US INTELLIGENCE: FOREIGN HACKERS SPYING ON CAMPAIGNS

by DEB RIECHMANN | ASSOCIATED PRESS  |  published on May 18, 2016


WASHINGTON — The United States sees evidence that hackers, possibly working for foreign governments, are snooping on the presidential candidates, the nation’s intelligence chief said Wednesday. Government officials are working with the campaigns to tighten security as the race for the White House intensifies.

The activity follows a pattern set in the last two presidential elections. Hacking was rampant in 2008, according to U.S. intelligence officials, and both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were targets of Chinese cyberattacks four years later. Despite that history, cyber experts say neither Donald Trump’s nor Hillary Clinton’s campaign networks are secure enough to eliminate the risk.

“We’ve already had some indications” of hacking, James Clapper, director of national intelligence, said Wednesday at a cybersecurity event at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. He said the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security were helping educate the campaigns.

Of the attacks, Clapper predicted, “we’ll probably have more.”

The revelation comes after a Clapper’s office released a document earlier this month saying foreign intelligence services tracked the 2008 presidential election cycle “like no other.” The document was part of a slide show used to warn incoming Obama administration officials that their new jobs could make them prey for foreign spies.

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