AP reports that Russia-linked hackers tried at least five times to pry into Hillary Clinton’s private email account while she was secretary of state. This is clear from newly released spam emails from Clinton’s server that were released today.
The emails in question were disguised as speeding tickets from New York. They instructed recipients to print the attached tickets. Doing so would have allowed hackers to take over control of a victim’s computer.
We don’t know yet whether Clinton ever clicked on any of the attachments to these emails, thereby exposing her account. The emails contain information and markings that might well have made one suspicious of their validity. But many of us have opened emails when we should have known better.
According to AP, security researchers who analyzed the malicious software said that infected computers would transmit information from victims to at least three server computers overseas. One was in in Russia.
It’s hardly unheard of to receive spam emails of this nature. As AP points out, though, these messages show that hackers had Clinton’s email address, which was not public. It’s quite possible that other hackers, including perhaps the Chinese, also had her email address and attempted to hack her server.
AP notes that most commercial antivirus software at the time would have detected this attempted hack and blocked it. Having opted to use a home brew system, Clinton lacked such protective software. In addition, as AP also points out, the government has a large staff of information technology experts to protect against hackers, whereas Clinton has yet to provide any information on who maintained her server and how well it was secured.
Thus, AP concludes that “the phishing attempts highlight the risk of Clinton’s unsecure email being pried open by foreign intelligence agencies.”
Indeed, they do. They also highlight Clinton’s unfitness for high office.