The intrusions were detected in December, when Attkisson was reporting almost exclusively on the government’s response to the terrorist attacks on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. The attack on Sept. 11, 2012, killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens. Attkisson has previously investigated the Department of Justice’s gun-tracking operation known as “Fast and Furious.”
Attkisson said she had noticed unusual activity in her CBS-issued laptop and her home computer, such as dormant computers spontaneously “waking up” at odd hours. The unusual activity, which also had included disruptions on her home phone line
, predate the December 2012 breach that CBS confirmed.
She said in an interview Friday that she was “outraged” by the breach, which did not appear to be aimed at extracting personal financial information.
“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.”