Brad Smith: Microsoft Launches Cyber Initiative to Help US Government Secure Midterm Elections

Brad Smith

Microsoft has unveiled a new initiative to provide political candidates and federal, local and state campaign agencies using the Office 365 platform with free cybersecurity tools as part of the expansion of the Defending Democracy Program.

Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer of Microsoft, said in a blog entry posted Monday the AccountGuard program offers threat notification support across personal and organizational email accounts through the company’s threat intelligence center; security guidance, briefings and training; and early adopter opportunities.

He said the move came a week after Microsoft assumed control of six web domains through a court order executed by the company’s digital crimes unit.

Those internet domains were developed by a cyber threat group, dubbed Strontium, that has links to the Russian government and been associated with 84 fraudulent websites that were shut down by Microsoft in two years.

“We’re concerned that these and other attempts pose security threats to a broadening array of groups connected with both American political parties in the run-up to the 2018 elections,” Smith added.

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