A Microsoft official says the same Russian intelligence agency that is accused of hacking into Democratic servers during the 2016 presidential election tried to use a phishing scheme to hack into three candidates running in the 2018 midterm elections.
“Earlier this year we did discover that a fake Microsoft domain had been established as the landing page for phishing attacks,” Microsoft Vice President for Customer Security and Trust Tom Burt said at the Aspen Security Forum, reports Digital Trends. “We saw metadata that suggested those phishing attacks were being directed at three candidates.”
Microsoft revealed the attempted attacks while performing its work with the U.S. government and seized the domain before it could cause any damage. The company did not reveal details of the attack or name the politicians or their parties.
Burt, however, commented that “because of their positions, [the candidates] might have been interesting targets from an espionage standpoint, as well as an election disruption standpoint.”
The attempts were traced back to the Russian group Strontium, which has been linked with Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency.
Last week, 12 members of GRU were indicted on charges they were involved in hacking servers used by the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the 2016 race.
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