Concerns regarding Russian intervention in the U.S.’ upcoming November midterm elections have intensified, as a Microsoft executive has stated that his company is currently working with the government to ensure that candidates will not be hacked.
This statement is a direct contradiction to Donald Trump’s claim that he “laid down the law” when addressing the accusations of collusion with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The vice-president of Microsoft’s customer security didn’t explicitly state which candidates have been the victims of hacking attempts, but he said that they “might have been interesting targets from an espionage standpoint, as well as an election disruption standpoint.”
Hackers have adopted the same phishing technique which was used to infiltrate the Democratic National Committee’s servers two years ago. Hackers created a fake domain and attempted to direct campaign staffers to conduct their business through said domain.
However, the Microsoft executive did explain that levels of hacking activity are currently much lower than they were last year. He stated:
The consensus of the threat intelligence community right now is that we’re not seeing the same level of activity by the Russian activity groups. 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. That doesn’t mean we’re not going to see it, there’s a lot of time left before the election.”
Many currently believe that Trump may contact President Putin to ask Russia to aid the Republican party during the upcoming midterm elections.
U.S. Intelligence Chief Dan Coast has vehemently stated that the country’s digital security is currently unsafe. Coast mentioned during an interview that countries such as China, North Korea, and Iran “are penetrating our digital infrastructure and conducting a range of cyber intrusions and attacks against targets in the United States.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has made excuses for Trump’s denial of the recent cyber attacks. According to the New York Times, Sanders stated that the president was only refusing to answer more questions from reporters.
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