First, we deal with supposed Russian hackers interfering with the 2016 presidential election. Now, there’s the real threat that Iranian hackers will be targeting the 2020 presidential election. Either it’s a threat that we have to take seriously or the Dems are anticipating a way to explain how Trump can win the elections for a second term.
According to Microsoft, hackers from Iran are targeting the 2020 elections. The DNC is already preparing for such a thing by asking campaigns to investigate any cyber attacks. This could end up becoming a big deal, especially as we near closer. It could be what any of them use to identify why they didn’t get the primaries – or how Trump is able to win his reelection campaign. Additionally, beyond the 19 Democrats that are in the primary race, there are three Republicans who have identified that they want to challenge Trump for his RNC nomination. Any of these candidates could end up being targeted by the hackers.
Microsoft supposedly uncovered a hacking group that is targeting current and former government officials as well as at least one of the 2020 US presidential campaigns. The hacking group has been associated with the Iranian government.
Microsoft released a statement to say that a few consumer email accounts have been compromised by a group known as “Phosphorous.” The group has also gone under the name APT 35. Those accounts don’t belong to anyone associated with the government or a presidential campaign. The attackers were first observed when they made more than 2700 attempts to identify specific accounts beginning in August of this year and continuing on through September. Then, 241 specific accounts were targeted with password resets, fake LinkedIn accounts, and phishing emails. As for what they were specifically trying to accomplish with all of this, it has not been identified.
Tom Burt, the VP of Customer Security for Microsoft, identified that the attacks were not “technically sophisticated.” However, the attacks were attempting to use a lot of personal information to identify those accounts. This is proof that Phosphorous is highly motivated to complete their hacking efforts – and they’re willing to invest a lot of resources to make it happen.
The Democratic National Committee was also contacted by Microsoft with the suggestion that they check system logs and provided advice on defending themselves against future attacks.
This possible hacking scheme comes in the middle of Trump being investigated for “urging” Chinese and Ukrainian governments to involve themselves in the 2020 election by investigating former VP Joe Biden. However, what many Dems fail to understand is that Trump isn’t inviting anyone to involve themselves in the election. Biden happens to be a rival, and that’s only if he gets the DNC nomination in the primaries. Asking for help to investigate a potential issue, however, is what’s really going on.
All of the DNC candidates need to be on the lookout of being hacked. Any of them could be targeted – Biden, Sanders, Warren, and even some of the lesser-knowns. There’s no telling what Iranian hackers’ motive is when it comes to accessing their presidential platforms. The intel from Microsoft doesn’t say anything about the election itself – though now that the information is out there, any number of Democratic candidates could claim that they were hacked if they don’t get the nomination. Despite not fundraising sufficiently or gathering enough support in the polls, they could easily blame it on hackers because they love to point the finger to someone else.
Phosphorous is highly motivated to get involved in the US presidential election in one way or another. They’re also focusing on journalists who are covering some of the global politics. This means that it’s very possible that they could target what’s being published on the various news sites.
None of the candidates have come forward to identify that they have shown any signs of being hacked. Further, a spokesman for the Trump campaign said that there’s no indication that they’ve been targeted by the Iranian hackers as of yet.
Iran isn’t the only one that’s been accused of having hackers interfere with the elections, either. A number of Russians have been charged with hacking the 2016 election – and there’s the general suspicion that there will be other Russians involved in the 2020 election, too.
Microsoft has plenty of recommendations to ensure that journalists and politicians are not being hacked. They suggest that everyone check their login history and even create new passwords. They also suggest setting up a two-step verification process for all of their email accounts.