In a new deep-dive into the Russian cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee, The New York Times on Tuesday reported that “a series of missed signals, slow responses and a continuing underestimation of the seriousness of the cyberattack” only worsened the situation. The Times unearthed evidence suggesting DNC staffers ignored the threat or only superficially attempted to deal with it. When a DNC tech-support contractor received calls from the FBI warning of a hacker breach of a protected network, the tech worker reportedly conducted a cursory search of the DNC computer network to look for hints of intrusions. According to his own memos, the support staffer didn’t investigate much because “I had no way of differentiating the call I just received from a prank call.” Internal memos additionally show the DNC had the means to install advanced protection systems, but only “had a standard email spam-filtering service, intended to block phishing attacks and malware created to resemble legitimate email.” At another point of the report, the Times revealed that John Podesta’s emails were exposed to the hackers because of a typo. When Podesta received a phishing email prompting him to click a button, a Clinton aide mistakenly responded that “This is a legitimate email,” when he meant to type “illegitimate” to warn the campaign chief off the hacker email.
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