Dem voter database targeted in cyberattack

The DNC was alerted in the early hours of Tuesday morning by a cloud service provider and a security research firm that a fake login page had been created in an attempt to gather usernames and passwords that would allow access to the party's database, a Democratic source tells CNN. CNN's Alex Marquardt reports.

Posted: Aug 23, 2018 9:39 PM
Updated: Aug 23, 2018 9:39 PM

The Democratic National Committee contacted the FBI on Tuesday after it detected what it believes was the beginning of a sophisticated attempt to hack into its voter database, a Democratic source tells CNN.

The DNC was alerted in the early hours of Tuesday morning by a cloud service provider and a security research firm that a fake login page had been created in an attempt to gather usernames and passwords that would allow access to the party's database, the source said.

The DNC and the two companies involved in detecting the operation say they believe they thwarted a potential attack.

The fraudulent page was designed to look like the access page Democratic Party officials and campaigns across the country use to log into a service called Votebuilder, which hosts the database, the source said, adding the DNC believed it was designed to trick people into handing over their login details.

The source said the DNC is investigating who may have been responsible for the attempted attack, but that it has no reason to believe its voter file was accessed or altered.

The page was initially discovered late Monday by Lookout, a San Francisco-based cybersecurity firm. The company doesn't work for the DNC but alerted the party to its findings, Mike Murray, the company's vice president of security intelligence, told CNN on Wednesday.

Murray said that a link to the page could have been sent to Democrats by email or through other online platforms in a spearphishing operation.

"It was very convincing," Murray said, adding that if a person were to see the real login page and the fake login page side-by-side, it would be difficult to tell them apart. "It would have been a very effective attack," he said.

The fraudulent page was hosted on a cloud computing platform called DigitalOcean, which took action to remove the page as soon as it was alerted by Lookout, the cloud company said.

"We see no evidence that any sensitive data was stolen and our initial investigation indicates that we were able to address this threat prior to the attack being launched," Josh Feinblum, chief security officer at DigitalOcean, said in a statement.

The DNC's chief security officer Bob Lord, a former Yahoo! executive, briefed Democrats on the attempted attack at a meeting of the Association of State Democratic Committees in Chicago on Wednesday.

"These threats are serious and that's why it's critical that we all work together, but we can't do this alone. We need the (Trump) administration to take more aggressive steps to protect our voting systems. It is their responsibility to protect our democracy from these types of attacks," Lord said in a statement to CNN.

CNN has reached out to the FBI for comment.

Early Tuesday morning, Microsoft announced that parts of an operation linked to Russian military intelligence targeting the US Senate and conservative think tanks that advocated for tougher policies against Russia were thwarted last week.

That disclosure, coming less than three months ahead of the 2018 midterms, demonstrated Russia's continued efforts to destabilize US institutions. The news also places additional pressure on President Donald Trump to take action, even though he downplayed Russia's involvement as recently as Monday.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319948

Reported Deaths: 7371
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22285267
Hinds20719421
Harrison18431317
Rankin13901282
Jackson13718248
Madison10263224
Lee10059176
Jones8467167
Forrest7832153
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Scott320374
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Stone188433
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135347
Greene131834
Lawrence131124
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127238
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108234
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548657

Reported Deaths: 11306
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810031566
Mobile42105831
Madison35690525
Tuscaloosa26173458
Shelby25607254
Montgomery25081614
Baldwin21868314
Lee16278176
Calhoun14719327
Morgan14629285
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Houston10781287
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Cullman9952201
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DeKalb8972190
Talladega8460184
Walker7338280
Autauga7241113
Blount6945139
Jackson6932113
Colbert6413140
Coffee5635127
Dale4928116
Russell454841
Chilton4476116
Franklin431382
Covington4275122
Tallapoosa4138155
Escambia401680
Chambers3728124
Dallas3607158
Clarke353061
Marion3240107
Pike314378
Lawrence3133100
Winston283472
Bibb268564
Geneva257981
Marengo250565
Pickens236962
Barbour234559
Hale227278
Butler224271
Fayette218862
Henry194543
Randolph187544
Cherokee187345
Monroe180041
Washington170539
Macon163051
Clay160059
Crenshaw155957
Cleburne153444
Lamar146837
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124342
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