Clinton campaign servers were accessed as part of DNC hack

Pierluigi Paganini July 30, 2016

Media outlet continues to publish news regarding the DNC hack, computer servers used by Clinton campaign were compromised as part of DNC hack.

The news of the recent Democratic National Convention (DNC) hack is monopolizing the technological debate around the US presidential campaign.

Yesterday I reported the news of another hack against the operation of the DNC, according to the Reuters, the FBI is investigating a security breach of the systems of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).

While I was reporting the news of the DCCC hack, the Associated Press confirmed that the computer systems used by Hillary Clinton’s staff for the presidential campaign were hacked too as part of the DNC hack.

Last week Wikileaks published the first lot of 20,000 emails from top DNC officials announcing more to come. In response to the data leakage the DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned as the group’s leader

Assange is against the idea to have Hillary Clinton as the new president of the United States, he also declared that he had “a lot more material” about her presidential campaign that could lead the  indictment of Hillary Clinton.

It is likely that more data from the Clinton’s presidential campaign would be included in the next part of the Hillary Leaks series.

Who is behind the hack?

Security experts from CrowdStrike, Mandiant, Fidelis and the FBI believe that the Russian intelligence is behind the DNC hack, it operated to influence the presidential election and advantage Donald Trump who has had an interesting relationship with Vladimir Putin.

There is also the possibility that the DNC hack is just the result of an ordinary cyber espionage campaign launched by the Kremlin.

The above companies analyzed the systems compromised in the DNC hack and found strong evidence of the Russian Government involvement.

According to the forensic analysis conducted by the security firm CrowdStrike, the DNC servers were hacked on April 2016 by Russian nation-state hackers.

According to the firm, the Fancy Bear APT (aka APT28 and Pawn Storm) used a strain of malware called X-Tunnel to exfiltrate data from the hacked systems.

Experts from Invincea published an interesting report about the DNC hack, focusing on the X-Tunnel malware used by hackers to steal sensitive data from the DNC servers. The X-Tunnel appeared to be a repurposed open source tool from a Chinese company that hasn’t provided further information about the alleged the Russian origins of the XTunnel binary.

“The Invincea Deep Learning analysis neither supports nor refutes the Russian origins of the XTunnel binary.  The binary appears to be a repurposed open source tool that was used for nefarious purposes within the DNC.” reads the report published by Invincea.

“Previous reports from Crowdstrike and others note that the XTunnel tool was used to maintain network connectivity.  Whether the XTunnel tool was used for additional purposes as its capabilities suggest is unknown, but it had the potential to support a full range of additional activity.”

DNC hack malware X-tunnel

What’s the next?

Security experts, including the notorious Bruce Schneier warn about possible attacks against the American voting machines during the presidential machine.

Give a look to the article titled “By November, Russian hackers could target voting machines” published by the Washington Post

“Even more important, we need to secure our election systems before autumn. If Putin’s government has already used a cyberattack to attempt to help Trump win, there’s no reason to believe he won’t do it again — especially now that Trump is inviting the “help.”

Stay Tuned.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – US Presidential Election 2016, DNC hack)

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