Group Accused Of DNC Hack Also Targeted Firm Formerly Known As Blackwater: Report


WASHINGTON ― A cyber-espionage group that targeted political parties during U.S. and French elections also launched a phishing campaign against Academi, the private military firm formerly known as Blackwater, a new report says.

Pawn Storm, a hacking group also known as Fancy Bear, targeted Academi on April 24, 2014, according to a report released Tuesday by the cybersecurity firm Trend Micro. Crowdstrike, another security firm, has said Fancy Bear is believed to be “closely linked“ to Russian intelligence services.

The Trend Micro report does not indicate whether Pawn Storm succeeded in stealing information from Academi during the phishing attack. Academi did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story.

Academi is the latest incarnation of Blackwater, a private military contractor founded by Erik Prince in 1997. Blackwater gained notoriety in 2007 when its employees shot at and killed more than a dozen civilians in Baghdad while escorting a U.S. convoy. As part of an attempt to clean up its image, Blackwater was renamed “Xe Services” two years later. Prince sold the company in 2010 and the new owners gave it yet another name: “Academi.”

Prince, whose sister, Betsy DeVos, is President Donald Trump’s secretary of education, has been in the news lately because of his ties to the Trump campaign. Last July, he recommended to senior Trump adviser Steve Bannon that the Trump administration replicate a Vietnam War-era CIA assassination program to be used against the militant group known as the Islamic State. In January, Prince reportedly acted as…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

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