Elaborating on the group's alleged tasks, Microsoft claimed that "Strontium" has been attacking "more than 200 organizations including political campaigns, advocacy groups, parties and political consultants", while "Zirconium" has targeted "high-profile individuals" connected with the Biden campaign, and "Phosphorus" "has continued to attack the personal accounts of people associated with the Donald J. Trump for President campaign".
Burt said the Chinese effort to compromise the Biden ally and the Iranian spying against the Trump campaign were unsuccessful, but his blog post provided no detail on the hacking campaign attributed to Russian Federation or the effort to compromise the well-known former Trump associate.
Strontium, the Russian hackers that breached the Democratic campaign in 2016 are again involved, with Microsoft warning that it is "clear that foreign activity groups have stepped up their efforts" targeting the election. "They're lumping in actors that operate in a very different fashion, probably to make this sound more bipartisan", he said.
Intelligence agencies have long flagged ongoing efforts from foreign powers to interfere in USA elections. It said there was no evidence of intrusion.
He added that Iranian hackers - which Microsoft has already called out publicly for attempts to spy on a United States political campaign identified as being Trump's - had since tried to log into accounts belonging to Trump administration officials and members of the Republican President's campaign staff.
The Biden campaign said it was aware Microsoft said a foreign actor had tried and failed to access "non-campaign email accounts of individuals affiliated with the campaign".
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"The announcement is consistent with earlier statements by the Intelligence Community on a range of malicious cyber activities targeting the 2020 campaign and reinforces that this is an all-of-nation effort to defend democracy", Krebs said in a statement.
On Tuesday, Brian Murphy, a senior Department of Homeland Security official, filed a whistleblower complaint alleging that he was told to stop disseminating intelligence memos on Russian threats to the upcoming presidential election, citing potential "political embarrassment" to Trump, according to records of the complaint released by the House Intelligence Committee.
Trump campaign officials said they weren't surprised given that the president's re-election effort is "a large target".
Microsoft alerted the Biden campaign that the hacking attempt was directed at employees of SKDKnickerbocker (SKDK), a campaign strategy and communications firm that has worked with Biden's team for the past two months, Reuters reported, citing three unidentified sources.
Social media operators have been struggling with disinformation campaigns from Russia, China and other countries along with unverified claims by Trump on the vote process.
Brookie confirmed that his employer was among targets of Hurricane Panda but said there was no evidence the hacking attempts, which he said were unsuccessful, had anything to do with the 2020 election. The good news is that Microsoft says it foiled most of the hacking attempts it uncovered.
Microsoft noted a shift toward greater automation in Fancy Bear methods for trying to steal people's log-in credentials, which previously largely relied on phishing. But the groups behind the attacks have still been persistent.