Microsoft Stops Hacking Operation That Could Have Affected The ElectionOctober 27, 2020
There was apparently plans in the works to disrupt the general election. A major hacking operation was in the works. However, Microsoft has put a stop to that threat once and for all.
Microsoft has stopped a major hacking operation that could have an indirect impact on election infrastructure if it wasn’t disrupted. Microsoft announced Monday that they have to managed to take down the servers behind a malware network known as Trickbot. It was a sizable malware network that was a place in which criminals launched a range of cyberattacks. One of those cyberattacks included some significantly damaging ransomware.
Microsoft obtained a order in federal court that gave them permission to disable the IP addresses that are connected with the servers behind Trickbot. They collaborated with some telecommunication providers worldwide in order to finish off Trickbot’s servers. This action in Microsoft also coincided with a current initative by the US Cyber Command to go on the offensive against cybercriminals.
Microsoft isn’t totally resting on its laurels. They admit that the attackers are likely to restrategize in such a way that they could relaunch their operations at some point. However, the company is confident that they will be able to counter any potential revival of operations by Trickbot given the approach that they have taken to fight it. They are confident in this innovative approach.
Microsoft noted that Trickbot served as a service to those who were interested in hacking. They enabled them to infect computers that were vulnerable with malware. They also affected vulnerable routers and devices.
Ransomware was part of the malware that was used by Trickbot. This was particularly concerning to Microsoft and government officials as this could affect websites that contain sensitive information about elections.
Microsoft VP Tom Burt expressed his concern that hackers could use ransomware to affect a software system that may maintain voting info or software that could be used to help report results on the night of the election.
The purpose of ransomware is to capture target computers and freezes them until the potential victim pays a ransom of some sort.
However, Tom Burt is confident that the situation is handled. He stated that their actions will serve to stop the company from starting ransomware that they already put into vulnerable computer systems.
According to Microsoft, Trickbot had infected over a million devices within the last four years. Their identity is unknown at this time. However, it is known that the attackers have behalf of criminal enterprises and governments.