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Russian hackers reportedly targeted Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill

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Claire McCaskill
Sen. Claire McCaskill.
J.
Scott Applewhite/AP


  • Russia’s GRU foreign-intelligence agency reportedly
    targeted Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri last
    year, according to a report from the  Daily Beast
    published on Thursday.
  • The same group was suspected of hacking the Democratic
    Congressional Campaign Committee in 2016, and several members
    were indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller earlier in
    July.
  • McCaskill, a vocal critic of Russia’s interference in
    the 2016 presidential election, appeared to confirm the hacking
    attempt but said it was not successful.

Russia’s GRU foreign-intelligence agency, the same group
suspected of hacking the Democratic Congressional Campaign
Committee in 2016, reportedly targeted Democratic Sen. Claire
McCaskill of Missouri last year, according to a Daily Beast
report published
Thursday.

McCaskill, a vocal critic of Russia’s
interference in the 2016 US presidential election, appeared to
confirm Russia’s hacking attempt, but said it was not successful.
In an email shared by CNN national security reporter Zachary
Cohen, McCaskill
said
, “Russia continues to engage in cyber warfare against
our democracy. I will continue to speak out and press to hold
them accountable. While this attack was not successful, it is
outrageous that they think they can get away with this.”

In earlier comments to the Daily Beast, McCaskill said, “I’m not
going to speak about it right now. I can’t confirm or do anything
about it right now.”

The attempted hack reportedly took place sometime in August 2017.


Kremlin Moscow
The
Kremlin.


Wikimedia
Commons



The GRU reportedly sent fake notification emails to Senate
targets claiming their passwords had expired, and included a link
to a fake login page.

Through its own investigation, prompted by remarks from Microsoft
Vice President Tom Burt, who said his company found three midterm
election candidates who were targeted by a phishing campaign, the
Daily Beast determined that McCaskill was one of the candidates
being targeted.

John Podesta, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s
campaign chairman, was the victim of a similar email phishing attack
by the GRU-affiliated “Fancy Bear” hackers in 2016. One of
Podesta’s aides received an email that purported to be from
Google and entered his credentials after clicking on a link that
led to a fake website.

News of the attempted hack comes shortly after special counsel
Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian officials for launching
cyberattacks against several Democratic campaign committees in
2016.

Earlier in July, Homeland Security secretary
Kirstjen Nielsen
said US intelligence agencies did “observe
malicious cyber activity from various actors against US election
infrastructure” but that there was still “no indications that
Russia is targeting the 2018 US midterms at a scale or scope to
match their activities in 2016.”

McCaskill is seen as vulnerable in her home state of Missouri,
where Donald Trump overwhelmingly defeated Hillary Clinton in
2016 by more than 18 percentage points. She is running against
the state’s attorney general, Josh Hawley,
who has received glowing endorsements from Trump
as recently
as this week.

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