On Thursday, Microsoft said it has detected an increase in cyberattacks from China, Iran and Russia, related to the upcoming presidential election this November. Microsoft said the attacks have targeted hundreds of people and organizations involved in both the Biden and Trump campaigns.
The tech giant said In China, a group known as Zirconium has attempted to gain intelligence on the upcoming U.S. election starting in March and continuing through this month. The group allegedly caused 150 compromises targeting the presidential candidates, their campaigns, and prominent individuals and organizations in the international affairs community. The company said Zirconium used something called “web bugs” or “web beacons,” sending a URL as targeted emails or text messages to determine if the recipients’ accounts are active.
In Iran, a group known as Phosphorus allegedly attempted to access the personal or work accounts of people involved in the U.S. presidential election between May and June. And in Russia, a group known as Strontium allegedly carried out attacks between September 2019 and this month to harvest login information for more than 200 organizations directly or indirectly affiliated with elections. The organization was previously blamed for a cyberattack on the Democratic presidential campaign in 2016.