Amidst all the heat of the presidential debate on Sunday night, hackers surfaced for a brief moment. The two candidates clashed over a claim that hackers tied to the Russian state were trying to influence the election. Two days earlier, on Friday, the US director of national intelligence had pointed the finger at the highest levels of the Russian state for intrusions.
Critics of Russia have argued that any role would be part of a growing trend of not just stealing information but also weaponising it. The story begins in May, when the Democratic National Committee (DNC) became concerned about suspicious behaviour on its computer network. It called in the security firm CrowdStrike to take a look. Two hacker groups were found on the system, one that had just entered and another that had been there for nearly a year.
“We recognised that there was an adversary in their environment that had targeted that network and was looking at communications … and research on opposition candidates,” Shawn Henry, chief security officer at Crowdstrike and a former executive assistant director of the FBI, tells the BBC. “We did attribution back to the Russian government.
“In this particular case we believed it was the Russian government involved in an espionage campaign – essentially collecting intelligence against candidates for the US presidency.
Full Article: Why US fears Russia is hacking its presidential election.