Russia has always placed a top priority on gathering as much intelligence as it can about American government officials, and the team now gathering around the new president-elect is no exception. In the overnight hours after Tuesday’s election, hackers linked to Russian intelligence launched a sweeping cyber-espionage campaign to find out what a Donald Trump victory could mean for Vladimir Putin’s government.
Sean Kanuck, the U.S. National Intelligence Officer for Cyber Issues from 2011 to 2016, told NBC News that Russia would likely be after any information on Trump and his advisors that would help Russia gain strategic advantage over the U.S.
The Nov. 9 attack targeted “people who are or will be associated with the incoming administration,” said Steven Adair of the cyber security firm Volexity.
The attack came from the hacking crew known as Cozy Bear, which is linked to previous attacks on the Democratic National Committee, the White House, the State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.