Google Thinks Trump And Biden Campaigns Are Being Targeted By Chinese And Iranian Hackers

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Chinese and Iranian hackers have targeted staff working for the presidential campaign teams of former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, Google said according to a report on Thursday in the Wall Street Journal. 

The head of Google’s counterespionage “Threat Analysis Group,” Shane Huntley, said that federal authorities and the people who were targeted were notified of the attempted attacks. Google said they don’t think the attacks were successful, according to the Journal report.  

Huntley said both campaigns were targeted by “advanced persistent threat” (APT) groups, or hacking groups that are sponsored by their state or nation-state’s government. (RELATED: Microsoft Accidentally Exposed 250 Million Customer Records —What You Should Know)

The Biden campaign staffers were targeted by APT 31, a group with ties to the Chinese government, Huntley said. The Iran-based group ATP 35 reportedly targeted the Trump staffers.  

This isn’t the first time foreign hackers have been part of the presidential election news cycle. There were allegations made against the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election when intelligence agencies and Democratic politicians accused Russia of leaking emails from the Democratic National Committee and other officials in an attempt to interfere with the election. 

A Google spokeswoman described the cyber-attacks as “recent attempts,” saying that “we saw a couple of targets on each campaign,” according to the Journal report. 

Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft said that Iranian hackers had attempted attacks on journalists, government officials and at least one presidential campaign. They did not say which campaign was targeted, only saying that the attacks appeared to be unsuccessful.