Cyber Security

Cyberattacks Ramp Up Ahead of the US Elections

With the US presidential election just weeks away, Microsoft has detected cyberattacks targeting people and organizations involved in it. Cybercriminals have made numerous unsuccessful attacks against Trump and Biden staffers with threat groups linked to China, Russia, and Iran. In this article at ThreatPost, Lindsey O’Donnell provides in-depth information about the election-related cyberattacks.

Sources of the Attack

According to Microsoft sources,

  • Strontium, operating from Russia, has attacked more than 200 organizations, including advocacy groups, political campaigns, parties, and political consultants.
  • Phosphorus, also known as Charming Kitten, Ajax Security Team, and APT 25 operating from Iran, attacked personal accounts of people associated with ‘Donald J Trump for President’ campaign. In June, they were discovered targeting campaign staffers of both Trump and Biden by Google’s Threat Analysis Group with phishing attacks.
  • Zirconium, operating from China, has targeted the high-profiled individuals associated with the election – such as ‘Joe Biden for President’ campaign. The campaign also targeted prominent leaders in the international affairs community.

“With the 2020 US presidential election coming up, cybersecurity concerns are under the spotlight – including worries about the integrity of voting machines, the expected expansion of mail-in voting due to COVID-19 and the disinformation campaigns,” says Lindsey.

How’s Microsoft Bolstering Cybersecurity?

Microsoft is encouraging both state and the local election authorities in the US to harden their security operations and prepare for potential attacks. However, election security experts have noted that they require additional funding to accommodate the shift in COVID-19 related voting.

Besides, the cybersecurity experts believe that politicians and their support staff, along with contracted service providers, should anticipate that they will, at some point, be a target of advanced threats. Therefore, they must be mindful while clicking on what comes to their inboxes, phones, and other communication platforms. They must also maintain strong industry best practices for password management to avoid being a cyberattack victim.

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Nivedita Gopalakrishna

Nivedita Gopalakrishna is currently working as a Content Specialist with CAI. She has more than eight years of experience in blogging, copywriting, and ghost-writing. Nivedita started her career as a reporter/sub-editor in one of the reputed newspaper organizations in India. She went on to pursue her career as a content analyst in an Indian-based company, Brickwork India Pvt Ltd. Nivedita has assisted several overseas clients with SEO-friendly content for B2C copies, blogs, product descriptions, newsletters, sales letters, e-books, and research papers. When she is not at her computer, you can find her either reading vintage novels or singing Indian classical music.

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