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Saturday, June 15

CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson's work and home computers hacked by sophisticated means

The Fox News report on the hacking is a little more detailed in some respects than the Associated Press one; however, Fox, which is focused on Ms Attkisson's investigative reporting on the September 11 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, neglects to mention what I consider to be an important fact, which the AP report by David Bauder (6/14) highlights:
Attkisson said she had been having problems with a computer in her house since at least February 2011. At that time, she said, she was investigating the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' "Fast and Furious" gun-smuggling sting operation and stimulus spending on clean-energy projects. Attkisson won an Emmy award for her "Fast and Furious" investigation.

Now to the Fox News report:
[emphasis throughout mine]
CBS probe finds computer of lead Benghazi reporter was hacked

A probe commissioned by CBS News has confirmed the suspicions of reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who said last month amid revelations the Justice Department snooped on Associated Press and Fox News reporters that she believed her own computer had been hacked, the network said.

The network said it has not determined who was behind the breach of Attkisson's computer, but said the hacker “used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity, and alter system times to cause further confusion.”

Last month, amid new revelations the Justice Department spied on reporters and editors from The Associated Press and secretly obtained phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen, Atkisson told a Philadelphia radio station she believed her computer had been compromised and that she believed it may be related to the snooping scandal. The announcement from CBS did not draw any connection to the ongoing Justice Department scandal.

“A cyber security firm hired by CBS News has determined through forensic analysis that Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions late in 2012,” said CBS News spokeswoman Sonya McNair. “Evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson’s accounts. While no malicious code was found, forensic analysis revealed an intruder had executed commands that appeared to involve search and exfiltration of data.”

The statement said whoever went through Attkisson’s computer “used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity, and alter system times to cause further confusion.” The network said it is working to identify who was behind the breach and how they did it.

The Justice Department, already under fire over the AP snooping scandal, released a statement at the time Attkisson first raised the issue.

“To our knowledge, the Justice Department has never compromised Ms. Attkisson’s computers, or otherwise sought any information from or concerning any telephone, computer, or other media device she may own or use,” the statement read.

Attkisson, who said the investigation also encompassed her home computer, tweeted the CBS statement on Friday

The veteran reporter, who worked at CNN before joining CBS 20 years ago, was among the few reporters to ask the White House uncomfortable questions about now-discredited talking points it pushed blaming an Egyptian filmmaker for the Sept. 11, 2012 deadly attack on a Libyan consulate in Benghazi.

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