Microsoft Exec Reveals Russian Attempts To Hack 2018 Campaigns

Microsoft detected Russian phishing attacks on three 2018 campaigns

Microsoft Discloses First Known Cyberattacks Targeted at Three 2018 Election Campaigns

According to Buzzfeed, he said that Microsoft analysts uncovered a spearphishing campaign targeting the three candidates that linked back to a group believed to be run by the intel agency, the GRU.

Microsoft's Tim Burt, VP for consumer security and trust reported that his team had spotted bogus Microsoft domain names being exploited to launch spear-phishing attacks.

Burt didn't disclose the names of the candidates targeted by the hackers, but said they were running for reelection and added, "They were all people who, due to their positions, might have been interesting targets from an espionage standpoint as well as an election disruption standpoint".

Microsoft alerted USA law enforcement and worked with the government to take down the sites.

Burt said that Microsoft and the government were able to take the domain down and block the phishing messages. "It's a huge, if not flawless, defense".

Multiple US intelligence and homeland security officials have said in recent days that Russian Federation has not yet attempted a large-scale effort to manipulate specific election infrastructure in the midterm elections, as it did in the 2016 race. "We don't see the activity of them trying to infiltrate think tanks and academia and in social networks to do the research that they do to build the phishing attacks". "If you keep using them, we are going to make it more costly for you".

Despite the threat, Burt had stressed that they are not seeing a considerable success from Russia's electoral interference this time as compared to the 2016 elections. "We've been working with secretaries of state", Burt said, "and we did two three-day seminars with the Republican and Democratic communities to strengthen the security of campaigns".

Monika Bickert, Facebook's head of product policy and counterterrorism, said the accounts were spreading Russian language advertisements in Russian-speaking countries. Wyman said that Washington had seen unsuccessful efforts to gain access to electoral systems in 2016 from Russian Federation and was expecting more to come.

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