work on Russia,” Eliot Higgins, founder of the investigative news site, wrote in a tweet on July 27.

“I guess one way to measure our impact is how frequently agents of the Russian Federation try to attack it, be it their hackers, trolls, or media,” he added.

Bellingcat officials said the cyberattack failed to penetrate their systems.

ProtonMail said a so-called “phishing” attack, which sought to trick users into sharing their ProtonMail passwords, was aimed at journalists from the website, which helped identify agents who allegedly poisoned former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Britain.

ProtonMail, based in Geneva, said that "the evidence (along with independent third-party assessments) seem to suggest an attack of Russian origin."

ProtonMail describes itself as the world's most secure e-mail provider through its encryption system and is used by journalists and others who handle sensitive information.

Based on reporting by AFP and