Microsoft says hackers from Russia, Iran, and China are targeting presidential campaigns
Sadly, I can’t say this is surprising.
According to Tom Burt, Microsoft’s vice president of customer security and trust, the presidential campaigns of Joe Biden and Donald Trump are being attacked. We already knew that Russia has been doing its part to sow division between left-leaning US citizens, but this new report focuses more on legitimate hacking threats for campaign members.
From the blog post on Microsoft’s website, “Microsoft has detected cyberattacks targeting people and organizations involved in the upcoming presidential election, including unsuccessful attacks on people associated with both the Trump and Biden campaigns.”
Microsoft chalks up many of the attacks to three main groups: Strontium, Zirconium, and Phosphorous. Each of these are tied to Russia, China, and Iran, respectively. The blog post notes that it has been able to stop attacks from all three, but that people involved in the campaigns should stay vigilant and continue to exercise safe internet practices.
The company notes that many attacks have been stopped thanks to various security measures built into Microsoft products. The company doesn’t go as far as to say all attacks have been stopped, but I imagine it would be tough to verify that.
As for what happens now, the company notes in the post that it is “taking extra steps to protect customers involved in elections, government and policymaking,” and that it will “continue to disclose additional significant activity in our efforts to defend democracy.”
Microsoft also calls for more federal funding so that states can do a better job of protecting their election infrastructure. If there is a silver lining here, the company notes that, so far, it hasn’t noticed any attacks towards political organizations that focus on voting systems.
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