I am Lauren Young, deputy campaign manager for Alexandra Chandler for Congress in MA-3. Here to post Alexandra’s statement on the news that Russian hackers went after Senator Claire McCaskill:
I learned today that Senator Claire McCaskill is a new target of Russian hackers. While the evidence is not as detailed as what Mueller presented against the GRU personnel in his recent indictment, it is a wake up call to every Congressional candidate in the country.
The technical data The Daily Beast has substantiating their analysis is highly suggestive she was targeted by Russian hackers. This shouldn’t be confused or conflated with activities the GRU was undertaking in 2016– this suggests interference in the upcoming midterm election.
Claire McCaskill is not just key to the Democrats retaking the Senate. She sits on Armed Services and the Permanent Subcommittee on Homeland Security Investigations. She has been a voice resolutely challenging Russia.
Most importantly— this report doesn’t mean that Claire McCaskill is the only target. This may or may not be the tip of an iceberg of ongoing Russian interference in the upcoming election.
Though the way this was found out is now a theoretically easily identifiable signature, other attempts could have used different tactics. As a professional, I would be surprised if they didn’t at least try to use a diversity of tactics.
And it all underscores just how vulnerable we are to election interference and that the paltry hundreds of millions Congress has appropriated for this, far too late to spend effectively, is not equal to the task.
As a candidate for Congress and a former analyst and leader at the Office of Naval Intelligence, this is something I take steps to prevent from happening to my campaign. Every other candidate should do this same. Democrats, Republicans, and others. Here’s why.
Russian intelligence and national security services rarely want to leave a clear cut trail. Think of Crimea, their activities in Ukraine, the poisoning of Litivienko.
Though I suspect their interference will still largely be with the aim of aiding Donald Trump and defeating his political enemies- it would be true to form for them to hack some number of Republicans or others to muddle the story even if uncovered later. Or to preserve future options.
This was likely an attempt to politically target one Democratic Senator. This can certainly be a wake up call for Congress, the Administration and Americans across political divisions to see the seriousness of this threat and to plan and act accordingly to protect our elections and democracy.