On Thursday, software giant Microsoft has reported that Russian, Chinese, and Iranian hackers are targeting the upcoming US Presidential Elections, attempting to snoop on people who are attached or linked to the involved organizations.
This expose brings to light the similar fashion of cyberattacks that were formulated by Russian hackers, in breaching the 2016 Democratic campaigns. Microsoft revealed information through a blog post on their website, that read, “The activity we are announcing today makes clear that foreign activity groups have stepped up their efforts targeting the 2020 election.”
Further claiming that both President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden’s campaigns are in the cyber-raiders’ sights, the company also detected attempts to compromise email accounts of people and organizations associated with the presidential race but said there is no evidence election systems were affected.
Assessed by US cybersecurity officials, Chris Krebs, from the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said in a statement to CNN, “It is important to highlight that none are involved in maintaining or operating voting infrastructure and there was no identified impact on election systems,”,
Microsoft also reported that the same group of cyber-attackers was also involved in targeting British political parties. Suspecting the attackers to be the notorious Russian cyber-attack unit “Strontium” or “Fancy Bear”, Tom Burt, a Microsoft vice-president in charge of customer security and trust said, “Similar to what we observed in 2016, Strontium is launching campaigns to harvest people’s log-in credentials or compromise their accounts, presumably to aid in intelligence gathering or disruption operations.”
In the same blog post, the firm also wrote that Chinese hackers had launched attacks targeting individuals connected to Mr. Biden’s campaign, while Iranian hackers had continued efforts targeting people associated with the Trump campaign. Although Microsoft was unable to determine the aims of the Russian, Chinese and Iranian hackers, this is the second time this year that such attempts have been picked up. Earlier in June, Google claimed to have detected similar cyber-hack attempts by China and Iran.