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Google says China, Iran targeted American presidential campaigns

Google says China, Iran targeted American presidential campaigns

Google has alerted the respective campaigns and law enforcement agencies

Google recently announced that it had identified hacking attempts organised by government agencies targeting the presidential campaigns of Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

Google said that these attempts were made by China and Iran in particular, but they had failed in their attempts.

Shane Huntley, director for Google’s Threat Analysis Group, posted a tweet last Thursday saying that they had seen APT activity from the Chinese targeting Biden campaign staff, while the Iranians targeted Trump campaign employees using phishing techniques.

Google added that it had reported these threats to the US government and law enforcement agencies and alerted both campaigns of the hacking attempts.

APT stands for “advanced persistent threat” and implies a sustained and targeted cyberattack campaign aimed at secretly accessing computer networks, and one that could target individuals over over months or even years.

Failed penetration attempts
A Google spokesman confirmed that the company had not found any evidence that these hacking attempts were successful, but has advised the presidential campaign staff to nonetheless use additional protection, particularly in their emails.

“If you work on a campaign in this election cycle, your personal accounts may be targeted,” Google’s risk manager said in a tweet, while urging the use of two-factor authentication or advanced protection capabilities to further protect against such attacks.

Activating a two-factor authentication feature is a useful security advice for anyone who uses the Internet, irrespective of whether they are working in a presidential campaign or not.

It involves entering a specific code sent to the user’s personal phone when logging into the account from a new device.

This feature works effectively against phishing scams as hackers present themselves falsely as trustworthy entities to entice the victim to click on malicious links or download dangerous software, resulting in them gaining access to sensitive information.

Both the Biden and the Trump campaigns have confirmed that they were informed of the phishing attacks.

This story originally appeared on MENA Tech

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