Front Page: NCSC-FI
Front Page: NCSC-FI

Cyber and information influence activities come together in the Hack and Leak phenomenon

Information security now!

The Hack and Leak phenomenon refers to instances where the objective of the attacker is to carry out a data breach of their target and then steal and utilise information critical to the victim. This can be considered a so-called hybrid attack.

Hack and Leak attacks play a key role in information influencing and target institutions and political actors, in particular. Hack and Leak attacks were part of the US presidential election in 2016, for example. At that time, US authorities blamed Russia for interfering in the election, because an email account of the Democratic Party was hacked and the messages within were later published on the WikiLeaks website. The objective of the criminals was to weaken the credibility of Hillary Clinton and the overall trust in democratic institutions.

“It is clear that politicians and those in power have always been of interest to anyone wanting to influence others as well as criminal activity. This has been a known threat for a long time, and parties have prepared for these threats and trained their candidates to protect themselves against them. The authorities have also offered candidates guidance in protecting their data. We have not detected anything alarming or out of the ordinary compared to previous elections this time around,” says Information Security Advisor Otso Manninen from the NCSC-FI.

The original article was published on 30.3.2023 in Finnish