Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign believes its databases and email servers are safe from Russian hackers. At the same time, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has admitted that it’s gotten reports the Russian hackers have been trying to breach their security measures, but so far, they have not been successful. The reports of these attempts come while the former first lady is still fending off an onslaught outside the digital world for the way she used her own private servers to handle emails through the State Department. In short, it seems as if online security in the 21st century is going to be front and center of the Hillary Clinton campaign even if Clinton would rather the attention be anywhere else.
The acknowledgment that Russian hackers have taken aim at the campaign comes just days after the Democratic National Committee admitted their private databases had been breached by Russian operatives. It’s not clear whether it’s the same group going to work in both instances or whether these are several groups who seem to be working in concert with one another. There also isn’t an explanation as to why the DNC was so easily cracked while Hillary Clinton’s online security is still intact. While that remains a mystery, the campaign continues to assure the public they’ve withstood the hack attempts. Glen Caplin, a spokesman for Hillary for America, the campaign organization, said the following in an e-mail to Bloomberg News.
“We continue to have no evidence that HFA’s information systems have been compromised.”
Earlier this week, a cybersecurity firm based in Atlanta known as SecureWorks released a statement saying it knew a group tied to the Russian government had been waging a campaign not just against the main databases housed in the heart of the Hillary Clinton campaign but also against individuals who had information such as the Hillary Clinton’s travel schedule, campaign finances, and policy positions.
All of this is even more chilling when you consider the DNC believes most of the information that was stolen was opposition research files the organization had amassed as a way to help Hillary Clinton take down Donald Trump and whoever he chooses as his running mate in the fall. C/Net reports the successful hacking likely led to the group obtaining information the Democratic National Campaign committee had amassed such as emails and chat sessions.
The group that went after Hillary Clinton is known as Threat Group-4127 according to SecureWorks. The hackers went after Hillary Clinton and her people mainly by targeting Google Drive and Gmail accounts. The cyber security firm used Bitly, which is a website that allows users to shorten longer hyperlinks to come up with links to false login pages. When the links are shortened using a service like Bitly, it’s impossible to see where the link is actually going. This makes it easier for posting links on the web, but also easier for groups like Threat Group-4127 to mislead people into thinking they are headed to one destination when they’re really headed to another.
Despite the charges by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, claiming the Russian government is behind these attempts, the Kremlin is dismissing the accusations as nonsense. Even if Threat Group-4127 isn’t directly tied to Vladimir Putin’s regime, the attempts to disrupt the Hillary Clinton’s campaign has some in the U.S. rattled. The Democrats, especially are very interested to see what becomes of the opposition research the hacker groups were able to view and copy. Hillary Clinton and her team might have avoided a breach this time, but it appears the Democratic presidential hopeful is going to need to be more vigilant than ever when it comes to her online presence.
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