NBC News is reporting that the 2008 Presidential Campaigns of Barack Obama and John McCain were spied upon by the Chinese.
NBC is reporting that the espionage conducted against the campaigns of the two candidates was far more extensive than was disclosed to the public at the time.
In one incident that caused concern among U.S. intelligence officials, the Chinese hackers appeared to have gotten access to private correspondence between McCain, then the GOP presidential candidate, and Ma Ying-jeou, the newly elected president of Taiwan. On July 25, 2008, McCain had signed a personal letter — drafted on campaign computers — pledging his support for the U.S. –Taiwanese relationship and Ma’s efforts to modernize the country’s military. A copy of the letter has been obtained by NBC News.
But before the letter had even been delivered, a top McCain foreign policy adviser got a phone call from a senior Chinese diplomat in Washington complaining about the correspondence. “He was putting me on notice that they knew this was going on,” said Randall Schriver, a former State Department official who was serving as a top McCain adviser on Asian policy. “It certainly struck me as odd that they would be so well-informed.”
How could this have happened? As a loyal reader of this blog, you know the answer. Spearphishing.
Spearphishing is successful because it targets the people who use the systems, not the systems themselves. At Iconix, our goal is to make this threat vector less effective. Spearphishers deceive employees into making bad email decisions that compromise security. IT needs to help employees make better email processing decisions. That is where SP Guard comes into play. Using SP Guard, IT can determine a list of trusted senders and provide this information to staff in a simple and highly effective manner.
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