A UK-based investigative journalism site has come under attack, purportedly from a Russian cyber campaign, for its articles critical of Russia, according to ThreatConnect.

Spearphishing attacks and account takeover schemes have been directed at reporters for the Bellingcat news site for more than a year. The group of citizen investigative journalists are key contributors into the investigation of the shootdown of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over the Ukraine in 2014 (the missile used, it was reported this week, was delivered to the Ukraine sourced from Russia).

The cyberattacks bear similarities to the techniques of two pro-Russian factions: FANCY BEAR (the nation-state adversary group suspected of breaching the Democratic National Committee), as well as CyberBerkut, hacktivists believed to have strong connections to Moscow.

"Vilifying the messenger and dumping their personal data is part of the game, intended to intimidate and embarrass those that speak ill of Moscow," the ThreatConnect report stated.