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U.S. Intelligence Chief Warns of Attempts to Hack Presidential Campaigns


Hacker via shutterstock

The U.S. intelligence community has detected evidence of foreign hackers including some with possible ties to overseas intelligence services who are attempting to gain access to the leading presidential campaigns.

“We’ve already had some indications” of hacking, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Wednesday during an event at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, according to the Associated Press. “As the campaigns intensify, we’ll probably have more.”

Intelligence community officials began to see an increase in foreign hackers attempting to gain access to U.S. presidential campaigns starting in 2008, according to the AP report. A document released earlier this month by Clapper’s office detailed how foreign intelligence services monitored the 2008 presidential campaign more closely than any presidential campaign in history.

Foreign intelligence services “met with campaign contacts and staff, used human source networks for policy insights, exploited technology to get otherwise sensitive data, engaged in perception management to influence policy,” the document reportedly read.

In 2012, hackers with possible ties to China and the hacktivist collective Anonymous attempted to access internal documents and policy proposals from both the Obama and Romney campaigns.

Clapper said the FBI and Department of Homeland Security are currently working with the campaigns to address the threats and “are doing what they can to educate both campaigns against potential cyber threats.”



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