Microsoft Takes Down Massive Botnet Before 2020 Elections

A building on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington in 2014.

A building on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington in 2014.
Photo: Stephen Brashear (Getty Images)

Microsoft has obtained a court order to seize servers the company says are part of the Trickbot botnet ahead of the 2020 elections, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

Microsoft vice president of customer security and trust Tom Burt told the Post the botnet poses a “theoretical but real” threat to election security, as it is known to be run by Russian-speaking criminals and could be used to launch ransomware attacks. Ransomware is a type of malware that hijacks computer networks, and typically holds the data hostage in exchange for some kind of payment—although attackers could just forego the ransom element and permanently lock users out of their own computers. While a ransomware attack on voting machines, election officials, or political campaigns would be unprecedented, gangs of cybercriminals have targeted municipal

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Blue and White minister: We’ll depose Netanyahu if he goes to elections

Science and Technology Minister Izhar Shay has threatened that if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tries to go to new elections during the current crisis the Blue and White party will “ensure” that he does not remain in his position.The minister’s comments come as trust between Netanyahu’s Likud and its senior coalition partner Blue and White has sunk to new lows in recent days, amid a renewed fight over the state budget and political demonstrations.“The Likud is going to abuse the citizens; whoever goes to elections will pay the price,” said Shai on Channel 12’s Meet the Press program in reference to comments made by Likud MKs and coalition chairman Miki Zohar of late calling on the prime minister to break up the coalition.“The Likud made known this week through Miki Zohar that they will not work on the budget in order to dismantle the government,” said Shai.A state budget for
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A Smart, New Approach To Stop Foreign Interference In Elections

FBI Director Christopher Wray’s recent warning that Russia is seeking to disrupt and influence US elections underscores the vulnerability of our elections and political campaigns to foreign influence and hacking. 

As is increasingly the case, whistleblowers likely will be a vital first line of defense.  

Recognizing that, the State Department has launched a promising way to turn the tables on foreign hacking operations and disrupt the disrupters: It is offering whistleblower rewards of up to $10 million to those who can identify or provide the location of individuals who are working at the behest of foreign governments to interfere with a national, state or local election.

Incentivizing knowledgeable insiders to report wrongdoing by offering whistleblower rewards has long been

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