Special counsel Robert Mueller’s high-powered team assembled to investigate the extent of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election may become targets of cyberattacks by the very people they are investigating, analysts told the Washington Times.
That may help explain why some of the 13 attorneys on the team have yet to be identified.
Intelligence agencies have said Russian operatives penetrated the system of the Democratic National Committee and the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and targeted state election systems. So it’s no stretch to fear the hackers may try the same thing with Mueller’s team.
“There is no question that anyone involved in a matter this high profile is going to be a target for some sort of attempted cybersurveillance,” said R. David Edelman, director of the Project on Technology, Economy and National Security at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former director of international cyberpolicy at the White House National Security Council.
Mueller is expected to add “several more” attorneys to his team. So far, officials have confirmed the identities of eight members of the team.
Special counsel spokesman Peter Carr declined to say what precautions that team is taking to head off a cyberattack.
“Naming these individuals publicly makes them targets,” Edelman said. “Every day you can delay, that helps protect them from adversaries — foreign and domestic.”