The Russia connection first Kremlin target revealed: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri)

In 2016, on orders of President Vladimir Putin, the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence branch, launched a broad and effective hacking and disinformation campaign to help Donald Trump win the presidency. The Kremlin is already busy orchestrating another hacking and disinformation campaign to shape the outcome of the 2018 midterm elections.

In 2016, on orders of President Vladimir Putin, the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence branch, launched a broad and effective hacking and disinformation campaign to help Donald Trump win the presidency.

The Kremlin has now launched another hacking and disinformation campaign to help keep Congress in Trump-friendly hands.

Last Thursday, Tom Burt, vice president for customer and trust at Microsoft, speaking on an election security panel at the Aspen Security Forum, said that the same Russian hacking group that breached the Democratic National Committee (DNC) also tried to penetrate the campaigns of several candidates running for the midterm elections. Burt said that there had been three separate attempts to hack 2018 midterm campaigns.

Burt said that Microsoft’s security team, which counts both Republican and Democratic campaigns among its clients, discovered the hacking attempts by the Russian government hackers earlier this year, but declined to name the candidates targeted by the Kremlion.

We now have the first name. The Committee to Investigate Russia says that according to a forensic by The Daily Beast, the same group of Russian hackers who targeted Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2016 election tried to get access to Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) reelection campaign staffers’ accounts. 

That makes the Missouri Democrat the first identified target of the Kremlin’s 2018 election interference.

McCaskill, who has been highly critical of Russia over the years, is widely considered to be among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats facing re-election this year as Republicans hope to hold their slim majority in the Senate …

There’s no evidence to suggest that this particular attack was successful.  Asked about the hack attempt by Russia’s GRU intelligence agency, McCaskill told The Daily Beast on Thursday that she wasn’t yet prepared to discuss it.

“I’m not going to speak of it right now,” she said. “I think we’ll have something on it next week. I’m not going to speak about it right now. I can’t confirm or do anything about it right now.”



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