US tech company Microsoft claims that hackers with ties to Russia, China and Iran are trying to spy on people and groups associated with the US presidential election.
The company said in its blog that in recent weeks, Microsoft has detected cyberattacks targeting people and organizations involved in the upcoming presidential election, including unsuccessful attacks on people associated with both Trump and Biden’s campaigns
Hackers are keeping an eye on Election Campaigners
According to the company, the same people who were involved in influencing the campaign of the Democratic Party in the 2016 presidential election, have become active this time too.
Microsoft said, “It is very clear that foreign groups have increased their activity to target elections”. Election campaigners from both President Donald Trump and his rival Joe Biden are in the eyes of hackers.
More than 200 Strontiums
The activities we are announcing today make it clear that foreign activity groups have stepped up their efforts to target the 2020 election as anticipated.
Microsoft said the attacker’s hacker groups Strontium, Zirconium and Phosphorus operate from Russia, China and Iran respectively.
Among the targets of more than 200 strontiums are American-based advisors serving Republicans and Democrats, think tanks, national and state political party organizations in the United States, as well as political parties in the United Kingdom.
What does Microsoft say?
The strontium group is also known as fancy beer. It is a cyber attack unit that is allegedly associated with the Russian Army intelligence agency GRU.
Microsoft Vice President Tom Burt said, “As we saw in 2016, Strontium similarly launched a campaign to access people’s log-in records or hack their accounts,” according to estimates, to collect intelligence about them or to disrupt their online operations.
Most Cyberattacks have not been Successful Yet
According to the company, Chinese hackers have started targeting those associated with Biden’s election campaign personally, while Iranian hackers are targeting those associated with Trump’s campaigning.
However, the Microsoft company claims that most cyberattacks have not been successful yet. According to the company, hackers have not yet targeted voting officials.
The company states, “These types of activities reflect that it is important for people and institutions involved in the political process that as election day draws near, they receive free and low-cost security shields.” Take advantage of it. “
Trying to hack some White House Officials
Microsoft says Chinese hackers have targeted the personal e-mail accounts of people associated with Biden’s propaganda and the accounts of a former chief officer associated with the Trump administration.
The group of Chinese hackers known as Zirconium has also targeted key people related to international issues, educational institutions and policy-making institutions.
Between May and June, a group of Iranian hackers, known as Phosphorus, tried to access the accounts of some White House officials and some officials associated with Trump’s election campaign, but they could not succeed.
Microsoft is not yet able to decide what the objective of Russian, Chinese and Iranian hackers are.
Google also Claims the Same Incident
The Google company said in June that it had also come to know about similar cyber attacks from people related to China and Iran. Macdonald, a press secretary for the Trump campaign, said, “We are on a big target.
So our campaigning and malicious activities aimed at targeting our staff do not surprise us.” An official associated with Joe Biden’s election campaign said, “We know from the beginning of our election campaign that we will have such attacks and we are ready for this.”
Just a day before this Microsoft report, an American Homeland Security official said that he was being pressured to minimize Russian interference in the US because it tarnished the president’s image.
Trump Administration Response
Top cyber officer Christopher Krebs of the Department of Homeland Security said Microsoft’s warning confirmed what US intelligence has already said.
He said, “It is very important to highlight that none of the people who were targeted were involved in the election process and this has not affected the voting process.”
On Thursday, the Trump administration accused a Russian citizen of planning to interfere in the American electoral process. The US Finance Department banned Andrey Derkach, a Ukraine MP associated with Russia.
He has made similar allegations. Derkach met with the US President’s personal lawyer, Rudy Juliani, in December last year.
What does the US Intelligence Department say?
The US Intelligence Department said in August that China, Russia and Iran are actively trying to interfere in the presidential election.
According to the intelligence department, Russia was trying to tarnish Biden’s image. China and Iran wanted Trump to lose the election.
The US Intelligence Department warned that Iran could try to harm American democratic institutions and the President through an online campaign.
What happened in 2016?
US intelligence agencies said in 2016 that Russia was behind Hillary Clinton’s efforts to damage the presidential election campaign. According to the intelligence agency, Russia had officially carried out cyberattacks and made fake news viral against Hillary Clinton on social media.
Robert Mueller found during his investigation that Russian hackers hacked the personal emails of John Podesta, the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton ahead of campaigning.
He had leaked thousands of emails. Later, Facebook also said that around the 2016 US presidential election, Russia-supported content reached 12.6 million Americans through Facebook. Mueller could not prove that Trump’s election campaign had any nexus with Russian interference.