Microsoft made a public acknowledgment that Russia intelligence operatives had attempted to hack into online accounts of staffers in the upcoming midterm elections. Microsoft was able to detect a fake domain that was likely used as part of phishing attacks and was able to take down the site.
Corporate vice president for customer security and trust for Microsoft, Tom Burt, said “the technology firm had earlier this year detected fake domain that was likely used as part of phishing attacks directed at the three campaigns. We were able to take down the site and prevent the victims from being infected by that particular attack.”
According to Microsoft Russia has not yet attempted to hack into another election campaign-related infrastructure of the magnitude like it did in the 2016 election. For this hack, they set up malicious links that would dup the victim into clicking it but thankfully Microsoft was able to uncover that it was a Russian intelligence and shut it down. The hackers known as Fancy Bear are part of the hacking unit the GRU, a Russian military intelligence agency which was formally blamed for the Democratic National Committee hack.
Christopher Krebs, the undersecretary in charge of DHS’ National Protection and Programs Directorate said, “We haven’t seen a campaign on the scale of 2016 of concerted attacks against election infrastructure, concerted attacks against campaigns. Yes, Microsoft made an announcement yesterday about three Russian — about three campaigns being targeted. That is concerning and so we’re going to work with them, we’re going to get that information, the FBI’s worked with them to share information to shore up defenses,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump once again went back on his statement saying he doesn’t in fact, believe the intelligence community that Russia interfered with the 2016 election. “So President Obama knew about Russia before the Election,” Trump wrote Sunday evening. “Why didn’t he do something about it? Why didn’t he tell our campaign? Because it is all a big hoax, that’s why, and he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win!!!”