- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 10, 2020

Microsoft has notified a Democratic consulting firm contracted by the presidential campaign of Joseph R. Biden that it has been targeted by suspected Russian hackers, Reuters reported Thursday.

Citing three people briefed on the matter, Reuters reported that Microsoft recently notified the firm, SKDKnickerbocker, that it was being targeted by “hackers tied to the Russian government.”

The hacking attempts took place over the past two months, according to the British news agency. One person familiar with the firm’s response said the hackers were unsuccessful, Reuters reported.

Hackers tried to “phish” targets at the firm into disclosing their passwords and “other efforts to infiltrate SKDK’s network,” according to the report.

SKDKnickerbocker “is proud to be part of Team Biden,” the firm states on its website, which also boasts having worked on campaigns for Democrats such as former President Barack Obama, among others.

Microsoft had SKDKnickerbocker no immediate reaction to the report. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the allegations as “nonsense,” according to Reuters.

Several hours after the Reuters article was published, Microsoft revealed it recently detected a number of unsuccessful hacking attempts on U.S. political targets from Russia, China and Iran.

Without naming specific targets, Microsoft said over 200 organizations, including “consultants serving Republicans and Democrats,” were recently attacked by a Russian group it calls Strontium.

Federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies previously assessed Russian hackers breached Democratic targets leading up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election ultimately won by Mr. Trump.

The U.S. Office of the Director of Intelligence stated last month that it assesses “Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate” Mr. Biden ahead of November’s election, meanwhile.

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