Microsoft Corp recently alerted a key consultancy to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s election campaign that it was attacked by suspected state-sponsored Russian hackers, according to three people who were briefed on the matter.
The hacking attempts for the past two months have been targeted against employees at Washington-based SKDKnickerbocker, a campaign strategy and communications firm that works with Biden and other prominent Democrats.
A person familiar with SKDK’s response to the attempts said the hackers were unable to gain access to the company’s networks. “You are well defended so there was no violation,” said the person.
Hilary Rosen, deputy chairwoman of the SKDK, declined to comment. A Biden spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
The hacking attempts against SKDK stemmed from US intelligence agencies sounding the alarm about possible efforts by foreign governments to interfere in the November presidential election.
Investigations by former Special Envoy Robert Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee both concluded that members of the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election, and Mueller has warned Russia is interfering in the current campaign.
According to one source, it was not clear whether Biden’s campaign was the target or whether the Russians were trying to get access to information about other SKDK customers.
SKDK Executive Director Anita Dunn was White House Communications Director during Barack Obama’s presidency and serves as Senior Advisor to the Biden campaign.
Attempts to infiltrate SKDK were recently reported by Microsoft to the campaign company, which identified hackers tied to the Russian government as likely culprits, according to the three sources.
Attacks included phishing, a hacking method designed to trick users into disclosing their passwords, and other efforts to infiltrate the SKDK network.
A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment.
SKDK is closely associated with the Democratic Party, having worked on six presidential campaigns and numerous congressional races. In addition to his current work for Biden, the company worked on successful gubernatorial races in Kansas and Connecticut in 2018.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)