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Joe and Hunter Biden. Photo: Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for World Food Program USA.

Russian hackers from the military intelligence unit known as the GRU successfully targeted Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company that once employed Hunter Biden as a board member, the New York Times first reported.

Why it matters: President Trump was impeached as a result of his alleged efforts to pressure the government of Ukraine to investigate Burisma and the Bidens over unsubstantiated corruption allegations.

  • "The timing of the Russian campaign mirrors the GRU hacks we saw in 2016 against the DNC and John Podesta," the co-founder of Area 1, the firm that detected the hack, told the Times. (The company has released a report detailing its findings.)
  • The Justice Department indicted seven GRU officers in 2018 for conspiring to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election by hacking and releasing the emails of Democrats.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Scott Rosenberg: Public awareness of the Burisma hack cuts both ways politically. For former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign, it means document dumps could happen at any time, with accompanying media frenzy and potentially damaging revelations. For the Trump campaign, it means that any such revelations will come pre-tainted with a Russian label.

The big picture: Experts tell the Times the hackers may have been searching for embarrassing information about the Bidens, though it's not yet known what — if anything — they uncovered.

  • The hackers infiltrated Burisma through phishing emails that looked to have come from within to company to steal employees’ login information.
  • American officials note that Russian hacking tactics have intensified since the 2016 election.

Go deeper ... Fact check: What Joe and Hunter Biden actually did in Ukraine

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details, including a link to the report and more context.

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
44 mins ago - Science

Biden's military space future

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden should anticipate major and minor conflicts in space from even the earliest days of his presidency.

The big picture: President Donald Trump's military and civil space policies are well-documented, but Biden's record and views on space are less clear.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus may have been in U.S. in December 2019, study finds — Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators unveil $908 billion COVID stimulus proposalFDA chief was called to West Wing to explain why agency hasn't moved faster on vaccine — The words that actually persuade people on the pandemic
  3. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorizationVaccinating rural America won't be easy — Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  4. States: Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as New York's COVID capacity dwindles.
  5. World: European regulators to assess first COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 29
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.

Bipartisan group of senators unveils $908 billion COVID stimulus proposal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the Capitol in 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

A bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday proposed a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus package, in one of the few concrete steps toward COVID relief made by Congress in several months.

Why it matters: Recent data shows that the economic recovery is floundering as coronavirus cases surge and hospitals threaten to be overwhelmed heading into what is likely to be a grim winter.