An apparent Iranian government-linked hacking group unsuccessfully attempted to interfere in a U.S. presidential campaign over a 30-day span between August and September, according to Microsoft on Friday.

The company didn’t specify which campaign was targeted.

The group, labeled “Phosphorous” by the firm, made more than 2,700 tries to locate consumer email accounts owned by specific users and then hacked 241 of the accounts.
“Four accounts were compromised as a result of these attempts; these four accounts were not associated with the U.S. presidential campaign or current and former U.S. government officials,” said the company in a blog post. “Microsoft has notified the customers related to these investigations and threats and has worked as requested with those whose accounts were compromised to secure them.”
Phosphorus is also known as Ajax Security Team, Charming Kitten and APT 35, according to Microsoft.
“This effort suggests Phosphorous is highly motivated and willing to invest significant time and resources engaging in research and other means of information gathering,” said the blog post.
U.S. security has been a topic of contention since Russia allegedly attempted to influence the U.S. 2016 and 2018 elections, and has stated it intends to intrude in next year’s presidential election.

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