Microsoft Says Iranian Hackers Targeted A U.S. Presidential Campaign

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Microsoft Says Iranian Hackers Targeted A U.S. Presidential Campaign
​Microsoft says hackers also targeted current and former U.S. government officials and journalists covering world politics.
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Microsoft says hackers linked to the Iranian government have made efforts to attack a 2020 U.S. presidential campaign, as well as current and former U.S. government officials.

In a blog post Friday, Microsoft said that over the course of 30 days between August and September, a "threat group" named Phosphorus made thousands of attempts to identify specific Microsoft customers' email accounts before attempting to attack 241 of those accounts. Potential targets also included journalists covering world politics and prominent Iranians residing outside of Iran.

Microsoft didn't say which campaign was targeted, but The New York Times reports it was President Donald Trump's reelection campaign. In a statement, the campaign said Friday, "We have no indication that any of our campaign infrastructure was targeted."

Microsoft said it disclosed the attacks for two reasons: in the hope that governments and the private sector will be "increasingly transparent about nation-state attacks and efforts to disrupt democratic processes," and in an effort to "help others be more vigilant and take steps to protect themselves."

According to the tech giant, the hackers managed to compromise four accounts, none of which were associated with government officials or the presidential campaign.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.