New York- Google has said that hackers from China and Iran have tried to break into accounts of the campaigns of Joe Biden and US President Donald Trump.
According to the tech company, the hackers have targeted staffers working on the US presidential campaign of Democrat Joe Biden. A senior Google official said that Iranian hackers had recently targeted email accounts belonging to President Donald Trump’s campaign staff.
The announcement was made on Twitter by the head of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, Shane Huntley. It is the latest indication of the digital spying routinely aimed at top politicians.
Such attempts usually involve forged emails with links designed to procure passwords or infect devices with malware.
Huntley added that there was “no sign of compromise” of either campaign. Details, beyond those mentioned in Huntley’s tweets, weren’t shared.
It is unusual for a company like Google to publicly reveal information of this nature— this is a sign of how sensitive Americans have become to digital espionage efforts aimed at political campaigns.
Allegations by US intelligence that Russia helped swing the 2016 US election to ensure a victory for Trump led to investigations being initiated by former special counsel for the US department of justice Robert Mueller, which revealed how the president’s aides used hacking as a means to gain access to Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton’s emails and used them to sabotage her campaign. Ever since then, hacking to interfere in elections has become a concern for governments.
Iranian attempts to break into Trump campaign officials’ emails have been documented before. “We sent the targeted users our standard government-backed attack warning and we referred this information to federal law enforcement,” a Google representative said.
Iranian hackers tried gaining access to Trump’s emails related to campaigns last year too. It was done by the same group that did the hacking this time—called Phosphorous, APT 35, or Charming Kitten—at the time, the group was unsuccessful.
A Biden campaign spokesman said, “We have known from the beginning of our campaign that we would be subject to such attacks and we are prepared for them.”
The Trump campaign, the Chinese Embassy in Washington and the Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Charming Kitten, the group identified by Google as being responsible for the targeting of the Trump campaign, had also recently hit the headlines over other exploits, including the targeting of the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences Inc.
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