Russians Hack Democrats for Opposition Research on Trump

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Russian spies have reportedly hacked the Democratic National Committee — the governing body of the Democratic Party — for opposition research on the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Here’s what happened, according to an article by Ellen Nakashima, a reporter for The Washington Post:

The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC’s system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken favorably about Trump, who has called for better relations with Russia and expressed skepticism about NATO. But unlike Clinton, whom the Russians probably have long had in their spy sights, Trump has not been a politician for very long, so foreign agencies are playing catch-up, analysts say.

Of course, Russia isn’t the only one doing the cyber sleuthing — and the DNC isn’t the only one being targeted.

Excluding this recent Russian hack, there have been at least seven other high-profile attacks, or “significant cyber events,” in 2016, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, also known as CSIS, a think tank based in Washington, D.C., which maintains a database of such incidents.

Here are the others from this year, according to the organization:

  • April 2016. Microsoft researchers discover a highly skilled hack group that has targeted government agencies (including intelligence agencies), defense research centers and telecommunication service providers in South and Southeast Asia since 2009.
  • March 2016. North Korean hackers broke into the smartphones of a dozen South Korean officials, accessing phone conversations, text messages, and other sensitive information.
  • March 2016. Finland’s foreign ministry discovered it had been the victim of a four-year breach in their computer network.
  • January 2016. Israel revealed an operation by the United States and Britain to hack into Israel’s surveillance drones.
  • January 2016. The chief of Sri Lanka’s Financial Crimes Investigation Division had his private email account hacked. It is believed the attack was an attempt at embarrassment motivated by an ongoing crackdown by the department.
  • January 2016. Armenian diplomatic missions in 40 countries had their websites defaced by Azerbaijani hackers
  • January 2016. The Czech Republic’s Prime Minister had his twitter and personal email account hacked by right-wing extremists.

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of Military.com. He can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.