'Hacking Attempt' On Democratic National Committee Discovered 

Photo: AP

Earlier this week, someone attempted to infiltrate the system housing the U.S. Democratic Party’s voter file using a fake login page, Democratic officials and a leading cloud service provider told Gizmodo on Wednesday.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) was notified on Tuesday of an effort to collect the usernames and passwords of Democratic officials using a fake login page. The fake page was created in an apparent attempt to infiltrate Votebuilder, the DNC’s primary voter file system.

DigitalOcean, the cloud service provider, said it notified the DNC after becoming aware of the threat early Tuesday morning. The threat was also assessed by Lookout, a San Francisco-based security company.

The DNC contacted law enforcement immediately after being alerted to the threat, said a Democratic official, who added there’s no indication so far that Votebuilder or any other system has been compromised.

“We are continuing to partner with the DNC and appropriate law enforcement agencies on this issue,” said Josh Fienblum, DigitalOcean’s chief security officer.

DNC Chief Security Officer Bob Lord characterised the incident as “further proof that there are constant threats as we head into midterm elections,” adding: “we must remain vigilant in order to prevent future attacks.”

Word of the attempt on the DNC comes one day after Microsoft disclosed that it had seized control of six internet domains allegedly created used by Russian hackers, two of which mimicked major conservative organisations, including the International Republican Institute.

Lord also called on the Trump administration to take “more aggressive steps” to protect voting systems. “These threats are serious,” he said, “and that’s why it’s critical that we all work together...”

More than two years ago at the height of the 2016 election, hackers gained access to the DNC network using credentials stolen from an employee of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Within months, more than two dozen computers were compromised and thousands of emails were stolen. The documents, which the hackers shared with WikiLeaks that summer, upended the Democratic Party, eventually leading to the resignation of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

In January 2017, U.S. intelligence assessed with high confidence that the hackers were supported by the Russian government, which had displayed a clear preference for then-candidate Donald Trump in the election.

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