Russian intelligence agents attempted to hack the 2018 campaign of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), a vulnerable red state Democrat running for reelection in November, but were stopped by Microsoft, The Daily Beast reported Thursday.
McCaskill was one of three congressional candidates targeted by hackers, according to the publication.
“I’m not going to speak of it right now,” McCaskill told the Daily Beast about the hack attempt by Russia’s GRU intelligence agency. “I think we’ll have something on it next week. I’m not going to speak about it right now. I can’t confirm or do anything about it right now.”
McCaskill, who has been highly critical of Russia over the years, is the first confirmed target of attempted Russian hacking in the 2018 midterms.
The Daily Beast reports:
The attempt against McCaskill’s office was a variant of the password-stealing technique used by Russia’s so-called “Fancy Bear” hackers against Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, in 2016.
The hackers sent forged notification emails to Senate targets claiming the target’s Microsoft Exchange password had expired, and instructing them to change it. If the target clicked on the link, he or she was taken to a convincing replica of the U.S. Senate’s Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) login page, a single sign-on point for e-mail and other services.
As with the Podesta phishing, each Senate phishing email had a different link coded with the recipient’s email address. That allowed the fake password-change webpage to display the user’s email address when they arrived, making the site more convincing.