Microsoft says Russian hackers, China threatens US elections
Microsoft said Thursday it stopped cyber-attacks from China, Russia, and Iran targeting both Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns, as technology companies struggled to defend political protection less than two months ahead of the US vote.
The statement came as Twitter said next week it will introduce a campaign to delete “false or deceptive material designed to damage public trust in an election,” including unverified statements of victory; and Google said it will take action to ensure its “autocomplete” search function would not allow those mistaken recommendations.
Microsoft said the attackers were threatening staff from President Donald Trump’s campaigns and his Political opponent, Joe Biden. “Microsoft has observed cyber-attacks in recent weeks targeting individuals and organizations interested in the upcoming presidential election,” corporate vice president Tom Burt said.
According to Burt, it was clear that “international intervention organizations have increased their attempts to threaten the 2020 election as expected.” The attackers have also attacked European political agents, think tanks, lobbyists and political parties, Microsoft said.
It described a Russian-based party called Strontium, which Burt said “has targeted more than 200 organizations,” and China-based Zirconium, which he said “has targeted high-profile individuals affiliated with the presidency, including people connected with the Joe Biden campaign for President and influential figures of the foreign relations community.”
An Iran-based organization called Phosphorus has attacked personal accounts of people affiliated with the Trump campaign, most of those attacks have been blocked by Microsoft security systems and those threatened or hacked have been warned, Burt said. Russia is seeking to destroy the confidence of voters in the US democratic system and, in particular, in voting by mail before the November 3 elections.
According to the reports of Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Statements by the National Counter-Intelligence and Security Center in August reported that Russia is deliberately working against Biden’s campaign and supported Trump as it did in 2016. The statement from Microsoft claims DHS alerts that “China, Iran and Russia are seeking to disrupt our democracy and manipulate our elections,” In a written statement acting Secretary Chad Wolf said.
China refuted the claim by raising the charge, accusing Microsoft of “manufacturing” and “creating problems” “The US presidential election is an internal matter for the US,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said. “We have no experience in messing with this and we have never messed with it.”