The DOJ U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston is charging a Rhode Island woman with sending phishing emails to candidates for political office and others. Defendant Diane Lebeau is said to have sent phishing emails to approximately 22 members of the campaign staff of a candidate for political office, posing as either the campaign’s managers or one of the campaign’s co-chairs to harvest their credentials. She also phished candidates spouses and colleagues with emails from Microsoft’s “Security Team” asking for credentials.
<p>Phishing emails have become a popular hacking tool a long time ago and they are becoming more and more difficult to recognize. Politics provides a great opportunity since email campaigns are a popular and effective campaign communication and fundraising technique, making political parties vulnerable. It is important for every business or organization to educate their team about phishing campaigns and the risk posed by phishing emails.</p>
<p>This is an unexpected phishing campaign outcome in that the charging document does not indicate Lebeau acted with financial or political motives to “foreign government, instrumentality, or agent”. Is that the only motive subjects we care about? This appears to be a politically motivated attack albeit domestic. The political climate in this country is at an all-time high of toxicity and opposition. Extreme views incite extreme action. So what was this woman\’s attack motive? Inquiring minds want to know.</p>