A notorious hacker group is said to have sent bait emails to the presidential candidate’s team. Trump’s campaign was also attacked.

Google security experts have warned the two major campaign teams in the US presidential election of hacking attacks. The reason is two attempted attacks on the campaigns of Joe Biden and Donald Trump. An Iranian group tried to spy on the Trump campaign, a Chinese group tried Biden. Both campaigns confirmed that Wall Street Journal the attacks.


The digital security of the campaign teams is particularly in the spotlight in the United States after hackers captured Candidate Hillary Clinton’s internal emails in the 2016 campaign, which were later released. They may have massively damaged their election campaign. Many in Clinton’s Democratic Party blame the hack for Trump’s narrow election victory in 2016.

In so-called phishing attacks, hackers send e-mails with bait to campaign employees in order to lure them to allegedly trustworthy websites. There the victims are made to enter their password. In fact, the sites are controlled by the hackers, who can then infiltrate the victim’s systems with the password. According to Google, the current attempts were unsuccessful. In a message on Twitter, the chief of Google’s cyber defense team, Shane Huntley, wrote that the attacks “recently” occurred. Google’s mail program is also popular with campaign organizers.

State hackers from Iran and China

The group that attacked Trump’s campaign is said to be the “APT35”, presumably sponsored by the Iranian state. She is known for elaborate espionage operations, for which she settles in the victims’ networks in the long term. According to several cyber security companies, the attackers of “APT31”, who are said to have targeted Biden, are on the road on behalf of the Chinese state. They are said to be responsible for the theft of intellectual property in technology companies.


Huntley cried Campaign employees on being particularly vigilant and using the strongest possible security measures such as two-factor authentication. In addition to their password, users identify themselves with another feature. This can be an SMS, a code generated via an app or a physical security key that is connected to the computer via USB. Anyone who receives a Google warning about possible government attacks should immediately secure their account better. Technology companies send out such warnings when they encounter large-scale hacking attacks in their systems.

Google offers to participate in a program called “Advanced Security”, in which accounts are secured with security keys and, for example, additional identification steps are required when restoring an account – for example, a video call in which the ID must be shown. This is supposed to protect against a commonly used attack. Attackers pretend to own an account but have forgotten their password. Then they have the account restored through an alternative way that they have already compromised.


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