It has been reported that tech giant Microsoft says it has detected more than 740 infiltration attempts by nation-state actors in the past year targeting U.S.-based political parties, campaigns and other democracy-focused organisations including think tanks and other nonprofits. Microsoft did not say how many infiltration attempts were successful but noted in a blog post Wednesday that such targeting similarly occurred in the early stages of the 2016 and 2018 elections.
Edgard Capdevielle, CEO at Nozomi Networks:
“The news that in the past year Microsoft has detected more than 740 infiltration attempts by nation-state actors against US-based political parties, campaigns and other democracy-focused organisations is not surprising. Political institutions and election infrastructure have long been a target for nation-state hackers looking to undermine public trust in US democracy.
These findings should serve as a reminder to federal and state officials of the urgent need to act to protect election infrastructure before 2020. As Nozomi Networks Advisor Suzanne Spaulding has pointed out, the United States should implement a ‘whole of nation’ strategy that includes collaboration with our allies to prevent and mitigate these threats.
At the same time, it’s more likely that adversaries will have more success in altering public opinion through disinformation campaigns versus attempts to alter votes made at the ballot box. Therefore, the Government needs to take steps to make election infrastructure more secure and resilient alongside establishing comprehensive measures to promote societal and institutional resilience.”