By Samantha Woollard (Internet Security Specialist) 16 January 2017
Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, enforced a campaign to sway the votes in the 2016 US election in Donald Trump’s favour, boosting his chance of winning, according to a declassified report released on Friday 6th of January.
The report did not state how exactly the campaign may have altered people’s decision when voting or in fact if it resulted in Trump being elected. What was included was that there were various hacks ongoing throughout the election. These included attacks into email accounts of political figures and officials of the Democratic Party. There was also evidence found that members of Russia’s government were paying “trolls” to spread fake news about Hilary Clinton just days before the election.
Trump had been quick to dismiss any findings obtained by the CIA on Russia’s interference and with his opinion on the attacks changing every other day, it is hard to understand what actually has been going on. Trump first believed the attacks were from Russia, but did not comment if they were imposed by Vladimir Putin. Days later, he took back his allegations commenting that anyone could have done it. Now he has stated that he does believe Russia was involved in the hacks but also other countries and people. Leaders of his own party have been expressing their concerns on the topic.
In a new twist, it was revealed that during the attacks, Russian operatives not only found damaging information on Hilary Clinton but claim that they have obtained compromising personal and financial information about Donald Trump. This information is said to be held to keep him inline with the Russian allegations and to show that even though they had information on both parties, only information on Hilary Clinton was released.
Obama has expressed his feelings to Putin about the situation and has stated that actions shall be taken. However, with just days before he steps down and Trump takes his place, there has been no sign of any action. Will it be all swept under the carpet when Trump takes charge?
During a party on New Year’s Eve, Trump was asked about the problem with cyber security at the moment and his response was “No computer is safe”. He preceded to say that we should do things the old fashioned way and send anything important via courier if we really wanted our information to be secure. In debates leading up to the US election, Trump has expressed his doubts in the current security issues, that we had to “do cyber better” and about “closing that Internet up”. Even though Trump clearly does not know a lot about cyber security and sending us into the past of using couriers is in noway going to help the issue; he does make a good point, “no computer is safe!”
With such large-scale attacks causing global chaos and an average of 90 million attacks a year, more still needs to be done to help prevent cyber crime. With obvious threats to the election, the US stated they were prepared for a Russian cyber attack, but were they actually fully prepared?
If there was an approaching threat to your business, could you confidently say that you are prepared?
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Author: Intact Security