In a cybersecurity first—with all the PR fallout to go along with it—a foreign government has weaponized stolen emails by using them in an to alter the outcome of a United States Presidential election.
That's according to Jeremy Samide CEO of Stealthcare, an international cybersecurity firm based in the US. Samide, who lectures worldwide on cybersecurity threats and defense predicted the Russian Democratic National Committee hacks months before they were discovered and called for extra cyber vigilance during both the DNC and RNC conventions.
“The timing of stolen emails released from a foreign government cyber attack against the DNC is no coincidence, says Samide adding, "in cybersecurity there are no coincidences.”
"No matter what your political affiliation is, this state-sponsored cyberattack affects both political parties. Whether you want to believe it or not, this is a power play that has disrupted the political process which ultimately presents significant dangers our clients, public and private organizations and our critical infrastructure.” says Samide.
He adds, “In addition to the state-sponsored attacks, hactivists, who feel Bernie Sanders was treated unfairly by the DNC, are expected to continue to play out their grudge by disrupting the Clinton Campaign, even though the outcome would benefit Donald Trump who runs counter to their political beliefs.”
Samide has supported the Department of Defense, the U.S. intelligence community, Federal law enforcement agencies and the private sector with cyber defenses for some 15-years. He notes, “Based on the evidence that state- sponsored operatives were responsible for the hack against the DNC, I also believe that the coordination and dissemination of that information was precise as to who and when it was released.”
He adds, Right now it looks like cyber motives have aligned with political motives.”
To keep clients well informed on the cybersecurity environment, Stealthcare invests heavily in research—collecting intelligence through machine learning, artificial intelligence, human analytics and tradecraft.
“These emails is being choreographed to be released sequentially, almost culminating to a climax within the story. With the anonymity of the Internet, it can be difficult to track who is talking to whom and what back channels they are using. We could see more hacks targeting the Democrats over the coming weeks and months."
With a few strokes on a keyboard, someone with devious intent can ruin someone's world.
"Some of the hackers are very good. They're very sophisticated," Samide said. "They can mirror the Republican or Democratic website or political website down to the 'T' and it looks real, smells real."
So why should someone be concerned about the RNC web security? Everything from donor lists to credit card information can be stolen.
"It's your ideologists that are out to make a political message and that's on their agenda to deface websites, steal information, and then expose that information on the internet," Samide said.