Presidential committee officials and security experts are reporting that the Democratic National Committee’s servers have been hacked by Russian government hackers. One of the main databases hacked was one containing all of the opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
It seems that the DNC’s systems were so compromised that hackers were even able to read email and chat exchanges between government officials, said DNC representatives. It was previously reported by National Intelligence directors that presidential campaigns were at risk and it seems their suspicions were in fact correct. A spokesman for the Russian embassy has claimed no knowledge of these actions.
Reports show that the hackers have had access to government databases for well over a year now but DNC officials are confident that following a major computer cleanup program over the past weekend, systems are now secure. The DNC has stated that no financial, donor or personal information has been accessed or stolen which would suggest that the hack was an act of espionage, not a typical attempt by hackers looking to profit from their infiltration.
This infiltration is another example of Russia’s desire to understand American politics and to gain information on its possible future president. The depths to which Russia infiltrated American governmental systems just shows how skilled and determined that the Russians are when it comes to espionage relating to the American government.
Shawn Henry, president of the cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike employed to secure government servers, told the Washington Post “It’s the job of every foreign intelligence service to collect intelligence against their adversaries, we’re perceived as an adversary of Russia,” he said. “Their job when they wake up every day is to gather intelligence against the policies, practices and strategies of the U.S. government. There are a variety of ways. Hacking is one of the more valuable because it gives you a treasure trove of information.”
Two hacking groups, employed by the Russian government, were identified by Crowdstrike, one named Cozy Bear and the other named Fancy Bear. Cozy Bear focused on the DNC’s email and communication servers which it is believed to have had access to since last Summer. Fancy Bear seemed to focus on collecting information relating to presidential candidate and tipped off DNC officials in April when the first security breach was noticed. It’s suspected that phishing emails sent to DNC employees were used to access the system however officials say they have yet to find any hard evidence to back up this suspicion.
Crowdstrike will continue to investigate the hack and has installed detection software on all computers and servers in the DNC in order to detect and future hacking attempts and to alert security experts. Crowdstrike president Shawn Henry has predicted that this will not be the end of the Russian hackers and that there will be another attempt to break into classified servers but is confident that Crowdstrike has successfully secured all important documents.
Lucas Nolan is a Journalism and Media student at Dublin Business School and a regular contributor to Breitbart Tech. He can be contacted via Twitter here: @LucasNolan_