Hackers hit the Kremlin

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Hackers have hit the Kremlin in a “very powerful” cyberattack, Russian officials told reporters on Monday.

Reuters first reported the attack, which targeted the website of Russia’s election commission. 

“Defense systems worked though it was not easy, the attack was rather strong,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Peskov said he does not know who is behind the attack, but linked the incident to regional elections that took place on Sunday, in which the opposition was allowed to run against Kremlin-allied politicians in only one region.

“Given that, you will certainly be interested to know that from 5 to 10 a.m. on Sunday a very powerful attack was simultaneously carried out on the Russian president’s website,” Peskov said.

Russian media reported that U.S.-based hackers infiltrated the Russian Central Election Commission in an effort to manipulate results.

“Yesterday someone tried to hack our website and alter the data there, making 50,000 requests per minute. They failed and we have already established the culprit — it’s a company based in San Francisco,” commission Chairman Vladimir Churov told the press, according to the state-owned Sputnik International. The publication is widely considered to be a propaganda arm of the Kremlin. 

Russia, along with China, is believed to have some of the most sophisticated hackers in the world, according to the U.S. Intelligence Community’s 2015 Worldwide Threat Assessment report.

The U.S. government has been struggling to keep out Moscow-backed hackers. In the past year, Russian hackers are alleged to have infiltrated the State Department, White House and Pentagon email systems.


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