US blames Iran for spoofed Proud Boys emails threatening Democrat voters
In a short press conference held today by the US Department of Justice, high-ranking officials with the US government claimed that Iran was behind a wave of emails sent to US voters earlier this week.
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Spoofing the identity of violent extremist group Proud Boys, the emails threatened registered Democrat voters with repercussions if they didn’t vote for Donald Trump in the upcoming US Presidential Election.
The senders claimed to have “gained access into the entire [US] voting infrastructure,” but appeared to use public voter registration databases to target Democrat voters in Alaska, Arizona, and Florida.
Two waves of emails were sent this week, the first on Tuesday (October 20), and the second on Wednesday (October 21), according to a report from email security firm Proofpoint, which has been tracking the spam campaigns.
The second wave of emails, besides the original message threatening Democrat voters, also included a link to a video claiming to show an individual print out a voting ballot with another person’s information (a copy of the video is embedded in the Proofpoint report). The video was debunked by several US news media publications.
Responding to intense media coverage surrounding the emails, in a short press conference earlier today, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe attributed the spam campaigns to Iran.