CBS News confirmed on Friday that Washington investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson's had been the victim of a successful computer hacking attempt.
The network said the intruder was unknown but that the means through which the person accessed her information was "sophisticated," the Los Angeles Times reports.
The breaches occurred in December of last year. During that time, Attkisson was reporting heavily on the governments' handling of the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens.
Attkisson has covered some of the governments most closely guarded topics, including into the Department of Justice's "Fast and Furious" gun trafficking program and the Barack Obama administration's spending on green energy.
Business Insider reports that during a March interview with WPHT Philadelphia, the Emmy Award-winning journalist made the claim that both her home and work computers may have been compromised.
"There's been an issue in my home and an issue with my computers," Attkisson said on the radio show. "It's gone on for quite a long time."
She still made a point not to draw any conclusion or accuse "a specific entity." She said she had witnessed peculiar behavior from the systems such as them booting up at weird hours.
At the time, CBS spokesperson Sonya McNair said the network was "investigating the matter."
The network hired a cybersecurity firm to look into the claims, and it was found that Attkisson's computer had been accessed numerous times in late 2012.
According to CBS, the hacking was done in a remote location, though the network did not name a specific intruder.
"While no malicious code was found, forensic analysis revealed an intruder had executed commands that appeared to involve search and exfiltration of data," CBS News said.
The hacking also involved "removing all possible indications of unauthorized activity and altering system times to cause further confusion."
In an interview on Friday, the reporter expressed her own frustration with the hacking situation. “This wasn’t any ordinary malware of a phishing attempt,” that is, an effort to gain personal information, she said. “I assume someone wanted to see what I was working on.”
“The privacy and security of every American citizen in his own home, not to mention the work of a journalist, is sacrosanct. The idea that an unknown party could come into your home electronically is upsetting and disturbing. ... People should be disturbed that a reporter would be spied on and intimidated this way. I do feel that this was an attempt to make me feel intimidated.”
She ceased using the computers in January once CBS hired the firm to look into the hacking claim, the Washington Post reports.
Treye Green is a reporter for The International Business Times and a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Green has shot, edited and...