New information indicates that the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign weren’t the only targets of hacking operations during this election season.
A Boston-based cybersecurity firm has determined that hackers hit the US Election Assistance Commission (EAC), the organization that monitors voting machines and electronic voting databases.
One hacker going by the name of “Rasputin” was found to be in the process of trying to sell the login of over a hundred EAC accounts to a Middle Eastern government broker.
Those accounts could be used to seriously interfere with the integrity of election results. “These administrative accounts could potentially be used to access sensitive information as well as surreptitiously modify or plant malware on the EAC site, effectively staging a watering hole attack utilizing an official government resource” said researcher Levi Gundert to BuzzFeed. It is not clear when the information was obtained or whether the results of the recent election are in question.
Rasputin is not believed to be “sponsored by a foreign government”, but is known to speak Russian, and his choice of pseudonym is…curious, to say the least. Grigori Rasputin was the notorious peasant faith healer who wormed his way into the court of Russian Tsar Nicholas II and exerted mysterious influence over the weak-willed ruler, advising him even in matters of politics and military affairs before being murdered by furious nobles.
What is clear is that our government’s cybersecurity measures are not sufficient. Now that we’ve learned the hard way just what electronic warfare can achieve, it’s time for us to punish the wrongdoers and divert more resources into shielding our information from our enemies.