dispatch from the cybersphere
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has joined the increasingly political list of cyberattack victims.
Harris' office has found three to five Facebook accounts impersonating the senator every month since she was elected, an aide tells The Associated Press. Facebook isn't telling Harris about the fake accounts, which usually share false representations of the 2020 presidential prospect's stances and initiatives. The FBI hasn't seemed to notice either. Instead, Harris' office just asks Facebook to shut down the accounts when it discovers them.
In July, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) became the first 2018 midterm candidate known to be the subject of a Russian hacking attempt. Former Rep. Brad Ashford (D-Neb.) also says his emails were compromised in 2016.
Cyberattacks are becoming such a persistent problem that several top intelligence and security officials addressed the topic in a White House press briefing Thursday. Among them was National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, who questioned Trump's soft stance on election meddling when meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in July. Coats said cyberattacks are hitting Americans on both sides of the aisle, though 2018 interference isn't as "robust" as it was in 2016.
Instead, Coats said "pervasive messaging campaign(s)" are the biggest threat this time around — a less invasive kind of attack that fits what Harris has been experiencing.