Home / US / Russian intelligence hackers are back, Microsoft warns, targeting officials on both sides

Russian intelligence hackers are back, Microsoft warns, targeting officials on both sides

Microsoft’s findings come just two weeks after National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe said he would no longer allow intelligence agencies to provide detailed, in-person information on election interference in Congress. He said the restrictions were due to leaks.

The company’s decision to publish its results as the presidential campaign enters its final eight weeks underscored the futility of Ratcliffe’s effort – companies like Microsoft and Google, as they sit atop global networks, have a front-row view. suspicious activity and increasing motivation to make it public to warn its customers. The result, inevitably, is a flood of reports from the private sector, which intelligence officials will be forced, one way or another, to evaluate along with their own results.

In a statement, Christopher Krebs, who heads the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security, said: “We are aware that Microsoft has detected attempts to compromise the email accounts of individuals and organizations associated with the upcoming election.”

Mr. Krebs noted that “no one is involved in the maintenance or operation of the voting infrastructure and no impact on the electoral systems has been identified”. He also said that the company’s “announcement is consistent with previous statements from the intelligence community about a series of malicious cyber activities targeting the 2020 campaign and reinforces the fact that this is a nationwide effort to defend democracy “.

Mr. Krebs, who was a Microsoft executive prior to joining the Trump administration, said his agency released Thursday “guidelines for improving cyber defenses against account compromise attacks.”

There is no doubt that Microsoft’s assessment complicates the administration’s narrative that China poses a greater threat to US elections than Russia, as both National Security Advisor Robert said in interviews last week. C. O’Brien, and Attorney General William P. Barr.

Indeed, the report concludes that the Russian military intelligence unit has only accelerated its attacks, even after a series of financial sanctions, indictments against Russian intelligence officers and retaliatory cyberattacks by the States’ Cyber ​​Command. United ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections.

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