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Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

The hackers who disrupted the U.S. presidential election last year had ambitions that stretched across the globe, targeting the emails of Ukrainian officers, Russian opposition figures, U.S. defense contractors and thousands of others of interest to the Kremlin, according to an AP package by Raphael Satter, Jeff Donn and Desmond Butler:

  • Why it matters: "The hackers were closely aligned with the interests of the Russian government."
  • The lead: "The FBI failed to notify scores of U.S. officials that Russian hackers were trying to break into their personal Gmail accounts despite having evidence for at least a year that the targets were in the Kremlin's cross-hairs."
  • "Even senior policymakers discovered they were targets only when informed by The Associated Press, a situation some described as bizarre and dispiriting."
  • The previously unpublished digital hit list obtained by AP provides "the most detailed forensic evidence to date of the ambitious hackers who disrupted the U.S. presidential election in 2016."
  • AP drew on a database of 19,000 malicious links collected by the cybersecurity firm Secureworks, dozens of rogue emails and interviews with more than 100 hacking targets.
  • Follow the hackers.

Anatomy of hacking Hillary:

  • "The Clinton campaign was no easy target; several former employees said the organization put particular stress on digital safety."
  • "Work emails were protected by two-factor authentication, a technique that uses a second passcode to keep accounts secure. Most messages were deleted after 30 days and staff went through phishing drills.
  • "Two-factor authentication may have slowed the hackers, but it didn't stop them.
  • "After repeated attempts to break into various staffers' hillaryclinton.com accounts, the hackers turned to the personal Gmail addresses. It was there on March 19 that they targeted top Clinton lieutenants — including campaign manager Robby Mook, senior adviser Jake Sullivan and political fixer Philippe Reines."
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Go deeper

Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

White House stands by imperiled Tanden nomination after Senate panel postpones hearing

Neera Tanden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate Homeland Security Committee is postponing a confirmation hearing scheduled Wednesday for Neera Tanden, Axios has learned, a potential death knell for President Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget.

The latest: Asked Wednesday afternoon whether Tanden has offered to withdraw her nomination, Psaki told reporters, "That’s not the stage we’re in." She noted that it's a "numbers game" and a "matter of getting one Republican" to support the nomination.

Acting Capitol Police chief: Officers were unsure of lethal force rules on Jan. 6

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman wrote in prepared remarks for a House hearing on Thursday that officers in her department were "unsure of when to use lethal force" during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Why it matters: Capitol Police did deploy lethal force on Jan. 6 — shooting and killing 35-year-old Ashli Babbit — but have faced questions over why officers appeared to be less forceful against pro-Trump rioters than participants in previous demonstrations, including those over Black Lives Matter and now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

United CEO is confident people will feel safe traveling again by 2022

Axios' Joann Muller and United CEO Scott Kirby. Photo: Axios

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby believes that people will feel safe traveling again by this time next year, depending on the pace of vaccinations and the government's ongoing response to the pandemic, he said at an Axios virtual event.

Why it matters: Misery for global aviation is likely to continue and hold back a broader economic recovery if nothing changes, especially with new restrictions on international border crossings. U.S. airlines carried about 60% fewer passengers in 2020 compared with 2019.

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