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Cyber attacks said to target Clinton campaign and Russian government

Russia may have tried to hack Hillary Clinton's campaign, but Russia itself now says some of its computers were recently infected with cyber-espionage malware.

by Tess Owen
Jul 30 2016, 2:30pm

Photos by Michael Klimentyev/Sputnik and Peter Foley/EPA

Computer systems used by Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign were hacked on Friday, allegedly by Russian intelligence agencies — the second time in recent weeks that Moscow has been accused of targeting the Democrats ahead of November's election.

"An analytics data program maintained by the DNC, and used by our campaign and a number of other entities, was accessed as part of the DNC hack," a spokesperson for the Clinton camp said in a statement on Friday, adding that cyber security experts have, so far, found "no evidence that our internal systems have been compromised."

One campaign official told Reuters that hackers had access to the analytics program for about five days. The data program is needed to carry out voter analysis, but reportedly does not contain any sensitive data such as social security numbers or credit card information.

Last week, Wikileaks published thousands of emails that revealed how officials from the Democratic National Committee, a purportedly neutral party support base, favored Clinton over Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination. The disclosure sparked outrage among Sanders supporters, plunging the already divided party into turmoil during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Related: Russian freelancers may be behind the DNC hack

The FBI says it is investigating the hacks, as well as an earlier incident that targeted the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in March, with the belief that all of the intrusions might be linked.

Cyber security experts and US intelligence officials have said it appears that Russian hackers — groups dubbed "Cozy Bear" and "Fancy Bear," which are allegedly linked to the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service — were behind both of the recent Democratic hacks.

"It's the same adversary," an unnamed law enforcement official involved in the investigation told the New York Times. "These are sophisticated actors."

Clinton and President Barack Obama have both suggested that the cyber assaults were conducted to benefit Donald Trump, the Republican nominee.

"What we do know is is that the Russians hack our systems. Not just government systems, but private systems," Obama told NBC earlier this week. "What the motives were in terms of the leaks, all that — I can't say directly... What I do know is that Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin."

Related: How the US can retaliate if Kremlin hackers tried to influence the presidential election

Meanwhile, Russia is having its own problems trying to keep information out of the hands of hackers. Russia's intelligence service, the FSB, said on Saturday that computer networks serving 20 government, military, state and scientific agencies were infected with cyber-espionage malware as part of a "targeted, coordinated attack."

"Information technology resources of government agencies, scientific and military institutions, defense industry companies and other entities involved in crucial infrastructure have been infected," the FSB said in a statement. The Russian spy agency did not say who it thinks is behind the the attack.

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