In 2016, a Russian group of hackers allegedly interfered with the US elections by hacking into the Democratic party server and stealing confidential information in favour of the current US President. For the forthcoming elections in November, Microsoft believes that there will be another set or group of hackers that will interfere with the presidential election. Since there has been a diplomatic rift between the United States, China and Iran, hackers from China and Iran are feared to snoop on the confidentiality of the data of the elections, as they once attempted to retrieve password information from people associated in the campaigns of President Trump.
The “Fancy Bear” or “APT28” which happens to be the name of the Russian group responsible for the cyberattack on the 2016 US presidential election, also initiated another simultaneous attack in recent times, targeting 6,900 accounts about 28 different organizations that are located within the US and the UK. The affected organizations of the cyber-attacks had some direct involvement in political elections. With the previous success of their operations, the hackers seem to have laid the preliminaries for future surveillance or interference of operations.
The Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) in a blog post is one that aims to protect confidential data from detected threats, to fight cyberattacks and protect against severe threats by releasing security assessment reports. So far, Microsoft gathers billions of threats for a case study of the security network, giving the public appropriate threat intelligence that is built into products like Windows, Azure, and Office 365.
Between September 2019, and June 2020, the MSTIC has prevented cyberattacks from more than thousands of accounts of roughly 200 different organizations. For instantaneous detection, investigation, and response to e-mail threats, Microsoft uses platforms such as “Threat Explorer, Threat Intelligence, Advanced Threat Protection, and Exchange Online Protection”, this software is exclusive for Office 365 and Windows.
The Russian group of hackers “Fancy Bear” which was responsible for interfering with the US presidential election got charged in 2016 for meddling with classified information, hacking the e-mails of the Democratic National Committee, the military intelligence, and Hillary Clinton. With the use of false e-mails to collect classified information, hackers use programs like “Phishing”. While the Fancy Bear used their customized approach, they called “Password-Spray Tooling” bypasses any kind of firewall.
Since the 2016 cyberattack meddling with the election, the US is holding upon the relapses of four years ago while not comprehending the attacks of the future elections to be held in November. Based on a smooth election with no interference, the U.S happens to have made progress on upgrading its firewall against cyberattacks, but the COVID-19 seems to be a setback to all the arrangement that has been made.
Nonetheless, election security means so much than replacing voting machines with new ones. Likewise, this kind of problem cannot just be resolved with only technology, the government should also encourage the electorate in terms of working with the Hacker community, or commission a body to prevent any unseen threat and publicly investigate elections with a paycheck. The government has to build a secure system, this will prove to the masses that problems are been solved rather than spreading unfounded claims about home grown election fraud.