Russian Hackers Used Fake Harvard Email Address in Post-Election Phishing Scheme

The hackers crammed a Kennedy School paper full of malware.

Photo via iStock/marvinh

Photo via iStock/marvinh

In The Social Network, Jesse Eisenberg’s status-conscious Mark Zuckerberg brags that a “” email domain is the most sought-after of all.

Evidently Putin wanted one, too.

Hackers tied to the Russian government used a bogus Harvard email address in a phishing scheme staged shortly after the November 8 election.

The phishing scheme, reported by both the New York Times and the Harvard Crimson, used Harvard Kennedy School Professor Pippa Norris’ paper “Why American Elections Are Flawed” to spread malware targeting American nonprofits and think-tanks.

The hackers, believed to be the same group behind the Democratic National Committee leak, used an email address that appeared to be from Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, according to the cybersecurity firm Volexity.

Harvard’s IT department worked quickly to stem off the phishing attempt, preventing any major security breach.

Norris, director of the Electoral Integrity Project, which focuses on “international standards of electoral integrity,” was worried the hack might jeopardize the perceived legitimacy of the research study.

“It does kind of damage our project because clearly if people feel that our work has been hacked, when I send out genuine emails, how are people going to know that it’s not from somebody else—Dukes or the Russians or whatever?” Norris told the Crimson