Exclusive: Russian state hackers suspected in targeting Biden crusade firm–sources – world news

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Microsoft Corp recently alerted one of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s main election crusade advisory firms that it had been targeted by suspected Russian state-backed hackers, according to three people briefed on the matter.

The hacking attempts targeted staff at Washington-based SKDKnickerbocker, a crusade strategy and communications firm working with Biden and other prominent Democrats, over the last two months, the sources said.

A person familiar with SKDK’s response to the attempts said the hackers failed to gain access to the firm’s networks. “They’re well-defended, so there was no breach,” the person said.

SKDK Vice Chair Hilary Rosen declined to remark. A Biden spokesman did not respond to a request for remark. 

The hacking attempts on SKDK come as U.S. intelligence agencies have raised alarms approximately conceivable efforts by foreign governments to interfere in the November presidential election.

Investigations by former special counsel Robert Mueller and the Senate intelligence committee both concluded that affiliates of the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election, and Mueller has warned that Russia used to be meddling in the current crusade.

 One of the crucial sources said it used to be not lucid if Biden’s crusade used to be the target or if the Russians were making an attempt to gain access to information approximately other SKDK clients.

SKDK managing director Anita Dunn used to be a White House communications director all through the Barack Obama presidency and serves the Biden crusade as a senior advisor.

The attempts to infiltrate SKDK were recently flagged to the crusade firm by Microsoft, which identified hackers tied to the Russian government as the likely culprits, according to the three sources briefed on the matter.

The attacks included phishing, a hacking method which seeks to trick users into disclosing passwords, in addition to other efforts to infiltrate SKDK’s network, the three sources said.

A Microsoft spokesman declined to remark.

SKDK is closely associated with the Democratic Party, having worked on six presidential campaigns and a lot of congressional races. Along with its current work for Biden, the firm in 2018 worked on successful governor’s races in Kansas and Connecticut.

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