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4 Oct, 2019 19:27

Iranian govt-linked op tried to HACK TRUMP 2020 campaign, report claims

Iranian govt-linked op tried to HACK TRUMP 2020 campaign, report claims

A hacking group allegedly linked to Tehran targeted US President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign but was "unsuccessful," claims a Reuters report citing sources. It follows a similar Microsoft statement not naming the targets.

The threat group, dubbed “Phosphorous,” attempted to hack into accounts associated with Trump’s reelection campaign, sources familiar with the matter said Friday.

Earlier, Microsoft issued a press release describing the alleged Iran-linked attacks. While “unsophisticated,” the hackers had apparently spent considerable time researching their 241 targets, which also included political journalists and Iranian expats.

Also on rt.com Firing up #Irangate? Microsoft says US presidential campaign accounts targeted by Iran hackers

Just last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif warned the US that it had bitten off more than it could chew when it started a cyberwar by unleashing the Stuxnet virus on Iran’s nuclear centrifuges in 2010: “But any war that the United States starts, it won’t be able to finish.”

The Trump campaign has denied it was targeted by hackers. “We have no indication that any of our campaign infrastructure was targeted,” Director of Communications Tim Murtaugh told Reuters.

Despite Microsoft describing the hackers as Iranian, no evidence has yet been provided of the operation really coming from Iran. In the wake of the Russiagate affair, cybersecurity professionals have advised against attributing cyberattacks to state actors, warning that both the origin and the telltale signs of the nationals involved could be masked or even planted to fool the target. This has not stopped companies like CrowdStrike, who’ve made their reputation on such attributions.

Also on rt.com CIA wrote code 'to impersonate' Russia’s Kaspersky Lab anti-virus company, WikiLeaks says