Google has said that some hackers tried to target the campaigns of US President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden although no evidence of their success has been found. The company has confirmed this after Shane Huntley, director of the company’s ‘Threat Analysis Group’, shared the information on Twitter.
Huntley said the Chinese group Harken Panda tried to target members of Trump’s campaign and the Iranian group Charming Keaton tried to target Biden’s campaign workers. Such ‘phishing’ (hacking) attempts usually involve fake e-mails, attempts to steal passwords or corrupt devices through ‘malware’.
Malware is a type of virus that is used to steal someone’s identity or break into confidential information on a computer. According to the company’s statement, attempts were made to hack into the personal e-mail accounts of people involved in both the campaigns. A Google spokesman said it had been done recently and targeted some people involved in both campaigns.
Google said it alerted targeted users and handed the matter over to federal law enforcement. Graham Brookie, director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, described the announcement as a “major revelation” about cyber-influencing campaigns, as seen in 2016.
He was referring to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign by Russia, which raised questions about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and Trump’s victory. Trump and Biden have not commented on the latest hacking attempt.