Bloomberg reported July 27 that experts had warned the Democratic National Committee last fall that its computer network was open to attacks by state-sponsored and other hackers but it didn’t follow the cyberexperts’ security advice.
The revelation is another blow to party officials humiliated by the theft and public disclosure of e-mails that have led to a political firestorm. The hacking was done by Russians working for the regime of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
Bloomberg reported: “Computer security consultants hired by the DNC made dozens of recommendations after a two-month review, the people said. Following the advice, which would typically include having specialists hunt for intruders on the network, might have alerted party officials that hackers had been lurking in their network for weeks — hackers who would stay for nearly a year.
“Instead, officials didn’t discover the breach until April. The theft ultimately led to the release of almost 20,000 internal e-mails through WikiLeaks last week on the eve of the convention.” Wikileaks is run by Julian Assange, who is an ally of Mr. Putin.
(June 21st, 2016) Bloomberg News reported on June 17 that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign said, in Bloomberg’s paraphrase, that “there’s no sign that hackers have broken into its computer systems, but it’s well aware that Russian cyber operatives may be trying.”
“We continue to have no evidence that HFA’s information systems have been compromised,” Glen Caplin, a spokesman for Hillary for America, the campaign organization, said.
The news service reported that on on June 26, SecureWorks Corp., an Atlanta-based cybersecurity company, “said its researchers found a group of hackers linked to the Russian government targeted Clinton’s campaign, ‘including individuals managing Clinton’s communications, travel, campaign finances and advising her on policy.”’
Earlier, the Democratic National Committee had disclosed that hackers believed to be working for the Russian government had gotten into its servers.
(June 21st, 2016) The Democratic National Committee has disclosed that Russian government hackers penetrated the DNC’s computer network to get into the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
DNC officials and security experts said that the intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC’s system that they also could read all e-mail and chat traffic, reported The Washington Post.
Russian spies have been hard at work targeting U.S. candidates, especially Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and political parties. But details on those cases were not available, The Post reported.
Inevitably, Russian government spokesman Dmitri Peskov denied the reports.
“I completely rule out a possibility that the [Russian] government or the government bodies have been involved in this.’’
Russian government hackers are considered the best in world at industrial espionage, intellectual-property theft and cyberwar (as against Ukraine and Estonia), followed by the Chinese. The theft of opposition research on Mr. Trump might be considered a bit ironic since he has lauded Russian President Vladimir Putin for his strong leadership style. Mr. Putin has become Russia’s de-facto dictator in recent years.