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‘Russian hackers’ hysteria in US may be extremely profitable — Zakharova

The statement came in response to US media reports of Google's warnings about "state-sponsored" hackers trying to steal mail passwords from journalists
Spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign ministry Maria Zakharova Dmitry Serebryakov/TASS
Spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign ministry Maria Zakharova
© Dmitry Serebryakov/TASS

MOSCOW, February 10. /TASS/. The hysteria surrounding the so-called "Russian hackers" in the United States may bring millions in profit to those who exploit it, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign ministry Maria Zakharova said commenting on recent media reports about alleged cyberattacks on journalists in the United States.

According to Politico, Google has warned a number of prominent journalists that "state-sponsored hackers" are attempting to steal their passwords and break into their inboxes. The state that supported them was not named directly, but Politico implied that Russia may be under suspicion.

Commenting on the report, Zakharova said that the issue of the "Russian hackers" may "bring millions in profit."

"If you start selling in the United States pills, antivirus software and hats with antennas that say "remedy against Russian hackers" on them, there will be enough profit for three generations ahead," the Russian diplomat said on her Facebook page.

The Politico article, published on Friday, said that some journalists "suspect the hackers could be Russians looking to find incriminating emails they could leak to embarrass journalists, either by revealing alleged liberal bias or to expose the sausage-making of D.C. journalism."

Michael McFaul, the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, who received a similar warning, was quoted as saying that "given my background, one would have to guess that it’s the Russians."

Google cautioned that the warnings did not mean the accounts had been compromised already and were sent due to "an abundance of caution."

"Since 2012, we’ve notified users when we believe their Google accounts are being targeted by government-backed attackers," Politico quoted a Google statement as saying. "We send these warnings out of an abundance of caution - they do not indicate that a user’s account has already been compromised or that a more widespread attack is occurring when they receive the notice.".