Cyber hackers — possibly working for foreign governments — are trying to infiltrate the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns, a senior U.S. intelligence official said Wednesday.
“We’ve already had some indications of that,” James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said in Washington.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, U.S. intelligence agencies traced massive cyber attacks to China. At that time, both the Democratic candidate, now-President Barack Obama, and his Republican rival John McCain, were targeted. Officials said hackers were trying to seize sensitive data, including private emails and information on high-level economic and national security briefings senior aides might have received.
The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation “are doing what they can do educate both campaigns against potential cyber threats,” Clapper said at an event at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
He didn’t offer any detail on how the intrusions were detected or name which campaigns were targeted. But he offered a prediction.
“As the campaigns intensify, we’ll probably have more,” Clapper said.