The same Russian hacking group that breached the Democratic National Committee (DNC) also tried to penetrate the campaigns of several candidates running for the midterm elections, a Microsoft executive revealed for the first time Thursday.
The disclosure marks the first known case of a foreign government explicitly targeting the 2018 election.
Speaking on an election security panel at the Aspen Security Forum, Tom Burt, vice president for customer security and trust at Microsoft, said there had been three separate attempts to hack 2018 midterm campaigns earlier this year.
Microsoft’s security team, which counts both Republican and Democratic campaigns among its clients, detected a series of spear phishing emails sent to midterm candidates.
The emails paralleled similar activity from 2016 previously attributed to Russian hacking group “APT28,” also known as “Fancy Bear.”