There has been a lot of talk in the media lately on the purported Russian attack on the Democratic National Committee. To be clear in this post-election fog: the attack was on the email servers and other databases of a political party–it was not an attack on the computer systems and networks that tallied the votes on election night.
We have read the detailed report from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, and to sum up their findings: there were at least three attacks using a classic “spearphishing” campaign. They were able to gain access by enticing employees of the political party to click on email links that embedded malicious code on the party’s network. Once the malicious software was installed, it exposed credentials to the network and allowed the attackers to “exfiltrate” information as it desired.
The FBI report includes several recommendations, most of them we’ve highlighted in other posts in our Business Tech Trends blog. Here’s a quick summary.
- Change your passwords regularly
- Use complex passwords.
- Consider “two factor authentication” where you need a password and then a second form of validation (a code that is texted to your cell phone)
- Use a firewall
- Keep your antivirus up to date
- Update your security and performance patches regularly
- Educate your staff on spearphishing and other security threats