At the end of 2015, I published a post titled “2016 Cyber Security Predictions,” one of my prediction is related the rise of cyber attacks related to the US elections.
“Social media are a primary communication method for politicians, the online activity will be intense in the period before the elections and cyber criminals and nation-state actors will try to exploit the event to launch cyber-attacks.” I wrote in the post.
According to the US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, hackers are targeting the campaigns of Democratic and Republican presidential contenders.
“We already have some indications of that,” he explained during a discussion at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. “I anticipate that as the campaign intensifies, we are probably going to have more of it.”
The US authorities are aware that threat actors are targeting the US politicians, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are issuing multiple warnings to educate them in assuming a proper security posture and avoid being hacked.
“There is a long-standing practice of briefing each of the candidates once they are officially designated, and that shifts in to a higher gear in terms of details after the president-elect is known,” Clapper said.
Clapper confirmed that the US intelligence gathered evidence of several hacking campaigns targeting the campaigns of presidential contenders with different motivations (e.g. cyber espionage operated by nation-state actors, hacktivism, financial motivation).
“We’re aware that campaigns and related organizations and individuals are targeted by actors with a variety of motivations — from philosophical differences to espionage,” said the FBI spokesman Brian Hale.
He also reported that the attacks ranged from “from defacements to intrusions.” According to US Intelligence, its experts tracked intrusions by foreign intelligence services into the campaigns for president back in 2008.
According to Clapper, the two candidates would receive “exactly the same” briefings that will be filed to avoid any interference with the programs of the candidates.
“We’ve been doing this for many years, it’s not designed to shape anybody’s worldview,” Clapper addedworldview,” Clapper added
(Security Affairs – presidential contenders, cyber espionage)