Foreign Hackers Have Target US Presidential Campaigns: Google
Google said state-backed hackers targeted the campaigns of President Donald Trump and former vice president, Joe Biden. However, it saw no evidence that the phishing attempts were successful.
The firm approved the findings after the head of its Threat Analysis Group, Shane Huntley, revealed the attempts Thursday on Twitter.
Huntley stated a Chinese group identified as Hurricane Panda targeted Trump campaign workers while an Iranian association recognized as Charming Kitten had tried to breach records of Biden campaign operators. Such phishing attempts typically include fabricated emails with links created to collect passwords or infect devices with malware.
The effort targeted private email accounts of the crew in both campaigns, according to the company report. A Google spokesperson further said that “the timeline is new and that a few people were targeted on both campaigns.” He would not tell how many.
Google stated it gave targeted users “our standard government-backed attack warning” and transferred the incidents to federal law agencies.
Graham Brookie, leader of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, termed the report “a major revelation of potential cyber-enabled influence developments, just as we witnessed in 2016.”
His tweet referred to the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and consequent online leaks of internal emails, some forged, that U.S. investigators ascertained queried to support the Trump campaign.
Neither the Biden nor the Trump campaign would not say how many staffers were targeted when the attempts happened or whether the hacks were successful.
Both campaigns have significantly been reserved about addressing cybersecurity.
Hurricane Panda, also identified by security analysts as Zirconium or APT31 — an acronym for “advanced persistent threat” — is recognized for centering on intellectual property theft and other spying. Charming Kitten, also recognized as Newscaster and APT35, has targeted the U.S. and Middle Eastern politicians and businesses, even for data theft and spying.
In October, Microsoft announced hackers associated with Iran’s administration had targeted a U.S. presidential campaign and the New York Times and Reuters named the target as Trump’s re-election campaign. Campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh announced at the moment that there was “no sign that any of our campaign foundations was targeted.”
A previous head of the National Security Agency, Keith Alexander, spoke Thursday during an online seminar that he completely anticipates geopolitical opponents of the U.S. to take benefit of the COVID-19 disaster and uncertainty in the U.S.
“This is a prolonged time I guess for attackers to harm our nation, and I do believe they will get that during elections,” he stated.