August 21, 2018

CNN correspondent Alex Marquardt reports on New Day this morning that Russian hacking activity is on the rise.

"So we are just 77 days away from the November midterm election," Alisyn Camerota said. "How will the Trump administration respond to these new Russian attacks as America's top national security leaders continue to warn about the blinking red lights, the threat that Russia poses to the upcoming election. CNN's Alex Marquardt is live in Washington with all of the breaking details."

"Alisyn, Microsoft is saying this morning that Russia is broadening their attempts to hack into different groups of both political parties ahead of the midterms in November," Marquardt said.

"The company accuses the hacker group Fancy Bear, linked to Russian military intelligence and was behind the 2016 hack of the DNC of trying to carry out so-called spear fishing attacks. Microsoft said they used a court order last week to take control of six different internet domains. Look carefully at the names.

"Two stand out. First, the Hudson Institute and second, International Republican Institute, both which have broken with President Trump and have been critical of Russia. IRI's board of directors includes some of the most famous Republicans in the country and some of President Putin's harshest critics, John McCain, Marco Rubio and as well as Mitt Romney.

"Several of the other domains listed in this report by Microsoft include the word 'senate,' indicating that they may have been targeting different senators and their offices, but right now it's unclear which senators, which offices may have been potential targets.

"To be clear, these latest efforts by Russia were not successful. There was a similar attempted attack that we learned about last month, also carried out by Russian military intelligence against the office of Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, one of the most vulnerable Democrats running for reelection this year.

"They are saying, quote, 'Despite last week's steps, we are concerned by the continued activity targeting these and other sites and directed towards elected officials, politicians, political groups and think tanks across the political spectrum in the United States. Taken together, this pattern mirrors the type of activity we saw prior to the 2016 election in the United States and the 2017 election in France.' "

Marquardt also said Microsoft is rolling out cyber campaign protection service they will offer for free to vulnerable political sites.

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