According to a new report from The Associated Press, Russian hackers targeted members across the Democratic Party, not just Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
In an exhaustive study of the hack, the AP lays out details of the Russian-led mission which tried to compromise Clinton’s inner circle and more than 130 Party employees, supporters and contractors.
The report says that on March 10, 2016, the “first volley of malicious messages hit the Hillary Clinton campaign” from Moscow. Out of the 29 initial phishing emails dressed up to look like they came from Google and sent to the campaign, just one was responsible for allowing some of the campaign’s secrets to be leaked to the hackers.
“While U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia was behind the email thefts, the AP drew on forensic data to report Thursday that the hackers known as Fancy Bear were closely aligned with the interests of the Russian government,” the report states.
The AP says the scheme was “part of a massive operation aimed at vacuuming up millions of messages from thousands of inboxes across the world.” They reconstructed the method hackers used, drawing on a database of 19,000 malicious links recently shared by cybersecurity firm Secureworks.
Although the majority of those initial phishing emails went to defunct addresses, one email made its way to the 2016 campaign, the AP found. “The data shows the phishing links sent to her were clicked several times,” they report.
According to the AP:
Within hours of a second volley emailed March 11, the hackers hit pay dirt. All of a sudden, they were sending links aimed at senior Clinton officials’ nonpublic 2016 addresses, including those belonging to longtime Clinton aide Robert Russo and campaign chairman John Podesta.
By early April, “Fancy Bear” was getting increasingly aggressive, the AP found, and by the second half of April, the senior leaders at the DNC began to take more notice, as did the Trump campaign.
Then, in June, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced he had emails related to Clinton which were “pending publication.” Days later, Democrats announced that their computers had been compromised by Russian hackers, including Fancy Bear.
Read the full report by The Associated Press HERE.
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