Hackers linked to Russia, China and Iran are attempting to spy on people tied to both President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, Microsoft has said.
The tech firm has said that both presidential campaigns are at risk from hackers as the Russian group which hacked the 2016 Democratic campaign is again involved in cyber-attacks.
Microsoft’s vice president for customer security Tom Burt says the group had spent the past year trying to hack accounts belonging to political consultants working with both the Republicans and Democrats. They are also reportedly targeting advocacy organisations and think tanks.
Chinese hackers are also said to have targeted people “closely associated with US presidential campaigns and candidates”. These include an unnamed Biden ally via a personal email and “at least one prominent individual formerly associated with the Trump administration”.
The group of Chinese hackers were unsuccessful in their attempts to use “web bugs”, which are tied to a domain, populated with content and sent to a targeted announcement.
“The activity we are announcing today makes clear that foreign activity groups have stepped up their efforts targeting the 2020 election as had been anticipated, and is consistent with what the U.S. government and others have reported”, Burt said in a blog post.
Iranian group Phosphorus has also attempted to access individuals’ accounts involved with the US presidential account. Between May and June, the group unsuccessfully attempted to log into the accounts of administration officials and Donald J. Trump for President campaign staff.
It comes after Facebook and Twitter revealed they had taken down a small network of accounts that were backed by a Russian influence operation, linked to interference in the 2016 election.