Chinese Hackers Target Email Accounts of Biden Campaign Staff, Google Says

Politics 2020/6/5

Chinese Hackers Target Email Accounts of Biden Campaign Staff, Google Says

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee, speaks at City Hall in Philadelphia, June 2, 2020. (Mark Makela/The New York Times)

WASHINGTON — Chinese hackers are targeting the personal email accounts of campaign staff members working for former Vice President Joe Biden, Google said Thursday, while confirming previous reports that Iran has targeted President Donald Trump’s campaign.

In disclosing the attempts, Google’s chief of threat analysis, Shane Huntley, who oversees the tracking of state-sponsored, sophisticated hacking, said there was no evidence yet that the Chinese hackers had pierced Biden’s campaign. The attacks appear to be conventional spear-phishing attacks, similar to the Russian breach of John Podesta’s personal emails in 2016, when he was Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

But Google’s announcement Thursday underscored the fact that during the 2020 election, Russian hackers, who combined hacking and disinformation in the last presidential election cycle, will not be alone. Even before Google’s announcement — posted on Twitter — security experts warned that Russian hackers would be joined by those from other American adversaries.

Biden’s campaign said in a statement that “we are aware of reports from Google that a foreign actor has made unsuccessful attempts to access the personal email accounts of campaign staff.”

It added: “We have known from the beginning of our campaign that we would be subject to such attacks and we are prepared for them. Biden for President takes cybersecurity seriously, we will remain vigilant against these threats, and will ensure that the campaign’s assets are secured.”

The motivations for such atte

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