In a blog post, Microsoft said it found evidence that Iranian-linked hackers have targeted a 2020 presidential candidate.
Although the company did not name the targeted presidential candidate, Microsoft said its threat intelligence center observed the group known as Phosphorous — also known as Apt 35 — making over 2,700 attempts to identify email accounts belonging to specific Microsoft customers, and then go on to “attack” 241 of them.
In a statement, Tom Burt, Microsoft’s vice president of customer security and trust, said:
“Four accounts were compromised as a result of these attempts; these four accounts were not associated with the U.S. presidential campaign or current and former U.S. government official.”
Microsoft said, between August and September, Phosphorus tried to gain access to secondary email accounts linked to a Microsoft account. They also attempted to steal phone numbers associated with the users.
Burt said that the attacks weren’t “technically sophisticated,” but “they attempted to use a significant amount of personal information” belonging to their targets.