Russian Hackers Hit Biden Campaign Related Firm


According to a new report in Reuters, Russian government-linked hackers are suspected of targeting a D.C.-based company with close ties to the Joe Biden presidential campaign. The report suggests, of course, that Russian state interests may again be using tactics like they used in 2016, when they concurrently released stolen emails from top Democrats and pushed a huge disinformation campaign across the internet. Although Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Russia scandal concluded that the Trump campaign did not actively coordinate with Russian election meddlers, in the 2016 race, Trump welcomed the campaign boost. In the time since, he’s consistently refused to take the issue seriously.

Reuters reports the following:

‘Microsoft Corp recently alerted one of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s main election campaign advisory firms that it had been targeted by suspected Russian state-backed hackers, according to three people briefed on the matter. The hacking attempts targeted staff at Washington-based SKDKnickerbocker, a campaign strategy and communications firm working with Biden and other prominent Democrats, over the past two months, the sources said.’

Although the strategy/communications firm SKDKnickerbocker does work closely with the Biden campaign, that’s not the company’s only client. Thus, theoretically, the hackers could have been attempting to gain access to intelligence about some other third party. Nevertheless, SKDKnickerbocker is a clearly Democratic Party-aligned firm — the company has worked on six Democratic presidential campaigns, among other work for the party. According to Reuters, the hackers — who used methods including phishing attacks to try and gain access to the company’s computer system — were not successful.

In a recent statement, Bill Evanina, who’s the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (which is a government agency), outlined an ongoing threat from Russian meddlers as the 2020 presidential election approaches. Evanina said that Russia “is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment,'” which he called “consistent with Moscow’s public criticism of him when he was Vice President for his role in the Obama Administration’s policies on Ukraine and its support for the anti-Putin opposition inside Russia.”

Just this week, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) revealed that he’d received a whistleblower complaint from a former Department of Homeland Security official, Brian Murphy, who said that he was told to “cease providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference in the United States.”