GOOGLE CLAIMS FOREIGN HACKERS TARGETING BIDEN, TRUMP CAMPAIGNS

Campaign staffs for both President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden have been targeted recently by foreign hackers, Google researchers said Thursday (Friday, June 5, 2020 in Manila), highlighting persistent data security concerns ahead of the November US election, the Hindustan Times, Associated Press (AP) and Agence France Presse (AFP) reported.


A tweet from Google’s threat analysis chief Shane Huntley said the internet giant warned the Biden campaign about “phishing” efforts from China and the Trump campaign from Iran. “No sign of compromise. We sent users our government attack warning and we referred to fed law enforcement,” Huntley wrote.

The incidents nonetheless highlight fears about a repeat of a devastating data breach in 2016 involving the campaign of Hillary Clinton and a wide-ranging influence operation which officials said was directed from Russia. “This is a major disclosure of potential cyber-enabled influence operations, just as we saw in 2016,” Graham Brookie, director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab, said in a tweet. Brookie said the disclosure “is the cyber-enabled pre-cursor to potential influence operations. It’s a necessary reminder, especially to campaigns.”

Huntley said the incidents should be a reminder to campaigns to take security precautions, including so-called two-factor authentication to verify users. He also noted that Google is offering free physical security key hardware and other assistance to US presidential and congressional campaigns. He revealed that Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter security teams met last year with officials from the FBI, homeland security and intelligence to discuss collaboration on precisely these election threats.

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