The US presidential election campaign for the coming year is apparently already the target of cyber attacks from Iran. This is from a blog entry from Microsoft.
Within 30 days between August and September, hackers had started more than 2700 attempts to identify the email accounts of specific Microsoft customers and attacked 241 of those accounts. The group is convinced that the attacks were carried out from Iran and in connection with the Iranian government.
Among the targets were current and former government employees, journalists, prominent Iranian exiles, but also a US election campaign team. Which campaign team was affected by the cyberattacks, however, Microsoft left open. In four cases, accounts were compromised, but they were not government employees or the US campaign team concerned.
Microsoft: hacker group is "highly motivated"
The attackers should have tried to take over some accounts. Among other things, they were supposed to have researched information about their goals and tried to perform password resets or to use other ways to recover their accounts. For example, an attempt was made to gain access to a second email account associated with the Microsoft account. Through verification processes, the hackers would have wanted to gain access to the Microsoft account. Also telephone numbers of goals were used.
While the attacks were "technically unrefined," they still showed that the hacker group is "highly motivated and willing to invest significant time and resources in research and other ways of gathering information," writes Microsoft manager Tom Burt. The group has used legal and technical means to ward off the attacks.
The US and American IT security firms have been accusing Iran of increasing escalation in the conflict between countries to attack US government institutions and other critical infrastructure (read an analysis here).