The Trump and Biden presidential campaigns have emerged as recent targets of phishing attacks.
Last week, the Head of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, Shane Huntley, tweeted that both campaigns had received nation-state backed threats, albeit from separate hacker ecosystems.
Evidence indicates that the attacks were not successful. “We sent the targeted users our standard government-backed attack warning and we referred this information to federal law enforcement,” stated a Google representative.
Staffers with each respective campaign publicly confirmed that they were aware of the threats. Trump spokespersons declined to discuss further details. “Biden for President takes cybersecurity seriously…and [we] will ensure that the campaign’s assets are secured” stated a Biden campaign spokesperson.
This isn’t the first set of cyber attacks amidst this election cycle. Last year, Microsoft announced that nation-state hackers were targeting the Trump campaign, along with journalists and former US officials. More recently, the New York Times reported that a hacking group meddled with the Ukrainian gas company that worked with Biden’s son.
According to one cyber security expert, “They [hackers] didn’t have to try that hard to hack the 2016 election.” At that time, hackers successfully phished the Democratic National Committee, and exposed upwards of 60,000 emails. We should be very concerned about this election.
Google recommends that the respective campaigns take “extra precautions.” Although the company offers an advanced protection program and free security keys for qualifying groups, additional anti-phishing related security measures, from education to encryption, are imperative.
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