Microsoft foils hack attempt on 2018 election candidates

File photo – General view of Microsoft Corporation headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris, France, April 18, 2016. (REUTERS/Charles Platiau)

Microsoft has recently stopped an attempted hacking of OUR three candidates for the election this year.

The attack relied on a misleading Microsoft domain to target the candidates campaign, company vice-president Tom Burt said during a meeting of the panel at the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday.

“Earlier this year, we discover that there is a fake Microsoft domain was set up as the landing page for phishing attacks,” he said. “We saw metadata, which suggested that phishing attacks were focused on three candidates.”

Burt was not in on the details, but phishing attacks usually involve a hacker sending an e-mail to the addressees, with the purpose of tricking them into visiting a web page designed to secretly install malware or fool someone into giving their passwords.

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Fortunately, in this case, Microsoft seized the domain, before the attack could infect a computer. Although Burt refused to allow the name of the candidates targeted, he said: “They were all people, because of their positions, might be interesting targets of an espionage point of view, and an election disturbance point of view.”

Burt the question when we speak about the efforts of Microsoft to stop Russian state-sponsored elections intervene. During the 2016 presidential election, the company’s security teams noticed what many see as a Russian hacking group targeting Democrats with the help of counterfeit Microsoft domain names, Burt said.

Microsoft’s reveal comes as US officials warn that the Russian actors will try to interfere with the 2018 mid-term elections and the country’s critical infrastructure.

So far, Burt said the Russian efforts to interfere with the 2018 mid-terms, still not adjusted to the level of activity of the company saw, in 2016 election, which in attacks on think tanks and academics, and the use of social networking services to research potential victims.

“It does not mean that it is not not going to see it,” he added. “There is a lot of time left until the elections.”

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