Election Interference through Cyber Means: The 2008 US Presidential Campaign Hacks

In the summer of 2008, both the Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns were targeted by unknown foreign intruders, who successfully hacked and downloaded the campaigns’ databases.

The hacks were discovered by the campaigns’ IT staff, who noticed that large amounts of data were being exfiltrated from their systems. Further investigations revealed that the attackers had gained access to the campaigns’ databases, which contained sensitive information such as donor lists, financial information, and internal communications.

The FBI was called in to investigate the breaches, and it was determined that the attacks were the work of foreign state-sponsored hackers. The motivations behind the attacks are not entirely clear, but it is believed that the hackers were attempting to gain access to sensitive information that could be used to influence the outcome of the election.

The incident was significant as it marked the first time that a foreign government had attempted to interfere in a U.S. presidential election through cyber means. It also highlighted the vulnerability of political campaigns to cyber attacks and the importance of proper cyber security measures.

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