Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden spoke at a Fire Fighter Chili and Canvass Kickoff in Concord, N.H. on Nov 9th, 2019. A cyber-attack allegedly by Russian hackers targeted a Ukrainian oil company where Biden’s son served on the board. The same Russian hackers who were responsible for the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee are believed to be behind this attack as well. However, their methods were not similar.
Engin Kirda is a professor of Cyber Security at Northeastern University who studies network security. He believes they will strike again. This is because attacks of this nature don’t cost much nor require a whole lot of technical savviness. Additionally, plausible deniability enables foreign hackers to get away with cyber-attacks. Nations often know who is behind an attack, but proving it to the public is often difficult because then you might have to say how you collected that potentially sensitive information, or how you know it. You would need to release your sources, which people rarely do. Area 1 Security is a cyber-security company based in California. It discovered the attack on Burisma Holdings. The U.S. House of Representatives impeached Trump over allegations that he pressured Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Bidens’ connection to Burisma. This hack could have been prevented if the company had enabled two-factor authentication.
The target typically receives a legitimate-looking email, warning the recipient to log in to a website to perform a certain action in a phishing scam. The email contains a link to a legitimate-seeming website and the recipient will be solicited for account details. The sender can use that information to steal, commit fraud or retrieve more valuable information. Area 1 found parallels between the Burisma hack and another attack that was carried out against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman and the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential campaign. Kirda says, in that case, hackers were able to gain access to Podesta’s emails because he had failed to activate two-factor authentication.
“The only solution is to just be better prepared. Make sure your systems are secured. Invest in research”, says Kirda.
Shahjadi Jemim Rahman