April 5, 2017
Remember, back in college, when you got away with things the older, more responsible, adult version of you would never even try? Now think back to some of your friends that were also involved. You know the ones. But if you decided one day that you were going to seek public office and expose yourself, your family, and your staff to all sorts of scrutiny, would you think twice about nostalgically adding one of your old buddies to the staff, knowing that the past would probably come back to visit you?
It seems obvious that national politics is not safe from cyberthreats, since all voices now say that the Russians hacked our political infrastructure for the benefit of one of the candidates. But how far does that interference run, and to what end? A recent New York Magazine article (and others, including Politico) reports that Paul Manafort’s Russian connections have come back to visit him, hacking through his daughter’s phone while he was running Donald Trump’s campaign. More than just black hat hacking, there was blackmail texting, attempting to leverage Manafort’s ties to Russia and Trump. The fact that such threats had reached that point may have precipitated Manafort’s early departure, and they may potentially signal the same for Trump. Only time will tell.
It’s Not About Politics
Cyberthreats recognize no national or political boundaries. There is only the smell of money, a pinch of power, and maybe a hint of anarchy in this soup we seem to be cooking through global connectivity. And the genie never goes back in the bottle.