Most hacks of personal computers are simple and crude things. Unlike organizational hacks, which are often sophisticated and subtle, attacks on individuals are mostly efforts aimed at enlisting it in a collective botnet. Organizational hacks are more sophisticated but those are usually done to extract information from an organization and involve higher end operators.
The hack of Sharyl Attkisson’s computer being described is sophisticated and suggests an organization with the resources to do this on a regular basis.
“A cyber security firm hired by CBS News has determined through forensic analysis that Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions late in 2012. Evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson’s accounts. While no malicious code was found, forensic analysis revealed an intruder had executed commands that appeared to involve search and exfiltration of data.
This party also used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity, and alter system times to cause further confusion.
That doesn’t mean this was the government or even a government, but we can rule out any low level operators. Media Matters may try to spin this, but it wasn’t a few cookies.