The U.S. has detected foreign hackers spying on the presidential candidates over the past two presidential elections, according to the nation’s top intelligence official. Experts say neither Donald Trump’s nor Hillary Clinton’s campaign networks are secure enough to prevent cyberattacks.
On Twitter Wednesday Brian P. Hale, the director of public affairs for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, posted, “We’re aware that campaigns and related organizations and individuals are targeted by actors with a variety of motivations — from philosophical differences to espionage — and capabilities — from detachments to intrusions. We defer to [the] FBI for specific incidents.”
— Office of the DNI (@ODNIgov) May 18, 2016
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper remarked that in addition to the FBI, officials from the Department of Homeland Security are working with the campaigns to help them tighten security.
During a press conference Wednesday at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, Clapper said, “I anticipate as the campaigns intensify we will probably have more of it.”
Clapper added the software attacks can be solved by “[patching] IT software obsessively.”
Another solution Clapper mentioned to prevent hackers is by “segmenting data.” This means effectively making data stored or sent and received available to only those who should be able to access certain information, while denying anyone else from obtaining by default giving them no access to the info.
Foreign hacking was widespread during both the 2008 and 2012 presidential election. In 2008, both then-Sen. Barack Obama and Arizona Sen. [crscore]John McCain[/crscore]’s campaign networks were targeted by Chinese hackers, who accessed internal position papers and private emails of top advisers. During the 2012 election, the campaign networks for President Obama and Mitt Romney were similarly targeted.
Both the Trump and Clinton campaign did not respond to a request for comment.