Russian hackers targeted Democratic senator ahead of midterms
Russian hackers targeted the campaign of Sen. Claire McCaskill in the Kremlin’s first identified attempt at interference this midterm election season, The Daily Beast reports. “While this attack was not successful, it is outrageous that [Russia thinks it] can get away with this. I will not be intimidated. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Putin is a thug and a bully,” Missouri Democrat McCaskill said in a statement.
It appears that Russia’s GRU intelligence agency was behind the attempted infiltration, which was carried out last August. The scheme was similar to one allegedly perpetrated by the GRU’s Fancy Bear hacker group against Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta in 2016. GRU allegedly sent emails to targets, claiming that they had to change their Microsoft Exchange password. Each email had a different link that let the phony password change landing page display each recipient’s own email address, adding an air of legitimacy.
Microsoft VP for customer security and trust Tom Burt last week revealed his company had detected phishing attempts against three midterm election candidates. “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,” he said at the Aspen Security Forum. Microsoft took down the site and Burt said the attack was unsuccessful.