First Hacking Attempts of the 2018 Midterms Unveiled by Microsoft

The attacks were thwarted through cooperation with Microsoft's security team and the government.

Widespread hacking of the 2016 elections have lead states and localities to seek out ways to shore up election devices and networks, and with good reason as hacking attempts for the 2018 midterm election have already begun.

Tom Burt, vice president for customer security and trust at Microsoft, revealed on July 19 that the company had detected cyberthreats aimed at the campaigns of three separate candidates running in the upcoming midterm elections.

Speaking on a panel at the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday, Burt noted that the candidates had received spear-phishing emails from the same Russian hacking group that breached the Democratic National Committee in the 2016 election, CyberScoop reports.

“Earlier this year, we did discover that a fake Microsoft domain had been established as the landing page for phishing attacks. And we saw metadata that suggested those phishing attacks were being directed at three candidates who are all standing for election in the midterm elections," said Burt.

Working in partnership with the government, Microsoft and its security team were able to detect and mitigate attacks by taking down the malicious domains.

“We were able to avoid anybody being affected by that attack,” Burt said. “They tried, they weren’t successful and the government security teams deserve a lot of the credit.”

Jul 20 2018