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DNC Notified of Attempt to Hack Voter Database

The 'spearphishing' attack was reportedly thwarted
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2018 4:00 PM CDT
The DNC headquarters.   (AP Photo/Paul Holston, File)

(Newser) – The FBI is reportedly investigating a sophisticated—but unsuccessful—attempt to hack into the Democratic National Committee's voter database. The DNC learned of the attempt on Tuesday, CNN reports. The attack, which was detected by a cloud service provider and a security research company, involved a fake login page intended to gather usernames and passwords for a service called Votebuilder, which hosts the DNC's voter database. It's a method called "spearphishing," according to the New York Times. "It was very convincing," Mike Murray of the cybersecurity firm Lookout tells CNN, adding that it would be tough to tell the real page from the fake one, even if they were side-by-side.

The fake login page was ultimately removed by the cloud hosting company DigitalOcean. The company's chief security officer says the threat was identified before the attack was launched. "We see no evidence that any sensitive data was stolen," he says. A DNC official tells the Times that it is not clear who the hackers were in this case. But, the paper recalls, a 2016 hack of the DNC was ultimately traced to Russia. This latest attempt, DNC Chief Security Officer Bob Lord tells the Times, "is further proof that there are constant threats as we head into midterm elections and we must remain vigilant in order to prevent future attacks." Earlier this week, Microsoft reported that it had uncovered new Russian hacking attempts targeting conservative organizations in the US. (Read more DNC stories.)

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