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Microsoft found Russian phishing sites mimicking Republican groups

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By creating fake websites and sending spear phishing messages to their targets, the attackers could gain credentials used to access data in the same way that they exploited the account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Tech giants have warned the US government about their concerns over security leading up to elections in November, and now Microsoft said its Defending Democracy Program will expand to include AccountGuard.

That consists of three services (unified threat detection and notifications, security advice, and access to early adopter features that are usually limited to corporate accounts) it will provide for free to “all current candidates for federal, state and local office in the United States and their campaigns; the campaign organizations of all sitting members of Congress; national and state party committees; technology vendors who primarily serve campaigns and committees; and certain nonprofit organizations and nongovernmental organizations.” One small (but obvious) catch: they’ll have to use Office 365.

By comparison, Google rolled out Advanced Protection for individuals last year, along with ongoing security improvements in its G Suite setups for organizations and recently renewed a push for hardware security keys by selling some of its own “Titan” units. Facebook recently removed a number of fake pages targeting the 2018 election as well, confirming that attackers will try to influence the outcomes again, and we will need to see more from these combined efforts to keep that from happening.

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