The software giant Microsoft has announced on Friday, October 4 that a cyber attack campaign has been launched to vandalize the US Presidential election campaign by a hacking group which is apparently linked to the Iranian government.
The company stated that it has noticed several online activities by the group. They also mentioned that the hackers also targeted journalists, who cover global politics, prominent Iranians living outside the country and current as well as former US government officials.
Microsoft has mentioned in the blog post that between August and September, the group of cybercriminals, dubbed as "Phosphorous", tried to identify Microsoft consumers' email accounts more than 2,700 times and then carried out attacks, targeting 241 of the accounts.
In addition, the post stated that "four accounts were compromised as a result of these attempts; these four accounts were not associated with the U.S. presidential campaign or current and former U.S. government officials.
"Microsoft has notified the customers related to these investigations and threats and has worked as requested with those whose accounts were compromised to secure them."
In this era of digital war, the meddling in the Presidential campaign via hacking activities has become one of the major concerns for the government, especially after the 2016 election. US intelligence agencies also came up with a new revelation that Russia conducted an operation to disrupt the American democratic process as well as to help Donald Trump become president.
The recent Microsoft post stated, "While the attacks we're disclosing today were not technically sophisticated, they attempted to use a significant amount of personal information both to identify the accounts belonging to their intended targets and in a few cases to attempt attacks."
As per the company, this effort suggested that the hacking group, Phosphorous is highly motivated and also willing to "invest significant time and resources engaging in research and other means of information gathering."
However, to combat this hacking group, which is also known as APT 35, Charming Kitten and Ajax Security Team, Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit has "taken legal and technical steps."
Microsoft also advised that all the customers should enable two-step verification process and must check their login history frequently.