Cyber Chief in UK Election Hack Warning

Cyber Chief in UK Election Hack Warning

The head of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has warned that Russia’s alleged meddling in the US election could lead to similar campaigns to destabilize the democratic process in the UK.

Former GCHQ cybersecurity boss, Ciaran Martin, would not be drawn on whether the Kremlin was behind hacks which led to the publication of damaging Democratic party emails said to have helped Trump to the White House.

However, he did tell the BBC: “There may be a perception now that this is a successful model for intervention in a society such as ours and those of our allies. And clearly that's something we need to be prepared to deal with."

Martin also “fully endorsed” comments from the head of Germany’s internal intelligence agency, who has claimed to have already found evidence of attempts to undermine the federal elections next year.

Former Clinton aide Neera Tanden told the broadcaster that the DNC emails, which subsequently appeared on WikiLeaks, had a major effect on the millennial vote in key swing states.

“The truth was that at high points of the campaign before the leaks, Hillary was hitting 60% of millennials,” she said. “On election day she was hitting 53, 54, 55%."

Despite the CIA’s claims that it is now “quite clear” the Putin administration aimed to get Trump elected, attribution remains problematic in cyber espionage, which has allowed the Kremlin plausible deniability.

An ICIT report earlier this week explained as much, claiming the tools, techniques and procedures used by Russian state hackers are so well-known now, and the DNC such a popular target, that other malicious actors could easily mimic them, and hijack Russian government infrastructure, to smear Moscow.

However, ThreatConnect, one of the vendors which first linked APT28 (Fancy Bear) to the DNC hacks, has claimed Russia is clearly behind the hacks.

It argued that the Kremlin’s ploy is to masquerade as lone hacktivists such as Guccifer 2.0 in order to make its data haul appear more convincing and to maintain plausible deniability.

These so-called “faketivists” have been around since 2014, when the ‘CyberCaliphate’ – in reality APT28 – brought down French TV network TV5 Monde, it claimed.

Source: Information Security Magazine