Ahead of the European Parliament elections in May, Microsoft is expanding its election defense service to 12 European countries in an effort to combat both present and future cyber attacks.
The move comes after numerous security breaches compromised democratic elections and institutions across Europe. During the 2017 French presidential election, hackers leaked more than nine gigabytes of emails from then-candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign in an act of sabotage.
Then between September and December 2018, cyber attacks landed on European think tanks and nonprofits. Attempts were made on The Aspen Institutes in Europe, the German Council on Foreign Relations and the German Marshall Fund, using phishing scams and faked email addresses to trick political workers. The attacks compromised 104 workers accounts in European democratic institutions.
“The attacks we’ve seen recently, coupled with others we discussed last year, suggest an ongoing effort to target democratic organizations,” said Microsoft Corporate vice president Tom Burt in a detailed blog post. “They validate the warnings from European leaders about the threat level we should expect to see in Europe this year.” more