Hackers targeted the presidential campaigns of Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain, says a report by Newsweek magazine. In addition, spammers are capitalizing on interest in Obama's victory to attempt to trick users into downloading malware.
A day after the national election, both President-elect Barack Obama and
Republican presidential candidate John McCain are in the middle of cyber-crime
According to a Newsweek report,
the FBI believes both men had their campaigns hacked by a "foreign
After technology staff at Obama headquarters detected what they thought was
a phishing attack in summer 2008, the FBI and U.S. Secret Service reportedly
told campaign officials their computer system had been compromised and files
had been stolen. A top McCain official confirmed to Newsweek that the McCain campaign's
computer system had been compromised as well, and that the FBI was
White House and FBI officials declined to comment to Newsweek about the
Meanwhile, Obama's victory has touched off a malware campaign targeting
Windows users. According to SophosLabs, the spam campaign accounted for 60
percent of the malicious spam the vendor detected over the course of an hour on
Nov. 5. MX Logic
detected close to 1 million messages between 8 a.m. and 10
The e-mails, which have subject lines such as "Obama win preferred in
world poll" and claim to come from firstname.lastname@example.org, contain a link to a
site purporting to have news of the election results. Once at the site,
visitors are prompted to download Adobe Flash Player 9. In actuality though,
the file is malware, and was detected by Sophos
"The malware takes over your computer, handing over control to a remote
hacker," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.
means it can be used to download further malware from the Internet, and
normally this kind of attack is used to turn your PC into a spam-spewing relay
and allow hackers to gain access to your private information."
In the days leading up to the election, spammers
favored Obama over McCain by a large margin. According to statistics from
82 percent of election-related spam Nov. 4 involved Obama. More
than 77 percent of the election spam came from the Srizbi botnet,
according to the vendor.