Russian hackers reportedly set their sights on a Democratic senator from Missouri last year and tried infiltrating her 2018 re-election campaign — around the same time President Trump encouraged people to “vote her out.”
A forensic analysis conducted by the Daily Beast found that Sen. Claire McCaskill was one of three congressional candidates to be targeted.
The website says it stumbled upon the attempted McCaskill hack while investigating statements made by a Microsoft executive last week during the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.
The exec reportedly told those in attendance that Microsoft helped thwart multiple phishing campaigns against three midterm election candidates, but he didn’t identify them.
“We did discover that a fake Microsoft domain had been established as the landing page for phishing attacks, and we saw metadata that suggested those phishing attacks were being directed at three candidates who are all standing for elections in the midterm elections,” explained Tom Burt, the company’s corporate vice president for customer security and trust.
“We took down that domain and working with the government actually were able to avoid anybody being infected by that particular attack,” he said.
According to the Daily Beast, the Russian hackers were working for the same state-sponsored intelligence agency behind the 2016 election cyberattacks. They targeted Senate staffers in August 2017 — at the beginning of McCaskill’s re-election campaign — by sending phishing emails and fake notices, claiming their passwords had expired.
Around this very same time, President Trump was reportedly urging Missouri voters to keep the Democratic senator out of office.
“You can’t do this anymore with the obstruction and the obstructionists,” Trump told a crowd in Springfield. “We must lower our taxes and your senator, Claire McCaskill, she must do this for you, and if she doesn’t, you have to vote her out of office.”
McCaskill confirmed the Daily Beast’s report on Thursday, saying the hackers did not succeed.
“Russia continues to engage in cyber warfare against our democracy,” she told the website in a statement.
“I will continue to speak out and press to hold them accountable,” the lawmaker added. “While this attack was not successful, it is outrageous that they think they can get away with this…I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Putin is a thug and a bully.”
Just last week, President Trump had been tweeting about Democrats being helped by the Russians during the mid-term elections.
“I’m very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election,” he said. “Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don’t want Trump!”
Source: Read Full Article