'Russia-linked hackers' targeted Hillary Clinton's email account by sending virus disguised as speeding ticket

The former Secretary of State's personal email server is currently being examined by the FBI

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The Independent Online

Russia-linked hackers allegedly tried to access Hillary Clinton’s private email server at least five times during her time as Secretary of State.

According to Associated Press, emails released on Wednesday reveal that hackers attempted to trick Ms Clinton by encouraging her to open and print a virus attachment.

The attachment was disguised as a speeding ticket from New York. If opened, this would have reportedly allowed hackers to infiltrate the computer.

The emails were received by the former secretary of state on the morning of August 3, 2011. It is not known whether Ms Clinton opened the download.

A portion of an email Hillary Clinton received, claiming to be a speeding ticket from the New York state government

Security experts who examined the software said if the attachment had been opened, the computers would have a virus which would send information from victims computers to three foreign servers — one of which, was in Russia.

This does not automatically mean Russian intelligence or citizens were responsible for the emails.

The emails are of concern as Ms Clinton’s email address was not in the public domain and the false speeding tickets were from a town in the New York state area — the state in which Ms Clinton lived. 

According to The Guardian, it's possible the emails were targeted at New York residents.

The revelation comes as questions mount over the former First Lady’s use of a server for private emails in her New York home.

The FBI is currently investigating the security of the server Ms Clinton used and a number of emails have been released by the U.S. state department.

Ms Clinton maintains that no information she sent or received over the server was classified.

Republican candidate Marco Rubio told Fox News: “The exposure of sensitive information to foreign intelligence agencies by communicating in an insecure manner is incompetent, it’s malpractice, it’s inexcusable.”

Nick Merrill, a spokesperson for Ms Clinton said: “We have no evidence to suggest she replied to this email or that she opened the attachment. As we have said before, there is no evidence that the system was ever breached.”

He continued: “All these emails show is that, like millions of other Americans, she received spam.”

Additional reporting by AP.