Cybersecurity

DNC warns campaign staffers of dating app security concerns: report

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Thursday sent an alert to campaign staffers warning them to be vigilant against attempts by opposition groups to gain information on campaigns through dating apps. 

The alert, first reported by CNN, was sent by the DNC to staffers nationwide, and warned them to “trust but verify” facts around who they were matching with on dating apps, including through Googling individuals. 

“We’re received reports that opposition groups may be trying to ‘sting’ or infiltrate Democratic campaigns or organizations through dating sites,” the email from the DNC, obtained by CNN, warned.

The DNC cautioned staffers to be careful with what they posted online, warning them to not “put anything out there that you wouldn’t mind the opposition seeing” and to imagine content from video calls, text messages, emails and photos was “on the front page of the NYTimes.”

The DNC also pointed out factors that might indicate a match was attempting to dig for information on the campaign, including asking pointed questions around the campaign or the candidate. 

In recent weeks, top officials have warned that foreign adversaries — including those in Russia, China and Iran — are taking steps to interfere in U.S. elections to favor either President Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden. 

The concerns come four years after Russian agents interfered in the 2016 presidential election, and the DNC cautioned staffers that they could become part of efforts to interfere this year. 

“We can expect our adversaries both foreign and domestic to dial up the heat,” the DNC wrote. 

A DNC official told The Hill that the warning was “nothing new and part of an ongoing effort to educate campaign staffers about where bad actors may exist online, how they may use social engineering tactics to gain access to information, and remind our campaign staffers to stay vigilant.”

Both the Trump and Biden campaigns have been targeted by more malicious cyber actors.

A Google threat researcher announced in June that a Chinese hacking group had targeted Biden campaign staff through the use of phishing emails, while an Iranian hacking group had used the same tactic to target Trump campaign staff.

-Updated at 9:15 p.m.

Tags China cyber attacks dating apps Donald Trump Iran Joe Biden Phishing Russia Russian hackers Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections U.S. U.S. elections

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